Monday, March 15, 2010

Der Spiegel Interviews Magnus Carlsen

"I am Chaotic and Lazy" is Magnus Carlsen's headlining self-description in a recent Der Spiegel interview reprinted by ChessBase.  It is a remarkable interview, most for the self-deprecating comments of the World Number One and for the insight into his own quite level-headed attitude toward the game.  One exchange amused me:
Carlsen: What is important is that I have a life beyond chess.


Carlsen: Chess should not become an obsession. Otherwise there’s a danger that you will slide off into a parallel world, that you lose your sense of reality, get lost in the infinite cosmos of the game. You become crazy. I make sure that I have enough time between tournaments to go home in order to do other things. I like hiking and skiing, and I play football in a club.

    SPIEGEL: Do you have a favourite club?

Carlsen: Real Madrid, the royals.

    SPIEGEL: Many football players use music to get in the mood before a game. Do you do that too before sitting down in front of the board?

Carlsen: Oh, yes. If I am feeling gloomy before a game, I listen to gloomy music.

    SPIEGEL: Such as?

Carlsen: You probably won’t know it, a song by Lil Jon. A silly rap song, but it does me good, I loosen up. I listen to music on the Internet, but don`t download any songs. It’s all totally legal. Many people may find that boring, but I think it is important.
I am sure many will speculate about the song that inspires the best chess player in the world, if only to add it to their own playlists....  Perhaps it's Give It All U Got?

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