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Classic Games (Games) Television

23-Year-Old Chess Grandmaster Whips Bill Gates In 71 Seconds 449

Posted by timothy
from the how-long-would-you-last? dept.
MojoKid writes "There's no disputing that Bill Gates is blessed with a brilliant mind. Sure, he dropped out of Harvard College, but he got accepted into the elite institution of higher learning in the first place. Leading into his college career, Gates scored 1,590 out of 1,600 on the SAT. The rest is history — he went on to co-found Microsoft, built a net worth that's in the billions ($76.8 billion at last count), and now spends his time on his philanthropic efforts. Regardless, it took 23-year-old Magnus Carlsen, a "grandmaster" Chess player since the age of 13 and new world Chess champion, just 71 seconds to defeat Gates in a friendly game of Chess on a Norwegian television show. It takes longer to heat up a cup of water in the microwave."
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23-Year-Old Chess Grandmaster Whips Bill Gates In 71 Seconds

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  • Big deal. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SuricouRaven (1897204) on Sunday January 26, 2014 @05:36AM (#46071693)

    He lost to someone who spent much of their life practicing the game. That doesn't really mean anything. To be a chess grandmaster requires a great natural aptitude - but it also requires devotion to practice and study within that very narrow field.

  • So What??? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DrNoNo (976214) on Sunday January 26, 2014 @05:39AM (#46071701)
    The definitive example of 'News' is 'Man bites dog'. If Carlsen had established a business empire to rival Microsoft in 71 seconds, that might be news.
  • by zachie (2491880) on Sunday January 26, 2014 @05:59AM (#46071739)
    The most intelligent person in the world would not stand a chance versus an experienced, serious chess aficionado. Being good at chess not only requires raw intelligence, but also strategic and tactical insights that just can't be developed on the fly no matter how intelligent you are, and especially not during a speed chess match.

    Reminds me of the story of world-class poker player Tom Dwan (who has won millions at poker and is likely very intelligent) losing > $50k in misjudging his chances of beating chess International Master Greg Shahade [twoplustwo.com], who was starting the game down a rook (an insurmountable difference when players have remotely similar skill).
  • by giorgist (1208992) on Sunday January 26, 2014 @06:15AM (#46071783)
    Bill Gates is not a polymath, I am sure he is no longer competitive in coding, let alone most tasks requiring intellect only because you need to have the knowledge, the talent and the intellect. Hi might have the second and he probably has the third but he can't make up for the first.
  • Re:Big deal. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 26, 2014 @06:42AM (#46071855)

    He lost to someone who spent much of their life practicing the game. That doesn't really mean anything.

    No-one (except perhaps his closest worshippers) would have expected Gates to win. But 71 seconds ?? Surely most people who had played chess before could have held out that long.

    You chastise Bill for playing quickly...when in reality, he knew his fate before he even touched a single chess piece.

    Why is it that you assume speed was a sign of unintelligent game play in his part? What exactly would have been the point of sitting there thinking about it?

    It's like standing there on the court taking your time serving a tennis ball to Roger Federer. Speed was realistically the most effective way to him to play this game, for the outcome was already known.

  • Reminds me (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dtml-try MyNick (453562) <litheran@@@gmail...com> on Sunday January 26, 2014 @06:44AM (#46071865)

    Reminds me of an old saying:

    Every person you meet is always better at something then you are...

  • Re:Big deal. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SuricouRaven (1897204) on Sunday January 26, 2014 @07:19AM (#46071959)

    Those chess grandmasters study the same books and tables extensively.

  • Oh, wow, really? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by wonkey_monkey (2592601) on Sunday January 26, 2014 @07:39AM (#46072037) Homepage

    Guy who is really really good at chess beats quite smart guy of unknown chess-playing ability at chess.

    This is news?

    Regardless, it took 23-year-old Magnus Carlsen, a "grandmaster" Chess player since the age of 13 and new world Chess champion, just 71 seconds to defeat Gates in a friendly game of Chess

    What do you mean, "regardless"? There's no "regardless" about it. It's like comparing a guy who won a gajillion dollars on a scratchcard to Warren Buffett (except for the fact that you could never get richer than Warren Buffett with any scratchcard). There is no comparison.

    Or are we really now meant to re-appraise Bill Gates's intelligence and business acumen in light of this spectacular failure to hold out against a chess grandmaster?

  • chess? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by stenvar (2789879) on Sunday January 26, 2014 @08:00AM (#46072105)

    Chess is a very specialized skill, unrelated to pretty much everything that matters in life. Yeah, it's not surprising that an expert level chess player can win against a business tycoon. He'd probably also win against a Nobel prize winner or mathematician.

  • Re:Big deal. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Kuroji (990107) <kuroji@gmail.com> on Sunday January 26, 2014 @08:02AM (#46072111)

    I guess memory is a foreign concept to you. Tell me, what do you think studying does, exactly?

  • by James_Duncan8181 (588316) on Sunday January 26, 2014 @08:06AM (#46072121) Homepage
    Sure, although it's worth noting that Bieber is more of a heartthrob that sings. That's not to knock his singing per se, but he's no grand master and certainly wouldn't be globally #1 rated. Just like Hilton, his main skill is being very charismatic in an attention economy and he primarily supplies eyeballs.

    Carlsen plays the best chess in the world and happens to be attractive. That's the difference.
  • Barf (Score:2, Insightful)

    by markdavis (642305) on Sunday January 26, 2014 @08:29AM (#46072175)

    >"There's no disputing that Bill Gates is blessed with a brilliant mind."

    I think I shall barf now.

  • Re:Big deal. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tverbeek (457094) on Sunday January 26, 2014 @12:13PM (#46073545) Homepage

    My SAT score (1510) was almost as high as Mr. Bill's. I scored similarly on the GREs (general and comp-sci), and hit the 90th percentile when I took the LSAT cold (having no idea what kinds of questions would be on it) on a dare. Yet I absolutely suck at chess, and other exercises in tactical or strategic thinking. Despite the literary/cinematic cliché of using "plays chess" to show that someone is really, really smart, it actually reflects only a very specific kind of intelligence, to say nothing of developing the skills and experience to play it well. This match-up was about as meaningful as putting a pro basketball player in a half-pipe competition with a skateboarding whiz.

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