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Did you know? The chess position from Ronaldo-Messi Louis Vuitton ad is from game between Magnus Carlsen vs Hikaru Nakamura

The Indian Express logo The Indian Express 21-11-2022 Express News Service
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We’ve all seen the ad. Two of football’s greatest players – Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo — playing chess in luxury brand Louis Vuitton's latest campaign. Naturally, chess aficionados were trying to decipher who was in a better position, much like football fans have been debating for more than a decade.

It soon came to light that the position on the board is actually from a real game! Ronaldo and Messi are looking at a position from the game between Magnus Carlsen and Hikaru Nakamura which happened at the Norway Chess tournament back in 2017. It was not really a happy tournament for World Champion Carlsen as he was at risk of dropping to No. 2 or No. 3 in the world.

It was Carlsen's second GM Peter Heine Nielsen who first pointed that out on Twitter, and then Carlsen commented on that tweet and the photo: "Second greatest rivalry of our time mimicking the greatest."

The photo, which went with the caption “Victory is a State of Mind”, is already among the most-liked Instagram posts. The picture, which was shot by the legendary celebrity portrait photographer Annie Leibovitz, shows Messi and Ronaldo are playing chess on a checkered Louis Vuitton suitcase. It was posted on Messi's, Ronaldo's, and Louis Vuitton's channels.

After the sixth round of the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour in San Francisco, Carlsen was asked about the Louis Vuitton photo and here’s what he said, reports “The original is from my game with Nakamura in Norway Chess 2017, a very tumultuous event for me. I ended up with minus one, and at several points during the tournament, I was in risk of dropping to number two or three or even four in the world. It was tough!”.

Asked if the Messi-Ronaldo rivalry is comparable to the Carlsen-Nakamura rivalry, Carlsen said: “Not really, but he's good at a lot of the stuff that I'm good at, for sure. It's not the worst comparison in the world.”

Watch the BTS video of the ad here:

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