Rarely do my boyfriend’s passion for online chess and my own interests intersect; generally, the agreement is that I will read feminist news sites and pop culture blogs on my computer, and he will sit in his corner playing chess and reading BBC sports.  Everyone is comfortable with this.  His “corner” is in the bedroom whereas my station is in the living room, so we will even occasionally send emails back and forth of amusing video links, separated as we are by 20 feet and a door.  He is not supposed to talk to me if I am trying to write a blog post, and I am not allowed to distract him if he’s contemplating a move in any of the 20 games he is generally playing at a time.  This is our quiet time.

But naturally, he was compelled to send me a link to the new G-Star Raw adverts, featuring young Grandmaster Magnus Carlsen, and I was obliged to be terribly amused.  Magnus is a 19-year-old Norwegian chess prodigy and the third-youngest Grandmaster in history, achieving the ranking at just 13 years of age.  As per Wikipedia:

On 1 January 2010 the new FIDE rating list was published, and at the age of 19 years and 32 days, he became the youngest chess player in history to be ranked world number one, breaking the record held my Vladimir Kramnik.  Carlsen is also the World Blitz Chess champion.

His performance at the September–October 2009 Nanjing Pearl Spring tournament has been described as one of the greatest in history and lifted him to an Elo rating of 2801, making him the fifth player to achieve a rating over 2800 – and aged 18 at the time, by far the youngest to do so.

Based on his rating, Carlsen has qualified for the Candidates Tournament which will determine the challenger to face World Champion Viswanathan Anand in the World Chess Championship 2012.

This clothes campaign also stars Liv Tyler, and honestly, I love it.  Think how cool it would be if adverts starred, instead of models/actors, female astronauts and world-class ping-pong players and trivia champions!  And lest you’re wondering, as I was, if this is just Magnus’ Blue Steel, it seems his face is just set this way:

Young Magnus got your Raw right here!

Awww.  More pics of the wee Grandmaster at this link.  My boyfriend’s Elo rating is only 1770, but he would make just as as good a denim model.  I find G-Star’s approach here a lot of fun, and wish the best for Magnus and his tough-kid face.