Magnus Carlsen is the highest-rated chess player in history, and he’s only 22 years old.
As with all young prodigies, especially chess players, there’s a question hanging over “the Mozart of Chess” of whether he will burn out.
In his case, it doesn’t seem likely, thanks to the Norwegian’s apparently laid-back attitude and balanced lifestyle, including modelling, sponsorships, and chess coaching.
Still, he acknowledged the possibility when we interviewed him last year in New York.
“For me, it’s about playing as long as I’m motivated, as long as it’s fun, as long as it’s interesting. And as long as that happens, I’m going to continue playing. Whether that’s till I’m 30, till I’m 40, or 50 I don’t know. But as long as I feel I have something to give, as long as it’s fun, I’ll keep on going,” Carlsen said.
What would he do if he quit?
“I would probably start by studying something that interests me. But I don’t know what … Maybe if I didn’t have the talent in chess, I’d find the talent in something else,” he said.
Whatever he ends up doing, he’s going to devote himself to mastering it. With that attitude, it no wonder that he’s so successful.
In November, Carlsen will take on Viswanathan Anand for the World Chess Championship, the one title that has eluded him so far. He seems excited.
“It has been a while since I went into a game with losing as an option,” Carlsen told The Times of India last month.
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