At the age of thirteen years, four months and twenty-six days, Magnus Carlsen became the youngest chess grandmaster in the world. The scene of this stunning record: Dubai. The date: April 26, 2004.
Predictably, the international press raved about the Norwegian prodigy. The Washington Post even dubbed him "the Mozart of chess".
Magnus Mania had reached a first peak a few weeks earlier, when in Reykjavik he beat former world champion Anatoly Karpov and next held none other than Garry Kasparov to a draw. Having lost a further game with the world's number one, thirteen-year-old Magnus commented without a trace of irony, "I played like a child".
Wonderboy is the fairy-tale-like story of Magnus Carlsen's rise and the story-teller could not have been better qualified. For the past four years Simen Agdestein has trained Magnus, repeatedly pinching himself in amazement at his pupil's lightning progress.