Meet the Play Magnus team!

We're a small team full of enthusiasm. Most of the time we don’t dress this serious, but we work hard and play hard.

Like a Baws

Magnus Carlsen

Magnus is the World Chess Champion and the highest rated player of all time.

Fun Fact

Despite being a guy who remembers so much chess, Magnus is totally hopeless at remembering his own stuff when traveling. 

CEE EEE OHH

Kate Murphy

Kate is a Canadian who doesn't play chess or speak Norwegian, so you're probably wondering how she ended up as CEO. Well, she's an entrepreneur at heart with a passion for making the world a smarter place. She also has an MBA. 

Fun Fact

Kate is a certified yoga instructor and runs the team through rigorous yoga classes weekly. She also started her first company at 12 years old. 

Janitor & King Developer

Felipe Longé

Felipe is the self proclaimed Janitor at Play Magnus - and while he didn't get it put on his business card, he does do a lot of code cleaning. 

Fun Fact

After taking a gene test Felipe learned that according to his gene ABCC11, he has earwax that's of "the wet type." 

Chess Engine Magician

Tord Romstad

Tord is the chess programming and general AI expert at Play Magnus. He is neither a programmer nor a chess player, but started writing chess software so he would no longer have to play chess himself.

Fun Fact

Tord is probably the only person in the world with no major physical handicaps who has a longer personal record in the long jump than in the shot put.

Creative Brain

Martin Holm

Martin is our lead designer, and the man behind the look and feel of Play Magnus, entrusted with keeping the brand bold, yet playful. He is devoted to help make chess cool, and learning fun.

Fun Fact

Has his hands full with two kids. Enjoys climbing and bouldering, and going up the occasional tree. Collects photos of signage. Still loves lego.

Sketching Queen

Martine Rolid Leonardsen

Martine is our UX designer with a passion for creating good user experiences and exploring the unknown. She has founded and worked with several startups, been teaching interaction design, and likes to think the user is always right.

Fun Fact

Martine loves french movies from the 60s (La Nouvelle Vague), climbing and surfing. If it was up to her, she would have eaten tacos for dinner every day.

Master of Content

Torbjørn Ringdal Hansen

Torbjørn was Magnus’ chess coach early on, and went on to become a Grand Master himself. He still enjoys teaching chess weekly, and has three former students that are now Grand Masters. At Play Magnus, Torbjørn works with content for both games and lessons.

Fun Fact

Torbjørn never says no to a game of chess, whether it’s a big international tournament or a local game at a pub. Most of his holidays are spent at tournaments.

Game Choreograph

Olga Dolzhykova

Olga is the Ukrainian mastermind behind the games in Magnus Trainer. She started seriously training chess at 16 to get over the disappointment of failing her entrance exams to university, and ended up with a Master’s degree, a PhD and a Woman Grand Master title in chess. Olga is the author behind a series of chess books for children and organizes chess events all over Norway with Simen Agdestein.

Fun Fact

Olga is crazy about dancing, and grabs any chance at taking dancing lessons in Oslo and on her travels. She loves shopping for dancing clothes and shoes.
 

Apprentice Code Smith

Nell Trico

Nell is our junior developer, and a very sharp one at that. Originally she comes from France, but figured it would be nice to move to Norway and enjoy the lovely nature. And so she did. 

Fun Fact

Nell is a knives maniac, and has some apprentice blacksmithing skills. She also created a hidden RPG-like game within the chat tool the team uses during her free time.

PROgrammr_​

Thomas Amundsen

Thomas, our second junior developer, is all about knowing code grammar at a professional level, though semantics are important too. He works with both back end and front end development and is devoted to learning a broad range of programming languages. 

Fun Fact

Thomas enjoys spending his time off pushing high velocities on rollerblades with a pair of ski poles. 

Experimental Engineer

Knut Tyse

Knut is a physicist by training, and loves solving technical math problems, diving into code, and repairing bicycles. As the latest junior developer to join Play Magnus, he is excited about learning more chess and becoming a great programmer.

Fun Fact

Using his expertise in physics, Knut wants to make a chess board with levitating chess pieces.

Marketing Mastermind

Michelle Mcleod

Michelle works on marketing and PR, as well as managing the day-to-day administration of the business. She was drawn to sunny Norway by its enchanting landscape and delightful people.

Fun Fact

Having spent 4+ hours a day swimming in her youth, Michelle’s adeptness on dry land has suffered. Case in point: She once managed to break her middle finger in a running race.

Head of PR & Communications & Joker

Arne Horvei

Arne is a two-headed Norwegian troll. He both handles PR and Communications for the company, as well as work with Espen on the management of Magnus. In reality this means to improve media presence for the company, coordinate all the different requests for Magnus, align 4-5 different calendars, and in between try to produce a strategic thought or two. Just his cup of tea.

Fun Fact

Arne is the creator of the "Confessional Box" now seen across chess tournaments worldwide. 

Chairman & Ideas Man

Anders Brandt

Anders is the Chairman of Play Magnus, but not because of his chess skills - he's a serial entrepreneur and a successful angel investor in the Scandinavian tech scene. 

Fun Fact

Anders was once on the Norwegian bobsleigh team and was one of the first hang glider pilots in Norway.

Board Member & Chess Sensei

Espen Agdestein

Espen became Magnus Carlsen's manager in 2009 after leaving his director job in the media industry. He originally took the job thinking he would have more time for playing golf. As you can imagine, that didn't pan out as he planned. 

Fun Fact

Espen has an approximate Elo rating of 2400 and 10 in golf handicap; Magnus claims that it's probably the opposite. 

Board Member & The Father

Henrik Carlsen

Henrik is well known in the media for being Magnus' father, but he's also instrumental in his business ventures. Henrik represents Magnus and MagnusChess at Play Magnus. He is an engineer, former oil manager and consultant with international experience and a passion for chess. 

Fun Fact

It was Henrik's idea to bring in the month selector (allowing him to defeat 10 years and 1 month old Magnus). He, along with his coworkers won the Scandinavian Business tournament 20 years ago - the same year he tried to teach Magnus chess for the first time. 

Board Member & Connector

Erik Anderson

Based in Seattle, WA, Erik is our US arm (and all other appendages in the US for that matter). He's also the founder of America's Foundation for Chess, where Magnus sits as the Honorary Chairman. 

Fun Fact

Erik is a strong golfer and boasts 2 hole-in-ones in his golf career (he's also the Chairman of the successful company Top Golf). 

Board Member

Charles Stonehill

Charles is an Anglo-American based in New York whose chess career peaked at age 16. He has tried to compensate for his more than 50 year playing slump by developing a career in financial services and clean energy, and is a Board member of several companies.

Fun Fact

In spite of a lackluster tennis career, and a dubious physical resemblance,  Charles was selected as the tennis-playing body double of Dennis Quaid in the 2004 movie In Good Company.