Wonderboy Magnus Carlsen, 2004 - download book
'What? He's just 13 years old! Isn't it a bit early for a biography?' This was the spontaneous reaction from grandmaster colleague Jonathan Tisdall when I called and asked if he would translate a book about Magnus Carlsen into English.
Yes, obviously it is very early. But this is not an ordinary 13-year-old we're talking about. On 26 April, 2004, just 13 years, 4 months and 26 days old, Magnus became the world's youngest chess grandmaster (GM). 'It's like a 13-year-old winning the Nobel Prize in chemistry'. I said, trying to explain to a massive press corps how big this really was. Because there is no doubt that the wider world has noticed this young boy from Lommedalen in Barum, a suburb just outside Oslo.
The big media breakthrough came a few weeks earlier, when he defeated former world champion Anatoly Karpov in a blitz game in Reykjavik. The next day the telephone never stopped ringing. Magnus was in Iceland, blissfully unaware of the kind of uproar he had set in motion. I felt like I had spoken with every member of the media that day, and at any rate I dealt with them from six in the morning until late in the evening. 'Everyone' wanted to hear about the prodigy.
After the completion of the grandmaster title it started up again. Magnus was in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, celebrating with an ice cream at McDonald's while the press screamed for Magnus stories. And not just the press. With friends I have at least one topic of conversation that always works and total strangers can still come up and say: 'Hey, what that little boy is doing is great!', 'Does he beat you?', or 'How good can he be?'
Hopefully I can give a bit more thorough answer in this book. I have watched and trained Magnus for the past four years, since he was nine, and all the way I have had to pinch myself in the arm and shake my head in disbelief. 'Is it really possible?' 'He is just 10 years old!' 'Participating in the Norwegian championship's top class as an 11-year-old!' 'The youngest Nordic international master (IM), just 12 years old!' Now, when he has gone and become the world's youngest chess grandmaster at 13, it just seems a natural step in his meteoric development.
Magnus' story is like a fairy tale. But at the same time it hasn't come as a total surprise. Indeed, I told his father one of the first times I saw Magnus in the winter of 2000 that the boy could become a GM before he was 14. It was obvious that he was an enormous talent.
Author: Agdestein Simen
Title: "Wonderboy Magnus Carlsen"
Number of pages: 188
Size: 36 Mb