a month ago

Magnus Carlsen: The lazy genius

Published :

Updated :

In the realm of intellectual battles, where each move is a calculated gamble, Magnus Carlsen stands as an undisputed champion. 

A prodigy who exhibited his remarkable talent from the tender age of 13, Carlsen defied convention with his unique approach to chess. 

Despite being labelled as 'lazy,' his strategic brilliance and unconventional methods made him the reigning world chess champion. 

Early signs of brilliance

Hailing from Tonsberg, Norway, Magnus Carlsen was destined to leave an indelible mark on the world of chess.

At age five, he found solace in the intricacies of the 64-square board, quickly grasping complex strategies that baffled even seasoned players. 

His precocious talent drew attention, and at 13, he achieved the title of grandmaster, setting a record as the youngest ever. He ranked number one chess player at the age of just 19. 

Route to success

Carlsen's ascent to the pinnacle of chess was unconventional. Often criticised for his seemingly lackadaisical training approach, he preferred quality over quantity. 

Unlike his peers who dedicated hours to study, Carlsen believed in efficient preparation. He once remarked, "I don't work as hard as people think, but maybe I work more effectively." 

He once said the first line of his autobiography would be, "I am not a genius." 

Perhaps he wanted to say he is smart enough to think and work efficiently rather than working hard relentlessly.  

This approach allowed him to retain his mental agility and a fresh perspective, giving him an edge in critical moments. 

The 'lazy' genius

Carlsen's perceived laziness stemmed from his unorthodox training habits. He had an affinity for breaking conventional norms, often indulging in football or doing yoga. 

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Carlsen said, "Much of my core work comes from yoga."

Carlsen's ability to find balance beyond the chessboard was instrumental in maintaining his passion and mental clarity. This approach garnered scepticism but ultimately contributed to his success.

Carlsen's intuitive style of play baffled opponents and experts alike. He relied heavily on his gut feelings and psychological tactics to gain the upper hand. 

In 2013, Carlsen's dream culminated when he defeated Viswanathan Anand to become the World Chess Champion. Carlsen's reign marked a new era in chess, where innovation and versatility trumped traditional approaches.

In the 2023 FIDE World Championships, Carlsen defeated Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa. It was a three-game final. The first two games were tied, leading to the tie-breakers, where Magnus beat him and retained the title. This is Carlsen's fifth title, making him quite an undisputed chess champion. 

Winning titles has become a habit for him to the extent that he doesn't find any motivation to defend it. 

[email protected]

Share this news