Chess world champ Carlsen launches app and criticizes own game

Tue Feb 25, 2014 1:41pm EST
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By Gwladys Fouche

OSLO (Reuters) - Norway's Magnus Carlsen, the world's 23-year-old reigning chess champion, has launched an app based on his own past games to make chess more popular, but he'd prefer its players not get good enough to beat him.

Carlsen, whose talent and boyish good looks have earned him lucrative sponsorships deals and front-page coverage in his native country, is king of the roost in the chess world since beating Viswanathan Anand of India in November.

A grandmaster since he was 13, he already had the highest rating in the history of the game, ahead of chess great Garry Kasparov's 1999 record, and was the world chess number one.

Now he is the second youngest player to have become world champion - after Kasparov, by a few months, but he also can be his own toughest critic.

"I make positional mistakes, I make evaluation mistakes, tactical mistakes," he told Reuters in an interview on Tuesday. "I make mistakes in the opening, I make mistakes in the end games, I make mistakes in the middle games."

Anyone who wants to find out more about his playing style can do so with Carlsen's new app that allows users to play him at the different levels he has achieved since the age of five.

The app is built on hundreds of thousands of different positions from Carlsen's games, be they classical, rapid or blitz, to determine what moves he would make at those ages.

The aim is to promote chess among as many people as possible to make the sport more popular and accessible.   Continued...

Norwegian chess world champion Magnus Carlsen reacts while attending the Norwegian Sports Gala in Oslo January 4, 2014. REUTERS/Audun Braastad/NTB Scanpix