How 21-Year-Old World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen Became Such A Badass

magnus carlsen

Photo: www.g

That scowling young man you’ve seen in G-Star posters?Not only is he a model, but this 21-year-old Norwegian is the best chess player in the world.

How badass is that?

Magnus Carlsen became the top-ranked player on January 1, 2010, making him the youngest player ever to reach that status. He has been a grandmaster since he was 13-years-old. His 2837 Fédération Internationale des Échecs (FIDE) rating is the second highest ever, placing him behind only Kasparov. 

Next month, Carlsen will be in New York City hosting a four-day chess camp and a cocktail party and simultaneous exhibition with 1000 Passions.

In November of 1990, Magnus Carlsen was born in Tønsberg, Norway, a town of 40,000 people one hour south of Oslo.

Source: Wikipedia

Magnus's father Henrik, an IT consultant, was a good-level chess tournament player. He first taught Magnus how to play when Magnus was 5, but Magnus didn't show much interest.

When he was 5 however, Magnus had memorized every country in the world, their capitals, and their populations

Source: 60 Minutes

Three years later, when one of Magnus's three sisters began to play chess seriously, Magnus regained an interest in the sport, mostly out of a desire to beat his sister. He won and a star was born

Magnus became hooked and he started playing in—and winning—tournaments. Soon he was beating adults, and then surpassing his teacher, Norwegian grandmaster Simen Agdestein.

At 13 years of age, Magnus became the third youngest grandmaster in the history of chess. He soon landed a sponsorship with Microsoft.

Source: Chess Base

In 2004, Carlsen played world-famous chess icon Garry Kasparov to a draw in a blitz tournament. That same year, Carlsen became the youngest player to participate in the FIDE World Chess Championship. He would lose to current #2 Levon Aronian in the first round of play

Source: 60 Minutes

In the subsequent years, Carlsen would be a top finisher in dozens of important tournaments. At the age of 19, in 2010, Carlsen became the youngest person in chess history to be ranked number one

Source: Chess Base

Also in 2009, Carlsen enlisted Garry Kasparov as a personal trainer, though their partnership didn't last—in earnest—for more than a year

Source: Chess Base

Carlsen has been known to calculate 20 moves ahead and comfortably play several games simultaneously while blindfolded.

Source: Time

Source: 60 Minutes

In 2010, Carlsen decided to sit out the 2012 World Chess Championship because of what he felt were outdated and unfair rules. He announced in 2011 that he will compete in the 2013 Championship, however.

Source: Chess Base and Chessdom

Carlsen is cashing in on his fame and good looks. In 2010, he starred in a modelling campaign for Dutch fashion label G-Star

The G-Star campaign helped double Carlsen's earnings from 2009-2010. In the former year, Carlsen made around $650,000, while in the latter he accrued nearly $1.5 million

Carlsen also has sponsorship deals with investment bank Arctic Securities, legal services team Simonsen, and Norwegian media group VG. His sponsors' names are often stitched into his sweaters during tournaments

Source: Magnus Carlsen

Carlsen is modest with his earnings. His father manages his money and saves it for him.

Carlsen—who often travels with his father—spends around 200 days per year on the road, playing in tournaments, speaking, and teaching.

Source: 60 Minutes

This August in New York City, Carlsen will host a four-day chess camp, costing $700. He will also host a cocktail party and simultaneous exhibition with 1000 Passions.

Get tickets at Chess NYC and 1000 Passions.

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