Magnus Carlsen Impressed by India's Chess Revolution

01.06.2024 20:36 | News

Indian Youth Dominates Chess and Has No Match, Says Magnus Carlsen

Magnus Carlsen is impressed by the chess revolution in India, which has brought many new Grandmasters to the world stage. Among the brightest stars are D Gukesh and R Praggnanandhaa.

Recently, seventeen-year-old Gukesh became the youngest Candidate winner in history and was given a hero's welcome upon his return from Canada. Last year, Praggnanandhaa played an epic FIDE World Cup final with Carlsen that lasted three days and ended in a tiebreak.

At the recent Rapid and Blitz tournament in Poland, the thirty-three-year-old Carlsen, a five-time world champion, was the oldest player in a field that also included three Indians.

For Carlsen, it was refreshing to be the oldest player.

"It was refreshing to be the oldest player. I have been the second oldest player at tournaments before — maybe even the oldest one," Carlsen said in an interview with The Indian Express.

According to him, India is a dominant force at the youth level.

"I know this is the future. I hope I will be the oldest player in future events because that will mean that I have remained good for a long time. As for the Indians, it's been happening for years now that I expect to face Indians in every super tournament there is. If you look at the youth levels, Indians are absolutely dominating. Also, in terms of sheer numbers of youth players, there is no match. I am thoroughly impressed by the chess revolution that has happened in India. All the kids that I am facing are great kids as well. I am really happy for Indian chess and I will try and fight the kids as long as I can (smiles)," Carlsen said.

From facing the legendary Viswanathan Anand to competing with Praggnanandhaa and Gukesh, Carlsen has tested himself against the best India has offered, and he feels that most chess players from the country have 'supreme calculation skills.'

"I feel like most of the Indian players have been taught in the same way in the sense that most players have supreme calculation skills," he said. "First look at Anand, who has incredible knowledge about the game. But the first thing you noticed about him and the first thing you noticed about Gukesh in particular besides the other kids is that they are calculation-based. The other kids who are coached by RB Ramesh are also very calculation-based. I am not sure if other coaches in India are so calculation-based, but I think that's a key characteristic that combines the generations of Indian players that I have played."


The chess revolution in India has clearly transformed the global chess scene, bringing many talented players ready to compete at the highest level. Magnus Carlsen, who has faced these young stars himself, expressed his admiration for their skills and approach to the game. It seems the future of chess belongs to these young Indian talents, who show that hard work and a focus on calculation can bring extraordinary results.

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