Carlsen System: Versatile Openings, Deep Positional Play and Accurate Endgames

Magnus Carlsen, current World Champion (after winning the challenge to Vishy Anand in Nov. 2013 for the throne of FIDE World Chess Champion) has a very deep positional style of play with very accurate endgame ability. Also, Carlsen has experimented with so many new openings at the topmost levels and taken the game to his analysis area and won. Even the inferior positions coming out of not so strong openings have been defended very well by Carlsen and won or drawn at the end. 

As a young player, the first book read by Magnus Carlsen is said to be "Find The Plan" by Bent Larsen. This book is an open ended chess thought book. It gives positions, author gives his views and then tells reader to think more. Carlsen is said to have spent hours with the positions in this book. May be this advise has prepared Carlsen to find a win in the positions declared as dead drawn or even lost previously. Originality of analysis and planning has been the main strength of Carlsen which has made him reach and retain the top position in FIDE chess rating list at such young age.

Carlsen System of chess thinking can be described like this. Suppose you are playing at club level at short time controls like Blitz or Bullet games. There will be ameture players making so many tactical mistakes and you will keep winning game after game (If you are stronger player). Then if you are playing at classical time control at state or national level, then players will not make much tactical blunders but they will commit positional mistakes and by exploiting their positional judgement errors you will win. But if you are playing at International Levels (IM or GM level), then your opponents will not make any obvious tactical or positional error and you will have to exploit very minute and insignificant positional or tactical mistakes and win the game and at the same time you will need to avoid any such opportunity for your opponent. And then if you are fighting for the throne of World Championship, then your opponent is the World Champion himself and to win it you will have to create opportunities for yourself through very long well prepared positional maneuvers. Thats what Carlsen did recently in November 2013 and succeded. The decisive games were all thought to be drawn by experts world over but Carlsen created a winning opportunity for himself by long maneuvers and exploiting very small errors by the opponent.

It also looks that Carlsen has studied the play by software like Houdini or Rybka very closely as it has been reported that his moves match with the first choice of these software very closely (It has become Carlsen's natural ability to reach this level of perfection). One more thing we could observe that Houdini and Rybka also take the game to draw position against strong software and then through long maneuvers create an opportunity to win for themselves. So, Carlsen has a similarity with these software in this regard.

(more to come.....)

1 comment: