Carsten Hansen

Carsten Hansen

Carsten Hansen, a Danish FIDE Master at Chess, was born in 1971, a year where the winter came very early and heavy to the region of Denmark where his parents had settled. After his father had shoveled snow for five hours he realized that not even the main roads were being cleared anymore. The national guard came to pick up his pregnant wife and eight hours later Carsten was brought into the world.

At age 14, Carsten became the youngest master player at chess in Denmark at the time. He was, however, soon surpassed by a player that came to play an important role in his writing career several years later, Peter Heine Nielsen.
After a trip to the Soviet Union/Russia (the switch happened during the visit) at the end of 1991, Carsten put his full-time chess-playing days behind him to pursue a career in the shipping industry (where he is still employed).

In late 1995, Carsten was contacted by Peter Heine Nielsen to co-author a chess book on the “Sicilian Accelerated Dragon”. Peter had been offered a contract but felt that he wouldn’t be able to write the book on his own and since Carsten had played the opening his entire life, it was a natural fit. The book was released in 1998 to high acclaim and near universal positive reviews.

Carsten being eager to write more, contacted another publisher, the recently started Gambit Publications, to write more chess books, whereas Peter pursued his own chess career, reaching a rating peak of above 2700 (the highest for a Danish player) and later became the coach for World Champion Anand from India and is currently coaching the reigning World Champion, Magnus Carlsen.

Carsten then wrote: “The Gambit Guide to the English Opening: 1…e5”, “Symmetrical English”, “Nimzo-Indian: 4 e3”, and “Improve Your Positional Chess”, his best-reviewed work to date, it has subsequently been translated into Spanish “Mejore Su Ajedrez Posicional”. Recently, the English version book has been released in e-format.
After that, Carsten and Gambit parted ways.

From 1999 to 2013, Carsten was a columnist for the very popular website,, run by Hanon Russell. For Russell Enterprises, Carsten co-authored a book with American International Master John Donaldson, “A Strategic Opening Repertoire” and then wrote “Back to Basics: Openings”. Another book in the “Back to Basics…” series, on endings, is in production. Carsten and Russell Enterprises have released three titles in the “Chess Miniatures Series”, “Miniatures in the Sicilian Najdorf”, “Miniatures in the Queen’s Indian: 4 g3”, and most recently “Miniatures in Ruy Lopez: Main Lines” with several more to come in 2018. Russell has published the most recent work “The Chameleon Variation” in November 2017.

In July 2017, Carsten’s work “The Closed Sicilian – move by move” was published by Everyman Chess. Previously they released “The Sicilian Dragon – move by move” in October 2016, with another title, “The Bb5 Sicilian – move by move” slated for publication in the early part of 2018.

Another title to appear will be “The Full English Opening – Mastering the Fundamentals” which is being published by New In Chess and it should be out in April 2018.

In addition to these traditionally published books, Carsten has self-published the bestselling series “Winning Quickly at Chess”, the first three volumes are currently available, three more are open for pre-orders and an additional two will be released towards the end of the year.

Carsten Hansen lives and works just outside New York City, and still enjoys playing and writing about chess. Aside from his books, Carsten has been a contributor to Skakbladet, Chess Life, New In Chess Yearbook and most recently become a columnist for the new chess quarterly: American Chess Magazine.