World chess champion Magnus Carlsen, the winner of this week’s Qatar Masters Open, visited Aspire Academy where he played chess with 15 student-athletes and members of Academy staff simultaneously.
“I hope it was a good experience for all of them. The level of chess in Qatar and the Middle East is improving and the more people get involved, the better it is for the development of the sport,” said the 25-year-old Norwegian, who won all of his games and signed autographs for the student-athletes afterwards. They also used the opportunity to take pictures with the world no. 1, who is very interested in football and currently plays for a club in the 6th Norwegian division.
“I like to be active and doing different sports but chess is, of course, my profession,” continued Carlsen, who also used the opportunity to take a session with the Footbonaut – a high-tech ball-feeding machine used by the students of the Academy – while on a guided tour of the facilities. “For aspiring and professional athletes the Academy must be a great place to train and compete.”