By the time Magnus Carlsen, a Norwegian chess grandmaster, was 16, he was successful enough that his parents, Henrik and Sigrun, decided to form a small company to handle his winnings. Henrik said at the time that he hoped that Magnus would earn enough by age 25 that, if he decided to stop playing, he would at least be financially independent.

Magnus has exceeded that relatively modest goal.

Carlsen, the reigning world champion, will turn 31 at the end of the month, only days after he opens his defense of the title on Nov. 24 in Dubai in a best-of-14-game match against Ian Nepomniachtchi, a Russian grandmaster. The prize pool for the event is $2 million. As much as 60 percent will go to the winner.

Yet win or lose, the payday will only add incrementally to the millions of dollars Carlsen has earned in his career. He has also done something that none of his contemporaries or predecessors, not even Garry Kasparov, who held the world…

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