Master Your Chess Game Like Magnus Carlsen

If you think chess is a game for the older generation, think again. At only 13, Magnus Carlsen become the world’s youngest chess grandmaster in the world! This native Norwegian has gone up against the world’s most formidable opponents and won. In this article, we will be discussing his unique tips, tricks, and strategies for playing and winning chess.

Tip #1: The Opening

Carlsen is famous for switching up his openings keeping his opponents guessing and making it almost impossible to predict his moves. Here are a few famous openings you can try out at different levels:

Beginner:

The London System

This system is a favourite among beginners who want to play “white” regardless of the black opponent’s moves. The moves are as follows.

  • D4 and Bf4
  • Nf3 and Bf4

Since there are only a small amount of openings this can be used as an easy defence regardless of black moves. The goal, then, is to strengthen the centre so the middlegame is developed quickly.

The Sicilian

Although a beginner opener, this is also a favourite of Magnus Carlsen and the most popular white defensive opening. It is aggressive and grabs the centre quickly so white cannot get the double pawns at e4 or at d5.

The Sicilian forces white to worry about this defence but also the counter-attack. Black has an advantage on the Queen’s side and this opening plays to that strength perfectly. Jump over to Chessable, to learn Mangus’ impressive Sicilian and other moves.

Intermediate/Advanced

Nimzo-Indian Defence

Get ready for this popular face-off favoured by world champions from Capablanca to Tal. This advanced technique plays to the bishop that may get developed throughout the play. When the bishop is adjacent it is called a fianchetto referring to the pattern created when the bishop is moved to the second rank or long diagonal.

Tip #2: The Middlegame

If you want to be the next Carlsen then the middlegame will be yours to dominate. Magnus and others love a middle game citing it as “real chess”.

This part of the game relies heavily on theory and strategy. Here are just a few important points for this nuanced part of chess:

  • Pieces should be centred so your bishop and queen can move more easily
  • Switch out your flank pawns for your centre pawns
  • Protect your pawns from any weaknesses
  • Block your opponents pawn with your knight
  • Keep your bishops paired – this is a very powerful move

Tip #3: The Endgame

We have finally arrived. You have had your opening and played an intense middlegame, now you stand at the final decision maker, the endgame. Consider the following:

  • Recognize the start of the endgame by the few pieces left on each side.
  • If you have an extra pawn you have an advantage
  • Play aggressively with your King to score another advantage
  • Zugzwang – meaning your opponents move is compulsory is a signature element in the endgame

If you are looking to master your endgame, check out Chessable, which offers an amazing selection of endgame tips and strategies.

Take Away

To play like a Grandmaster you need to start somewhere. Practice and study is a surefire way to take your chess game to the next level. Sites like Chessable offer great ways to learn from Chess Grandmasters like Magnus Carlsen and other famous players.

Tom Parillo

Tom Parillo

I am interested in all things technology, especially automation, robotics and tech that helps change how society will live in the future.
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