Magnus Carlsen needs little introduction; he has shown great determination and talent from an early age and has quickly established himself as the strongest player of our times [and here is why]. He is a universal player who can handle well any type of position, but he prefers strategic play – positions with a slight plus where he can slowly increase the pressure without risking anything. His games are a source of inspiration for any aspiring chess player who looks for improvement.
Here are a few things we could all learn from him.
1. Endgame technique
The current World Champion has a great endgame technique and has been able to win even many seemingly “drawish” positions. He is always trying to create new weaknesses in his opponent’s position and slowly but surely convert this slight advantage into a win. His preference for such position is what made people seeing him as a rather dull player, but we’re sure this is a skill we’d all love to have.
2. Positional chess
We can learn just about any type of strategic motif from his games; he has great technique with the bishop pair, he is constantly trying to weaken the opponent’s position and then exploit this, etc. We just have to pay attention to those details and how he uses them to his advantage.
3. Tactical play
Although it’s not often that we see Magnus Carlsen winning a game with a devastating attack nowadays, he has done so a number of times and it hasn’t been easy for his opponents.
4. Flexible thinking
He is a universal chess player who has studied lots of games and positions. He knows all types of structures, as well as the typical patterns, which allows him to find the suitable plans in any position. He can easily switch to one type of position/structure to another when it is necessary to do so.
5. Wide opening choice
As any top player, he knows many openings and always varies in tournaments. This can be a very useful weapon for the tournament player, making it difficult for your opponents to prepare.
6. Play simple chess
He rarely plays for an opening advantage; he usually gets equal or only slightly better positions out of the opening. From there, it is time to show which side can handle the position better. Nowadays many players waste a lot of time trying to find the perfect opening that will yield them a very good middlegame, when this is almost impossible. Just play simple and normal chess!
7. Fighting spirit
Magnus Carlsen sometimes plays until exhaustion, even positions that are equal. This shows that he is constantly trying to win and trying out different plans that could make his opponents go wrong. A great feature that any chess player could use! Here are some of Carlsen’s Best Games
8. Physical training
Magnus is one of the young players who showed the importance of the physical training and of finding the right balance between chess training and keeping in a good physical shape. This translates in the physical endurance he shows over the board, as most of his games are very long; he likes to tire his opponents and eventually lead them into making a mistake.
9. Psychological strength
This is very important during a game and tournaments. Magnus is one player who likes to know his opponents from a psychological point of view and find patterns in their style that he can use in his favor. He has also shown a great ability to come back after a tough loss and quickly recover after a bad result.
Self-confidence – another extremely important feature that every player should develop. Magnus Carlsen is a very good example of self-confidence; he is always sure in himself and he believes he can achieve any goal he sets.
This is perhaps one of the most important things in a player; there are many strong chess players who didn’t succeed simply because they didn’t really believe they could do it.