He’s already the best chess player in the world. Now Magnus Carlsen is using his mental fortitude to succeed in another game of strategy – fantasy football.
Norway’s world chess champion moved top of the leaderboard in Fantasy Premier League on Sunday – the Premier League’s official fantasy football game played by more than seven million people.
Carlsen, 29, has stormed to the top with a squad including Liverpool’s Sadio Mane, Leicester striker Jamie Vardy and, of course, everyone’s favourite bargain , Sheffield United’s John Lundstram – the top scoring defender in the game.
Carlsen – who has been world champion since 2013 – moved into the top 100 at the end of October and has been in the top 10 for the past three weeks before captaining Mohamed Salah for his two-goal display against Watford to go top.
One of the Norwegian’s main rivals for top spot also has sporting pedigree – former Liverpool defender Nick Tanner has not been out of the top three since 5 October.
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Carlsen is obviously enjoying his success, updating his Twitter bio to read: “World Chess Champion. The highest ranked chess player in the world. Current (live) #1 Fantasy Premier League player”.
He also addressed his fantasy football performance on social media, citing analytics company Opta as one of the factors behind his success.
“Since a lot of people are asking about my FPL strategy, mine is the not so groundbreaking one of part stats and part gut feeling,” the Norwegian tweeted.
“Part Opta-mist and part optimist.”