Not many chess players achieve a degree of celebrity that allows them to be recognized and even feted in the mainstream media.
Magnus Carlsen's image took a new direction today as he embarked on a career as a model for G-Star!
G-Star are a trendy Dutch clothing brand that specialise in what they call 'RAW' denim - an unwashed and untreated form of the fabric. The sort of thing that has graced the catwalks in New York Fashion Week for the last 2 years.
The latest G-Star advertising campaign, launched in Berlin today, also features the American actress Liv Tyler. Her Elo rating is probably less impressive, but she may just have the edge in modelling experience.
A video of the pair at the official photo shoot can be found here. All photos were taken by Anton Corbijn for G-Star.
This news item quotes Carlsen on his new venture, "I think people will be surprised to see me like this. Surely just as surprised as I was when I was picked for this," he said.
More photos can be found here and here.
Also, on September 10 the Cooper Square Hotel in NY City will host the "RAW World Chess Challenge". Everyone in the world is invited to play Magnus live on the web. Three GMs will suggest moves and a vote will decide which one is played [UPDATE - the 3 GMs are reportedly Hikaru Nakamura, Judit Polgar and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave].
A video advertising the event is here.