With the app Play Magnus I hope to contribute to bring chess to the world. We had more than 100.000 downloads of the free Iphone app the first month and plan to expand to other platforms in the not too distant future.
I.ve commented on the ongoing Candidates tournament (the winner will challenge me in the next World Championship match) on my Youtube channel yesterday. With two rounds to go and a full point lead (plus favourable tie-break) it looks very good for Anand. The Candidates last year was my toughest chess challenge so far, and I.m quite happy to be a spectator this year. Only first place counts, and this explains the higher tension and slightly desperate approach seen by most players compared to other events. Only Anand, and Aronian in the first half, have been able to find the right balance.
Karjakin still has an outside chance if he can beat Anand in round 13 today.
Early March I played two rapid events and did two simuls in Caxias do Sul in the south of Brazil and was happy to see the interest and enthusiasm surrounding chess down there.
Fortunately I managed to win both events.
The closed cup against local GM.s Leitao and Milos, and IM Vila from Uruguay took place in a glass cube.
I haven.t played internationally in an Open in quite some time. With several hundred participants it was quite different from the closed events I normally play. It reminds me of playing in the Olympiads. If you struggle it is easy to get annoyed by the noise and different playing conditions. When you are motivated and the results are good, you feel great about playing together with so many others. Fortunately the Open went very well for me. I was in some trouble in a couple of games, but beating my coach Peter Heine in a rook endgame in the last round secured 1st with 8.5/9. Overall it was a great experience!
The next stop was the French Riviera and two great events at a real estate conference with two of my main sponsors Arctic Securities and Simonsen Vogt Wiig. (And a round of golf with manager Espen and people from Simonsen☺,)
Next week I.m off to a training camp in Oman before playing Gashimov Memorial in Shamkir in Azerbaijan late April.
Magnus Carlsen, Oslo, March 29th, 2014