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1400-Rated Chess-Addict Salah Dreams Of Carlsen Meeting
Mohamed Salah has a passion he shares with millions. Photo: Sky Sports.

1400-Rated Chess-Addict Salah Dreams Of Carlsen Meeting

TarjeiJS
| 38 | Chess.com News

Mohamed Salah, one of the world's greatest soccer players, revealed that he is addicted to chess and wants to meet GM Magnus Carlsen. The former world champion responded with a waving-hand emoji.

The Egyptian goal-scoring machine is considered one of the greatest African soccer players of all time and has become a living legend for English Premier League giants Liverpool.

In a new interview with Sky Sports ahead of Saturday's Premier League match against Manchester City, the 32-year-old revealed his passion.

Salah said: “I play chess, I am addicted to chess. Every day, literally every day," he laughed.

Salah said he plays the game online, but did not specify where, although he has previously posted pictures on his Instagram indicating that he plays on Chess.com. Speaking to Sky Sports, Salah says that his online opponents ask him whether he is actually the star soccer player.

“I am not saying my name. I put my name and some other numbers so some people they ask ‘are you Mo Salah,’ I say ‘yes,’ they don’t believe it, and say ‘you are lying.’ I say ‘yes, I’m lying.’”

Asked whether he is any good, Salah revealed he is rated around 1400. “I’m good, I’m not Magnus, but I’m good. No one has a chance with Magnus. But hopefully we will play one day.”

Carlsen is known to be a huge soccer and Salah fan, regularly featuring the winger on his Fantasy Premier League squad that took him to the top of the game with more than 7 million players.

The former world champion appeared to accept the invitation and took to X/Twitter on Sunday to respond with a simple emoji, tagging Salah.

If the two actually meet, Salah wouldn't be the first soccer player to get a chess lesson from the Norwegian. In 2018, Salah's Liverpool teammate Trent Alexander-Arnold played Carlsen in an exhibition match in Manchester, England. It didn't go well for Alexander-Arnold, who got checkmated in 17 moves.

"I've been playing chess since I was very young, and I've always enjoyed it. It's hard to find someone who wants to play as much as me," he said.

U.S. star Christian Pulisic has also talked about his passion for the game since playing a 10-year-old Carlsen in the Charity Chess Challenge in 2022. The 25-year-old AC Milan (formerly Chelsea) midfielder met with Carlsen in London for a promotional campaign for worldwide sports brand Puma, where both are ambassadors.

PUMA ambassadors Carlsen and Pulisic playing chess. Photo: PUMA.
PUMA ambassadors Carlsen and Pulisic playing chess. Photo: PUMA.

"It's an incredible game that can help you with a lot of things like problem-solving or seeing different patterns," the player said in an interview with the Daily Mail. Pulisic is now a bot you can play on Chess.com.

Former Real Madrid player Esteban Granero is another star player who loves chess. "I am a huge fan of chess. In another life, I would love to be a professional chess player. I love playing chess, I love watching chess. I spend most of my free time on it," the Spanish star said during a Chess.com broadcast in 2020.

The same year the 1597-FIDE-rated player got to face Carlsen during an event on chess24.

Some of the players on the Norwegian national soccer team are also known to play chess. Salernitana star Erik Botheim, one of Erling Haaland's best friends, has a FIDE rating of 1662 and actively played tournaments as a youngster.

Another is Arsenal star Martin Ødegaard (formerly Real Madrid), who came to visit Carlsen during the 2018 Tata Steel Chess tournament along with his Norwegian teammate from Heerenveen at the time, Morten Thorsby.

Martin Ødegaard, Morten Thorsby and Magnus Carlsen meet in Groningen. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.
Martin Ødegaard, Morten Thorsby, and Magnus Carlsen met in Groningen in 2018. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

Chess has also attracted one of the world's best tennis players. Spanish phenom Carlos Alcaraz recently revealed that he has been using chess as a tool to keep his mind sharp when playing in important tournaments.

"[Chess] helps me to be mentally faster, to see the plays, the moves I want to make," Alcaraz shared in an interview with Spanish sports news outlet Marca. "In chess, as in tennis, the game can turn around if you lose concentration even for just a moment," he added.

Alcaraz is the newest addition to Chess.com's lineup of chess bots.

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