Magnus Carlsen might be on his way to establishing commercial viability for chess

The 19-year-old Norwegian phenom is emerging as a spiffy dresser as the result of his
advertising campaign for G-Star, the Dutch clothing designer and producer. His stylish looks are
appearing throughout Europe.

The publisher ChessBase, for example, reports that an image of Carlsen adorns a bus stop
opposite its office in Hamburg, Germany.

Carlsen’s modeling recalls a young Bobby Fischer, who segued from dungarees and sweatshirts to
fine clothes. Fischer’s suitcase and closets quickly overflowed with custom-

tailored suits, shirts and shoes that he bought during his chess travels.

Fischer usually scorned commercial arrangements and treasured his privacy, so it’s unlikely that
he would have agreed to a deal such as Carlsen’s.

Speculation that the distractions of Carlsen’s new role had begun to hamper his chess play was
put to rest when he won the recent Pearl Spring Tournament in Nanjing, China.

Carlsen edged top-rated Viswanathan Anand by a point in the standings. The performance should
lift Carlsen back to the No.1 ranking.

Shelby Lyman is a Basic Chess Features columnist.