The name Magnus Carlsen may not be one that trips off everbody’s tongue, but to those who are in the know about the game of chess it’s like mentioning Lionel Messi, Roger Federer or Usain Bolt. The current and two-time world champion, still only 25, became the youngest-ever grandmaster at the age of 13, and now Arrow Films are thrilled to announce that their hugely successful documentary, Magnus, will be released in UK cinemas from November 25.
The film premiered over here at the 60th BFI London Film Festival in October, off the back of winning Best Film at this year’s Norwegian International Film Festival as well as a nomination for Best Documentary at the Moscow International Film Festival. With the World Chess Championships just underway and due to conclude on November 30, this would surely go down as Carlsen’s most memorable year should he successfully defend his title.
So what’s it all about? Well, with the movie being made from over 500 hours of footage captured over the best part of a decade, Magnus really does get to the heart of a prodigious talent who is rightly considered one of the finest minds of a generation. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Carlsen had a tough time at school and was the archetypal lone wolf. He had, however, been introduced to the game of chess by his parents, Henrik and Sigrun, at a mere 5 years old. A natural talent was obvious and the rest is history.
Nowadays, Carlsen is known as ‘The Mozart of Chess’ due to having accomplished such feats as holding the legendary Gary Kasparov – considered by many as the greatest of them all – to a draw when he was just 13. His flair for the game is such that he is able to take on ten players simultaneously without even looking at the boards, keeping track of the 320 pieces and infinite number of moves in his head. Confused? Yes, us too.
So if you thought that chess wasn’t for you, then think again. This is a truly intimate portrait of a truly remarkable young man, which is sure to introduce Norway’s favourite son to a whole new audience.