“I hope I will become the world champion,” says a young boy, looking shyly into the camera. “I will do what it takes to be the world champion.”

It is interesting now to watch a13-year-old Magnus Carlsen saying that on camera, even as he is contesting the World championship match.

There are many more such fetching scenes in the documentary ‘Magnus Carlsen’s Last Big Title’, directed by Benjamin Ree.

The 27-minute film offers some insights into what must be one of the most fascinating brains in the world.

“The chessboard is always pictured in my head and I move pieces there,” Carlsen says. “I can probably remember a few thousand games. I get some new little idea from every game.”

Exhaustive work

“It was an interesting experience shooting Magnus,” says Ree, who is here covering the match live for Norwegian channel VG. “I did the documentary for VG. It was a pretty exhaustive work; I shot footage of over 60 hours.”

The documentary traces Carlsen’s emergence as a world-beater and features several vintage footage, such as his first encounter with Garry Kasparov. You could also see pretty interesting stuff such as Carlsen playing unsuspecting chess hustlers (who play for money) at Washington Square, New York, with actress Liv Tyler looking on, and beating 10 Harvard lawyers simultaneously, blindfolded.

Completely honest

Ree says Carlsen is pretty comfortable in front of the camera. “And what I like about him most is that he is completely honest,” he says.

“That is not something you see always when you are filming people.”

He says chess would certainly become much bigger in Norway after the World championship, especially if he wins it. “Yes, the Norwegians are expecting him to win,” he says. “Carlsen has generated a lot of interest back home in chess and this match.”

Ree is an admirer of A.R. Rahman’s music and likes watching Indian films. “I liked ‘Lagaan’ a lot,” he says. “I love Indian food too; to me it is the best food in the world. I don’t know why so many people, including Team Carlsen, made such a fuss about eating in India.”


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