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Confident Carlsen Goes Gold

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Fun and interesting interview with Carlsen on Norwegian TV's Golden Goal show, conveniently translated and transcribed at ChessBase, bless them. Being under the microscope so young can be very rough but it's really a pleasure watching Carlsen come into his own off the board as well as on. The shyness is easing and of course being at home in his native language helps as well. He's frank and funny and comes off as a total charmer. This is the post-adorable-kid phase that hints at his potential for real charisma when he loosens up and avoids what we might call a Scandinavian penchant for correctness and, at its extreme, blandness when exported. (Domestically they can be nearly as goofy and surreal as Monty Python.) No pressure!

And how badly do you want to see those Carlsen-Kasparov blitz training games?! More than you wanted to see the Kasparov-Karpov blitz games, I bet.


Thanks, Mig! I agree with all your comments.

Though you cannot understand norwegian (as I do, it's my mothertongue), your description and the judgment of the interview is just to the point! Excellent Mig! Great reading!

Magnus, we love you!

I confess I cheated a little by asking two Norwegian speakers watch it and tell me what they thought. One doesn't play chess at all and had only barely heard of Carlsen. Thanks for your input as well, jon. For those who can't understand him, the impression just of his body language is a notable change as well!

There are some inaccuracies what ChessBase presented, but a very interesting interview.

What I meant to say that the interviewer made some factual inaccuracacies that were presented in the ChessBase article.

"And how badly do you want to see those Carlsen-Kasparov blitz training games?!"

Exactly what I was thinking!

An excellent interview!
Your evaluation is right on the mark, Mig.

One of the classic exchanges from Magnus Carlsen is this one:

Q: Are you autistic?
Magnus: Yes, isn’t that obvious?

You can view a translation of the video at youtube (use the "CC" function).

"I don't wish to reveal that information" ... Wow, the kid answers like an experienced politician! Certainly much better than GW Bush!

Cute. I translate and upload a Carlsen-interview at the request of a friend, and the thing goes viral. =) The Carlsen fever is red hot!

Interesting to contrast this to the impressions Nakamura made in his post US championship interview.

There is no comparing here. Both are in totally different positions and are speaking in a totally different context.

It will be interesting to see whether Carlsen can get a shot at the youngest WC record. The timing of the cycles doesn't seem to favor this being likely. He might get lucky and get a shot in 2012 (and even then , but it will be mighty close...

If he continues to improve, it will of course simply be a matter of time before he's WC.

Carlsen appreciates the psychological edge he gains by working with Kasparov (aside from the obvious benefits of working with one of, if not THE, greatest players of all time). To his older rivals, Kasparov is the ghost of their own past: although defeated by Kramnik in their match, he remained the world's best player, only walking away for politics once it became clear Kramnik would never agree to a rematch. To the younger GMs, he's the legend shadowing over current contenders, much as Fischer did over the generation succeeding him.

Kasparov is the all-time master of preparation for individual opponents, and practically invented the methods of using chess databases and engines to do it. The guy had a strong work ethic, and Garry says one of the things he is on board to teach Carlsen is "how to work."

Carlsen withdrawing from the European Team event is a clear signal of Kasparov's influence. Such events mean he would face a weaker overall field than in the typical Super-GM events he plays, but they present a problem in preparation. There are too many players, and pairings usually are announced with less than 24 hour notice. The tournament ends only a week before the Tal Memorial. Better to take the time to rest and prepare for only four opponents (Ivanchuk is so unpredictable these days there seems little point in "preparing" for him) in a tournament which, if Magnus can win, could propel him to #1 in the world (at least with momentum into the strong events in London and Corus following) and diminish the luster of the Anand-Topalov match in April.

Carlsen's relaxed and confident (if self-effacing, which is even better) demeanor stands in contrast to the pressure on Anand, Kramnik, and Topalov, who believe this is their time, but may find it slipping away fast.


That was probably the greatest post on this, or any other, website.

If in blitz games, Kasparov and Carlsen are pretty even (Magnus' words), doesn't that state that Kasparov is still one of the top 5 players in the world.

I would have accepted Carlsen to brush off Kasparov after his absence from the game.

Or was Magnus being nice.


Some bits and pieces:

Why didn't Carlsen wear his "Chinese kimono"?

And he still hesitates when asked about girls - and unlike the earlier Norwegian talkshow, this time Kasparov wasn't around to answer on his behalf. Well, Carlsen probably will (and has to) get used to such off-topic, non-chessic questions ... .

But my favorite quote, as it is consistent with what I wrote before ,:) :
"Yeah, announcing I’m working with Kasparov may be nearly as effective as actually working with him."

"If in blitz games, Kasparov and Carlsen are pretty even (Magnus' words), doesn't that state that Kasparov is still one of the top 5 players in the world."

In blitz, Kasparov had the advantage of his immense chess knowledge. I’m sure this allows him to play very quickly, indeed. Should Kasparov suddenly decide to participate in tournaments again, I suspect he would do better in blitz than classical games.


I tend to disagree.

I think playing blitz requires a player to be more up to date with theory and as such more work is required.


Kasparov may be out of practice, but I do believe he is very much up-to-date on theory.

He apparently has one of the very best databases of openings on the planet, and from what I’ve heard he’s kept abreast of recent developments. Given his work with Carlsen, this aspect of the game is guaranteed to be receiving even more focus.


What is that about Nakamura? Another dig at Naka? Where can I see the Nakamura interview?

I disagree, in blitz, in contrast to classical games, the value of a novelty is much less. If you doubt, look at highest-ranked blitz games on ICC or playchess, they play most weird openings.

They play weird openings because they treat ICC and Playchess like the playgrounds they are. They are certainly not going to waste any valuable novelties... However, if they were, they would be more valuable than otherwise since the opponent has much less time to understand on their own what you have already analyzed.

I once read Norwegians don't like white bread because it tastes too good - this being a (slightly) humorous way of encapsulating the Norwegian attitude to life.

Naka came across positively in that interview.


Having now watched the interview, I'd wager, and this is an impression I have got before, that Carlsen quite likely has asperger-syndrome. I should know as I have asperger myself. So this is not to insult him in any manner. It is not a defect, like homo-sexuality isn't a defect and asperger is about as common. It is just something you can notice. The way a person isn't fully socially present and communicative in his demeanour.

Sometimes asperger is associated with extraordinary mathematical capacity and memory. 4-year old Magnus studying all the countries, capitols and flags (a story told by his father in an interview some years ago) is supportative evidence.

It isn't a big deal whether he has got it or not, but it isn't a stigma either, it is just something I'm sure many people will suspect.

Rationalist - I have three family members with Asperger's. I respectfully disagree with you that it is not a defect. Otherwise it would not be identified as a "syndrome" or condition other than what is considered to be "normal" (i.e. the vast majority of the population does not have Aspergers).

Have said that, I think the point to be made is that people with Asperger's Syndrome can certainly be productive members of societies and families. It's a little sad at times that they miss out on participation in the more social side of events (to varying degrees), and I've observed that they can behave in ways which are unintentionally insenstive (have witnessed this personally many times).

Interestingly, all of my family members with Aspergers do demonstrate an unusually high level of mathematical aptitude. I've also observed in my workplaces that an unusually high number of Engineers have Aspergers (as compared to the US population as a whole).

As I think about your observations on Carlsen, it does seem possible, but it's not clear to me. Young people with Aspergers often aren't comfortable making eye contact, and I can see videos of Carlsen behaving both ways. Also, he seems fairly capable of social "chit-chat" and conversational humor, which would indicate to me that if he does have Aspergers, it is to a relatively mild degree.

Anyway, thanks for the opportunity to educate the populace on this syndrome and for the discource!

One could maybe argue that he has has autistic tendencies (although I have no idea if this is true) but I see no evidence in that interview of him having social difficulties or struggling to express himself.

Maybe he comes across differently if you don't understand Norwegian.

I'm not really sure "defect" is the appropriate word, sounds a bit too harsh. But I do agree that it's not just simply "being different". It's certainly a disorder and a handicap. As for Carlsen, I wouldn't be surprised at all if he had it, but it's quite meaningless for any of us to speculate. I'm fairly sure the condition is over-represented among strong GM's.

Sorry Rationalist and Mark,
You don't have a clue. Your onedimentional approach is helpless. A kid is interested in geography. Hm not good, he must have A. Or, he avoid eyecontact to some degree.
Give me a break, he is an intellegent young and sligtly shy guy.

If Carlsen is an aspy (not a pejorative, don't even start) he is incredibly high functioning. Autism is poorly understood. Let's just say he's probably a bit autistic and leave it at that.

jon +1

I think you are both threading the fine line of stigmatization (even though you might not have gone beyond it in your affirmations).

Beware that "diagnostizing" people based on the mere observation of a TV video is: a) totally unscientific; b) potentially hurtful, both to the person so "diagnosed" and to the people with said condition.

Writing about people you have direct knowledge of is what you should stick to IMHO.

This hoax about Carlsen not being “normal” is probably going to pop up in anonymous chat forums like this as long as he keeps on performing as strong as he does now.

I think most foreigners have seen him interviewed during a tournament. Coming right of a 5 hour tough chess game against another super GM, he is exhausted, stressed and just wants to return to his hotel room and relax for a while.

But they stick a microphone and a flashlight in his face and ask where in the game he (or the opponent) went wrong. Carlsen gets this distant glance and delivers a 10 move variant starting from move #37. There are several videos like this out there, dating back to when Carlsen was 16-17 years old and being interviewed in a foreign language.

After seeing him on Norwegian TV several times lately, at 18, he seems like a normal young man. A little shy perhaps. Although you might call him a “nerd”, spending +10,000 hours of his life studying chess in his youth, and devoting his adult life to playing chess full time. That is rather weird itself.

I have spent hundred of hours aimlessing moving pawns around on my chess board. I admit that I am a nerd, although I have never worn an anorak. I do wear spectacle with rather think lenses and I suffer from acne.

After spending years sat in front of the computer, playing chess on ICC and posting countless thoughts on forums like this, my weight increased dramatically. I now have three chins and a 50 inch waist. I will now go and eat a large pizza.

Anyone who knows Magnus personally, knows that he is socially doing very well and does not fit the definition of Asbergers at all.

I quote from an interview in a Norwegian paper recently:

"In an internet meeting a few years back, we got to know even more parts of Magnus. He spoke about tennis and computers. On the question whether he was an autist. he answeres: Yes, isn't that obvious?
What did you mean?
- At that time, I may not have realized that some people perceived me as autistic. I thought people had seen enough normal parts of me, that this had to be spiteful remarks.
- You wanted to be funny?
- At least I hope people took it in a humourous way.
He supports his head in his hands.
- I do think many chess players have Asberger's.

pretty funny discussion.

it's obvious that the average "normal" guy is not capable of achievements anywhere near carlsen's feats at such a young age. of course, some kind of mental "disorder" is very probable if not necessary for such extraordinary efforts and "outputs".

you may call it a (neuronal) defect, being different or being ingenious but this is what essentially enables him to perform way above his peers.

Neither do average "normal" guys become President of the USA, compose an opera, play golf like Tiger Woods or runs a business like Bill Gates.

Most extra ordinary achievements are based on talent and extraordinary hard work and determination.

you are right. and special talents are often based on exceptional neuronal patterns which is quite often accompanied by certain trade-offs.

i see no problem, why do so many people insist or wish that carlsen has to be "normal"? he certainly (and fortunately for the chess community) is not.

"Neither do average "normal" guys become President of the USA"
That's so true, they gotta have really high grades in college and superb knowledge of world affairs!
But I think it's maybe good that only real intellectuals get to be president, imagine some idiot got in sometime whose only attribute was some weird form of charisma which the populace identified with, and high connections?

Um FYI Bush JR is a retard with basically no knowledge. It is pretty commonly known daddy bought his college degree (and I don't mean paid his tuition.. I mean Bush Jr. was too stupid to graduate college without "donations").

Einstein and Newton are two people that psychologists have said they probably had asperger's. I'm not ashamed of my asperger's. And personally do not see it as a defect. It does make social interaction more challenging, and you need to learn rules and patterns of communication that to most people are automatic, and you often can say insensitive things without immediately understanding the connotations, but unless the asperger's is very severe it does not render you disfunctional. It's not autism.

As I said it isn't a big deal whether he has it, but it isn't a stigma either, so I don't see it as an insult to mention it. Just something that appeared to me, partly from personal reflection. Peace to all norwegians. :)

For you, #caleague:

–noun, plural -nies.
1. the use of words to convey a meaning that is the opposite of its literal meaning: the irony of her reply, “How nice!” when I said I had to work all weekend.

2. an objectively or humorously sardonic utterance, disposition, quality, etc.

"And how badly do you want to see those Carlsen-Kasparov blitz training games?! More than you wanted to see the Kasparov-Karpov blitz games, I bet."

I want to see Fischer's training games, blitz or otherwise, from 1973 through 1983 or thereabouts. There must be hundreds, even thousands of game scores in existence, probably including many serious (non-blitz) ones, against Biyiasas and Quinteros, for starters. Probably against many other GMs too.

For decades I'd assumed that soon after Fischer left this world, all the promises of confidentiality that had been given to him would become null and void - and we'd then see an outpouring of formal and informal Fischer games released.

That's the standard convention with promises of confidentiality, isn't it? They die along with the person they were made to. I don't mean that confidantes break confidence, but simply that confidences are rarely supposed to survive the person who asked that his privacy be protected. Even Deep Throat. (Mark what's-his-name. He ended up revealing his identity to the world while still alive... but it was long known that be'd authorized W+B to unmask him after his death.)

Early this year I asked USCF Board Member Ruth Haring about this, and she said something to the effect of, people still keep Bobby's confidences out of respect for him.

(Haring was married to GM Peter Biyiasas during the time Fischer lived in their home, I believe circa 1977 or so. It's been widely reported that Fischer's post-disappearance training included marathon blitz matches with Biyiasas - which Fischer was said to be winning by very lopsided scores, even many years after formal competition. So, I asked Ruth - a WIM whose peak rating was around 2100 - if she'd had the opportunity to participate. "Did you play Fischer in blitz?" "Yes, all the time." "Did you ever beat him?" "Well, I almost drew him one time.")

Perhaps we'll have to wait until GMs Biyiasas and Quinteros (and others who Bobby trained with during his post-public years) leave this world?

"so I don't see it as an insult to mention it"

Even though it's not intended as an insult, there seems to be little harm involved in *not* mentioning it.

He seems perfectly normal to me. Maybe not as media savvy as teenagers seen on shows like X-factor and Idol, but it would be boring if everyone were to be like them.

But if he is indeed diagnosed with Asperger, shouldn't it be up to him whether he wants to divulge it or not? The general public doesn't need to know, nor do they have any right to. Privacy is a wonderful thing. (and peace to you too :))

"I want to see Fischer's training games, blitz or otherwise, from 1973 through 1983 or thereabouts. There must be hundreds, even thousands of game scores in existence, probably including many serious (non-blitz) ones, against Biyiasas and Quinteros, for starters. Probably against many other GMs too."

Great post -- and thanks for sharing!
I too would love to be able to study more of Bobby Fischer’s games, as I’m sure would many chess players, amateurs and professionals alike.

It truly is a pity that this brilliant and gifted grandmaster went off the deep end, resulting in a tragically amputated chess career. He undoubtedly had so much more to accomplish, so much more to give.


Magnus is certainly handling talking to journalists in front of a TV camera better than I would have done at 18. I'm definitely no expert on this, but I don't understand the speculations of him having Asperger. I agree it would not have been a big deal, but it seems strange to argue: - He's extremely talented, he has a photographic memory , he probably has Asberger.-
I don't find it likely, I don't see the signs and to be honest I find it disrespectful to give anyone a medical diagnose based on a few minutes on YouTube. I've seen most of the cuts myself and read descriptions by friends and others who knows him well, and there is no suggestions from any of them of Magnus having Asperger.

From the few videos I've watched, Magnus seems like he'd be better company at a party, or to sit next to on a long flight, than most chessplayers I know.

What a load of speculative #$%^.... And whatever might be "normal"? Ted Bundy looked to be "normal" ...

Carlsen is so cool in the interview going by the transcript!

How long are GW Bush jokes going to be funny to you people? Jeez, what bizarre form of tunnel vision you have to have to be fixated on that man for so long?

Or do you just have a strong taste for long pressed-out hack jokes? Here, let me make your day: What's the deal with airline peanuts?

I have a young family member who has Asperger's, know a bit about it, and there is overwhelming reason to believe that Carlsen does not have it. Under one well know diagnostic methodology for the disorder, ALL of a variety of diagnostic criteria must be satisfied. One, but only one, such is an all-absorbing narrow interest that is more rote than meaning laden. On this criteria, most all GMs, at least for periods of their life, might well qualify, but that is totally insufficient in itself. With respect to the other criteria, NONE fit Carlsen.

He does not have an inability or desire to interact with peers (indeed he has always enjoyed team chess events and informal group postmortems, and much of his early training was conducted in small groups). He does not have a lack of appreciation for social cues or engage in socially and emotionally inappropriate behavior. Notwithstanding his absorbing interest in chess, it does not appear that he imposes rigid routines on himself or those around him. Indeed, now that he has completed school and decided to focus more on chess, by many accounts, including Kasparov's, Carlsen should ideally have more structured work habits. Carlsen plainly does not manifest speech and language problems. His initial speech development was not delayed, he does not express himself in peculiar, overly formal or pedantic ways, or suffer routine impairment of comprehension such as misinterpretations of literal/implied meanings. Calrsen displays no motor clumsiness and has always adept at sports, notably soccer. Mention has been made of some nonverbal signs, but turn off the sound and watch that video again. There is no suggestion of severely limited use of gestures, clumsy/gauche body language, or limited facial expression. Are there brief flashes of a deer-in-the-headlights look as he looks at the camera or audience? Yes, but what would you expect for an 18 year old kid going on national television. Objectively for his age and the circumstance -- speaking of chess issues while successfully avoiding all technical information and jargon that a general audience would not understand -- Carlsen did fantastically well.

I hesitate to do suggest this, but pull up some videos of David Navara, with respect to this issue, as a point of potential comparison.

Very clear post!, it should be copied and pasted every time someone brings this subject again.

Very nice post by Calvin Amari on this matter. I wanted to add that though we generally speak of disorders as either being "on" or "off", I believe most of them fall along a continuum. If you consider high-functioning autism to be on one of these imaginary continuums, it's quite likely that chess would attract many people who fit somewhere along it, though most would fall well short of any diagnosticable state.

I personally would consider myself to fit somewhere on this continuum, though with time I developped good social skills and now quite enjoy the company of others, even large groups and partys. My job (video editing) also tends to make use of the same kind of characteristics as chess does (for example, the capacity to enjoy spending long periods alone focusing on a concrete (though abstract) problem). I would imagine many of yours do as well.

It would be nice if we lived in a world where you could have a discussion about whether somebody "has" or "hasn't" Asperger's without this stirring up emotions, because it would mean that there weren't any more negative associations with "differently ordered" psyches (please pardon the politically correct formulation).

Excellent post, Calvin Amari. Cuts through all the rubbish. Thank you.

That is easily the best post I've seen in this forum.

Following tha t checklist, two Davids, Navara and Lenderman.

How about some charity blitz games between carlsen and the coach? :P

It probably doesn't matter much for his point, but I noted that Calvin Amari seems to be using Gillberg's diagnostic criteria, rather than the standard DSM-IV (or ICD-10). (Just to name one difference, only Gillberg mentions "motor clumsiness" as a necessary criterion) But anyway, it is of course clear that IF Carlsen has Asperger's, he is not an "ideal" textbook case. But that is also not necessary. I have met several people with an Asperger diagnosis that I would not at all thought had it. You can "learn" some of the socially "necessary" skills successively much like Rationalist describes: while still having problems with them, you might be able to seem more or less normal :-) I think it's just as hopeless for a layman from a distance to try to rule it out as it is to try to confirm it.

Also, this seems a bit misleading, the way Calvin formulated his post:

"ALL of a variety of diagnostic criteria must be satisfied"

Correct, but as is common, some of these criteria actually consist of a number of "subcriteria", NOT all of which have to be satisfied.

For instance:

"A. Qualitative impairment in social interaction, as manifested by at least two of the following:

1. marked impairment in the use of multiple nonverbal behaviors, such as eye-to-eye gaze, facial expression, body postures, and gestures to regulate social interaction
2. failure to develop peer relationships appropriate to developmental level
3. a lack of spontaneous seeking to share enjoyment, interests, or achievements with other people (e.g., by a lack of showing, bringing, or pointing out objects of interest to other people)
4. lack of social or emotional reciprocity"



"Severe impairment in reciprocal social interaction (at least two of the following)

a) inability to interact with peers
b) lack of desire to interact with peers
c) lack of appreciation of social cues
d) socially and emotionally inappropriate behavior"


Of course, if it's literally true that none of the criteria fit, then it doesn't matter. But Calvin may have given the impression that ok, maybe you don't agree on every point, but since everything has to fit, then it doesn't matter if he is wrong in a few cases? Anyway, just thought I'd clarify that.

An increasingly number of people is diagnosed with Carlsberger’s Syndrome. It’s characterized by always watching the games of Magnus Carlsen whenever he’s playing. Afterwards hours and hours are spent on the internet nit-picking about this and that.

People with Carlsberger’s Syndrome are slightly handicapped socially, because they tend to see everything in a black/white perspective.

Thank god, I thought there was a new affliction connected with that disgusting beer.

@Jean -Michel > colleague!! , where are you from?
Our job can be considered a disease in itself .:)

Guinness syndrome could also have multiple meanings or connotations ,:)

I think you're referring to the well-known "lack of Guinness syndrome". The unfortunate victim sees the world as grey and lifeless, and huddles in a corner moaning.

Guys, discussing the medical state of a total stranger in public, let alone an 18-year-old boy, is poor form. You should be ashamed of yourselves.

Thanks for another good post Mig. I enjoyed the Chessbase translation, the LAN-party gag actually made me genuinely LOL.

I also rather liked this quote:
"It is very draining. If you lose a seven-hour game, you don't want to play chess ever again."

Though not many of us play seven-hour games, I think it's something many chess players can relate to !

Even if you WIN a seven-hour game, you don't want to play chess again in quite some time... Guess that's just me, though.

I was also referring to the Guinness book of records: After Dortmund, maybe some Kramnik fans suffered from _this_ Guinness syndrome?
But your answer reminds me of an Irish saying "reality is a hallucination caused by lack of alcohol" - which I have seen in a pub in Galway as well as, possibly less authentic, Irish pubs in continental Europe. BTW, I also enjoy a Guinness or two - but not more on a single evening because side effects would take over: a sticky feeling in the mouth is the most obvious or immediate one.
Quite a fun, interesting and legitimate off-topic conversation ... or is discussing possible merits of alcohol a sign of islamophobia?

"Guys, discussing the medical state of a total stranger in public, let alone an 18-year-old boy, is poor form. You should be ashamed of yourselves."

Yes, the lack of empathy demonstrated in this thread, has been more dysfunctional -- than what I've ever observed from Carlsen.

Looking for symptoms of AS? Take peek in the mirror.

Tangent... On subject of Islamophobia, I noticed in a Manhattan paper today that Geert Wilders, the right-wing Dutch politician and Islam-basher, is speaking at Columbia University this evening.

Personally, the only stickiness I sense involves my hand and the glass. But to paraphrase Joyce, sobriety is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake.

Yes, I am both amazed and shocked that Geert Wilders and his so-called "Freedom Party" get so many votes .... not mine, and not only because I still have a German passport and am not allowed to vote in national elections.
He claims the right of freedom of speech - fair enough even though he is less tolerant towards other people's opinions. I don't know who invited him to Columbia University, or if he invited himself.
Not letting him speak would only have adverse effects: At an earlier occasion, he was refused entry into the United Kingdom. "Of course", he still boarded the plane to London - accompanied by many journalists - and scenes at the airport resulted in guaranteed frontpage coverage. Later, a court ruled that he should be allowed entry into the UK: another trip, more media coverage ... .
Thanks for the info anyway, (if I can handle it) I will look for coverage in Dutch media.

@Manu - I'm from Montreal. It's quite funny that I initially went to film school because I wanted to take part in the stimulating collective energy of the film shoot... and in the end find myself happily alone in my little editing room.

At least I have a window.

You should try on-site-editing (i don´t know its real name in English) , but its very nice because you get to work in the plateau with directors and learn a lot from that .
Avid or Final Cut?

I'm not in film but had a tangential connection with Avid once. I mention it now because it was also chess-related.

In the early 1990s I covered Avid's IPO. A few days after it priced, I was at the Manhattan Chess Club and got into a conversation with a guy who mentioned he'd bought shares in the IPO. That surprised me, because it was a "hot" offering, so the brokers wouldn't let just anyone buy shares at the IPO price (which everyone knew would soar as soon as the shares started trading).

The guy explained that he was in the film business and was a customer of Avid, and the company itself had allocated some IPO shares to its customers. I asked how many shares he'd bought and he replied, "10".

I never figured out if that meant, "Ten," or "Ten thousand."

Yeah, I know, to buy 10,000 shares he would have had to put up $200,000. But that didn't sound far-fetched to me. For one thing, an Avid machine itself cost at least $100,000 at the time, and he'd already said he had one. And he could have financed the share purchase, rather than put up cash. Most of all, since the shares were set to soar, he could have bought intending to flip most or all of his purchase, pocketing a quick profit.

The main reason I think he most likely got just 10 shares rather than 10,000 is that with a hot offering, even big institutional players (in 1994 at least) had a hard time getting allocated more than a few thousand shares at the IPO price. There were other hot IPOs at the time, not necessarily that one, where I heard Fidelity was limited to buying 5,000 shares at the IPO price.

"...to paraphrase Joyce, sobriety is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake."

To put it another way, Chesshire:
-- I would rather have a bottle in front of me, than a frontal lobotomy. ;)

Interesting anecdote , i use both systems but i´m an avid fan and one of the fastest users in my country , you remind me about the times avid was such an expensive and exclusive tool , those were the days.
Avid is such a fantastic system that you can sit with a person who don´t speak your language at all ( i worked with Japanese clients for example) and still be able to work and comunicate easily.
Your friend was very wise to buy the shares.

Hi Rationalist - Certainly someone with Aspergers is of equal worth to all others and I would treat them with the same dignity and respect as all individuals ("Do unto others...").

It's interesting that you note learning the "rules and patterns" of communication. Often times there are no rules or patterns that are being followed or that can fit. I think what can be lacking, depending upon the degree of Aspergers, is the relative ability to "figure it out as you go along" when in comes to social interaction. Sometimes when it comes to the expression of emotions, rules just don't work or cannot be applied. I've observed those family members with Aspergers to just shrug and walk off or ignore a social situation to everyone else's incredulity. Not their fault of course, that's just the way they handle it sometimes ("no big deal"). It helps to explain the situation to others present or in the family, if appropriate.

Also interestingly, you noted that it is not Autism, although many experts describe Aspergers as "high-functioning" Autism. Personally I don't see them as the same thing, but perhaps they are somehow related conditions. And I agree, it's certainly not a stigmitism! I enjoy spending time with those family members very much and care about them a great deal.

Best Wishes,


"But to paraphrase Joyce, sobriety is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake."

I don't think "paraphrase" is the right word, as Joyce's character was talking about "history" not "sobriety" being the nightmare.


True. Unless you consider sobriety as a synonym for history.

Apart from its applicability to any particular person, I think it is safe to say that the chess community broadly is an environment where Asperger's, and autism spectrum disorder more generally, is far less stigmatized than in society at large. There has been debate in some circles whether chess should be an activity encouraged for children and others who have these problems. I suppose the theory is that, rather than chess, is better to foster interests in activities of a more social or physical nature or that strengthens natural weaknesses in one way or another. But why shouldn't activities be encouraged that play to the individual's strengths? In addition, the chess community tends to be accommodating of these individuals. First of all, for anyone who has been around the chess world, meeting someone with Asperger's or autism spectrum disorder is simply not going to be anything new and shocking. Second, within this community, one's chess ability and results will always be appreciated, and hence considerable levels of respect and admiration can be garnered by chess merit alone, notwithstanding one's other weaknesses. (As an extreme example, notwithstanding the ugliest manifestations of Fischer's mental problems, almost everyone I know in the chess community didn't let that diminish their admiration for the man based on his chess achievements -- a really rather remarkable feat of compartmentalization that isn't replicated or even necessarily condoned by society at large.)

I would call it making mountains out of mole hills.

Well Magnus can now be declared Autistic, and whatever that other thing was World Champion of the world, congrats Magnus...thats better than a lousy womens title.....lmao

yes perhaps top 5 in blitz it does NOT suggest he is top 5 in classical. Rust is exposed at classical more than blitz

I like the way everyone is avoiding saying the one thing that brings up the asperger garbage: Carlsen's slightly gozzy eyes - very polite not too mention it. (Ivanchuk has a bit of that too) I mean something slightly off about his facial expression - its very pc of everyone not to mention that. Its such a conclusively scientific telling point after all (sic)

Rustiness matters in blitz as well as classical time controls, difficult to say where it is more important. But the difference is: even after his retirement Kasparov continued playing (ICC) blitz games quite regularly.

C'mon guys, leave CroMagnus alone!

He is not a movie star, athlete or GQ-cover material - although he would make a great National Geographic model; he is a normal guy enjoying the fruits of his work.

On the other hand, has any of the Dirt resident scientists ever wondered if Kasparov has some goat genes, given the exuberant curly thickness of whatever hair he has left?

Question kindly submitted by Clubfoot.


Frontpage news in Norway today:
Magnus makes NOK 2 million (about $350,000.- for a 2 year periode) sponsor contract with financial broker company.

The article says that the agreement includes participation from Kasparov.
Magnus says the money will enable him to carry on with Kasparov.

Here is a shorter version on the net:

Being a hired shill and selling yourself to money grubbers and getting only a mere $175,000 US dollars per year is not only a bad move, it's chump change.

But, if that's what Magnus and his father want to do, good luck to them.

At least the brokerage firm recognizes some of the powerful associations:

- the pinnacle of the analysis and implementation

- ambitiousness and hard-working

- perfoming under an extreme pressure

- accuracy

Not to mention flat-out smart. How many business could benefit from those associations? It looks like they got a great bargain, and Magnus likely could have done better even in his domestic market. Magnus also needs to find a way to be a recognized international brand, and getting to the #1 rating and world championship is only half that battle.

I recall that, in the US market, Kasparov appeared in commercials for AltaVista, a web search engine, and Pepsi. What were his other sponsorships?

That's very likely true about Magnus having brand appeal for Norway but not internationally. It's the "national hero" phenomenon ... sort of a benign version of Topalov's status among Bulgarians, or perhaps Anand's status in India.

No one in the US who's not a serious chessplayer has ever heard of Magnus. That's not likely to change even if (I guess I should say "when") he becomes WC. Kasparov, and before him Fischer, represented unique combinations of personal characteristics and historical/geopolitical circumstances. (Not to mention that Fischer was American.)

As for brokerage firms and chess: We see chess imagery (usually some version of a hand moving a piece on a board) in a sizable percentage of all financial services marketing ads and corporate Web sites. Yet, as is often remarked, those very companies never (well, almost never) feel a need to associate their brand with real chess players or events.

I have some thoughts about why, but others have said it better. So I'll leave it to Irv to pick up this ball and run with it, if he wishes.

"No one in the US who's not a serious chessplayer has ever heard of Magnus."

If they do hear about him, they would think he is just another chess-playing geek. In a few years, he'll start going bald and will wear glasses, just like his father.

Thanks for sharing your invaluable thoughts on this important subject.

Here's a tip for ya: Don't be sarcastic. It makes you look silly. Just say what you want to say, if anything.

"No one in the US who's not a serious chessplayer has ever heard of Magnus."

Is there ANY active chessplayer that anyone who's not a serious chessplayer (in the US) had been heard of?

To become a celeberity in USA you rather participate in a reality-TV show or sing a cover tune in America Got Talent (or whatever).

Do your choice.

Do you remember a guy named Bobby Fischer? He was very well-known in the USA in the early 1970s.

Here's a tip for ya: Don't be sarcastic. It makes you look silly. Just say what you want to say, if anything.

Who is ya?

Congratulations to Azerbaijan for winning the team event . Great achievement !!

Part of this thread is about chess used in advertisements.

I saw this print ad on the back inside cover of a recent New Yorker: http://scienceblogs.com/isisthescientist/intel_workout_ad0001.jpg

Kudos to Intel for getting the chess right: the position on the board in the center (the only one you can really see in the print ad) is from game 21 of Spassky-Fischer, 1972.

Maybe Kasparov will be able to concentrate even more on training Carlsen now...


Technically, the event is postponed until some time in 2010, because
- "December 11th is tomorrow. That's too close for organization, public relations, etc. ..."
- "One of our potential [sic] sponsors wants the event to concur with the year of Russia in France starting March 2010"
- "This is not our last word, we will restart the adventure in 2010. Thanks to Anatoly Karpov and Garry Kasparov for their confidence."
Bets are open if there will be a follow-up on this.

Karpov scored one draw against Anand in four games. Not a surprise.

His openings get killed. I wonder how much work he does on them. His QGD is just getting flattened again and again. Nothing too wrong with the variation itself, but he gets horrible passive positions and they just slide..guess he doesn't want to tackle the massive theory of the modern QID.

Ok , Karpov unable to avoid the ¨jarabe de palo¨ that Anand had for him , on the other side (as i predicted ,sort of ) the Karpov-Kasparov wasn´t as succesful as Kasparov would like to believe .
I assume that is not Kasparov´s fault , is just that Karpov getting badly beaten is not such a great show after all.
The solution seems simple , What about an Anand vs Kasparov match ?
,no one would be able to say that he is returning to chess because it would be just another rapid exhibition , and i am sure the event could do much better than the other 2 duels combined.

Maybe after his match with Topa ( in case of survival ) .

"What about an Anand vs Kasparov match ?"

That would be interesting, but they would have no reason to risk losing to each other. So, it won't happen.

I don´t know about reasons , but they can both certainly give a valid explanation for losing such match , the only one who can actually lose something is Anand , but i don´t think he is very worried about it.
Kasparov now knows that Karpov lost misserably to Vishy , so a even a draw or a lose in tye breacks would make him look different , Vishy just did it with Karpov so doing it next year could be a celebration of his match with Topalov (in case of survival) .
In fact , Wouldn it be nice if Garry played this match with the winner of that match? , the next champion?
Just after finishing his training sessions with Magnus ,he can go and test the new (or same) champion for us , THAT would be giving service to the chess comunity.
Please someone start a super tournament somewhere , before i come up with more delusional stuff.

Well it's not realistic but it's a fun thought :)

Hey Mig, wake-up, review of Anand-Karpov, preview of Tal Memorial etcetera

why is every genius autistic or aspbergers? dear lord its just a new classification for anyone intense. yuck

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on October 19, 2009 3:53 PM.

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