Magnus Carlsen Net Worth

How much is Magnus Carlsen worth?

Net Worth:$8 Million
Profession:Professional Chess Player
Date of Birth:November 30, 1990
1.78 m

The richest chess player in the world Magnus Carlsen started playing the game at 5 years old and was already a grandmaster by 13. Today Carlsen’s net worth is higher than any other chess master not just because of his prize winnings, but because of his many sponsorship deals as well.

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Who Is Magnus Carlsen

Magnus Carlsen was born on November 30, 1990 in Norway. He is most well known for his performance as a professional chess player, demonstrating great talent from a very early age. His father introduced him to the game of chess at the age of 5 and by the age of 13, he earned his grandmaster title. His earliest chess competition participation was at the age of 8 and by the time he was in his teens, Carlsen was already a recognizable name in the world of chess.

In one of his many interviews, Carlsen admitted that he has “a very competitive spirit”, and what drove him to become better at chess was his sister and his strive to be better at the game than her. His competitive attitude and perseverance would pay off later on in life when he managed to win the world champion title several times earning a small fortune from prize money. In fact, he won the World Chess Championship, the World Rapid Championship and the World Blitz Championship, becoming the first person to hold all three titles at the same time in 2014. He repeated this again in 2019.

Carlsen was coached by many top chess players such as Simen Agdestein and Torbjørn Ringdal Hansen. With the right tutorship in place, between 2000 and 2002, Carlsen was able to play close to 300 rated tournament games, setting into motion a professional chess career greater than the world had ever seen.

Norwegian chess grandmaster and current World Champion Magnus Carlsen has a net worth of $8 million dollars, as of 2021. Carlsen won the richest online chess tournament in history, bagging the history-making $70,000 winner’s prize.

Magnus Carlsen doesn’t only make money from winning chess championships, he also earns as much as $2 million dollars per year through sponsorships and endorsements. Very few chess players have ever risen to the fame and renown that Carlsen has; and he has achieved all of this before even turning 30 years old.

  • Youngest ever player to earn #1 ranking on FIDE rating list
  • Youngest ever World Chess Championship Candidate
  • Highest rating in chess history

How did Magnus Carlsen earn his net worth?

Many professional chess players stated publicly that it is close to impossible to become wealthy just by playing the game at a competitive level. Magnus was able to prove them wrong by reaching a professional level that allows him to cash in on about $750,000 from chess competitions alone. Carlson was able to reach an estimated net worth of $8 million but it was not all made from chess tournaments.

Magnus earns approximately $750,000 per year from chess tournaments. Due to his appeal to the public, companies such as Microsoft offered him sponsorship deals, increasing his revenue beyond that number. Also, Carlson signed a deal with clothing brand G-Star Raw for which he was paid an undisclosed amount. His deal with the clothing company was for his modeling services as he became one of the core images for the brand along with movie star Liv Tyler.

To better manage his finances and assets, Magnus created MagnusChess AS, established in early 2007. The company is owned by Magnus and his father with a stake split between the two with Carlsen owning 85% of it. All his earnings would be cashed in and managed by MagnusChess AS which later on, became the parent company for his second one, Play Magnus AS.

Play Magnus AS was created by Magnus as a software development company, releasing his chess mobile app. By 2017, the app reached 2.8 million downloads and in 2019, the company merged with In early 2020, Magnus secured a round of investment for Play Magnus of $13.5 million, lowering his stake in the company to 16% while he still retained his spot as the public image of Play Magnus AS.

His ventures outside the chess world are not to be taken lightly. Some estimate that Carlsen makes approximately $2 million a year from his sponsorships and modeling contracts with G-Star Raw along with the sponsorship deal with Microsoft.

Magnus Carlsen is not only one of the current generation’s top players, but he has already accomplished enough to ensure that he’ll be remembered as a legendary player for generations to come. Now that he has become the World Chess Champion, there is little left to accomplish for Carlsen, and he may well go down as one of the greatest players of all time if he can stay on the throne for a significant length of time.

Early Life and Career

Magnus Carlsen was born in Tønsberg, Norway on November 30, 1990. Though he learned the game of chess at a reasonably early age – his father is said to have taught him the rules at the age of five – he didn’t immediately fall in love with the game, and only started to take it seriously around the age of eight, when he played in his first ever chess tournament.

The fact that Carlsen started playing chess at a relatively late age for a chess prodigy made his climb to stardom all the more remarkable. By the time he had turned 13, he had already earned his three International Master norms, and it became clear that he would soon become a grandmaster. Still, at this point, Carlsen wasn’t a particularly notable young talent on the world stage, as these accomplishments weren’t out of line with other top young chess players in Europe and around the world.

That all changed in early 2004, when Carlsen took part in his first Wijk aan Zee chess tournament. Carlsen took part in the C group, which normally receives little attention. But his 10.5/13 score – along with a beautiful and impressive win over then IM Sipke Ernst – was enough to permanently throw Carlsen onto the radar of chess fans around the world. That result secured Carlsen a Grandmaster norm, and he would secure two more in the next three months to become the second-youngest grandmaster in history at the time.

Teenage Grandmaster

It didn’t take long for Carlsen to show he had world-class talent, even if he wasn’t quite at that level yet. Before he had even officially gained the GM title, he scored a draw in a rapid game against Garry Kasparov, though Kasparov did beat the young Carlsen in a second game. He was already capable of tying for first in the Norwegian Chess Championship, which he was able to do in both 2004 and 2005 (losing the official title both times on tiebreaks). He was capable of beating elite players on occasion and proved he was a formidable opponent for anyone.

In 2005, though, Carlsen shocked everyone by first reaching the third round of the Chess World Cup, then – after being eliminated by Evgeny Bareev – winning matches against Joel Lautier and Vladimir Malakhov to earn a spot in the Candidates matches for the upcoming World Championship cycle. Carlsen had only just turned 15, making him the youngest championship candidate of all time.

The next two years would see Carlsen grow into an elite player. While Carlsen was not able to earn a spot in the 2007 World Championship Tournament – he was eliminated in the first round of candidates play by Levon Aronian, who won in rapid tiebreaks after a 3-3 tie in six standard games (two wins each, and two draws) – Carlsen’s rating continued to climb, and he began finding his way into elite events. By sharing first place in the B group in Wijk aan Zee in 2006, Carlsen earned a spot in the A Group for 2007. Also in 2006, Carlsen finally won his first Norwegian Chess Championship, this time prevailing in tiebreaks.

In 2007, Carlsen made his first appearance in a super-tournament, playing in the A Group at Wijk aan Zee. Not surprisingly, there was a rough welcome for the 16-year-old, and he finished last out of the 14 player field.

But soon, Carlsen would prove he belonged in this class. At Linares, he was able to finish in a tie for second, behind only Viswanathan Anand. Later that year, he would play in his second World Chess Cup, this time reaching the semifinals before being eliminated by Gata Kamsky.

Young Superstar

While it would be wrong to say that Carlsen hadn’t already earned plenty of attention from the chess world at this point, 2008 was certainly a breakout year for him. He won his first true super-tournament in January, sharing first place in Wijk aan Zee with Levon Aronian. He followed this up with a close second place finish in Linares, and shared first place in a FIDE Grand Prix tournament in Baku. Carlsen would ultimately drop out of the Grand Prix and the World Championship cycle, however; he claimed that the decision was made due to the rapidly changing rules and regulations governing that cycle.

In 2009, Carlsen started slow, scoring respectable results (but no titles) in Wijk aan Zee, Linares, and at the M-Tel Masters. But he would put up an incredible 8/10 score at the Nanjing Pearl Spring tournament, winning the event by an amazing 2.5 points ahead of Veselin Topalov. The massive margin of victory over a very strong field led many commentators to declare it one of the best tournament performances in chess history.

Later that year, Carlsen would win the World Blitz Championship, finishing three points ahead of Anand (who himself was three points ahead of the remaining field). Carlsen went out to win the London Chess Classic in December, and would end the year as the world’s #1 ranked player on the FIDE rating list.

By 2010, Carlsen was regarded as a favorite in any tournament he entered. Carlsen won the Wijk aan Zee tournament again, then won the Banza Kings Tournament that summer. He also scored a victory in the blindfold/rapid Amber Melody tournament. After struggles at the Grand Slam Masters Final and the Chess Olympiad, Carlsen regained his form – and the #1 ranking – later in the year by defending his titles in Nanjing and the London Chess Classic.

In 2011, Carlsen was dethroned in Wijk aan Zee by Hikaru Nakamura. However, he was able to win the Banza Kings tournament for the second year in a row, and then later won the Grand Slam Chess Final and the Tal Memorial.

Breaking Records

While Carlsen wasn’t winning every event he entered, his results by this point had become very consistent, with even his “bad” tournaments typically landing him among the top few finishers. That consistency allowed Carlsen to enter 2012 with a rating of 2835, tantalizingly close to the record of 2851 set by Garry Kasparov in 1999.

Carlsen’s consistency showed through again during the year, with Carlsen taking second place in Wijk aan Zee and Biel, while winning the Tal Memorial and the Grand Slam Chess Final.

The race to break Kasparov’s record would come to a close at the 2012 London Chess Classic, where Carlsen scored five wins and three draws against no losses to not only win the tournament, but push his rating up to 2861 – surpassing what had been the highest mark ever.

2013 began for Carlsen with another win in Wijk aan Zee, where he matched Kasparov’s record 10/13 score. In March, he competed in the 2013 Candidates Tournament, in which he started strong before losing two of his final three games. However, that was still good enough for him to win the event over Vladimir Kramnik based on his superior tiebreaks, earning Carlsen the chance to challenge Viswanathan Anand for the World Chess Championship later in 2013.

World Chess Champion

After winning the Sinquefield Cup in St. Louis, Carlsen played for the World Chess Championship in Chennai against Anand. Carlsen’s bid started slowly, and he even found himself in trouble in a couple of the earlier games of the match. But he managed to draw the first three games, then nearly won the fourth game, which proved to be a turning point in the match. Carlsen would go on to win the next two games en route to a 6.5-3.5 victory over Anand, allowing Carlsen to become the second-youngest World Chess Champion in history.

In 2014, Carlsen played Anand once more to defend his title, this time in Sochi, Russia. While there was some tension over the venue, Carlsen did ultimately sign on to play in the match in November of that year. While the champion’s play was a bit shakier this time around, Carlsen did win again, clinching the match with a win in the 11th game to make the final score 6.5-4.5. 

Carlsen began strongly in 2015, winning the Tata Steel Chess Tournament in Wijk aan Zee with a 9/13 score.

Playing Style

Carlsen, once known as a ferocious attacker, is now known as a more universal player – but there are a couple of signature stylistic points for which he is known. In the opening, Carlsen is known for playing an unusually wide variety of openings, making him difficult to prepare for. In addition, Carlsen has often been praised for his endgame play. Time and again, Carlsen has entered endgames in which computer analysis – and leading grandmasters – suggest that there is little to play for and should quickly end in a draw only to fight for dozens of moves, eventually breaking through to find a win. This tenacity has made him quite difficult for opponents to relax against.

Why is he so famous?

Magnus earned his fame, not through his fortune but his skill as a professional chess player. Even at an early age, Carlsen showed great talent and decided to dedicate his life to the game. For many already established chess players, Carlsen is a prodigy chess player as very few of his peers managed to match his achievements.

The turning point that brought Magnus into the spotlight took place in his early teens. At the age of 13, he earned his grandmaster title, during times when there were not that many you players to have earned such recognition. His fame as a professional chess player was boosted in 2010 when, at the age of 19, he reached the first position on the FIDE world rankings. At that time, he was the youngest person ever to reach that rank. His classical rating of 2882 was the highest in history which brought him lots of attention from the media and his peers.

Over the past recent years, Carlson expanded his influence beyond the world of chess. With the use of social media platforms, brand deals, and his chess mobile application, Carlson managed to maintain high public visibility without relying on his performance as a chess player. His achievements in chess were only the tipping point that started his entire career as a professional player, public person, an entrepreneur, and continues to this date to remain relevant in the industry and the media.

What makes him so successful?

Magnus Carlsen appealed to the public due to his charismatic personality. Being a fashion model also helped him get a considerable following outside the world of chess.

The success experienced by Carson was the result of his undisputable chess performance only to be followed up by inspired business decisions. Unlike most other professional chess players, Carlson created two companies to manage his earnings and invest in other ventures.

Perseverance and dedication paid off for Carlsen. Microsoft is the biggest brand that chose to associate their name with Magnus by offering him a sponsorship deal. G-Star Raw also decided to invest in Carlson and have him become part of their brand image under a modeling contract. These deals would have not been possible without Carlsen making the right decisions in managing his career and continued efforts to become one of the most recognized chess players of the past few decades.


Magnus Carlsen is a chess prodigy in the true sense of the word. His record-breaking performance and won titles caught the attention of the media and chess professionals alike. He benefited from the support of his family and continued to play chess at a world-class level while creating two successful businesses to expand his wealth. He is the richest chess player in the world with a net worth of $8 million dollars and counting. His playstyle, dominant attitude, and passion for the game of chess got Carlsen to be recognized as one of the greatest chess players of all time as well as an established entrepreneur.

One of the biggest achievements for Carlsen is the fact that he proved most critics wrong that claimed nobody can become rich by playing chess professionally. Magnus earns around $750,000 per year from chess competitions alone, topped off with around $2 million from brand deals and sponsorships.

Today, even if Magnus would decide to give up on his professional chess player career, he would still have two successful businesses increasing his wealth and brand deals that ensure a steady income. His ability to not depend financially on his core profession as a chess player makes Carlsen a very successful individual.

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