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Fighting Chess with Magnus Carlsen

Fighting Chess with Magnus Carlsen

Authors: Adrian Mikhalchishin / Oleg Stetsko

Publishers: Edition Olms

Year: 2002, 280 pages

I couldn’t refrain, after reading the last page of this wonderful book, from going to hey in this review, and will to share  my feelings and impressions with you. I will summarize it, unfairly, with 2 words: Very Impressive.

What distinguish this book are minimum three important factors: It is the first time I see a biographical book in which the authors started it not with games, but by describing the weakness of their hero! And who other than the famous endgame expert Mikhalchishin is capable of  ?! And the weakness was (yes was is the right word) the endgame phase, which later, during his climbing the ladder to the top, Carlsen eliminated it, and even transformed to an expert of it.

Another factor is the impression you got when, after playing and analyzing the first games of Carlsen in chapters one and two (From Master to Grandmaster, and The Way to the Top). All those victories and beautiful games were the result of  Carlsen’s  own work! He was like an European Fischer, supported my modern technology and a photographic type of memory! This was described by Agdeshtein, his first trainer, who wrote a letter to Kasparov, the Boss, in which he described his impressions about Carlsen’s talent, especially how he can, after reading a book on the Sicilian defense and its complex variations, play it the next day! Or how his father, during Carlsen’s childhood, was feeding him one book after another, and assimilating the contents of the variations after just one look. This gift enabled our hero to produce maneuvers over the board that were similar to the ones that you can find inTigran Petrossian ‘s or Aron Nimzowitsch ‘s famous games without knowing or reading those games.

The third factor is the description of the chess scenes, especially after the one-year training of Carlsen with the Boss, and how, just by knowing or hearing a rumor about it, his famous opponents arrived at the board hypnotized  and lost without any fight.

Just one regret: in the comments of  Nisipeanu – Carlsen – Bazna 2010, the authors described Nisipeanu ‘ status as being (openly afraid of Magnus), which is, in my opinion, unrealistic, especially for an aggressive player like Nisipeanu. I can’t find on what basis the authors reached this conclusion, as, and you will find this by yourself, Carlsen himself avoided on several occasions the main lines adopted by his opponents, which doesn’t mean the our hero was afraid of facing them over the board.

Last impression (may be it should be the first one): as all Edition Olms books are, this one’s binding is excellent, high papers quality, nice to flip.


Go and order it. You will not regret it.

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