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Magnus Carlsen has conquered chess. Now he sets his sights on fantasy football

September 16, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

Magnus Carlsen, the best chess player on the planet, should have been focusing on a match with the talented Chinese player Ding Liren in a renowned online tournament on a summery Sunday in July.

(CNN)Magnus Carlsen, the best chess player on the planet, should have been focusing on a match with the talented Chinese player Ding Liren in a renowned online tournament on a summery Sunday in July.

The world champion has now revealed why the chess24 Legends of Chess clash was moved: football, or, more specifically, fantasy football.

Carlsen, 29, a once-in-a-generation chess talent, is not just a football fan but was that day in the running to win the English Premier League's official fantasy sports game, Fantasy Premier League (FPL), on the final day of the season.

"I think finishing top 10 is obviously a huge part due to luck," Carlsen modestly says.

Asked about his formation of choice, Carlsen says: "Usually in the past, I've been a believer of 3-4-3, but I think probably with all the options that are in midfield, you should play five midfielders.

It is fascinating to hear Carlsen dismiss the notion that a chess, or fantasy football, player should be planning way in advance.

As for what would be the more significant accolade, world chess champion or winning FPL, it is possibly the only instance over the course of the conversation that the grandmaster finds himself in check.

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