Harry Kane’s passion for chess

by André Schulz
6/22/2024 – GQ magazine is conducting a series of video portraits of celebrities in which they are asked to name their ten “essentials”. For the English striker Harry Kane, chess is one of them. The Queen’s Gambit series has inspired him, and he regularly plays online, with his family and the other Bayern professionals. Kane also revealed who the best Bayern professional in chess is — not him. | Photo: Video GQ

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Down to earth, likeable

In Harry Kane, FC Bayern Munich found a worthy successor and equally successful centre-forward for Robert Lewandowski, who left for Spain. Having moved to Munich in the summer of 2023 for a reported €100 million transfer fee, the English striker proved to be a real stroke of luck. After 10 matchdays in the Bundesliga, he had already scored 15 goals and equalled Gerd Müller’s record from the 1968/69 season. Kane finished the first half of the season with 22 goals, equalling Lewandowski’s record from the 2020/21 season. By the end of the season, Harry Kane had scored 42 goals in 42 competitive games. It was certainly not his fault that Bayern Munich failed to become German champions for the first time since 2012.

The son of an Irishman has been playing for England youth teams since 2010. He was called up to the England national team for the first time in 2015. He is now the most successful English footballer with 54 international goals. Harry Kane is currently playing with the England national team at the European Championships in Germany. The English team has not yet hit top form at the Euros. However, qualification for the round of 16 is already assured after the win over Serbia and the draw against Denmark.

Harry Kane was also so well received in Munich and Germany because, despite his successes, he has remained a down-to-earth, likeable and friendly character. The German edition of GQ (Gentlemen’s Quarterly) conducted a video portrait series among footballers on the occasion of the European Football Championship, in which the interviewees revealed the ten “essentials” of their lives.

Harry Kane named chess in third place after his family and golf. The Netflix series Queen’s Gambit sparked his interest in chess, said the Englishman. He has since achieved a rating of 1200 in ten-minute games on chess.com, where he apparently plays regularly. For an adult who only took up chess in his late twenties, that’s a pretty good figure.

Kane otherwise plays with his family, but also said that chess is very popular with the Bayern Munich players. He has often played with Joshua Kimmich, but among the Bayern professionals, Kingsley Coman is considered the best chess player, almost unbeatable. However, Kane has not yet dared to play against him.

Interview on GQ

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André Schulz started working for ChessBase in 1991 and is an editor of ChessBase News.
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