Chess has its own rock star and will be in Holland for the next few weeks | other sports

Magnus Carlsen was a jeans brand model, named one of the 50 Sexiest Men in the World in 2013, and had a role in The Simpsons. But most importantly, he has been the world champion in his sport for years and can be admired from today at Wijk aan Zee.

When you read the list like this, you see a versatile man at work: few people will appreciate the above like a rock star. Existence is attributed to a chess player. With that said, for over eight years now, Carlsen has been virtually unbeatable on the sixty-four-square board, despite all his other adventures out there. The Norwegian, who successfully won the world title for the fifth time in a row last year, has a certain pop stardom that is unprecedented in the world of 21st century chess.

The two Dutch winners of the Tata Steel chess tournament, Jordan van Forest (left) and Anish Gehry, were number one and two last year respectively. © ANP

While former chess champions like Bobby Fischer and the recently relaunched Gary Kasparov actively engaged in politics during the Cold War (and gained international fame as a result), it is now up to contemporary champions like Carlsen and series like Queen’s gambit To dust off the rough chess image. This works well, judging by the ever-increasing popularity numbers since the award-winning Netflix series.

Carlsen also contributes to the popularization of chess, albeit by appearing everywhere himself. For example, after winning his first world title in 2013, he once launched in one of the matches of his favorite football club, Real Madrid. He was also offered a role in the movie The star slowly makes its way into the dark. Although he would have liked to play in the movie himself, he eventually had to let the part pass: he didn’t have the correct work permit.

Due to the Corona crisis, most chess clubs have closed their doors. It is now the online community that must take the lead, and thus specialists such as Carlsen & Co. Starting today, fourteen top Wijk players Aan Zee will compete with each other for the rest of the month in the Tata Steel Chess Championship, Wimbledon Chess. The new world champion, as usual, is present. He will get his eighth title. The Netherlands are also strongly represented with the world’s number seven, Anish Gehry, and defending champion Jordan van Forest.

Van Forest snatched his first title last year by tackling Jerry, a one-of-a-kind Dutch encounter in an epic battle. However, this year Carlsen is expected to regain the leading role. After all, the supporting role is not suitable for the star of the chess movie.

The opening ceremony of the Tata Steel Chess Championship will be held today at 4:00 pm. The first round matches will be played tomorrow at 2 pm.

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