‘Not realistic to expect fans to watch long games online’
World chess champion Magnus Carlsen is unsure about any further growth of mass interest in the classical time format of the game.
The Norwegian genius, the most dominant player across formats, continued his supremacy among the world’s best players in the inaugural million-dollar online Chess Tour named after him this year.
Carlsen’s argument is augmented by the growing interest in the shorter formats in online competitions. In an interview to Chess Life Online published this week, Carlsen said: “In general, the future of classical chess, as it is now, is a little bit dubious. There are going to be a lot of draws when the best players in the world play classical chess over-the-board.”
He said it was not realistic to expect people to play or fans to watch with interest long games online. “I think the rapid format is excellent for online play because you keep at least some semblance of high quality chess and it also doesn’t take too long,” he said.
He would compete a World championship but not be playing as much classical chess in the next one year as he did last year, he said. “There is going to be, at least for the next year, a lot of focus on the online tour that is coming up, so I cannot spend all my time travelling,” he said.
Despite dominating world-class opposition and winning almost every title on offer, Carlsen said: “I want to be a lot more dominant than I’ve been. I think I played well in one of the events, the Chessable Masters. Apart from that, it has been fairly mediocre.
“I haven’t reached my full potential in these formats and, I would say certainly during the last St. Louis event, I was just basically going through the motions. I had no energy or creativity. I was just not playing well at all.”
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