Interview Magnus Carlsen: ‘Chess has not been very kind to women over the years’

Interview
Magnus Carlsen: ‘Chess has not been very kind to women over the years’

he world champion has praised Netflix series The Queen’s Gambit and thinks it would be close if he played the fictional Beth Harmon

Magnus Carlsen is the world No 1 but he sees no reason why a real-world Beth Harmon could not succeed him. Photograph: Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

 On his Instagram feed, Magnus Carlsen imagined a photoshopped match against Beth Harmon, the fictional heroine of Netflix’s smash hit chess series The Queen’s Gambit. “I think it would be close,” he wrote.

In reality, Carlsen stands alone at the top of the global game, the unrivalled great of his generation. But he says there is no reason a real world Harmon could not one day succeed him – if a game with a notoriously chauvinistic history can become more hospitable to its prospective female superstars.

“This is a problem that’s been around in chess for a long time,” the Norwegian said in a Zoom interview. “Chess societies have not been very kind to women and girls over the years. Certainly there needs to be a bit of a change in culture.”

theguardian