• Loading stock data...
Monday, May 20, 2024

How World Champion Magnus Carlsen Rode the Chess Boom

  • World chess champion Magnus Carlsen launched Play Magnus in 2013.
  • In February it became the world's only publicly traded chess company.
Design: Alex Brooks

World chess champion Magnus Carlsen has both stoked and parlayed a boom in chess interest to turn his fame and dominance in the age-old game into a major business.

Carlsen cofounded Play Magnus in 2013, the same year he became world champion. The company has expanded from a training app to include a playing platform, lessons, and a publishing arm.

In February, it listed on the Oslo stock exchange, becoming the only publicly traded chess company in the world.

  • Play Magnus saw both its revenues and expenses grow in the last year, with third-quarter earnings growing 176% year-over-year to $5.5 million.
  • However, expenses have risen along with revenue, and the company posted a $5.3 million pre-tax loss in the quarter.
  • Play Magnus had $22 million in cash as of Nov. 15.

Interest in chess has risen over the last year, particularly after the release of the hit Netflix show “The Queen’s Gambit” in November 2020, which was streamed by 62 million households in its first 28 days.

Popular chess playing and teaching site chess.com added 1 million accounts each month for the 12 months starting in March 2020 — including 2.8 million in November of that year. The site now boasts 76 million members.

Carlsen began the defense of his title last Wednesday against grandmaster Ian Nepomniachtchi. The first three games of the 14-match tournament ended in draws.

Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

What to Read


Major League Rugby’s Vision for American Rugby

How Major League Rugby is leading the Rugby renaissance in the U.S.

ESPN Narrowly Avoids Disaster on Hurricanes-Rangers Broadcast

The network briefly switched playoff games in crunch time of Canes-Rangers.

Iowa Athletes Sue State, Citing ‘Unconstitutional’ Tracking of Gambling

They claim investigators didn’t get warrants, misled about the purpose of questioning.

Rockies Coach’s Team Plane Cockpit Visit Triggers Federal Investigation

A since-deleted video shows him sitting in the cockpit mid-flight.
podcast thumbnail mobile
Front Office Sports Today

Bare Knuckle Fighting Comes Out of the Shadows


Featured Today

Michael Block signs autographs on the 18th hole during day three of practice for the PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club on Wednesday, May 15, 2024.

‘I Prefer It This Way’: How Life Works for PGA Club Pros

Here’s how life works for the qualifiers at golf’s second major.
February 5, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; The grounds of the Capitol Building empty out following the conclusion of President Donald Trump's State of the Union speech on February 5, 2019.
May 18, 2024

‘A Breathtaking Lobbying Campaign’: The NCAA’s Sophisticated Effort to Save Amateurism

Inside the carefully coordinated, multimillion-dollar operation to end the athletes’ rights era.
May 14, 2024

The WNBA Was Forged in Houston. Why Won’t It Go Back There?

Houston’s a perfect fit for expansion. The league isn’t considering it yet.
May 9, 2024; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark (22) stands with the team during the national anthem on Thursday, May 9, 2024, during the preseason game against the Atlanta Dream at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
May 12, 2024

‘Perfect Storm’: The Rise of Local WNBA Broadcast Pacts

With national attention reaching new heights, regional coverage could dictate the future.


Powered By

Careers in Sports

Looking for a new job? Check out these featured listings and search for openings all over the world.
Live Nation
Multiple - USA Careers
Multiple - USA Careers
Multiple - USA Careers

Chaos at the PGA Championship: Here’s What We Know

The No. 1 golfer in the world nearly didn’t make it to Valhalla Golf Club.
May 15, 2024

Caitlin Clark Debuts With WNBA’s Most-Watched Game in Decades

The game averaged 2.12 million viewers, the WNBA’s highest since 2001.
May 17, 2024

World’s Best Golfer Arrested Attempting to Enter PGA Championship

Scottie Scheffler was arrested and released by Louisville police Friday morning.

Major League Rugby’s Vision for American Rugby

How Major League Rugby is leading the Rugby renaissance in the U.S.
Portuguese superstar Cristiano Rolando gives thumbs during World Cup match
May 15, 2024

The 25 Highest-Paid Athletes in the World

Cristiano Ronaldo takes the crown as the highest-paid athlete in the world.
May 15, 2024

Caitlin Clark’s Pro Debut: Inside the Connecticut Casino Pressure Cooker

Clark struggled on the court as the hype exploded off it.
May 13, 2024

Rich Running Fan Pays Boston Marathon Winner After Organizers Still Haven’t

The Boston Athletic Association still owes the winner $100,000.
May 13, 2024

Bronny James Reportedly Staying in Draft After Medical Clearance

James immediately becomes the draft’s most polarizing prospect.