Carlsen on The Queen’s Gambit: “A little too unrealistic”

by ChessBase
11/22/2020 – The $1.5 million Champions Chess Tour kicks off today with the Skilling Open. World champion Magnus Carlsen is the top seed. Shortly before the start of the much anticipated tournament, the Norwegian talked about Netflix’s hit series ‘The Queen’s Gambit’. Carlsen found it extremely enjoyably, but also a little too unrealistic. | Photo: Play Magnus Group

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“I would say it’s a 5/6”

Press release by Play Magnus AS

World Champion Magnus Carlsen has finally given his view on the smash-hit Netflix series The Queen's Gambit.

The Norwegian called it “extremely enjoyable” and awarded it 5 out of 6 stars - but he did have some reservations.

He told

I would say it’s a 5 out of 6. I would have given it a full score except I found it a bit disturbing that all the kids in the series want to get adopted because in chess that means losing 10 games in a row and no kid would want to do that.

Kidding aside though, I thought it was very enjoyable. The optics were great; they did the chess pretty well with the games.

However, he did say it wasn’t perfect.

Carlsen added:

I just found the whole thing a little too unrealistic. I just couldn't quite buy that after being six years without playing a tournament game in an orphanage and you would then be one of the best players in a few years.

It’s a good story but to me, I found it a little too unrealistic. But in general, having said all that, it was extremely enjoyable.

The Queen's Gambit, Netflix

On Sunday Carlsen launches the $1.5 million Champions Chess Tour — his own ‘King’s Gambit’.

Carlsen's full interview will be aired during the coverage.

The first leg, the Skilling Open, is a 16-player tournament that includes the American speed chess king Hikaru Nakamura and teen hotshot Alireza Firouzja.

Skilling Open 2020

Nakamura is the world’s top blitz player and was only narrowly beaten by Carlsen in the first edition of the tour earlier this year.

Firouzja, meanwhile, is a 17-year-old who has taken the chess world by storm over the last year after leaving his home country of Iran.

Now resident in France, Firouzja is widely-tipped as a future champion who could one-day challenge pre-tournament favourite Carlsen.

Champions Chess Tour 2021

After the stunning mainstream success of The Queen’s Gambit, tour organiser Play Magnus Group revealed the new competition will be broadcast by sports network Eurosport across Europe and Asia.

It means the game will take its place alongside tennis, football and other premium sporting events after Europe’s leading sports channel secured rights to show a full season in 60 countries.

The Champions Chess Tour, launched by the Play Magnus Group, replaces the hugely-popular Magnus Carlsen Chess Tour put on earlier this year.

Viewers will also be able to participate in interactive activities with the leading chess stars during the season using tour passes to be made available at and

Champions Chess Tour competition dates include:

  • 22-30 November: Regular ($100,000 prize)
  • 26 December - 3 January: Major ($200,000 prize)
  • 6-14 February: Regular ($100,000 prize)
  • 13-21 March: Major ($200,000 prize)
  • 24 April – 2 May: Regular ($100,000 prize)
  • 22-30 May: Regular ($100,000 prize)
  • 26 June – 4 July: Major ($200,000 prize)
  • 31 July – 8 August: Regular ($100,000 prize)
  • 28 August - 5 September: Regular ($100,000 prize)
  • 25 September – 3 October: Final ($300,000 prize)


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