I May Have Found a Replacement for Magnus Carlsen

Continuing on the hotness theme, the entire world is currently going loony-maroony for Magnus Carlsen, the 22-year-old Norwegian who just snagged the world chess champion title in Chennai, India. His pugnacious/angelic mug, stylish blazer and raked-up hair is EVERYWHERE, particularly if you Google image him.


Norwegians report that Magnus Carlsen is so hot right now that when he walks through the Norwegian snow it melts in rivulets at his feet, which in some cases ruins an otherwise pristine snowscape. So that’s sad. But Norwegians don’t care.

The other sad thing about Magnus Carlsen’s hotness, is how it affects Karl Brinkman, the most sexually attractive world champion in the game of Qwirkle. Karl feels like both his achievements and his hotness have been impinged upon by the bright sun of gaming hotness that is Magnus Carlsen.

He agreed to let me interview him if I pretended to be from the New York Times. So I did. Here it is.


Sexy with a Capital Q: An Interview with Karl Brinkman

Spartan Holiday: So, Karl, do you feel like other hot people, such as yourself, who are table game world champions should be made into sex symbols in the style of Magnus Carlsen?

Karl Brinkman: Yes. Yes I do.

SH: Is chess inherently sexier than Qwirkle do you think though?

KB: I think that some people think that, yes. Qwirkle is often misunderstood.

SH: How so?

KB: Qwirkle is a game that correlates directly with intelligence. It received the Mensa Select award from Mensa, the High IQ Society. As in chess, stupid people will fail at this game. That’s just one thing that people don’t realize.

SH: What are some other things?

KB: People don’t realize that there are 108 tiles. That’s a lot. People often think there are less..like some people think there are only 95 tiles and some people even think there are 80 tiles.

SH: Why would they think that?

KB: Because they’re never played the game and are just guessing.

SH: What are some other misconceptions?

KB: Well people don’t realize that a master Qwirkle player can get rid of all of their tiles on each turn no matter what’s on the table.

SH: Oh, how is that possible? I thought it was like Scrabble where your moves are limited by what you draw and what your opponents play.

KB: See, that’s the misconception. I can get rid of every tile every round. 100%. Another misconception is that the game is just eye candy…like it’s just a bunch of pretty tiles with no rules or object, and you just kind of decorate the table with them.

SH: So some people don’t know it’s a game at all.

KB: Yes, exactly. That’s what I’m up against.


SH: Could you beat Magnus Carlsen at Qwirkle?

KB: Yes, I believe I could.

SH: Could you beat Magnus Carlsen at a sports jacket modeling competition?

KB: Yes.

SH:  Is it fair to call yourself an athlete, as you do on your Facebook page?

KB: Most people would not call me an athlete, but they’d be wrong. I’m a mental athlete, not a physical athlete. The facets of athleticism are flexibility, agility, strength, speed and endurance. All of which happen in your mind during a Qwirkle game.

SH: Do you think it’s a sign of the times that more sedentary people are now becoming super athletes?


KB: I think it’s more like the zeitgeist of our times than a sign of the times.

SH: Other than an athlete, what are you?

KB: Well, you could say I’m an artist of the game. A rock star of sorts. A nuclear physicist almost, and a published author.

SH: You’re a published author?

KB:I mean figuratively.

SH: Could we also say figuratively that you’re the Norwegian World Chess Champion?

KB: Yes, you could. I am the Norwegian World Chess Champion of Qwirkle.

SH: But you’re not actually Norwegian..

KB: No, I’m from Germany which occupied Norway during World War II.

SH: Okay. On the Qwirkle game box it says “Mix, Match, Score and Win!” Do you think that’s an accurate description of the game?

KB: Honestly? No. I think that really diminishes the game because there are a lot more actions involved.

SH: Such as?

KB: Such as: “Think.” “Strategize.” “Deduce.” “Draw.” “Play.” “Take turns.” And “Dominate.”

SH: I guess they need more space on the box. Well, good luck to you Karl. Thanks for talking to us here at the New York Times.

KB: Thanks. Good luck to me too.


And that concluded my interview. Some of you are probably wondering: Do I think Karl Brinkman is more a hero or anti-hero?  Is he really that good at Qwirkle? Should Karl Brinkman replace Magnus Carlsen as the next international sex symbol?

I don’t know.

Sometimes you can’t get a real sense of a person just from one interview. Sometimes you don’t know if they have je ne sais quoi or not. That’s the thing about je ne said quoi– if you can’t define it, you can’t tell if it’s missing or there. I don’t know if Karl Brinkman has a certain I-don’t-know-what, in other words.

But I’ll tell you what I do know–I’m tired of talking about hot things…I miss those preternaturally un-hot people that I used to visit with so frequently–namely, the Victorians.

I will visit with them again soon, right here on Spartan Holiday. I promise.



4 thoughts on “I May Have Found a Replacement for Magnus Carlsen

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