Magnus Carlsen (born 1990) became the World Chess Champion in 2013 by defeating Viswanathan Anand. At the time of writing (in 2021) he is still the reigning champion.
Carlsen is also the current World Rapid Chess Champion and World Blitz Chess Champion, and reached the top of the FIDE world ranking list in 2010. Despite still being fairly young, he has spent more time as the highest rated player in the world than anyone else except Garry Kasparov.
Carlsen´s peak classical rating of 2882 is the highest rating attained by any chess player so far.
Carlsen also hold the record for longest unbeaten run in classical chess, with a streak of 125 games in a row that ended either in victory (42 games) or draw (83 games). This streak started on July 31, 2018 when Carlsen played against Shakhriyar Mamedyarov in the Biel tournament, and was ended when Carlsen lost against Jan-Krzysztof Duda on October 10, 2020, in the Altibox Norway Chess Tournament. Personally, Carlsen prefers not to count three of the wins, as they were against opponents rated more than 500 Elo points below him.
Magnus Carlsen was born in Tønsberg, Norway, in 1990. His mother Sigur Øen is a chemical engineer and his father Henrik Carlsen is an IT consultant. He has three sisters. During his childhood, Carlsen lived with his family in both Finland and Belgium before they returned to Norway in 1998.
Carlsen liked jigsaw puzzles and Lego during when he was a small child, often solving puzzles and assembling Lego sets intended for much older children. His father taught him to play chess at the age of 5, but it took some time for Carlsen to develop a fondness for the game. Eventually, he began playing chess with himself for hours, moving the pieces around and searching for combinations.
Carlsen played his first chess tournament at the age of 8 years and 7 months. It was the youngest division of the 1999 Norwegian Chess Championship and he scored 6 ½ / 11.
At the Norwegian College of Elite Sport, Carlsen received chess training from Grandmaster Simen Agdestein.
Carlsen earned the title of grandmaster at the age of 13.
Examples of achievements
– Winning the Norwegian Chess Championship at the age of 15.
– Finishing joint first in the top group of Corus at the age of 17.
– Reaching the top spot at the FIDE rankings at the age of 19, breaking the age record for this achievement.
– Winning the 2013 World Chess Championship. (And successfully defending that title for many years.)
– Winning the 2014 World Rapid Championship and the World Blitz Championship, thus becoming the first ever person to hold all three championship titles simultaneously.
As a teenager, Carlsen was renowned for this attacking style of play.
When he had reached a point where he was allowed to compete against very skilled and experienced top-level players, he noticed that this attack-style was less useful against them and therefore focused more on developing additional tactics.
He has stated that middlegame is his favourite part of the game.
The Magnus Carlsen Invitational
When most of the offline tournaments were cancelled due to the Covid19 pandemic, Carlsen organized the Magnus Carlsen Invitational tournament online, in collaboration with Chess24.
The inaugural event took place in 18 April – 3 May 2020, with eight players competing in a rapid tournament online. After a single round-robin, the top four players advanced to the play-offs. Carlsen won the event by defeating Hikaru Nakamura 2 ½ – 1 ½ in the final. The event, marketed as ”the first professional online chess tournament” had a 250 000 USD prize fund.