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40 Genius Magnus Carlsen Quotes

40 Genius Magnus Carlsen Quotes

Magnus Carlsen, whose original name is Sven Magnus Øen Carlsen, was born 30th November 1990 in Tonsberg, Norway. He is a chess grandmaster and the current World Chess Champion, World Blitz Chess Champion, and World Rapid Chess Champion.

Carlsen’s father taught him how to play chess when he was only five years old. Magnus played in his first competitive tournament at the age of eight and finished second in the Boy’s under twelve categories or rather division at 2002 Fédération Internationale des Échecs (FIDE) held in Greece. He was playing in the lowest-rated group and against adult players, but his domination of the tournament in a game won with 29 moves established him a player with great potential and was dubbed “Mozart of chess.”

In March the same year, Carlsen defeated Anatoly Karpov- former world champion, and drew against Garry Kasparov, another former champion. He became a grandmaster after finishing second at Dubai Open Chess Champion in 2004.

Carlsen became a World Chess Champion in 2013 after he defeated Viswanathan Anand. The next year, defended his title against Anand and also won both the 2014 World Blitz Championship and World Rapid Championship becoming the first player to win all three titles simultaneously. He repeated the same in 2019. Magnus Carlsen is known for his attacking style since he was a teenager and he has developed into a universal player. He uses different openings to make it hard for his opponents to master and prepare against him even minimizing the effect of computer analysis. Below is a collection of his famous quotes.

Magnus Carlsen Quotes

1. “Once you’re a chess player, you spend a lot of time thinking about the game and you can’t get it completely out of your head.”– Magnus Carlsen

2. “Maybe if I didn’t have the talent in chess I’d find the talent in something else. The only thing I know is that I have talent in chess, and I’m satisfied with that.”– Magnus Carlsen

3. “I’ve never been much of a computer guy at least in terms of playing with computers. Actually until I was about 11 I didn’t use a computer for preparing for games at all. I was playing a bit online, was using the chess club mainly. Now, obviously, the computer is an important tool for me preparing for my games.”– Magnus Carlsen

4. “I got the travel bug when I was quite young. My parents took me and my sisters out of school and we travelled all over Europe. It was an eye-opening experience and, although I love Norway, I also enjoy visiting new countries. I don’t get homesick.”– Magnus Carlsen

5. “Self-confidence is very important. If you don’t think you can win, you will take cowardly decisions in the crucial moments, out of sheer respect for your opponent. You see the opportunity But also greater limitations than you should. I have always believed in what I do on the chessboard, even when I had no objective reason to. It is better to overestimate your prospects than underestimate them.”– Magnus Carlsen

6. “One of the things that first attracted me to chess is that it brings you into contact with intelligent, civilized people – men of the stature of Garry Kasparov, the former world champion, who was my part-time coach.”– Magnus Carlsen

Related: James Altucher Quotes

7. “Not winning a tournament is not an option for me, unless it’s no longer theoretically possible – then of course winning becomes impossible. But up to that point, not winning is just not an option.”– Magnus Carlsen

8. “There wasn’t any particular player I modeled my game after. I tried to learn from everyone and create my own style. I studied past players. Truth be told I never had a favorite player. It’s just not my nature to go around idolizing people. I just go try to learn.”– Magnus Carlsen

9. “I am trying to beat the guy sitting across from me and trying to choose the moves that are most unpleasant for him and his style.”– Magnus Carlsen

10. “He (Kasparov) has an extreme capacity for work, extreme determination to win and extreme perfectionism.”– Magnus Carlsen

11. “Without the element of enjoyment, it is not worth trying to excel at anything.”– Magnus Carlsen

12. “I spend hours playing chess because I find it so much fun. The day it stops being fun is the day I give up.”– Magnus Carlsen

13. “It’s nice to be financially secure. Apart from that, I really don’t care too much about money”– Magnus Carlsen

14. “Some people think that if their opponent plays a beautiful game, it’s OK to lose. I don’t. You have to be merciless.”– Magnus Carlsen

15. “I get more upset at losing at other things than chess. I always get upset when I lose at Monopoly.”– Magnus Carlsen

16. “I started by just sitting by the chessboard exploring things. I didn’t even have books at first, and I just played by myself. I learnt a lot from that, and I feel that it is a big reason why I now have a good intuitive understanding of chess.”– Magnus Carlsen

17. “My father, a fine chess player himself, has been a massive influence throughout my life.”– Magnus Carlsen

18. “It’s easy for me to get along with chess players. even though we are all very different, we have chess in common.”– Magnus Carlsen

19. “I don’t think there is a thing like overconfidence in chess. It’s always better to be too confident than too reluctant.”– Magnus Carlsen

20. “I really enjoy the experience of playing humans. The psychological game is so much more important.”– Magnus Carlsen

21. “I feel sorry for players who are always lying awake at night, brooding over their games.”– Magnus Carlsen

22. “I’m definitely the first no.1 in the world since Fischer, and probably at least since Kasparov, who probably has the most potential to dominate for the foreseeable future.”– Magnus Carlsen

23. “You can feel the same thing in football or soccer – that for the best teams in Spain and England, for instance, the public… they’re not really going to cheer at all when they play against bad teams unless they do something spectacular. Even if they’re winning by a few goals they’ll probably just say, “Nah.” That’s normal and they’re not excited about it.”– Magnus Carlsen

24. “My former coach, Simen Agdestein, used to be the best player in Norway.”– Magnus Carlsen

25. “I was lucky enough to attend schools where they were understanding about when I needed to go abroad to play chess. Of course, socially it is important to go to school and interact with people your own age”– Magnus Carlsen

26. “I don’t look at computers as opponents. For me, it is much more interesting to beat humans.”– Magnus Carlsen

27. “Chess only appeals to quite a small minority. It does not have the cachet of a mainstream popular sport.”– Magnus Carlsen

28. “I enjoy hiking and skiing, like most Norwegians. In winter, there will be snow for months on end. In the summer, there are the long evenings to enjoy.”– Magnus Carlsen

Related: Hiking Quotes

29. “I honestly don’t read that much. Obviously I read chess books – in terms of favorites, Kasparov’s ‘My Great Predecessors’ is pretty good.”– Magnus Carlsen

30. “People ask what my goal is. I don’t have a goal.”– Magnus Carlsen

31. “I can’t count the times I have lagged seemingly hopelessly far behind, and nobody except myself thinks I can win. But I have pulled myself in from desperate [situations]. When you are behind there are two strategies – counter-attack or all men to the defenses. I’m good at finding the right balance between those.”– Magnus Carlsen

32. “Contrary to many young colleagues I do believe that it makes sense to study the classics.”– Magnus Carlsen

33. “Of course, analysis can sometimes give more accurate results than intuition But usually it’s just a lot of work. I normally do what my intuition tells me to do. Most of the time spent thinking is just to double-check.”– Magnus Carlsen

34. “If you want to get to the top, there’s always the risk that it will isolate you from other people.”– Magnus Carlsen

35. “Kids love games and chess is a game where you have to sit down and concentrate and it just helps in every way.”– Magnus Carlsen

36. “I’m more interested in the games than the people.”– Magnus Carlsen

37. “For me, the most important thing is to continue to play well and to be a positive figure and hopefully a role model for kids as well.”– Magnus Carlsen

38. “It’s just not my nature to go around idolizing people.”– Magnus Carlsen

39. “Unfortunately I’m still not a fashion expert.”– Magnus Carlsen

40. “I don’t consider myself a particularly young chess player. I have been playing in the best tournaments in the world since I was 16 years old. In other sports, if you have been playing for seven years, you are not a young prodigy anymore. You’re one of the pros.”– Magnus Carlsen

Related: Quotes about saying no to distractions

Video: 60 Minutes Segment on Magnus Carlsen

If you really want to see how Magnus thinks about chess and lives his life, this segment on 60 Minutes is fascinating.


Magnus Carlsen is a legend and a chess master. He masters this game from a very young age and was involved in competitive matches against adults from as young as eight years. His career has been decorated with numerous awards and honors and he is still in his thirties, with a long career ahead of him.

Carlsen uses a prodigious memory to counter his opponents in a variety of opening. He prefers the positional style of play to control the board over attacking his opponent’s pieces.

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Image Credit: Andreas Kontokanis from Piraeus, Greece, CC BY-SA 2.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons