Update: the title of this post originally read “Carlsen is a basass.” That’s a typo; I don’t pretend to know what a “basass” is. Perhaps some sort of combination between a musical instrument and a fish. But that’s not what Magnus Carlsen is.

From an interview with Magnus Carlsen, the 22-year-old Norwegian who’s ranked the number one chess player in the world:

Did you often compete with Kasparov?

At the board? Yes, we played a lot of blitz games! It was an interesting battle. At times it was hard for him – you could sense he was out of practice.

From his games could you imagine how strong Kasparov was in his youth?

He’s a fantastic player. I’ve never seen someone with such a feel for dynamics in complex positions. And that’s in his 40s! Of course, it would have been very interesting to play against Kasparov back then, but as you know, we can’t turn back the clock… I think it would have been a wonderful challenge. They say Karpov was also magnificent in his youth.

So basically, he embarrassed Kasparov at blitz chess. I guess any of the top players at the moment would beat Kasparov, given that like athletes, chess players decline after their mid thirties. But Carlsen was 19 at the time. Which is kind of mental.