Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Magnus Carlsen and Fabiano Caruana discuss the future of chess
Adolfo Benitez has a maths aptitude, says Magnus Carlsen, which sets him apart from other chess players.
The king in the board game told Spanish TV channel Cope: “He understands something about problem solving. He is particularly analytical.”
Carlsen – who is set to defend his title against Fabiano Caruana at the World Chess Championship in November – was confident about his winning score of 1.6-1.4.
“It’s a harder challenge, and I need to manage my game well and be wary of him,” Carlsen said.
Benitez will vie for the top title with his fellow Puerto Rican for the first time at this season’s Grand Final.
In winning the tournament last year, Carlsen became the first player to hold the world championship for eight years in a row.
The 30-year-old Norwegian could see no other way to celebrate.
“Life becomes more exciting after winning, but all I can think about is how to keep the title, and it will always take precedence over other things,” he said.
“But the way I think is, if you’re enjoying the championships, people will be taking note of how you play.”
Caruana – the highest ranked challenger to Carlsen’s title – beat four former winners – Russia’s Sergey Karjakin, Egypt’s Fide Zaim, Israel’s Raphael Martin and Azerbaijan’s Ilham Aliyev – to reach the final.
“My goal is to beat him, to create my own legacy,” said the 28-year-old US player.
“I want to be remembered as the best challenger to have faced him.”
The reigning champion and his challenger will play three games between now and mid-November.
After 18 hours of hard work, the World Chess Championship will crown its winner on 5 November at the International Convention Centre in Las Vegas.
The finalists will then have until late February next year to tour the world promoting their fight for the title.