- Title: Reigning chess champ Carlsen says need to step up game against US challenger
- Date: 8th November 2018
- Summary: LONDON, ENGLAND, UK (NOVEMBER 8, 2018) (REUTERS) ***WARNING CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** WORLD CHAMPION MAGNUS CARLSEN AND U.S. CHALLENGER FABIANO CARUANA ENTER NEWS CONFERENCE ROOM ALONG WITH CHESS OFFICIALS (SOUNDBITE) (English) REIGNING WORLD CHESS CHAMPION MAGNUS CARLSEN, ASKED ABOUT WHETHER HE SAW WEAKNESSES IN HIS OPPONENT, SAYING: "Well, it's been a while since I've considered myself an underdog to be honest. If you've been number one ranked player for seven years and you've won three world championships in a row and you consider yourself an underdog, then there's something seriously wrong with your psyche I think. Having said that, obviously Fabiano is a tremendous player, his results this year speak for themselves and I know if I continue to play in the same vein that I have been recently then I will probably not win, so I will need to step it up. I have great confidence in my power to do exactly that." (SOUNDBITE) (English) WORLD CHESS CHAMPIONSHIP CHALLENGER FABIANO CARUANA, ASKED ABOUT WHETHER HE SAW WEAKNESSES IN HIS OPPONENT, SAYING: "I don't think that Magnus has any clear weaknesses. Usually, the mistakes he makes are very individual and they don't have a clear pattern to them, and I think this also goes for most of the players at the very very top. But that being said, he still makes mistakes and we all do, and the only challenge is to be able to take them when they come." JOURNALISTS AT NEWS CONFERENCE (SOUNDBITE) (English) REIGNING WORLD CHESS CHAMPION MAGNUS CARLSEN, ON HIS PAST STATEMENT SAYING CONTROLLING HIS EMOTIONS WAS HIS WEAKEST POINT, SAYING: "I think I'm a bit calmer than I was back then but the question remains to see if I'm playing better, recently I haven't but I'm confident that I'm capable of more and probably recently I've been almost apathetic sometimes. So it's taken a turn in the other direction, so I need to find some middle ground." NEWS CONFERENCE IN PROGRESS (SOUNDBITE) (English) WORLD CHESS CHAMPIONSHIP CHALLENGER FABIANO CARUANA, ASKED IF HE IS THE NEW BOBBY FISCHER, SAYING: "I think that the comparison is still early. I think that if I become world champion the comparison will be more apt. But in terms of like chess-style and the course of our lives, I hope. I don't think the comparison is quite true but of course it's very flattering to be compared to such a great player." NEWS CONFERENCE IN PROGRESS (SOUNDBITE) (English) REIGNING WORLD CHESS CHAMPION MAGNUS CARLSEN, ON WHETHER HE FEELS CHESS IS COOL, SAYING: "Personally I've found chess the coolest thing in the world since I was eight years old. I think it's always been that way." (SOUNDBITE) (English) WORLD CHESS CHAMPIONSHIP CHALLENGER FABIANO CARUANA, ON WHETHER HE FEELS CHESS IS COOL, SAYING: "I think that chess is definitely becoming cooler and there are a lot of people in the celebrity world, in movies and music, who have an interest in chess, so I think it's definitely gaining more exposure, and I also think that chess is a great thing and definitely can be very beautiful and can also be cool and accessible to the larger audience." JOURNALISTS LOOK ON (SOUNDBITE) (English) REIGNING WORLD CHESS CHAMPION MAGNUS CARLSEN, ASKED IF HE HAS ANY FEMALE SUPPORT, SAYING: "I don't think so, women hate me. I repel them. (HE SMILES, AUDIENCE LAUGHS)" (SOUNDBITE) (English) WORLD CHESS CHAMPIONSHIP CHALLENGER FABIANO CARUANA, ASKED IF HE HAS ANY FEMALE SUPPORT, SAYING: "The main female support I have is from my mother, which is I think the most helpful. I also do have a lot of friends, including female friends." JOURNALIST FILMING NEWS CONFERENCE ENDING
- Embargoed: 22nd November 2018 15:01
- Keywords: World Chess Championships Magnus Carlsen Fabiano Caruana
- Location: LONDON, ENGLAND, UK
- City: LONDON, ENGLAND, UK
- Country: United Kingdom
- Topics: Chess,Sport
- Reuters ID: LVA00195NBDJT
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Reigning chess world champion Magnus Carlsen said on Thursday (November 8) on the eve of his world championship defence against American Fabiano Caruana that he feels he needs to step up his game if he is to have a chance of defending his title.
The Norwegian was below standard at the European Chess Club Cup last month with a total of 3.5 points out of a possible six, though he voiced confidence that he can regain his form of old in time to continue his recent dominance of the world championship, having won the past three.
Caruana, a dual American-Italian national representing the United States, booked his spot in the world championship after winning the Candidates tournament in Berlin in September, finishing a full point ahead of his rivals.
The 26-year-old has already been compared to legendary American Bobby Fischer who became a chess grandmaster in his teenage years and went on to win the world title in 1972. Caruana said he was flattered with the comparison but felt it was too early.
At the world championship in London, Carlsen and Caruana are scheduled to play 12 matches, with the first player to reach 6.5 points winning the title. If it reaches 6-6, they will play a tiebreak of four rapid games - followed by two further tiebreak methods if required - to decide who takes the title and the roughly one million Euro prize fund.
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