Magnus Carlsen Wiki, Height, Age, Wife, Girlfriend, Family, Biography & More

Magnus Carlsen

Magnus Carlsen, a Norwegian chess prodigy, is the youngest player ever to achieve the top spot in the FIDE world rankings. He holds the title of Chess World Cup Champion. He has won the World Chess Championship five times, the World Rapid Chess Championship four times, and the World Blitz Chess Championship six times. He also holds the record for the longest undefeated streak among elite-level classical chess players. Carlsen is known for his strategic game plan that includes his diverse range of opening moves, making it challenging for his opponents to predict and prepare against him.


Sven Magnus Øen Carlsen [1]Chessgames was born on Friday, 30 November 1990 (age 33 years; as of 2023) in Tønsberg, Norway. Later, the family resided in Espoo, Finland, for a year before relocating to Brussels, Belgium. By 1998, they returned to Norway, where they stayed in Lommedalen, Bærum, and later moved to Haslum. Carlsen attended the Norwegian College of Elite Sport in Bærum, Norway. [2]The Sunday Morning Herald He never attended university. [3]Financial Times As per Carlsen, at around five and a half or six years old, his father introduced him and his older sister, Ellen, to the rules of chess. Unlike Ellen, Carlsen didn’t initially display much enthusiasm for the game and quickly lost interest. According to Carlsen, his interest in chess began to grow when he reached the age of eight. Talking about his initial interest in the game, Carlsen says,

I took a board and recapitulated games for myself which my father showed me at the time. Why was this or that move made? I discovered the secrets of the game for myself. It was fascinating. Then, after a few months, I also read books about openings.”

After finishing his primary schooling, Carlsen took a break from his studies for one year to engage in international chess competitions across Europe in the fall of 2003 during which he achieved a shared third position in the European Under-14 Championship. He secured ninth place in the 2003 World Under-14 Championship. During this break, Carlsen’s father stepped away from his managerial role at Exxon and led the family on a 10,000-kilometer road journey across Europe to expand the children’s perspectives. Carlsen, who had little interest in studies, found great pleasure in the trip. In an interview, Carlsen talked about this trip and said,

They travelled around the world with me and my sisters, and on the way they taught us. That was fantastic, much more effective than sitting in school. I didn’t miss school at all.” [4]ChessBase

Magnus Carlsen (centre) with his parents and sisters

Magnus Carlsen (centre) with his parents and sisters

Physical Appearance

Height (approx.): 5′ 10″

Weight (approx.): 70 Kg

Eye Colour: Hazel Brown

Hair Colour: Light Ash Brown

Body Measurements (approx.): Chest: 40″, Waist: 32″, Biceps: 14″

Magnus Carlsen posing for a photo shoot


Parents & Siblings

His father, Henrik Albert Carlsen, worked in the oil industry for many years and then as a consultant for SAP before becoming a full-time manager of Carlsen. [5]ChessBase His mother, Sigrun Carlsen, has worked as a chemical engineer. In an interview, his father talked about why he gave up his work to accompany Magnus to tournaments. Henrik said,

I managed to combine it well. I was a part-time consultant and I would go to tournaments with Magnus. And this was quite a nice situation because frankly I like going to tournaments with Magnus, more than I like my job! This is because I am passionate about chess and when I have a son who is strong in addition to that passion, it is just an ideal situation to be in.”

Carlsen has three sisters, one elder sister named Ellen, and two younger sisters named Ingrid and Signe. According to Carlsen, the reason he pursued the game was the desire to defeat his elder sister, Ellen, in the game. He says,

I saw Ellen, my sister, playing. I think I wanted to beat her at it.” [6]ChessBase

After Carlsen defeated his sister Ellen in a game of chess, she didn’t play the game for four years. [7]The New York Times

Magnus Carlsen (3rd from right) with his parents and sisters

Magnus Carlsen (3rd from right) with his parents and sisters


Carlsen is unmarried.


Magnus Carlsen's signature


Amateur Chess

In 1999, at the age of 8 years and 7 months, Carlsen took part in his first competition, the Norwegian Chess Championship, scoring 6 out of 11. Throughout his early years as an amateur, he participated in nearly 300 rated tournament matches from the fall of 2000 to the end of 2002. This included various blitz competitions and other minor events. In June 2000, his rating increased significantly from 904 to 1907. By September 2000, he achieved a score of 3½/5 against the nation’s leading junior players, resulting in a tournament performance rating (TPR) of approximately 2000.

Magnus Carlsen at the Under 12 Youth World Championship in Crete in 2002

Magnus Carlsen at the Under 12 Youth World Championship in Crete in 2002

Master Norms

IM Norms

Carlsen secured his first IM norm during the Gausdal Troll Masters in January 2003, scoring 7/10. His second IM norm came in June 2003 at the Salongernas IM-tournament in Stockholm with a score of 6/9. The third and last IM norm came in July 2003 at Politiken Cup in Copenhagen, where he scored 8/11. The official IM title was awarded to him on 20 August 2003.

GM Norms

In 2004, Carlsen gained significant global recognition by claiming victory in Corus C with a score of 10.5/13. This achievement not only marked his first grandmaster norm but also guaranteed his participation in the Corus B event in 2005. Following this, Carlsen achieved his second grandmaster norm during the Aeroflot Open (2004) held in February. He secured his third grandmaster norm at the sixth Dubai Open (2004) held in April and became the second youngest Grandmaster in history after Sergey Karjakin, who achieved the title at the age of 12 years and 7 months. [8]ChessBase

World Championships

Anand – Carlsen World Championship Match (2013)

In November 2013, Carlsen won over India’s Viswanathan Anand in the World Chess Championship held in Chennai. The initial four games ended in a tie, followed by Carlsen winning the fifth and sixth games. Games seven and eight resulted in draws. Carlsen later won the ninth game and drew the tenth and final game, ultimately claiming victory with a score of 6.5-3.5 (+3 =7).

Magnus Carlsen and Viswanathan Anand in the World Chess Championship held in Chennai in 2013

Magnus Carlsen and Viswanathan Anand in the World Chess Championship held in Chennai in 2013

World Championship Defense 2014

In 2014, Carlsen successfully retained his title as the World Chess Champion by defeating Anand with a score of 6½–4½ points.

World Championship Defense 2016

In the 2016 World Chess Championship held in New York City, Carlsen retained his title as the World Champion by achieving a 3–1 win against Sergey Karjakin.

Magnus Carlsen and Sergey Karjakin at the 2016 World Chess Championship

Magnus Carlsen and Sergey Karjakin at the 2016 World Chess Championship

World Championship Defense 2018

In the 2018 World Chess Championship in London, Carlsen registered a 3-0 win against Fabiano Caruana in rapid tiebreak matches, successfully defending his World Champion title. [9]The Guardian

Magnus Carlsen and Fabiano Caruana at the 2018 World Chess Championship

Magnus Carlsen and Fabiano Caruana at the 2018 World Chess Championship

World Championship Defense 2021

In the 2021 World Chess Championship, he won against challenger Ian Nepomniachtchi, retaining his world champion title.

Magnus Carlsen and Ian Nepomniachtchi at the 2021 World Chess Championship

Magnus Carlsen and Ian Nepomniachtchi at the 2021 World Chess Championship


On 20 July 2022, which marked International Chess Day, Carlsen declared his decision to not defend his title in the 2023 World Championship. In April 2023, Nepomniachtchi and Ding Liren, the runner-up in the Candidates tournament, competed in the Nepomniachtchi – Ding World Championship Match (2023). On 30 April 2023, Ding won the title as the 17th world champion after he defeated Nepomniachtchi, ending Carlsen’s reign. [10]

Other Notable Games and Tournaments

In June 2004, Carlsen made history as the youngest competitor to participate in the FIDE World Chess Championship, which took place in Tripoli. However, Levon Aronian, an American Chess Grandmaster, eliminated him from the tournament during the first round. [11]ChessBase A few weeks following his elimination from the FIDE World Championship Knockout Tournament in 2004, Carlsen shared first place in the 2004 Norwegian Championship. However, despite drawing in a two-game play-off match with Berge Ostenstad, a six-time Norwegian champion until then, Østenstad was declared the winner due to tiebreak rules.

Carlsen giving a simultaneous exhibition in 2004

Carlsen giving a simultaneous exhibition in 2004

In the 2005 Norwegian Chess Championship, Carlsen once again ended up in a tied first place, this time alongside his mentor Simen Agdestein. Agdestein won the championship in a rapid game playoff with a score of 3.5-2.5 (+2 -1 =3).

Magnus Carlsen and Simen Agdestein at the 2005 Norwegian Chess Championship

Magnus Carlsen and Simen Agdestein at the 2005 Norwegian Chess Championship

Carlsen’s sole appearance in the continental championship resulted in a notable improvement of 22 points in his rating when he achieved a score of 8/13 in the European Championship in 2005. In December 2005, he secured tenth position in the Chess World Cup held in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia, becoming the youngest player to become an official Candidate for the World Championship. [12]ChessBase In September 2006, Carlsen won the Norwegian Championship title after defeating Simen Agdestein in a tie-break match. [13]ChessBase In the 2006 ‘Bosna’ tournament held in Sarajevo, Carlsen tied for the top spot with Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu and Vladimir Malakhov. While it wasn’t a clear win, this achievement is considered Carlsen’s first elite “A” level tournament win. [14]ChessBase In the 2007 Arctic Chess Challenge held in Tromsø in August, Carlsen defeated his father, Henrik Carlsen. [15]ChessBase

Magnus Carlsen defeated his father, Henrik Carlsen, in the 2007 Arctic Chess Challenge

Magnus Carlsen defeated his father, Henrik Carlsen, in the 2007 Arctic Chess Challenge

In October 2009, Jeff Sonas, a chess statistician, praised Carlsen for his exceptional score of 8.0/10 at the Pearl Spring tournament. Jeff found this performance as the best performance of any kind by a teenager. [16]ChessBase In the rapid chess tournament called Arctic Securities Chess Stars, Carlsen defeated Viswanathan Anand in August 2010. [17]ChessBase In December 2012, Carlsen won the London Chess Classic, increasing his rating from 2848 to 2861, and breaking Kasparov’s 13-year record of 2851. [18]The Week in Chess He won the fourth edition of the Norway Chess Tournament in April 2016, marking his first win in the Norway Chess competition. [19]ChessBase In October 2016, Carlsen won the Grandmaster Blitz Battle Championship by triumphing over Nakamura with a score of 14½ to 10½ points in a three-hour blitz battle, becoming the first winner of the tournament. [20]ChessBase He became the winner of the Leuven leg of the Grand Chess Tour held in July 2017, with an impressive total score of 25½ out of 36 in the blitz section, increasing his performance rating to 3018. According to Garry Kasparov, this was a “phenomenal” performance. Leonard William Barden, an accomplished chess master and journalist from England, equalled Carlsen’s achievement and Fischer’s outstanding 19 out of 22 score during the 1970 World Blitz Championship. [21]The Guardian

Magnus Carlsen (left) won the Leuven leg of the Grand Chess Tour held in July 2017

Magnus Carlsen (left) won the Leuven leg of the Grand Chess Tour held in July 2017

During the Covid-19 pandemic, Carlsen teamed up with Chess24 to organise the Magnus Carlsen Invitational, which was considered the first professional online chess tournament. In the tournament’s final, Carlsen won by securing a 2½–1½ over Hikaru Nakamura, claiming the championship title. [22] In the 83rd Tata Steel Chess Tournament held in January 2021, Carlsen was defeated by Andrey Esipenko, a young Russian grandmaster. This was the first time, since 2011, that a teenager had managed to overcome Carlsen. [23]The Week in Chess


Carlsen v Niemann: Chess Cheating Scandal

During the 2022 Sinquefield Cup, Carlsen levelled allegations of cheating against Hans Niemann, an American chess grandmaster. Following a loss to Niemann during their third-round match, Carlsen withdrew from the tournament. This incident led to a significant controversy in the history of chess after Carlsen resigned from their next online tournament, alleging serious cheating. In an interview following the fifth round of the Sinquefield Cup, Niemann admitted to past instances of online chess cheating but clarified that he did not cheat against Carlsen or in any over-the-board game. However, Carlsen didn’t accept Niemann’s explanation and maintained his accusations of cheating against Niemann; Carlsen also said that he would not play chess matches with Niemann in the future. On 20 October 2022, Niemann filed a lawsuit against Carlsen, Play Magnus Group,,’s Chief Chess Officer Daniel Rensch, and grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura, alleging defamation and unlawful collusion. However, the lawsuit was dismissed on 27 June 2023. On 28 August 2023, announced the resolution of the lawsuit, and Carlsen showed his willingness to compete against Niemann if paired in the future. [24]The Guardian

Awards, Honours, Achievements

  • From 2009 to 2013, he received Chess Oscars organised by the Russian chess magazine 64.

    Magnus Carlsen was awarded the Chess Oscar in 2010

    Magnus Carlsen was awarded the Chess Oscar in 2010

  • He earned “Name of the Year” twice, in 2009, and 2013, given by the Norwegian tabloid Verdens Gang (VG).
  • In 2009, he received the “Sportsman of the Year” award given by Verdens Gang (VG).
  • In 2011, he received the Peer Gynt Prize, a Norwegian prize awarded annually to “a person or institution that has achieved distinction in society.”
  • In 2013, Time magazine listed him on the list of “100 most influential people in the world.” [25]Time

Net Worth

Some sources claim his net worth to be around $50 million; he earns mostly from tournament prizes, YouTube channels, and other endorsements.


  • Comics: Donald Duck
  • Sports: Football, Squash, Basketball
  • Sports Club: Real Madrid
  • Basketball Team: Boston Celtics


  • Before turning nine years old, Carlsen won over his father in a lightning chess match; this was the first time Carlsen defeated his father. [26]ChessBase
  • While studying at the Norwegian College of Elite Sport, Grandmaster (GM) Simen Agdestein became his mentor, who introduced him to Torbjørn Ringdal Hansen, a former Norwegian junior champion, in 2000. Ringdal later earned International Master (IM) and Grandmaster (GM) norms.
  • Agdestein once explained Carlsen’s remarkable memory and said that at the age of five, Carlsen had memorized details such as the locations, populations, flags, and capitals of almost every country. Agdestein also said that Carlsen could recall information about the locations, populations, coats-of-arms, and administrative centers of “almost all” of Norway’s 356 municipalities. [27]Financial Times Reportedly, by the age of two, Carlsen could recite the names of all car brands. [28]The Sunday Morning Herald
  • In 2004, after he won the Corus chess tournament in Wijk aan Zee, Microsoft started sponsoring Carlsen.

    Magnus Carlsen at the Corus chess tournament in Wijk aan Zee in 2004

    Magnus Carlsen at the Corus chess tournament in Wijk aan Zee in 2004

  • After his qualification for the B group in 2005, an article featured in The Washington Post referred to him as “the Mozart of chess.” [29]Chess Notes by Edward Winter
  • In 2009, Garry Kasparov started training Carlsen. Their partnership was disclosed by Norwegian newspapers in September 2009. However, in March 2009, it was reported that Carlsen had ended his collaboration with Kasparov, ending their regular training sessions. In an interview in 2011, while talking about Kasparov’s mentorship, Carlsen said,

    Thanks to Kasparov. I began to understand a whole class of positions better. … Kasparov gave me a great deal of practical help.”

    Magnus Carlsen with Garry Kasparov (left)

    Magnus Carlsen with Garry Kasparov (left)

  • When Viswanathan Anand won the 2010 World Chess Championship, reports indicated that Carlsen had assisted Anand in his preparation for the championship. It was also reported that Carlsen had aided Anand in preparing for the World Chess Championships in both 2007 and 2008. [30]ChessBase
  • Following a string of setbacks in October 2010, Carlsen’s engagements outside chess, like his modeling work for G-Star Raw, were blamed for his underperformance. However, for Carlsen, there’s no direct link between the two. [31]VG
  • In July 2022, Carlsen said that participating in chess tournaments excites him more than participating in championship events.
  • As per Espen Agdestein, Carlsen’s manager, despite being wealthy, Carlsen leads a modest lifestyle. Espen says,

    He has never bought an expensive thing in his life.” [32]Financial Times

  • Russian Grandmaster Garry Kasparov once talked about Carlsen’s game plan and said that Carlsen focuses on gathering small advantages rather than employing aggressive and flashy moves. This strategy makes his opponents feel like their chances are slowly fading away in a methodical and suffocating manner. Judit Polgar, one of the greatest chess players of all time, once called Carlsen’s technique “merciless.” Judit said,

    When I played him, it felt like I was drowning.” [33]Financial Times

  • In an interview in 2012, when he was asked the reason behind his impressive game plan, Carlsen replied,

    I don’t know …the game somehow comes naturally.” [34]Financial Times
    Magnus Carlsen losing Reaction - World Blitz Chess Champion 2015 animated  gif

  • In an interview, Carlsen revealed that whenever he feels low before a game, he turns to a song by Lil Jon. [35]ChessBase
  • In 2010, Carlsen participated in a modeling campaign for G-Star RAW, a Dutch fashion label, alongside Liv Tyler, an American actress. In the Spring/Summer 2014 campaign for the brand, he was featured alongside Lily Cole, an actress and model.

    Magnus Carlsen and American actress Liv Tyler modelled for G-Star RAW in 2010

    Magnus Carlsen and American actress Liv Tyler modelled for G-Star RAW in 2010

  • Film director J. J. Abrams wanted Carlsen to play the role of “a futuristic chess player” in the film Star Trek Into Darkness, but Carlsen couldn’t commit to filming due to the unavailability of a work permit.
  • Carlsen appeared on the renowned 60 Minutes program on CBS in February 2012.
  • In April 2012, Carlsen made an appearance on The Colbert Report, an American late-night talk show and news satire hosted by Stephen Colbert.
  • In February 2013, Rainn Wilson, an American actor and podcaster, had an interview with Carlsen for SoulPancake.
  • In August 2013, Nordic Semiconductor, a Norwegian technology company, that specializes in fabless operations, appointed Carlsen as its ambassador.
  • The American quarterly fashion and entertainment magazine Cosmopolitan named Carlsen as one of the “sexiest men of 2013.”
  • On 30 November 2013, after winning the title of world champion, Carlsen was invited to kick-off a La Liga match between Real Madrid and Real Valladolid. Being an enthusiastic football supporter, and Real Madrid being his favourite team, Carlsen closely tracks the Premier League and often plays fantasy football, and he secured the top position in a Fantasy Premier League contest in December 2019, surpassing seven million other participants.
  • In 2017, he portrayed his own character in the episode titled “The Cad and the Hat” of The Simpsons, an American animated sitcom.

    Magnus Carlsen's Instagram post, announcing his appearance in The Simpsons

    Magnus Carlsen’s Instagram post, announcing his appearance in The Simpsons

  • In October 2013, Carlsen co-founded Play Magnus AS in Oslo, Norway, alongside Espen Agdestein and Anders Brandt. The primary aim was to promote increased engagement in chess among individuals. [36]The Telegraph In March 2019, Play Magnus AS merged with, an online chess server. In October 2020, Play Magnus Group became a listed entity on the Oslo Stock Exchange.
  • In 2020, Carlsen partnered with the gambling company Unibet, becoming its “global ambassador” for an initial two-year period. In April 2022, the collaboration was extended for an additional two years.
  • In December 2022, Carlsen joined as its brand ambassador, following’s acquisition of Play Magnus Group, which included this collaboration. [37]
  • In April 2022, Carlsen secured the 25th position among 1050 poker players in the Norwegian Championships Main Event.
  • In his leisure time, Carlsen likes hiking, skiing, and playing football and squash.
  • Carlsen follows a vegetarian diet that consists of “superfood” smoothies, salads, and stir fry. [38]Forbes

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