Magnus Carlsen, the Mozart of Chess, as we nicknamed him five years ago, picked up a solid coach: The Norwegian superstar began working with Garry Kasparov six months ago.
What can the former world champion bring to the plate? Experience and advice, Kasparov says. That’s plenty. Some may argue that accessing important game databases with a few keystrokes and mouse-clicks replaces experience. But there is no substitute for Kasparov’s laptop loaded with good ideas waiting to be unleashed.
Carlsen and Kasparov will discuss specific openings and the transition to the middlegame. Kasparov was always an excellent researcher of dynamic openings. He can spot important games quickly and dismiss the junk. Together, they may be tweaking some variations, rebuilding others. Kasparov can explain not only the sharp, edgy variations, but he can also teach stability and safety. He can help to find weaknesses in games of other players and advise Carlsen how to exploit them. By narrowing down the enormous amount of information available today, Kasparov can save Carlsen time and energy and give him more confidence.
Kasparov will also profit from working with Carlsen. It will help him in the upcoming matches against Anatoly Karpov. The former Soviet rivals will celebrate the 25th anniversary of their first world championship match with gigs in Valencia, Spain (Sept. 21-24), and in Paris (Dec. 11-13).
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