After Morelia/Linares supertournament Vishy Anand said: “Carlsen? I, like most, consider him a great talent. I think it's almost impossible to believe he won't be world champion some day. Although he still has weaknesses - like everyone, not just him - his performance here has demonstrated what we already suspected for a while now. And he might have finished in clear second”.
Magnus was born on November 30, 1990, and lives in Lommedalen, Bærum, near Norway’s capital, Oslo. He played his first tournament at the age of eight and was coached at the Norwegian Sports Gymnasium led by GM Simen Agdestein. Agdestein put his civil worker and master player Torbjørn Ringdahl-Hansen, currently a FIDE master with a 2340 rating, as his coach and they had one training session every week, together with one of Magnus’ close friends. The young prodigy was given a year off from elementary school to participate in international chess tournaments during the fall season of 2003. A few months later he came to international attention after winning the C group of the Corus Chess Tournament at the age of thirteen (he won the B group of the same tournament two years later at 15). The game Carlsen-Ernst, played in this event, has become famous for the brilliant combination Magnus invented to completely outplay his opponent (you can watch this game at http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1272702).
Carlsen is now one of the best players of the world. He has a rating of 2693, making him Norway’s number 1, World Juniors’ number 2 and World’s number 22. He has a Blog, frequently updated by his father Henrik, since January: the address is http://blog.magnuschess.com/. At the Gausdal chess classic, which is taking place in the famous high mountain hotel in Norway, Magnus crushed Hungarian GM Lajos Portisch, a very experienced player, in the seventh round, and he now leads the field with 5.5 points out of 7 with two rounds to go (official site: http://www.bergensjakk.no/gausdal/classics2007/). Here is the game.
Carlsen,M (2693)-Portisch,L (2512) [E04], Gausdal 24.04.2007
1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. g3 dxc4 5. Bg2 Nbd7 6. O-O Rb8 7. Qc2 b5 8. b3 cxb3 9. axb3 a6 10. Ne5 Nxe5 11. dxe5 Nd5 12. Rd1 Qe7 13. Nc3 Qc5 14. Rxd5 exd5 15. b4 Qxb4 16. Ba3 Qg4 17. Bxf8 Kxf8 18. Nxd5 Qc4 19. Qd2 Be6 20. Rc1 Qb3 21. Nxc7 Kg8 22. Qd6 Rc8 23. Bb7 h6 24. Bxc8 Bxc8 25. Nxb5 axb5 26. Rxc8+ Kh7 27. Rc1 Re8 28. Kg2 Kg8 29. Rc5 Qa2 30. Qc6 1-0
Before the Italian team championship the sicilian town of Palermo hosted a two days event with Spanish GM Francisco Vallejo Pons, who then played for Il Massimo team (which placed second). Vallejo gave a “GM lesson” and a simul exhibition on April 19; the day before he played a blindfold game against Italian master Riccardo Gueci, the blindfold simul record-man in Italy (10 games with 9 victories and 1 draw). Vallejo won on time at move 37, when he had a better position, but not a decisive advantage. You can watch the game on MS Blog at this address: http://www.messaggeroscacchi.it/dblog/articolo.asp?articolo=41. Pictures from this event at www.centroscacchi.it (the title of the news is “Concluse le Manifestazioni collaterali alla serie Master”: just click on “clicca per le foto” and “vedi le foto” to see the images).