I remember that a year ago or two, Magnus Carlsen said that one of the response against 1.e4 was bad. I don't remember exactly which of them he was calling bad, but I think it was the French (or the Caro-Kann perhaps)... I'm not saying that I think the French is bad (I actually like it!), I'm just saying that I believe Carlsen said it was bad.

I would like to know which response to 1.e4 he was calling bad. And also I would like to know what was Magnus Carlsen's exact quote.

  • Do you know the setting for what you recall, e.g. interview, post-game press conference, ...? He played the Caro-Kann in the world championship setting, so he can't think too poorly of that one.
    – ETD
    Mar 18, 2015 at 5:12
  • @ETD: No sorry I don't remember anything else. I believe I saw the article mentioning it on chess.com. And Carlsen probably said it during a post-game interview but I'm not 100% sure at all...
    – Fate
    Mar 18, 2015 at 5:36
  • 1
    If Carlsen said, that the french defence is bad, it was probably after a game in which he played it himself. Maybe against Caruana in 2012, where he lost a winning position. That is where I would start looking. Mar 18, 2015 at 10:01
  • 1
    Well, I don't know about Magnus. I can tell you that after 1. e4 both a5 and h5 are pretty bad, and you can quote me on that :) Mar 20, 2015 at 11:32
  • 1
    The worst move is 1...resigns
    – limits
    Jun 14, 2015 at 20:26

1 Answer 1


I think the answer is the French Defence.

A quote of Carlsen can be found here: http://www.reddit.com/r/chess/comments/1do05q/annotated_chess_game_in_french_defence_by_carlsen/

I copied the quote:

The French Defence. In my younger years I used to consider it at best a second-rate opening, and I once even lost a bet with one of my friends, and as a result had to play 1... e6 in all my games with Black in a Super-GM tournament. Fortunately my friend was greedy, and took money instead. I believe that both 1...c5 and 1...e5! are better choices, but since I desperately wanted to win this game (I was trailing the leaders Kramnik and Shirov by 1 point at this stage) I decided to try something new.

Carlsen wrote this quote in his comments of the game Karjakin-Carlsen, Wijk Aan Zee 2010. See annotations of the game Ivanchuk-Carlsen in following report: http://www.chessvibes.com/?q=reports/masters-final-r5-leader-ivanchuk-loses-to-carlsen-nakamura-beats-vallejo

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