Chess grandmaster Carlsen makes a splash in Fantasy Football

FILE PHOTO: Norwegian chess player Magnus Carlsen participates at the Energy Denmark Champions Battle 2019 in Circus Building, Copenhagen, Denmark May 22, 2019. Claus Bech/Ritzau Scanpix/via REUTERS

(Reuters) - Chess grandmaster Magnus Carlsen’s knack for complex strategy has helped steer him into the upper echelons of an unlikely competition -- fantasy football.

The Norwegian stands third on the Premier League’s official fantasy football competition (FPL), only being knocked off top spot on Monday after Crystal Palace’s 1-1 draw against Brighton and Hove Albion.

The 29-year-old reigning world chess champion tweaked his Twitter profile to include his FPL achievement.

“World Chess Champion. The highest ranked chess player in the world. Former (live) #1 Fantasy Premier League player,” reads his bio on the social media site.

The FPL is played by more than seven million people.

“Since a lot of people are asking about my #FPL strategy, mine is the not so groundbreaking one of part stats and part gut feeling,” Carlsen told his Twitter followers last week.

“Patent pending.”

Carlsen’s place as the top-ranked FPL player in the world has been taken by former Liverpool and Bristol Rovers defender Nick Tanner.

Carlsen’s team includes Liverpool duo Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah and John Lundstrum of Sheffield United, the game’s top point-scoring defender.

Reporting by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford