Facts about Magnus Carlsen

Magnus Carlsen is 33 years old
Birthplace: Tønsberg, Norway
Best known as: Four-time winner of the World Chess Championship


Magnus Carlsen Biography

Name at birth: Svn Magnus Oen Carlsen

Magnus Carlsen is the Norwegian chess player who became chess’s World Champion in 2013, just days shy of his 23rd birthday. He has successfully defended his title three times, in 2014, 2016 and 2018.

Largely self-taught, Magnus Carlsen began playing competitive chess in 2000, and by 2004 he was a 13-year-old baby-faced Grandmaster. He quit school to play chess and, a month after his 19th birthday, Carlsen was ranked number one in the world — the youngest ever to attain the ranking. Known for a casual style paired with an incredible memory, Carlsen also became a celebrity outside the world of chess, thanks to endorsement deals that included modeling for the G-Star fashion line.

In November of 2013, Magnus Carlsen defeated India’s Viswanathan Anand to become World Champion. Carlsen defended his title in 2014 (defeating Anand again, by 6 1/2 to 4 1/2 games), in 2016 (defeating Russian Sergey Karjakin by a 3-1 tiebreaker after a 6-6 tie), and in 2018 defeating American Fabiano Caruana by a 3-0 tiebreaker after a 6-6 tie).

Carlsen continued to be the dominant player the rest of the decade. He only ceased to be the world champion in 2023, a year after a cheating controversy involving player Hans Niemann dominated chess news.

In August of 2022 Niemann beat Carlsen in a tournament, and comments made by Carlsen after the match were interpreted as an accusation against Niemann for cheating. Then Chess.com investigated Niemann’s online game history and concluded he had cheated in many online games; Niemann admitted he had cheated in online games, but denied cheating againt Carlsen.

Carlsen outright accused Niemann of cheating a month later and Niemann sued. The case was settled out of court in 2023.

Carlsen publicly expressed his boredom with classical chess in its current state, favoring other variations such as speed chess.


Extra credit

Magnus Carlsen appeared in a 2017 episode of The Simpsons, in which Homer Simpson is revealed to have a secret history as a chess prodigy.


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