Magnus Carlsen: "I don't particularly believe in gifts from god"

Время публикации: 27.10.2014 22:33 | Последнее обновление: 27.10.2014 23:53

Magnus Carlsen has been interviewed by BBC Radio 4, as a start of a new series of interviews conducted by Dominic Lawson over a game of chess.

The World Champion said that he definitely thinks of chess as a sport, and emphasized the role of physical endurance:

"For me, chess is first and foremost a sport - and then, secondly, an art and a science. It definitely helped me in the World Championship match in Chennai. I've won two key games (5th and 6th) which, I think, were very much decided in the 5th and 6th hours, by physical strength."

Having been asked if he considers chess a measure of intelligence, Magnus replied that it's not always correct:

"In my case, I'm just very good at what I do. I don't think I'm stupid, but there are people who play chess considerably worse than I do - although, I think, they're more intelligent. So, chess is not only about intelligence, or what people usually define as intelligence: the ability to think analitycally. In fact, thinking too analytically about chess can be a divadvantage, because, I think, there's great room for creativity as well. Also, I just know why this move is bad or another is good, but I can't explain it exactly."

Lawson decided to clarify on the matter a bit:

D.L. : So - without wishing to get metaphysical - do you think it can be described (if one was religious) as a "gift from god" that you shouldn't subject to analysis? Just saying, "Well, that's how it was made, and I should be pleased about it and just be thankful for it"?

M.C. : I don't particularly believe in gifts from god, but I don't know if I could be very good at something else if I were very focused at it. I'm definitely very, very fortunate that I've found something that I love to do and that I apparently can do better than anyone else (even though I don't understand why).

D.L. : You obviously have a very extraordinary mind, it seems to me (although you're very modest about it). Do you ever feel a wish to apply your mind to things which are more socially useful, like being a physicist, or a Nobel prize-winning chemist, or something where humanity is the beneficiary?

M.C. : I'm doubtful that I could excel at any such field to an extent that would make it reasonable for me to quit chess in favor of it.

At the end, Magnus has also specified what the talks about his "laziness" are caused by:

"My 'laziness' basically consists of not being able to treat chess as any nine-to-five job. So far, I'm not able to just get up in the morning and think, "Now I'm going to work on chess". I'm more like an artist, in a sense that I need inspiration. I know that there are some people who don't like to waste time idly, but (here he smiled, judging by the intonation - CN) I'm not one of them."

Full version of the interview is available at the BBC radio 4 website as an audio.


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