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What comes after Olympus?

Magnus Carlsen is only 22 years old. But even when listed among the greatest chess players ever, he seems in a class of his own.

Where will he be a decade from now? It’s hard to conceive.

Successive FIDE international rating lists indicate an increasingly widening gap between Carlsen and other elite grandmasters.

His most recent rating of 2,872 is 61 points higher than the No. 2 man, the former world champion Vladimir Kramnik. That means that Carlsen would be an approximate 58 percent favorite if the two played a reasonably long match of 10 or 20 games.

But it gets even better. Carlsen’s advantage would jump to 63 percent and 64 percent respectively if he were to play similar matches with two players rated 92 and 101 points lower than he: the current world Champion Viswanathan Anand and another former champion Veselin Topalov.

Carlsen is so formidable that his opponents seem hardly able to conceive the possibility of beating him - even when they have better positions on the chessboard.

This is not merely a lack of confidence or fear of a formidable opponent. Carlsen, despite often playing with considerable abandon, has lost only one of his last 100 games.

Blessed with superb chess intuition and exceptional physical stamina, he is tough as nails. A draw looks good when he is on the other side of the board.

Below is a win by Levon Aronian against Teimour Radjabov from the SportAccord Blitz tournament in Beijing, China.

Sport Accord Blitz

Aronian Radjabov

1. d4 ...... Nf6

2. c4 ...... g6

3. Nc3 ..... Bg7

4. e4 ...... d6

5. Nf3 ..... O-O

6. h3 ...... c5

7. d5 ...... e6

8. Bd3 ..... Nh5

9. g4 ...... Nf6

10. Bf4 ..... Na6

11. Qd2 ..... exd5

12. cxd5 .... Nb4

13. Bb1 ..... Re8

14. Kf1 ..... c4

15. Kg2 ..... Na6

16. Re1 ..... Nc5

17. Bh6 ..... Bh8

18. Bc2 ..... Bd7

19. Qf4 ..... Qb6

20. Bg5 ..... Qxb2

21. Bxf6 .... Qxc2

22. Re2 ..... Nd3

23. Qxd6 .... Bxf6

24. Rxc2 .... Black resigns