Friday, November 5, 2010
THE MAGNUS CARLSEN BOMBSHELL
It was announced on ChessBase.com this morning that No. 1 ranked (by rating) player Magnus Carlsen will be sitting out this World Championship cycle.
If you think about it for a second, he HAS the power. And he does what he thinks is best for HIM, not FIDE, not Ilyumzhinov (we'll call him ILL for short). That means not being in contention to be one of the greatest and youngest champs of all time (if he had made it). It seems, and I doubt anyone would disagree with me, that the world championship cycle is about 5 years and he says, in effect, that's ridiculous. It is. Accuse Lasker all you want, he did have the tools, but he called the shots. Carlsen has the tools and he sees FIDE as "milking this" for all its worth (my quotes).
No one except the ineptitudes in 3rd world countries likes ILL. The 3rd worlders are after their best interests too, but having Carlsen drop out ISN'T in their best interests. In 1971 Argentina put itself back on the chess map by holding the Candidates for Fischer and Petrosian. Then Iceland went on the map with Fischer-Spassky. NOTHING goes on the map in the former Soviet Union, no matter how many good players they have... even Topolov complained about this.
Any idea how many players near the top are going to be happy about this? All of them no matter what they say in print--it's human nature. They admire him now, more than ever, because he is doing (has the power and courage) to do what they wouldn't do. ILL has come up with prize money, sometimes late in paying it, and really, that is ALL. His smile does not exude the kind of charisma that people believe in, and feel unless he really is "happy" about the possibility of alien life (this guy is just plain out there).
Carlsen has an advertising job, he's the new James Dean. He has Brass Balls and now, maybe brass knuckles too.