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chess champ magnus carlsen – a new king is crowned

Fat Nancy considers herself to be a magnanimous loser, with one exception … chess. Chess is without doubt the most absorbing, fascinating game ever to exist in human kind’s history. Marcel Duchamp, one of the greatest artists of the modern world famously gave up art to pursue a career as a chess master, and that says it all.

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Marcel Duchamp… The Art of Chess.

The world has very recently seen a new face on the world chess scene – Carlson Magnus, at the grand old age of 22. Magnus narrowly misses being the youngest ever FIDE (World Class Chess Federation) champion by a matter of weeks – the youngest ever being of course, Garry Kasparov.

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Garry Kasparov Vs a young Magnus Carlsen

On November 22, 2013 Carlson secured a draw to win the World Chess Championship in ten games, with two left to play. Winning the match in Chennai, India, with a score of 6.5 – 3.5, he has now achieved the highest rating of all time. Speaking at a press conference after the victory, Carlsen said he was “very very happy to have won and to have completed this match” … “Let’s write the history books later!” he added.

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The competition in Chennai, India

Carlsen , a part-time model, described by brand managers as looking like a “cross between a boxer and a ’50’s gangster” and who has appeared on the front cover of GQ magazine, is an unlikely candidate for the position of Chess Champion to say the least, exuding an affable personality, “a different style and a very good sense of humour”. Chess champion Susan Polgar commented . And there is no doubt that he will be a good boost for chess, hopefully changing the perception of the game.

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The Russian grandmaster Garry Kasparov has dubbed the young Norwegian as the Harry Potter of chess while others have compared him to Mozart. Carlsen himself, is already a millionaire, and he can expect to cash in further.

Magnus Carlsen has been described as the greatest chess player of all time.

He Isn’t Studying Magic at Hogwarts, he doesn’t even belive in dragons…
It’s Carlsen Magnus

The losing opponent, Vishy Anand (five times champion), is almost twice Carlsen’s age – and several of the world’s elite players are, like Carlsen, in their early twenties.

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Chess Legend, Viswanathon Anand

Whether you play or not it is clear that an ability to play chess displays an incredible stretch of the human mind, the most famous instance being the controversial games in the 90s between chess grand master Garry Kasparov and a specially developed computer by IBM called Deep Blue. In February 1996, IBM’s chess computer Deep Blue defeated Kasparov in  game one using normal time controls but Kasparov gained three wins and two draws and won the match.

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A giant of the game and king amongst men…
Garry Kasparov

In May 1997, an updated version of Deep Blue defeated Kasparov 3½–2½ in a highly publicized six-game match. The match was even after five games but Kasparov lost quickly in Game 6. This was the first time a computer had ever defeated a world champion in match play. A documentary film was made about this famous matchup entitled Game Over: Kasparov and the Machine.

Kasparov claimed that several factors weighed against him in this match. In particular, he was denied access to Deep Blue’s recent games, in contrast to the computer’s team, which could study hundreds of Kasparov’s.

After the loss Kasparov said that he sometimes saw deep intelligence and creativity in the machine’s moves, suggesting that during the second game, human chess players, in contravention of the rules, intervened. IBM denied that it cheated, saying the only human intervention occurred between games. The rules provided for the developers to modify the program between games, an opportunity they said they used to shore up weaknesses in the computer’s play revealed during the course of the match. Kasparov requested printouts of the machine’s log files but IBM refused, although the company later published the logs on the Internet. Although Kasparov wanted another rematch, IBM declined and ended their Deep Blue program.

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IBM’s Deep BLue

Since that time Garry Kasparov has had a highly publicised career in politics including anti Putin campaigns. Kasparov joined the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) in 1984 and in 1987 was elected to the Central Committee of Komsomol. But in 1990 he left the party and together with his family fled from Baku to Moscow on a chartered plane. 30 September 2007, Kasparov entered the Russian Presidential race, receiving 379 of 498 votes at a congress held in Moscow by The Other Russia. Kasparov was named Chairman of the Human Rights Foundation in 2011, succeeding the recently deceased author, activist, and former Czech president Václav Havel.

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Kasparov being arrested by force for protesting for human rights in Russia

On 17 August 2012 Garry Kasparov was arrested and beaten outside of the court while examining the court case involving the all-female punk band Pussy Riot. On 24 August he was cleared of charges that he took part in an unauthorized protest against the conviction of three members of Pussy Riot. Judge Yekaterina Veklich said there were “no grounds to believe the testimony of the police”. He could still face criminal charges over a police officer’s claims that the opposition leader bit his finger while he was being detained. He later thanked all the bloggers and reporters who provided video evidence that contradicted the testimony of the police.

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Wrongly persecuted by Putin’s regime…
Pussy Riot

Still, none is in Carlsen’s league. The new king of chess could occupy the throne for years to come…. so it is safe to say that Fat Nancy wont be playing him anytime soon… unless its snakes and ladders, Fat Nancy is the master of that… well… kinda’

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2 Comments

  1. Pingback: Computers can play chess but can they negotiate business deals? | Ravi Gour

  2. Pingback: Computer Chess movie – a wonderful story of nerds | Fat Nancy's New Diet

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