HOW DO YOU SPOT a chess prodigy? Is there a moment—perhaps when he makes a boldly brilliant move out of nowhere or plasters his bedroom with pinups of Bobby Fischer and Garry Kasparov—when it all becomes clear?
Well, that wasn’t quite how it happened for Henrik Carlsen and Sigrun Øen, parents of 23-year-old Magnus Carlsen, the Norwegian who became a grandmaster at 13 and the youngest-ever world No. 1 at 19, and whose peak World Chess Federation rating (2,882) is the highest in history. Last November, Carlsen defeated Viswanathan Anand to become the World Chess Champion, a title he will defend against Anand later this year in a yet-to-be-decided location—possibly Norway.