Carlsen Reveals Team That Helped Him Defeat Nepo

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Now that the world championship match is basically over, Magnus Carlsen has gone ahead to properly reveal his team.

In a 3-minutes video shot at their Spanish training camp, Magnus revealed those that helped him with his preparation against Nepo. Here are the team members:

GM Peter Heine Nielsen

Carlsen Team

Peter is a renowned Danish chess player and trainer who has been privileged to coach world champions Vishwanathan Anand and Magnus Carlsen. He coached Anand from 2002-2012 where the ‘Tiger From Madras’ won the WC title in 2007 and defended it successfully in 2008, 2010 and 2012.

He has also been working with Carlsen since 2013 and this was instrumental as Carlsen won the candidates tournament that year, which qualified him to challenge and later defeat Anand. So it’s no surprise seeing him in the team. Magnus pointed out that he was the leader of the team and in his usual cheeky tone, “the adult in the room”.

GM Laurent Fressinet

Carlsen Team

Next up is the French GM and two-time French Chess Champion, Grandmaster Laurent Fressinet.  A quite interesting fact is that Fressinet is the only member of Magnus’s team that has been available during all of his World Chess Championship matches. This includes his 2014 match with Anand, his 2016 match Sergey Karjakin, his 2018 match with Fabiano Caruana and now, the just concluded match with Ian Nepomniachtchi. 

According to Magnus, he wanted someone French in the team but since his choices of either French Super GM, GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave or Former French Chess Prodigy, GM √Čtienne Bacrot were not available, he had to go with Fressinet. Magnus also referred to him as the “glue in the group” as he has contributed significantly to the team.

GM Jan Gustafsson

Carlsen Team

“He’s the go-to guy for Medium-culture and Low-culture references”

Jan is a German Grandmaster and co-founder of chess24.com. He was part of Magnus’s team in the 2016 match against Karjakin, the 2018 match against Caruana and now in the 2021 match against Nepo. Jan is an expert in opening theory and is known for his wide expertise in 1…e5 and the Marshall. No doubt, Jan played a huge role in Carlsen’s preparation as the first four games (with Carlsen as black) featured the Anti-Marshall which Carlsen drew comfortably.

GM Jorden Van Foreest

Known as the “new guy” according to Carlsen, GM Jorden is a new addition to Magnus’s team. Van Foreest is the world No 2 Dutch player just after GM Anish Giri. Van Forrest had an interesting year as he became the first Dutchman to win Wijk aan Zee early this year since Jan Timman in 1985! This took his elo to 2700+ for the first time in his career. 

Magnus in describing the young GM noted that he fulfilled several roles in the team, and as usual, Carlsen did not fail to mention a funny angle – About Jorden being a punching bag in blitz games.

GM Daniil Dubov

Carlsen Team

Daniil is a Russian GM that served as one of Magnus’s seconds in his 2018 world championship match. His win that year in the world rapid chess championship ahead of other top players like Nakamura, Mamedyarov and Carlsen himself threw him to the spotlight. 

So it’s not surprising seeing Daniil in the team. According to Magnus, Daniil has becomes a bit more selective, conservative and solid.

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