Magnus Carlsen: From chess champion to billionaire chess icon

Written by By Matthew Davis, CNN

Magnus Carlsen is fast becoming a billionaire in his own right.

The 25-year-old is a world-renowned chess player and one of the most valuable chessmasters in the world. But beyond chess, the young Norwegian also has a brand — Magnus Chess — and he’s made it his mission to spread the message of chess beyond the chessboard.

In May 2016, he began his campaign to create a $10 billion global chess empire.

From a modest garage office in the Swedish city of Gothenburg, Magnus Chess has since expanded operations to include three expansion offices in New York, Beijing and London, as well as a chess world championship venue in the Ophir desert outside Tel Aviv.

Today, the company employs 700 people worldwide, including two public relations representatives and a global head of design. In 2017, Magnus Chess introduced game books, a toy lion car, chess umbrellas and chess mobile apps and gaming content through partnerships with publishers including Macmillan, Koch Media and Commonwealth. And this year, Magnus Chess is launching a major new industry-first online network, Magnus Chess Chess.

Around one million unique individuals visited the Magnus Chess site in 2017, and the current year is on track to hit one million visits. The site is free to users and hosts an awards program that allows participants to collect points for trying to score highest on scores, finding places to play, and inspiring and educating others to play the game.

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