Hangin takes on Dennis Monokroussos

   Iíd like to address Chess Today Issue CT 85(1234) Thursday March 25, 2004. Dennis Monokroussos took issue with Siemen Agdestein, Magnus Carlsenís trainer, comments that Magnus will thump Kasparov in two or three years. I enjoyed Dennisís commentary on Chess fm. But I think he is too sensitive.  There is no doubt Kasparov is the number one rated player in the world right now and the greatest world champion in chess history.  However Magnus is a very talented and exciting young chess player. Great young players can blossom over night.  A 2-3 year period is a huge amount of time for a talented young player to develop. I donít think Siemen was out of line at all, he obviously recognizes the great talent Magnus possesses. He was simply promoting Magnus and challenging him at the same time. Thatís what coaches are supposed to do. If Magnus continues to work hard, he will become a top player. I donít think itís inconceivable to think that Magnus will defeat Kasparov in a game of chess within the next 3 years.

     With the recent discussions about friendly draws, I think chess players have too much respect for other playersí abilities. Chess could use a big dose of these bold comments to make it more exciting and challenging.  I recall a few years back, during Base Ballís All-star pre game festivities, starting National League pitcher Curt Schilling crossed paths with American League All-Star Alex Rodriquez (A-Rod). Schilling told A-Rod ď I going to strike you outĒ. Sure enough Schilling struck A-Rod out during the game. Chess needs young talented exciting players like Magnus Carlsen and we also need excellent chess commentators like Dennis Monokroussos. Chess can also benefit from doses of bold predictions backed by talent and hard work.  Magnus has already defeated one ex-world champion. He defeated Karpov in a blitz game earlier this year.

  Carlsen vs. Kasparov 

 The Story behind Carlsen vs. Kasparov from Chessbase

  Who is Magnus Carlsen ?

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CT-80(1229) Sat. 20th March 2004

Official site

Returning to the Kasparov vs Carlsen battle in Round 1, the comment made by Carlsen's trainer GM Simen Agdestein attracted our attention: "Magnus had Kasparov on the ropes in the first game. Unfortunately he had too little time left. With a bit more experience Magnus would have hauled in the full point. Magnus will thump Kasparov in two or three years time"




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Letters to the Editor

by GM Alex Baburin

"Hi, Alex!

I'm glad CT-1229 presented the quote from Magnus Carlsen's trainer, GM Simen Agdestein, claiming that "in two or three years time", Carlsen will "thump Kasparov". I am a Kasparov fan (though not rabidly so, and I'm also a Carlsen fan, for that matter), but even if I weren't, I'd have found Agdestein's remark rather foolish. First, as great as Carlsen is at this age, and as much talent as he clearly has, it's ridiculous to make such a comment comparing an IM and, arguably, the greatest player of all time. Second, Kasparov, based on all his accomplishments and current strength, does not deserve to be the recipient of such a comment. Dislike him, fine; complain about his behaviour and comments about other players, understandable. If you're tired of his dominance, I can understand that. But to make such a comment is just disrespectful. One doesn't have to be worshipful; just respectful: Kasparov was world champion for 15 years, has been the highest-rated player for 20 years, and has done more for the game in terms of publicity and money than anyone but Fischer. Maybe Agdestein's comment is suitable for a WWE press conference, but not here. Finally, I think it's counterproductive Ė it will give someone who may also be, or at least for a long time was, the psychologically toughest player of his time, further motivation when playing Carlsen in the future, while perhaps putting an unfair burden on Carlsen to achieve a world championship level before he's really mature enough to do so.

Regards, Dennis Monokroussos"


Alex Baburins comments :

I am sure Simen has a lot of respect for Kasparov as one of the greatest chess players ever. My guess is that his comment was deliberately in the WWE style! Magnus is a hot item in Norway at the moment and a bit of publicity cannot harm him. And the phrase "Carlsen will thump Kasparov" will go down much better with newspapers and general public than something like "in a couple of years we might get a small opening advantage against Garry in the 6.•e3 Najdorf"! . Anyway, I personally don't find anything inappropriate in such claims, particularly if Magnus himself will take them critically. Chess is a polite sport but top chess players are no strangers to wit and bold claims Ė and they surely can take some aimed at them. Remember Garry's prediction for his opponent in the 1993 match and the match itself? Then Garry said: "It will be Short and it will be short". Nigel did not like it, but it surely did not damage chess Ė I wish there was more wit around! Such a shame that Tony Miles has left us...