Magnus' Year of 29

2019 has been nothing less than spectacular for Magnus Carlsen. After winning his fourth World Championship Match at the end of 2018, he has shown a new dimension to his game (one of aggression) that has served him magnificently.

He has gone undefeated the entire year and raised his rating from 2835 to 2872. Previously, Magnus has been reluctant to discuss whether he can beat his rating record, but lately that has all changed. He has revealed crossing 2900 as his goal – a threshold no one has done before him.

When discussing chess ratings, players often use a shorthand of cutting out the last two digits. As such, a grandmaster becomes a 25 (usually pronounced as two-five or twenty-five hundred). A strong grandmaster is 26, a top 50 player in the world is 27 and world’s elite is 28. We may soon need a descriptor for 29. We may just use Magnus’ name, as the latin translation of his name is simply “great” – but great does seem like a bit of an understatement for the 2900 threshold.

On November 30th, Magnus celebrates his 29th birthday. With the form he has shown, crushing all the world’s greatest chess players and winning all the tournaments he plays in, the big question is: Will he turn 29 or reach 29 first? I really think 2900 could happen, as his heavy tournament schedule will give him ample opportunity if he continues his triumphant streak.

What are your thoughts? Will Magnus turn 29 or reach 2900 first? Leave your comments on our facebook page.

And don't forget to follow Magnus on his current tournament in Croatia. You can follow the games on

Photo credit: Lennart Ootes