Magnus Carlsen will play in the German Bundesliga!

by André Schulz
5/17/2024 – In Germany, the name FC St. Pauli has a special ring to it. Located near Hamburg's famous red light district, the club has a reputation for having a strong social culture and is one of Germany's most famous football clubs. Last season, St. Pauli's footballers and chess players enjoyed great success: both teams qualified for the top division, the Bundesliga. Now chess fans in St. Pauli, Hamburg and Germany have even more reason to be happy: with the help of Freestyle chess sponsor Jan Henric Buettner, Magnus Carlsen has been persuaded to play for St. Pauli. | Photo: Lennart Ootes

ChessBase 17 - Mega package - Edition 2024 ChessBase 17 - Mega package - Edition 2024

It is the program of choice for anyone who loves the game and wants to know more about it. Start your personal success story with ChessBase and enjoy the game even more.


The fact that the chess players from St. Pauli managed to qualify for the Bundesliga was a surprising success. But for all their joy, the team would have struggled to stay in the notoriously tough Bundesliga without serious reinforcements - and that is where Jan Henric Buettner came in.

St. Pauli announced today that Magnus Carlsen will play for St. Pauli as part of a cooperation with the Weissenhaus Chess Academy initiated and financed by Buettner. The cooperation is intended to be long-term and will also include other activities off the chessboard.

Carlsen is known to be a keen football and sports fan. For a time the Norwegian played in the second team of an Oslo club. Carlsen's special affection in football is for Real Madrid internationally, but the Madrilenians do not have a chess department. Unlike St. Pauli.

I am delighted to be part of the coolest brand in Germany," said the world number one.

Carlsen made his debut in the German Bundesliga 20 years ago, as a fourteen-year-old with Schachfreunde Berlin (then SF Neukölln). From 2006 to 2009 Carlsen played for OSG Baden-Baden. We know that Carlsen is not an early riser, but the Bundesliga starts on Sundays at 10 am. It remains to be seen how often and on which days he will play. However, even with Carlsen on the team, it will be difficult for St. Pauli to stay in the league. But he probably won't be the last new signing for the new season.

One way or another. With Carlsen the interest in the chess matches of St. Pauli will be enormous and he will help to further enhance the reputation of this unique club.


André Schulz started working for ChessBase in 1991 and is an editor of ChessBase News.
Discussion and Feedback Submit your feedback to the editors