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Magnus Force: How Carlsen Beat Kasparov's record [Paperback]

Colin Crouch
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Book Description

31 Oct 2013
In December 2012 Magnus Carlsen won the prestigious London Chess Classic and in doing so he became the highest-rated chess player in the history of the game, beating Garry Kasparov's 13-year-old record. Carlsen followed up this performance with another phenomenal tournament win at Wijk aan Zee, pushing his peak rating to an astronomical 2872. He didn t lose a single game in either tournament.

What is Carlsen's secret? How did an already world-class player succeed in reaching this unprecedented level where he was regularly beating the world's strongest grandmasters? In this book, International Master Colin Crouch provides answers to these questions. Crouch studies Carlsen's progress in recent years and demonstrates how he learned lessons from previous setbacks, turned weaknesses into strengths, losses into draws, and draws into wins. By doing so Carlsen was able to elevate his play to a stratospheric level, but any aspiring chess player can use similar methods to improve their game.

* The story of Carlsen's record-breaking performances
* In-depth analysis of Carlsen's games
* Learn from the World's number one player

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Magnus Force: How Carlsen Beat Kasparov's record + 100 Chess Master Trade Secrets: From Sacrifices to Endgames
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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Everyman Chess (31 Oct 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1781941335
  • ISBN-13: 978-1781941331
  • Product Dimensions: 24.7 x 17.4 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 152,898 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


Crouch is one of my favorite modern-day writers. He is diligent, comprehensive, and on point. He provides plenty of background with regard to the circumstances in which a game was played, the tournament situation, and any psychological factors that may have played a part. Crouch draws the reader, as much as any outside observer probably can, into what is going on in the minds of the players, and provides a clear explanation of what is happening over-the-board. --Michael McGuerty,

It's typical of Colin Crouch to produce such an original work. Most authors would head for the safe shores of the feel-good factor in the run-up to a title match and overemphasise the positive, but Crouch presents a fascinating study of a remarkable player, warts and all. --Sean Marsh, CHESS magazine

About the Author

Dr Colin Crouch is an International Master, a tremendously experienced tournament player and a highly regarded chess writer. His books have received great acclaim for their thoroughness and originality.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars It's a chess book 5 Jun 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Good book to follow individual games of Carlsen. I expected a bit more narrative, but if you want to go through some games (and not do so over the internet) then this may be a good place to begin.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Waiting on strategy... 22 Dec 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Magnus is playing chess sometimes like Steinitz, like Cabaplanca, like Alekhine and sometimes like Kasparov... Colin is, on the other hand, another one; he is a very talented author; his analyses are very valuable skilful and you are not bored with the technical variations; on the contrary you understand well each move...

I am waiting one or two boks from Colin on strategy; namely; strategy on Alekhine, and strategy on Kasparov...I hope John Emms will take into account these ideas..
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Everything I expected though I bought for a nephew and haven't explored it myself in any depth. Iwould have been happy to receive it
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Please write a book as advertised! 29 Oct 2013
By Boomer49 - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
On the back cover this book states there is in depth analysis of Carlsen's games. No there is not!! The discussion Crouch talks about Carlsen's chess is interesting but it most certainly is not in depth either. He really short shrifts us in this book! If you want excellent analysis of the games that Crouch presents, London 2012 and Wik aan Zee 2013 plus several losses before these tournaments, go to ICC, the internet chess club, and click on their video coverage which is done in great depth. In one of the losses, to Anand, he wraps up commentary at move 34 while Carlsen battled on to move 76. He makes other comments like,"Black has to do something with his pawns, otherwise the White Knights are going to gallop through",page 16 on the McShane-Carlsen game. This is just plain awful commentary. It is so bad it is not even superficial. Maybe players who are new to the game will like this book but if you are rated over 1200USCF, save your money.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Look at Carlsen's style before the Championship match. 8 Nov 2013
By R. J. Vaughn - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Actually, I rather liked this book as I do much of Crouch's writings. Quite apart from the hype on the back of the book, the book was written mainly to show Carlsen's games from the two tournaments that lead to Carlsen's topping of Kasparov's rating record and these games are fairly well annotated, for instance, notes to Carlsen-Harikrisna take up 16 pages!

I suppose, if anything, Crouch could cut back on some of the verbal explanation and include a bit more in variations. As a prelude to those two tournaments, Crouch analyzes Carlsen's loses from 2010 thru 2012 preceding the London Classic of 2012. His loss to Anand does lack annotations after move 34, but the moves pretty well speak for themselves. What Crouch does is to give the critical moments in the games along with alternatives and makes some astute observations about Carlsen's style in the openings and his approach to the game.

Unfortunately, the book doesn't include any of the losses Carlsen suffered after Wijk aan Zee 2013, most notably losing 2 of the last three games in the FIDE Candidates and only edging Kramnik in tie-break points.. Then he lost a game to Wang Hao in the Norway Masters finishing second to Karjakin and then to Caruana in the Tal Memorial to Caruana while finishing second to Gelfand. Some of these losses, no doubt could not make it into the book due to space and time considerations.

This book, however, is a fine prelude to the upcoming match between Carlsen and Anand for the World Champion title. Too bad we don't have a similar book on Anand.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining and instructive 4 Dec 2013
By A. Ali - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I like the verbose explanations. The variational analysis is sparing and only to corroborate and lend substance to the verbal explanations.There's real insight in the notes and Crouch has thought long and hard about the games he's analysed. He's also a master of prose -- the book is a riveting read. So many chess books these days are just glorified engine analyses thinly camouflaged with some spare and clumsy words. Not Crouch's books.

The heart of the book -- over two hundred pages -- examines Carlsen's games in just two tournaments (London Chess Classic 2012, and Wijk Aan Zee 2013), played over a two-month period, when Carlsen decisively broke free from the rest of the pack of leading players.

A titled player might be able to pick holes in the analysis but I'm merely an average-to-strong club player and the style and depth of Crouch's analysis suits me just fine. If it's an engine dump of variations you want, stay away from this book. If you want a clean and compelling prose style with genuine insight into positions and games, buy the book.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining book. 19 Nov 2013
By Tom Ewall - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I don't understand the negative review. I liked Crouch's books, and this is as good as his others. He has an easy to read style, and does a good job of explaining things in a way to be of value to a wide range of skill levels, not an easy task. I think the subject matter is an interesting one (focusing on the period of time where Magnus when from slightly better than others to unquestionably better, from a ratings point of view), and asking what he was doing differently than before.

It's interesting that someone who seemingly spurns opening theory can dominate the best players in the world.

I'm giving this 5 stars, in part, for the value, as a Kindle book, for the amount of money, it's easily worth the purchase if you enjoy chess books.
4.0 out of 5 stars Lengthy Narratives win the day 28 April 2014
By Robert of Wisconsin - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I enjoy the authors use of lengthy narratives to evaluate both the current line of play, and the possible alternative lines of play, without the use of a straight paragraph of nothing but positional moves that so often occur in other books.
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