Current chess champion Magnus Carlsen is also one of the top fantasy soccer players in the world

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I kind of like the fact that he acknowledges the role that sheer chance played in his result. It would be very easy to fall for your own hype here, but Carlsen is a good enough analyst of the game to note that he doesn’t have some sort of superior fantasy football skillset.

Given his reputation, that’s rather humanising.


I think something we don’t often recognize is that having a big ego and thinking you did it all yourself is an impediment to exceptional performance. I feel like the cultural message for North American English speakers is that ego is positively correlated with success when it’s probably the opposite.

Top level game players need to know what is within their control and what is up to chance, and play accordingly. People who take credit for their good luck and deflect blame to their bad luck are “reward hacking”, they are sabotaging the feedback mechanism that is supposed to be teaching them how to get better.

Not that chess grand masters don’t have huge egos, I’m sure I’ve heard some crazy stories. They probably distort how meaningful their skill at chess is and exaggerate how transferable that skill is to other areas of life. But one area I’d expect them to not be at all confused by is how they win games.


I’ve heard about fantasy sport leagues in media and pop culture for so long and still don’t know what it means that at this point I’m too afraid to ask…

So are there elves involved?

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