Games and Goals - Atle Groenn

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Games and Goals by Atle Groenn
The Fascinating Chess and Football Careers of Simen Agdestein

Simen Agdestein was awarded the title of chess grandmaster at the age of eighteen, the youngest in the world at the time. Two years later he wrote in his diary that he believed he could become the best in the world.

But chess wasn't his only passion. He also excelled at football and was selected nine times for the Norwegian national team. Foreign clubs wanted to sign him as a professional.

Simen Agdestein's combined careers are unique and amazing. 'I can't choose between my left and my right arm', he once said of the choice between chess and football.

His international football career was cut short when he refused to play for Norway in a World Cup qualifier against Scotland. He opted instead to play Garry Kasparov in a chess tournament in Belgrade. A few years later, a knee injury put an end to his footballing dreams.

These days Agdestein is a coach and teacher at the Norwegian College for Top Athletes, a fertile breeding ground where his most successful pupil, Magnus Carlsen, also attended. Agdestein continues to compete in chess. In 2023 he won the Norwegian Championship for the ninth time, 41 years after his first successful bid.

Games and Goals is a gripping biography of a unique double talent, revealing his insecurities and ambitions, his doubts and dreams. The author had access to Agdestein's private letters and diaries and conducted numerous interviews with relatives, friends and Agdestein himself.

Atle Grønn (1971) is Professor of Slavic linguistics at the University of Oslo, an International Chess Master and a prolific writer on the game of chess. His books Sjakken eller Livet (Chess or Life, 2016) and Sjakkgeniene (Chess Geniuses, 2018), co-authored with Olav Lahlum, were bestsellers. With his appearances as a chess expert in live broadcasts of chess competitions on NRK and VGTV, he has become a television personality in Norway.

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Paperback | Pages: 272 | ISBN: 9789083347981 | New in Chess

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