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Simen Agdestein

Full name Simen Agdestein
Country Norway
Born 15 May 1967
Asker, Norway
Title Grandmaster (1985)
Peak rating 2637 (July 2014)

Simen Agdestein (born 15 May 1967) is a Norwegian who has excelled in chess, chess coaching and football. He is also an author of several books.

Agdestein is a chess grandmaster. He has won seven Norwegian chess championships, including the 2005 title. He is also the former coach of Magnus Carlsen, and is the brother of Carlsen's present manager, Espen Agdestein. He has authored and co-authored several books on chess, including a biography of Carlsen.

Agdestein is also a former professional footballer who represented the Norway national football team. He played as a striker.

Chess career

Agdestein became Norwegian national champion at the age of 15, an International Master at 16 and a grandmaster at 18.

On a local level, his regular dominance of the Nordic and Norwegian Chess Championships during the 1980s amply demonstrated that there were few players who could resist his enterprising and inventive style. In international competition, he finished second at the 1986 World Junior Championship behind Walter Arencibia but ahead of Evgeny Bareev, Viswanathan Anand and Jeroen Piket. A little later, his Elo rating rose to over 2600.

In the late 1980s, Agdestein combined top-flight chess with a full-time football career, representing his country at both. In the early 1990s, a knee injury cut short his football activities. In 1999, Agdestein returned to winning ways, topping the Cappelle la Grande tournament that year and the Isle of Man tournament in 2003. Agdestein scored two tournament victories in 2013, when he won the Open Sant Martí in Barcelona with 8½ points out of 9 possible, with a rating performance of 2901, and the Oslo Chess International-Håvard Vederhus' Memorial with 7 points out of 9.

Agdestein has represented his country seven times at the Chess Olympiad, mostly playing first board and winning an individual (board 4) gold medal at his first appearance in 1982.

As a player of the white pieces, he shows a preference for the queen pawn openings, while with Black, favours the Ruy Lopez, Dutch Defence and Semi-Open Games. On the January 2007 FIDE list, he had an Elo rating of 2583, just short of his five-year top score of 2595 achieved in January 2004.

Agdestein works at the sports academy Norges Toppidrettsgymnas, where he teaches chess and soccer. He has been a chess coach to many young talents, including current world champion Magnus Carlsen.

His handle on the Internet Chess Club (ICC) is "Gruk".

Football career

Simen Agdestein
Personal information
Date of birth 15 May 1967
Place of birth Asker, Norway
Height 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)
Playing position Forward
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1984-1992 Lyn 92 (37)
National team
1988-1989 Norway 8 (1)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

† Appearances (goals)
Club performance League Cup Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Norway League Norwegian Cup Total
1984 Lyn Oslo 2 0 - 2 0
1985 4 1 - 4 1
1986 4 1 - 4 1
1987 19 8 - 19 8
1988 17 13 1 0 18 13
1989 17 5 - 17 5
1990 17 8 3 0 20 8
1991 Premier League 2 0 - 2 0
1992 10 1 2 6 12 7
Total Norway 92 37 6 6 98 43
Career total 92 37 6 6 98 43

Personal life

He was born in Oslo as a son of civil engineer Reidar Frank Agdestein (1927-2002) and secretary Unni Jørgensen (1934-). He is a maternal grandson of runner and botanist Reidar Jørgensen. In October 1996 he married Marianne Aasen, a later Member of Parliament. The couple had two children, but separated in 2008. Currently, Simen Agdestein works at Valler Upper Secondary School.


Source: BIBSYS

As an author or co-author

Books about Agdestein