Beware Veselin Topalov and Viswanathan Anand! Magnus Carlsen is surging ahead, hoping to capture the World No. 1 crown. And propping him up in his bid to capture the top spot in the rankings is none other than Garry Kasparov, arguably the greatest player in the history of chess.
Having dominated the game for over two decades before his retirement in 2005, Kasparov has now taken up charge of developing a player expected to rule the chess world.
According to a report in Norwegian daily Verdens Gang (VG), Kasparov, now a Russian opposition leader, has become a personal trainer of 18-year-old Carlsen of Norway, already touted by many experts as the future world champion.
Says VG in its Monday's edition: “In complete secrecy, chess star Magnus Carlsen, 18, has engaged the history's greatest chess player, Garry Kasparov, as a personal trainer. The goal is to make the Norwegian, who currently ranks as the fourth-best chess player in the world, the world's best during the course of the coming year. In addition, Magnus Carlsen of Lommedalen will be built up to become the strongest brand in international chess.”
Though Carlsen refused to reveal the cost of the training programme, he did tell VG that it was “expensive”.
The association started six months back and will continue till the end of this year. According to a report on website www.chessbase.com, Carlsen has been to Moscow twice and also spent 14 days at Kasparov's summer residence in Croatia. Kasparov will be travelling to Norway this month for another session.
“With so many victories coming relatively easily to his immense talent, the final crucial ingredient of relentless work will guarantee his place in history,” Kasparov told VG. “In six months of working with Magnus I have seen in him many of the qualities of the great champions,” he said.
This is a coup of sorts by the Norwegian prodigy who has captured the imagination of the chess world with his rapid strides in recent years. The fact that Kasparov has agreed to be his personal trainer reinforces the belief that Carlsen is the player to watch out for.