Magnus Carlsen does not take his eyes off. The world champion, curious by nature, gets up between play and play and approaches the first table of the tournament, located in a prominent space of the room. At this table the players who are at the head of the event play their game. Normally, this is a space reserved for the Norwegian, but during the last two rounds a relative unknown has stolen his chair.
The intruder is David Anton, 24, from Madrid and mattress , who until recently studied mathematics at the Complutense University. Without fuss, dispatch one play after another. Having the world champion behind his back, rubbing his board, seems not to affect him. In fact, his coach, David Martínez, highlights his ability to concentrate as one of El Niño's main qualities, as he is nicknamed by his colleagues. "He is a tremendous competitor who grows when the challenge is greatest," adds Martínez.
And there is probably no greater challenge at your fingertips than the FIDE Grand Swiss , which along with the famous motorcycle race has established itself as one of the two major annual events on the Isle of Man. Sponsored by the Scheinberg family - founders and owners of Pokerstars -, this chess tournament has half a million euros in prizes.
This year, in addition, it grants for the first time a place to the champion to dispute the Candidates Tournament , the test that decides who will be the challenger of Magnus Carlsen. The economic conditions are tempting enough to attract this small island to all the stars on the board, such as Caruana, Anand, or Carlsen himself.
In a world of strong personalities and colossal egos, David stands out for his humble and discreet character. «He has not been precisely a child prodigy of those who at 13 years are already Grand Master, but he has been a prodigy of progress. Learn with enormous ease , ”says his coach. "Chess, I would say that his greatest virtue is his ability to understand very complicated positions: the more lost we are, the more comfortable he seems to be." Supported by the Spanish Federation (FEDA), David Antón has a coach and all expenses derived from his participation in tournaments are covered. But your next step should be to be among the top 20 players in the world, for which you will need more support.
It would not be the first time David gives the bell getting a success that a priori might seem out of reach. In the Gibraltar Open a couple of years ago he shared the first place with the American Hikaru Nakamura: although he lost in the tie-break, he surprised and surpassed a good part of the world elite. But his performance in the Isle of Man tournament, rubbing shoulders with the best and beating Magnus Carlsen himself, marks a new milestone in his career.
El Niño is making us dream, for a few days, with the illusion of being able to see a Madrilenian become an aspirant to the chess world championship.
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