Not to excuse thoughts or speech of revenge at all, but having played tournament chess as a kid I will give two cents. When they compare chess to "war" and "revenge", that's close to the truth. "All warfare is based on deception." -Sun Tzu. You make moves that trick your opponent into getting into a position where you can crush him. You move your pieces to deceive, to lie, to set traps, entice your opponent with baited hooks, to get your opponent to bite so you can catch him and destroy him. I wasn't that great a player but those people I could beat I usually beat via trickery or waiting until they made a mistake and then punishing them for it. Chess is merciless.
I personally agree with you about the abhorrence of revenge and here is my take on the reasons of revenge. Revenge is accepted in politics, e.g. 9/11. One could also argue that revenge is basically ingrained in the human psyche; see this wikipedia page
about vendetta in modern times. So from both the higher, political end and the lower, inherent end there is a tendency towards revenge. Often, those extremely gifted and high performing individuals like Mr. Carlsen don't give themselves time to reflect on themselves because they are so deep into their work.
Of course, the Buddha addressed the reasons for something like this. I forgot the sutta and the exact wording, but the Buddha basically traces the chain of events leading to such reprehensible actions. I'm mangling it, but it went something like: desire leads to seeking, seeking leads to finding, finding leads to affection, affection leads to protecting, protecting leads to clinging, etc. If someone knows which sutta, I'd be glad to know it; it may have been in the Digha Nikaya.