Magnus Carlsen: Career, Achievements & Net Worth

Life is like a game of chess; you don’t want to waste a move. Speaking of chess, Magnus Carlsen is a name mentioned whenever chess comes as a topic of discussion.

Sven Magnus Øen Carlsen, known as Magnus Carlsen, is the current World Chess Champion.

He is also World Rapid Chess Champion and became the youngest to reach number one in the FIDE world rankings.

Magnus Carlsen was born on 30 November 1990 in Tønsberg, Norway. Moreover, Carlsen learned chess when he was five years old.

Smiling Magnus Carlsen in blue t-shirt
Smiling Magnus Carlsen in a blue t-shirt (Source:

He participated in his first competition when he was eight years old and won his first competition in the Netherlands in 2004.

The domination shown by such a young chess prodigy led to people realizing his immense potential, and an American chess player Kavalek even called him “Mozart of chess.”

We will dive further into the life of this extraordinary chess player in this article.

Quick Facts

These are some quick facts about Magnus Carlsen:

Full Name Sven Magnus Øen Carlsen
Date of Birth 30 November 1990
Place of Birth Tønsberg, Norway
Nationality Norwegian
Ethnicity Caucasian
Religion Christian
Hobbies Football, Tennis
Zodiac Sign Sagittarius
Chinese Zodiac Horse
Food Habit Vegetarian
Education High school dropout
Age 33years old
Hair and eye color Brown hair and Brown eyes
Height 5 feet 7 inches (170cm)
Weight 68 kg
Marital Status Unmarried
Spouse Unknown
Father’s Name Henrik Albert Carlsen
Mother’s Name Sigrun Øen
Siblings Ingrid Carlsen, Ellen Øen Carlsen and Signe Carlsen
Body Type Athletic
Social Media Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Youtube
Net Worth $8 million
Active Years 2003- present
Profession Chess Player
Title Grandmaster (2004)
World Chess Federation rating 2855
Peak rating 2882
Ranking 1
Honors Chess Oscars (2009-2013), Name of the Year (2009 and 2013), Fokkets Idrettspris (2009 and 2010), Peer Gynt Prize (2011), and 100 most influential people in the world (2013)
Merch Magnus, Magnus Carlsen: 6o memorable Games
Last Update April, 2024

Magnus Carlsen: Early Life and Family

Magnus Carlsen, born in 1990 in Tønsberg, Norway, was the first son of father Henrik Albert Carlsen and mother Sigrun Øen, who were both engineers.

Among siblings he has three sisters: Ingrid Carlsen, Ellen Øen Carlsen, and Signe Carlsen.

Carlsen went to a local school for his primary education and was also coached at the Norwegian College of Elite Sprot by the top Grandmaster of the country.

Carlsen was gifted and could solve jigsaw puzzles quickly. He also could name all the countries with their capital and their population when he was young.                                   

Magnus Carlsen with his family
Carlsen family (Source:

Magnus showed a lot of intellectual prowess at such a young edge. The desire to beat his older sister in a chess game made him work hard and learn a lot of strategies.

He also read a lot of books, the first chess book he read was Find the Plan by Bent Larsen, and then he went on to develop his chess skills by playing by himself for hours.

Early Chess Career

Carlsen took part in his first-ever chess tournament at the age of eight. He won his first tournament in the Netherlands in 2004.

His ratings were skyrocketing even at such a young age. He dominated the tournament, and an American chess player Kavalek called him “Mozart of Chess.”

Magnus finished sixth in the European Under-12 Championship, Spain.

Later on, in the same year, he tied for first place in World Under-12 Championship, coming second to Nepomniachtchi.

Carlsen during his early chess career
Early Chess career (Source:

He was awarded the IM title in 2003. After completing his primary school, Carlsen took a year off to participate in international chess tournaments in Europe.

Later on, he returned to complete his secondary education at a sports school.

He finished ninth in the World Under-14 Championship and joint-third in the Europe Under-13 competition.

Professional Career

Carlsen came into the limelight when he defeated former world champion Anatoly Karpov in 2004.

He also became the world’s youngest grandmasters by finishing second place in Dubai Open Chess Championship in the consequent year.

Carlsen received his second Grandmaster Norm at Moscow in 2004. Carlsen was knocked out of the blitz chess tournament after drawing and then losing to Garry Kasparov.

He got his third and final Grandmaster Norm at the Dubai Open Chess Championship, which consequently made him the second-youngest Grandmaster in history at the time.

Even though Carlsen was knocked out, he was the youngest player ever to participate in FIDE World Chess Championship.

Magnus Carlsen got into the top 10 of the Official World Championship in 2005.

He also participated in competitions such as the Norwegian Chess Championship, Chess World Cup, Drammen International Chess Festival, etc.

Carlsen was close to winning the 2006 Norwegian Chess Championship outright, but a last-round loss to Berge Østenstad dropped him into another tie for first place with Agdestein.

The tie for first place prevented him from beating the record of the youngest Norwegian champion ever.

Magnus won the Glitnir Blitz Tournament in Iceland, beating chess grandmasters such as Vishwanathan Anand.

Even though he was rated significantly lower than top-rated players in the Linares chess tournament, he became second with four wins, seven draws, and only three losses.

Carlsen also participated in the Melody Amber blind and rapid chess tournament in Monte Carlo in 2007. He finished eighth in the overall standings.


After beating Alexander Onischuk in Armageddon (a variant of blitz chess where black wins drawn games), Carlsen won the Biel Grandmaster Tournament with a 6/10 record in August.

In December, Carlsen even reached the semi-finals of the World Chess Cup and was defeated by the eventual winner Gata Kamsky.

In the 69th Corus Chess tournament, Magnus scored 8/13, with a PR of 2830 and sharing first place with Levon Aronian.

He tried for the second time in the Melody Amber blind and Rapid Chess tournament in Nice, France, and finished second in the overall standings.

Magnus played in FIDE Grand Prix 2008-2012, a qualifier for the World Chess Championship 2012.

Despite finishing in a three-way tie for first place in the first tournament, he dropped from the tournament criticizing FIDE for dramatically changing the rules in the middle of the world championship.

Carlsen shared second place in the 74th Tata Steel Chess Tournament and became second in the Biel Grandmaster tournament.

Moreover, the chess player won the Grand Slam Chess final and the London Chess Classic.

Magnus won the 75th Tata Steel Chess Tournament and the 2013 Candidates Tournament and earned the right to challenge Anand Vishwanathan.

Carlsen finished second in the first edition of the Norway Chess tournament and second in the Tal Memorial despite defeating Anand, Vladimir Kramnik, and Hikaru Nakamura.

In September, Carlsen won the Sinquefield cup.

A chess match between Magnus Carlsen and Hikaru Nakamura ended up in a double Bongcloud in 2021.

In addition, it was the first double bong cloud in a major chess tournament.

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World Chess Championships

Magnus became the new World Chess Champion defeating Anand in the World Chess Championship 2013 in Chennai, India, by winning games five, six, and nine and drawing the remainder.

Carlsen showed resiliency, handled the pressure even though he was younger and less experienced.

Magnus defended his World Champion title by defeating Anand, who qualified by winning the 2014 Candidates Tournament.

Carlsen with the World Chess Championship trophy
Carlsen with the World Chess Championship trophy (Source:

Carlsen won tiebreaking games 3-1 to retain his World Champion title in 2016 against Sergey Karjakin on his 26th birthday.

Magnus went head-to-head with Fabiano Caruana in London in the 2018 World Chess Championship.

Moreover, all the classical timed games came to a draw and headed to a tie-breaker which Carlsen won 3-0 and retained his title and said he felt very calm after the win.


Chess Oscars, managed by Russian chess magazine, awarded Magnus Carlsen with the year’s best player with a worldwide poll of chess journalists, writers, and critics.

Magnus was also awarded the Folkets Idrettspris, a people’s choice award from the Norwegian newspaper, in 2009 and 2010.

The chess player was awarded the “Name of the Year” and “Sportsman of the Year” in 2009 and 2013.

Magnus won the Peer Gynt Prize as a personality that has achieved distinction in society.

Similarly, he was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine in 2013.

Magnus Carlsen: Personal Life and Net Worth

A lot of details about the personal life of Magnus Carlsen have not been disclosed as he has kept his personal life very private.

Synn Christin Larsen was reportedly dating Magnus, but now he has been in a relationship with Elisabet Lorentzen.

Carlsen and Elisabet have dated each other for some time, and it has had a very positive effect on Carlsen’s chess career.

Carlsen with his girlfriend
Carlsen with his girlfriend ( Source:

Magnus Carlsen is a big football fanatic and supports Real Madrid FC.

Moreover, he took a kick-off for Real Madrid in a La Liga (Top Division Spanish Football League) in 2013.

Carlsen also takes a keen interest in English Premier League and once reached the No.1 in the Fantasy Premier League game in 2019, which he finished in the 10th position at the end of the season.

Magnus Carlsen has an estimated net worth of about 8 million US Dollars.

In 2005, a film was made about Magnus Carlsen named The Prince of Chess, and many documentaries based on his life were made between 2011 and 2016.

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Magnus Carlsen: Career Outside Chess

Magnus has built an excellent image with his chess career, and he also has surprised people with his involvement outside chess.

In 2010, he appeared as a model for G-Star Raw with Liv Tyler (an actress and a model).

Carlsen also appeared as a Chess player from the future in the movie Star Trek into Darkness. He also had a fair share of screen time in 60 Minutes and The Colbert Report.

He had an interview with Rainn Wilson in 2013. Carlsen is an ambassador for Nordic Semiconductor.

And Cosmopolitan selected him as one of the sexiest men of 2013.

In 2013, Magnus, Espen, and Anders founded Play Magnus AS and made an app called Play Magnus.

This app allowed consumers to play against a chess engine formed by a database of numerous Carlsen’s records games to motivate a more significant number of people to play chess.

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Magnus Carlsen: Social Media

Magnus Carlsen has his fair share of followers on social media.

He has over 662K followers on Facebook and 626K followers on Instagram.

Moreover, the chess player also has over 545K followers on Twitter and over 605K subscribers on his YouTube channel.

Magnus Carlsen: FAQs      

How old was Magnus Carlsen when he became a Grandmaster in chess? Is he the youngest to do so?

When he became a chess Grandmaster, Magnus Carlsen was just 13 years, four months, and 26 days.

Moreover, he was the second youngest to do so, but now he is the third youngest. Abhimanyu of New Jersey is the youngest Grandmaster right now.

Did Magnus Carlsen play chess at Harvard University with the world’s best lawyers?

Yes, before the World Chess Championship, Magnus Carlsen was in the US and played a chess match against the lawyers all at the same time that too blindfolded.

Does Magnus Carlsen use the same opening every time? Which is his shortest match?

Magnus has admitted that he doesn’t always use the same openings.

He sometimes uses basic opening moves while occasionally surprises the opponent with an unorthodox opening.

Generally, e5 against e4 is the most common opening move in chess.

Is Magnus Carlsen a certified genius?

Most probably yes, from an early age, he has shown extraordinary intelligence and exceptional memory.

He also has an IQ of 190, and he also depicts a top engine match of 85%.

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