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The data set was updated on September 02, 2021.

What is the Magnus Number?

Similar to the “ErdÅ‘s Number“, the “Magnus Number” describes the victory distance to Magnus Carlsen, the current world chess champion. The idea is simple: Magnus Carlsen himself has number 0.

On April 23, 2014, Fabiano Caruana won against Carlsen. Since then, Caruana’s Magnus Number is 1: one victory separates him from the world champion.

On April 15, 2017, Hou Yifan won against Fabiano Caruana. However, she has never won against Carlsen in a direct encounter, earning her a Magnus Number of 2.

Trying to construct a victory path to Carlsen can be done for any chess player. If one or more victory paths exist, the Magnus Number of a player equals the number of steps in the shortest path from the player to Carlsen.

However, not all victories are taken into account. First of all, a victory has to be FIDE rated. Second, only standard games are valid, no rapid or blitz games. Finally, only games that are played during the “reign” of the champion are considered. In case of Carlsen, this started on November 22, 2013, when he beat Viswanathan Anand in their world championship match.

Would you like to see more? Take a look at the top list of your federation or continue reading about some fun facts!