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Some of Magnus Carlsen's Worst Blunders

We all know that Magnus Carlsen is a chess player like no other. His ability to play unpredictably yet consistently makes him stand out. There's a good reason he’s been the World Champion since 2013. However, even world champions make mistakes!

Sometimes you learn the most when you make a mistake, so today, we wanted to look at a couple of major blunders Magnus has made throughout the years. This is to show you what NOT to do during a chess game!

Magnus vs. Veselin Topalov - Norway Chess 2015
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Playing a super-tournament in his home country, Magnus was eager to win the first game. It looked like everything was going as planned, as in this position White should have been winning. However, here Magnus lost on time. He believed he would get more time when they reached move 60, but they didn't. Magnus had a hard time recovering after this loss and ended up with only 3,5 points out of 9.

Magnus vs. Viswanathan Anand - WC 2014
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In 2014, Magnus defended his World Champion title against Viswanathan Anand. Magnus won game 6, but it was far from a convincing win. He has just played the king to d2, which allows the tactical shot 26...Nxe5! Luckily for Magnus, Anand played too quickly and missed the chance.

Magnus vs. Ian Nepomniatchi - London Chess Classics 2017
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Sometimes when I play chess, I'm desperately searching for the button that can switch my brain on. I have a feeling Magnus felt like this during this game. He played 33.c5 and Nepomniachtchi simply played 33...Rxc5 and exploited the fact that the d-pawn is pinned.

Magnus vs. Gawain Jones - Tata Steel 2018
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Magnus has just played 17.g2-g4, which was a huge mistake. Gawain Jones found 17...f4, a move that threatens both the bishop on e3 and the knight on g5. This way Jones won a piece but being the World Champion means you are pretty strong; Magnus won anyway.

You can find a collection of even worse blunders from Magnus in the lesson called My Worst Moves in the Magnus Trainer.

By Torbjørn Ringdal Hansen

Photo by David Llada