SoulPancake interview with Magnus Carlsen

by ChessBase
2/7/2013 – It's a website that explores "big think" subjects – articles, interviews, challenges. The portal was founded by the creatively off-beat actor Rainn Wilson. Recently he spoke to Magnus Carlsen in his "metaphysical van", and we were pleased to see how well the young Norwegian chess genius fielded the questions. The Youtube video is a six-minute investment of your time – don't miss it.

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SoulPancake is a new media company that seeks to provide platforms to explore "big think" topics such as spirituality, creativity, religion, arts, and philosophy. With a tagline of "Chew on Life's Big Questions," SoulPancake offers feature-length articles, exclusive videos, creative challenges, and interviews across its platforms. SoulPancake is not affiliated with any one religious or spiritual organization. The website was launched in January 2010, and by November 2010 the community had 50,000 active registered members and onemillion page views per month.

SoulPancake was originally founded by actor Rainn Wilson of NBC's The Office and his friends Joshua Homnick and Devon Gundry in 2008. The original concept was a video series called "Metaphysical Milkshake." The founders deemed that the idea was too narrow and expanded it into a multi-platform media company. offers discussions, blog posts, questions, creative activities, writing exercises, polls, interviews, columns, videos, and original art by up-and-coming artists. Here for the first time (we assume) they had a chess player.

Rainn & Magnus Carlsen get Metaphysical over Chess

Magnus Carlsen joins Rainn Wilson in the back of his "Metaphysical van" to talk chess and life's big questions

Here are some nuggets:

Rainn: What's odd to me is that you are a totally normal person. People think about chess geniusses as hanging out in their basements, obsessively chewing on their own skin, maybe bodies hidden somewhere in the house...

Magnus: Well, you know I am only 21 years old, so give me some time to develop the crazy.

Life's big questions: What is your biggest fear?

Magnus: To get attacked by big fish in the open sea.

Do you consider yourself a genius?

No, I do not.

What blows your mind?

Magic tricks.

What is the big question you wrestle with?

Whether there's life after death. I had a firm conclusion when I was a child, that after people died they all gather in the universe and use their powers to start a new big bang, and that this is just an infinite cycle that perpetuates the universe.

And our favourite bit: What would the first sentence of your autobiography be?

I'm not a genius.

What would the title of your autobiography be?

Magnus Carlsen, Chess Genius...

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