|Birth Day:||November 30, 1990|
|Birth Place:||Tonsberg, Norway|
|Youtube Channel:||Magnus Carlsen|
|Height:||in centimeters - N/A|
|Weight:||in kg - N/A|
He could assemble jigsaw puzzles at age 2, and was taught chess at age of 5; by 13 he had become the world's youngest grandmaster.
Carlsen was born in Tønsberg, Norway, on 30 November 1990, to Sigrun Øen, a chemical engineer, and Henrik Albert Carlsen, an IT consultant. The family spent one year in Espoo, Finland, and then in Brussels, Belgium, before returning to Norway in 1998, where they lived in Lommedalen, Bærum. They later moved to Haslum. Carlsen showed an aptitude for intellectual challenges at a young age: at two years, he could solve 50-piece jigsaw puzzles; at four, he enjoyed assembling Lego sets with instructions intended for children aged 10–14.
Carlsen was coached at the Norwegian College of Elite Sport by the country's top player, Grandmaster (GM) Simen Agdestein, who in turn cites Norwegian football manager Egil "Drillo" Olsen as a key inspiration for his coaching strategy. In 2000, Agdestein introduced Carlsen to Torbjørn Ringdal Hansen, a former Norwegian junior champion and later International Master (IM) and Grandmaster (GM), as Ringdal served a one-year siviltjeneste (an alternative civilian service programme) at the college.
Over the course of this year, Carlsen's rating rose from 904 in June 2000, to 1907. Carlsen's breakthrough occurred in the Norwegian junior teams championship in September 2000, where Carlsen scored 3½/5 against the top junior players of the country, and a performance rating (PR) of about 2000. Apart from chess, which he studied about three to four hours a day, Carlsen's favourite pastimes included playing football and reading Donald Duck comics. Carlsen also practised skiing until the age of ten.
From autumn 2000 to the end of 2002, Carlsen played almost 300 rated tournament games, as well as several blitz tournaments, and participated in other minor events. In October 2002, he placed sixth in the European Under-12 Championship in Peñiscola. The following month, he tied for first place in the World Under-12 Championship in Heraklion, placing second to Ian Nepomniachtchi on tiebreak. After this, he obtained three IM norms in relatively quick succession; his first was at the January 2003 Gausdal Troll Masters (score 7/10, 2453 PR), the second was at the June 2003 Salongernas IM-tournament in Stockholm (6/9, 2470 PR), and the third and final IM norm was obtained at the July 2003 Politiken Cup in Copenhagen (8/11, 2503 PR). He was officially awarded the IM title on 20 August 2003.
Carlsen qualified for a place in the Corus B group due to his first-place finish in Corus group C in 2004. His shared first place with Alexander Motylev with 9/13 (+6−1=6) qualified him to play in the Corus group A in 2007.
Carlsen made headlines after his victory in the C group at the 2004 Corus chess tournament in Wijk aan Zee. Carlsen obtained a score of 10½/13, losing just one game (against the highest-rated player of the C group, Duško Pavasovič). As a result of the victory, he earned his first GM norm, and achieved a PR of 2702. Particularly notable was his win over Sipke Ernst in the penultimate round, when Carlsen sacrificed material to give mate in just 29 moves. Carlsen's victory in the C group qualified him to play in the B group in 2005, and it led Lubomir Kavalek, writing for the Washington Post, to give him the title "the Mozart of chess," although, as shown by Edward Winter, the nickname has been given to many illustrious predecessors. Agdestein said that Carlsen had an excellent memory and played an unusually wide range of openings. Carlsen's prowess caught the attention of Microsoft, which became his sponsor.
At the 2006 international 'Bosna' tournament in Sarajevo, Carlsen shared first place with Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu (who won on tiebreak evaluation) and Vladimir Malakhov; this could be regarded as Carlsen's first "A" elite tournament win, although it was not a clear first.
In the NH Chess Tournament held in Amsterdam in August, Carlsen participated in an "Experience" vs. "Rising Stars" Scheveningen team match. The "Rising Stars" won the match 28–22, with Carlsen achieving the best individual score for the Rising Stars team (6½/10) and a 2700 PR, thus winning the right to participate in the 2007 Melody Amber tournament.
Carlsen shared first place alongside Ivanchuk in the Amber blindfold and rapid tournament. Scoring 6½/11 in the blindfold and 8/11 in the rapid, Carlsen accumulated 14½ from a possible 22 points. In May it was revealed that Carlsen had helped Anand prepare for the World Chess Championship 2010 against challenger Veselin Topalov, which Anand won 6½–5½ to retain the title. Carlsen had also helped Anand prepare for the World Chess Championships in 2007 and 2008.
On 5 September 2008, after winning in round 4 of the Bilbao Masters, Carlsen, aged 17 years and 280 days old, briefly became No. 1 on the unofficial live ratings list. Carlsen's victory in the 2009 Nanjing Pearl tournament raised his FIDE rating to 2801, making him, aged 18 years and 336 days, the youngest player ever to surpass 2800 Elo. The youngest before Carlsen to achieve this feat was Vladimir Kramnik at the age of 25, and up until this point only Kasparov, Topalov, Kramnik, and Anand had achieved a 2800+ rating.
In early 2009 Carlsen engaged former World Champion Garry Kasparov as a personal trainer. In September their partnership was revealed to the public by Norwegian newspapers.
Responding to a question in an interview with Time magazine in December 2009 as to whether he used computers when studying chess, Carlsen explained that he does not use a chess set when studying on his own.
The Norwegian tabloid Verdens Gang (VG) has awarded Carlsen the "Name of the Year" (Årets navn) twice, in 2009 and 2013. VG also named him "Sportsman of the Year" in 2009. Carlsen has also won the Folkets Idrettspris, a people's choice award from the Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet, in 2009 and 2010.
His father, a keen amateur chess player, taught him to play chess at the age of 5, although he initially showed little interest in the game. He has three sisters, and in 2010 he stated that one of the things that first motivated him to take up chess seriously was the desire to beat his elder sister at the game.
Based on his average ranking from the July 2009 and January 2010 FIDE lists, Carlsen qualified for the Candidates Tournament that would determine the challenger to World Champion Viswanathan Anand in the World Chess Championship 2012. In November 2010, however, Carlsen announced he was withdrawing from the Candidates Tournament. Carlsen described the 2008–12 cycle as "[not] sufficiently modern and fair", and wrote that "Reigning champion privileges, the long (five-year) span of the cycle, changes made during the cycle resulting in a new format (Candidates) that no World Champion has had to go through since Kasparov, puzzling ranking criteria as well as the shallow ceaseless match-after-match concept are all less than satisfactory in my opinion."
Carlsen's next tournament was the Pearl Spring chess tournament on 19–30 October in Nanjing, China, against Anand, Topalov, Vugar Gashimov, Wang Yue, and Étienne Bacrot. This was the only tournament in 2010 to feature Anand, Carlsen and Topalov, at the time the top three players in the world, and was the first tournament in history to feature three players rated at least 2800. With early wins over Bacrot, Wang Yue, and Topalov with white, Carlsen took the early lead, extending his winning streak with white in Nanjing to eight. This streak was halted by a draw to Anand in round seven, but in the penultimate round Carlsen secured first place by defeating Topalov with black. This was his second victory in the tournament over the former world No. 1; his final score of 7/10 (with a PR of 2903) was a full point ahead of runner-up Anand.
The FIDE rankings in January 2010 recorded Carlsen's rating at 2810, which made him No. 1 rated player in the world. This meant that Carlsen became, at the age of 19 years and 32 days, the youngest ever world No. 1, as well as the first player from a Western nation to reach the top of the FIDE rankings since Bobby Fischer in 1971.
The March 2010 FIDE rankings showed Carlsen with a new peak rating of 2813, a figure that only Kasparov had bettered at that time. On the January 2013 FIDE rankings, Carlsen reached 2861, thus surpassing Garry Kasparov's 2851 record from July 1999. In the May 2014 rankings, Carlsen achieved an all-time high record of 2882, with a peak of 2889 on the live ratings list achieved on 21 April 2014. In August 2019 he equalled his peak FIDE rating of 2882.
In March it was announced that Carlsen had split from Kasparov and would no longer use him as a trainer, although this was put into different context by Carlsen himself in an interview with the German magazine Der Spiegel, in which he stated that they would remain in contact and he would continue to attend training sessions with Kasparov. In 2011, Carlsen said: "Thanks to [Kasparov] I began to understand a whole class of positions better. ... Kasparov gave me a great deal of practical help." In 2012, when asked what he learnt from working with Kasparov, Carlsen answered: "Complex positions. That was the most important thing."
In 2011, he was awarded the Peer Gynt Prize, a Norwegian prize awarded annually to "a person or institution that has achieved distinction in society".
Carlsen then went on to finish second in the Biel Grandmaster Tournament, with 18 points, just one point behind Wang Hao using the 3–1–0 scoring system. As in the Tal Memorial earlier in 2012, Carlsen managed to finish the tournament without any losses (+4−0=6). He also defeated the winner Wang in both of their individual games. In the exhibition blitz tournament at Biel before the GM tournament, Carlsen was eliminated (+1−2=0) in the first round by Étienne Bacrot. Bacrot deprived Carlsen of a win in the classical tournament by holding him to a draw in the final round. Carlsen would have won the classical tournament on the traditional 1–½–0 scoring system, with 7/10.
In a 2012 interview, Vladimir Kramnik stated that Carlsen's "excellent physical shape" was a contributing factor to his success against other top players as it prevents "psychological lapses", which enables him to maintain a high standard of play over long games and at the end of tournaments, when the energy levels of others have dropped. Levon Aronian said in 2015: "Magnus' main secret is his composure and the absence of any soul-searching after mistakes during a game." Tyler Cowen gave a point of view on Carlsen's playing style: "Carlsen is demonstrating one of his most feared qualities, namely his 'nettlesomeness,' to use a term coined for this purpose by Ken Regan, of the University at Buffalo. Using computer analysis, you can measure which players do the most to cause their opponents to make mistakes. Carlsen has the highest nettlesomeness score by this metric, because his creative moves pressure the other player and open up a lot of room for mistakes. In contrast, a player such as Kramnik plays a high percentage of very accurate moves, and of course he is very strong, but those moves are in some way calmer and they are less likely to induce mistakes in response."
Film director J. J. Abrams offered Carlsen a role in the movie Star Trek Into Darkness as "a chess player from the future", but Carlsen was unable to get a work permit in time for shooting. In 2012, Carlsen was featured in a 60 Minutes segment and appeared as a guest on The Colbert Report. He was also interviewed by Rainn Wilson for SoulPancake in 2013.
As of 2012, Carlsen is the only active chess professional with a full-time manager; Espen Agdestein, a FIDE Master and brother of Carlsen's former trainer Simen Agdestein, began working as an agent for Carlsen in late 2008. Agdestein's work consisted initially of finding sponsors and negotiating media contacts but, since 2011, he has taken over management tasks formerly performed by Carlsen's father Henrik. According to The New York Times, Carlsen earned US$1.2 million in 2012, the bulk of which was from sponsorships.
Carlsen played in the 2013 Candidates Tournament, which took place in London, from 15 March to 1 April. He finished with +5−2=7, and won the tournament on tiebreak over Vladimir Kramnik. As a result, he earned the right to challenge Anand for the World Championship.
In 2013, Time magazine named Carlsen one of the 100 most influential people in the world.
Garry Kasparov, who coached Carlsen from 2009 to 2010, said that Carlsen has a positional style similar to that of past world champions such as Anatoly Karpov, José Raúl Capablanca, and Vasily Smyslov, rather than the tactical style of Alexander Alekhine, Mikhail Tal, and Kasparov himself. In a 2013 interview, Peter Heine Nielsen said: "The days of big novelties are over, and that fits Magnus' style well." According to Carlsen, however, he does not have any preferences in playing style. Kasparov said in 2013 that "Carlsen is a combination of Karpov [and] Fischer. He gets his positions [and] then never lets go of that bulldog bite. Exhausting for opponents." Carlsen has also stated that he follows in the traditions of Karpov and Fischer, but additionally mentions Reuben Fine as a player who "was doing in chess similar to what I am doing".
In October 2013, Carlsen co-founded a company, Play Magnus AS. Based in Oslo, Norway, Play Magnus' first product was an iOS app, called Play Magnus, that allows the user to play a chess engine created using a database of thousands of Carlsen's recorded games from the age of five. The apps Magnus Trainer and Magnus Kingdom of Chess followed in 2016 and 2018, respectively. In March 2019, Play Magnus joined forces with Chess24.com. In September 2019, the group acquired Chessable, an interactive chess learning platform and marketplace. Carlsen's goal is to use Play Magnus and its group of chess companies as a platform to encourage more people to play chess.
In August 2013, Carlsen became an ambassador for Nordic Semiconductor, and in November was selected as one of the "sexiest men of 2013" by Cosmopolitan. In 2017, Carlsen made a special guest appearance on The Simpsons, in an episode where Homer's chess history is revealed.
Carlsen is an avid fan of football, with Real Madrid CF as his favourite club. In recognition of becoming world chess champion, he took the honorary kick-off in a La Liga game between Real Madrid and Real Valladolid on 30 November 2013. Carlsen also follows the Premier League and plays fantasy football. In December 2019, he reached the No. 1 spot on the Fantasy Premier League game, ahead of seven million other players.
Carlsen faced Anand in a match for the title of World Chess Champion in 2014. Anand qualified by winning the 2014 Candidates Tournament. The rematch was held from 7 to 23 November in Sochi, Russia. After 11 of 12 games, Carlsen led 6½–4½, thereby defending his World Champion title.
In June, he won the seventh edition of Norway Chess. Scoring 13½/18, he finished three points ahead of his nearest competitors. From 26 June to 7 July, Carlsen participated in the second leg of the 2019 Grand Chess Tour, held in Zagreb. He took clear first with 8/11 (+5−0=6), and improved his rating to 2882, equalling his peak set in 2014. This was Carlsen's eighth consecutive tournament victory.
Carlsen modelled for G-Star Raw's Fall/Winter 2010 advertising campaign along with American actress Liv Tyler. The campaign was shot by Dutch film director and photographer Anton Corbijn. The campaign was coordinated with the RAW World Chess Challenge in New York, an event in which Carlsen played an online team of global chess players, who voted on moves suggested by Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Hikaru Nakamura and Judit Polgár. Carlsen, playing white, won in 43 moves. In February 2014, he appeared in G-Star Raw's Spring/Summer 2014 campaign along with actress and model Lily Cole.
From 22 August to 3 September, Carlsen played in the 2015 Sinquefield Cup. He finished in second place with 5/9 (+3−2=4), one point behind winner Levon Aronian. He defeated the 2014 Sinquefield winner Fabiano Caruana, as well as Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and wild-card Wesley So, but lost to Veselin Topalov and Alexander Grischuk.
Carlsen had an aggressive style of play as a youth, and, according to Simen Agdestein, his play was characterised by "a fearless readiness to offer material for activity". As he matured, Carlsen found that this risky playing style was not as well suited against the elite of the chess world. When he started playing in top tournaments, he had trouble getting much out of the opening. To progress, Carlsen's style became more universal, capable of handling all sorts of positions well. He opens with both 1.d4 and 1.e4, as well as 1.c4, and, on occasion, 1.Nf3, thus making it harder for opponents to prepare against him and reducing the effect of computer analysis. He said in 2015 that the middlegame is his favourite part of the game as it comes down to "pure chess". In a 2016 interview, Anish Giri said: "Magnus and I are very close in terms of style, but in our approach to the game we're total opposites. Magnus tries to put the accent only on play, getting away from preparation, but for me preparation plays an enormous role."
Carlsen faced Sergey Karjakin in the 2016 World Chess Championship in New York City. The 12-game standard match, held between 11 and 28 November, concluded with a 6–6 draw. The match began with seven consecutive draws. Karjakin won game 8 after Carlsen overpressed, but Carlsen equalised the match in game 10. Games 11 and 12 were both drawn. The tiebreaking games were held on 30 November, Carlsen's 26th birthday. After drawing games 1 and 2, Carlsen won games 3 and 4 to record a 3–1 victory and retain his World Champion title.
Anand said of Carlsen in 2012: "Magnus has an incredible innate sense. ... The majority of ideas occur to him absolutely naturally. He's also very flexible, he knows all the structures and he can play almost any position." He also compared Carlsen to Boris Spassky in his prime, and stated that "Magnus can literally do almost everything." Kasparov expressed similar sentiments: "[Carlsen] has the ability to correctly evaluate any position, which only Karpov could boast of before him." When asked in a 2016 interview whether Carlsen's style resembles his own, Karpov answered: "It is quite possible. He grew up when I was in power, and perhaps he studied my games. He can convert a minimal advantage into a real one."
As of 2016, Carlsen identifies as a social democrat and mostly follows a vegetarian diet, as two of his sisters are vegetarians.
From 9 to 14 November, Carlsen faced Ding Liren in the 2017 Champions Showdown, a match consisting of 10 rapid and 20 blitz games, hosted by the Saint Louis Chess Club. Carlsen won, scoring 22–8 (+16−2=12).
From 1 to 11 December, Carlsen competed in the 2017 London Chess Classic, the final event of the 2017 Grand Chess Tour. He finished fifth, scoring 5/9 (+2−1=6). Caruana shared first place with Nepomniachtchi on 6/9 (+3−0=6) and won the tournament after defeating Nepomniachtchi 2½–1½ in the blitz tiebreak. Carlsen's placing awarded him 7 additional points in the Grand Chess Tour standings, which was enough to crown him the 2017 Grand Chess Tour champion.
From 26 to 30 December, Carlsen played in the 2017 World Rapid and World Blitz Chess Championships, held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. He finished fifth in the rapid event, scoring 10/15 (+8−3=4). Anand shared first place with Vladimir Fedoseev on 10½/15, and won the tournament after defeating Fedoseev on tiebreak. Carlsen won the blitz event, scoring 16/21 (+13−2=6), one and a half points ahead of his nearest competitors, Karjakin and Anand. This was Carlsen's third World Blitz Chess Championship victory.
From October 2017 to January 2018, Carlsen played in the second edition of Chess.com's Speed Chess Championship. He defeated Gadir Guseinov, So and Grischuk in the first three rounds 20½–5½, 27½–9½ and 15½–10½, respectively. On 3 January he defeated Nakamura 18–9 in the final, thus winning the tournament for a second time in a row.
In September, he took part in the Chess World Cup 2017. His participation in the event as World Champion was unusual as the World Cup is part of the cycle to challenge the World Champion in 2018. He defeated Oluwafemi Balogun +2−0=0 in the first round to advance to the second round, where he defeated Aleksey Dreev +2−0=0. He was then defeated in the third round by Bu Xiangzhi +0−1=1 and eliminated from the tournament.
From 26 to 30 December, Carlsen played in the 2018 World Rapid and World Blitz Chess Championships, held in Saint Petersburg, Russia. He lost three of his first eight games—including both of the first two—to significantly lower-rated opponents in the rapid event. Despite a strong recovery, he was unable to attain a medal, placing fifth with 10½/15 (+9−3=3). He defended his blitz title, going unbeaten to finish clear first on a score of 17/21 (+13−0=8).
Carlsen faced Fabiano Caruana in the 2018 World Chess Championship in London. The 12-game match, organised by FIDE, was played between 9 and 28 November. All 12 classical time control games were drawn. Carlsen retained his title by defeating Caruana 3–0 in rapid tiebreak games. Carlsen cited the first rapid game as "critical", and said he felt "very calm" after winning it.
From 26 December to 28 December, Carlsen participated in the 2019 World Rapid Chess Championship which he won with a score of 11½/15 (+8-0=7) including no losses to reclaim the title that he lost in 2016. Over the next two days, from 29 December to 30 December he took part in the 2019 World Blitz Chess Championship. He won after defeating Hikaru Nakamura in a tiebreak match, drawing the first game with black and winning the second game with the white pieces. His overall score in the tournament was 16½/21 (+13-1=7).
From 10 to 26 January, Carlsen competed in the 82nd Tata Steel Chess Tournament. He finished in second place with a score of 8/13 (+3−0=10), two points behind the winner Caruana. During the tournament, Carlsen surpassed Sergei Tiviakov's unbeaten streak in classical chess of 110 games. His last loss was on 10 Oct. 2020, when he lost a game in Norway Chess against Jan-Krzysztof Duda. This loss came after a 125-game unbeaten streak that took place over the course of 2 years and 10 days.
In 2020, Carlsen announced that he had signed a two-year sponsorship deal with gambling company Unibet to act as a "global ambassador". Unibet parent company Kindred Group is also a sponsor of Offerspill Chess Club. Offerspill was founded by Carlsen in 2019 after the Norwegian Chess Federation turned down Kindred's sponsorship offer. It is now Norway's largest chess club; Carlsen is its current chairman.
Magnus's father taught him the basics of the game, including various chess positions, and then became his manager.
Currently, Magnus Carlsen is 32 years, 3 months and 26 days old. Magnus Carlsen will celebrate 33rd birthday on a Thursday 30th of November 2023. Below we countdown to Magnus Carlsen upcoming birthday.
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