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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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  • microwave (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 26, 2014 @05:30AM (#46071679)

    Your microwave sucks

  • Runtime... (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    ... 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."

    And about as long as it takes Windows to blue-screen...

    • by Rhinobird (151521) on Sunday January 26, 2014 @06:02AM (#46071751) Homepage

      Oh, come on. That is such an old cliche. I mean, it's taken them 30 years, but Windows, now, doesn't crash for at LEAST 2 minutes...the time it takes to boot.

      • by Opportunist (166417) on Sunday January 26, 2014 @06:19AM (#46071789)

        Well, you have to hand it to MS, they are consistent. No matter how fast your machine may get, they will adjust their OS to take the same time to boot up...

        • by locopuyo (1433631)
          I run Windows 8.1 on an SSD and I fully boot to a blue screen in under 10 seconds.
  • by AK Marc (707885)
    He should have brought a Chess computer.
  • 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.

    • by nukenerd (172703)

      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.

      • Kind of agree. Gates had 2mn to think, but he chose to play quick - probably not seeing what was coming. But anyone who played against a strong chess software, like Fritz, knows how quickly this thing takes you down. And Carlsen is better than Fritz..
        • Re:Big deal. (Score:5, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 26, 2014 @06:22AM (#46071797)

          No, he's not. Give Fritz a powerful enough CPU and 8GB of RAM to hold opening/endgame tables, and it could beat any human player. The days where humans could beat computers at chess are long gone. Let alone the super-engines like Rybka or Houdini, the ones that GMs use (on extreme hardware) to prepare for matches. The Elo rating of engines has long since passed the 3260, while even the best (Kasparov at his peak) never breached 2860; a 400 Elo rating difference is more or less insurmountable (that rating difference means that statistically, you'll eke out a draw every hundred games, and lose the other ninety-nine).

          Don't get me wrong, I think Carlsen will become the greatest human to ever play the game, but chess engines have become (conservatively) over a million times more powerful since the landmark victory of Deep Blue against Kasparov, if you combine hardware and software advances. What then shocked the world is nowadays commonplace.

          • To add to this, Carlsen's peak rating (per wiki) is 2872. Fritz 11 running on a Core 2 Quad Core earned a rating of 3085 (per the Swedish Chess Computer Association's rankings). According to some sites I found that analyze results based on ELO ratings, Fritz would have a 77% chance of beating Carlsen in a given game.

            The wrench in this narrative is that Carlsen + Fritz would probably beat Fritz by itself. So there's still some "value add" for a computer player from having a human "on your team".
            • by HuguesT (84078)

              Computer chess ranking and human ranking are not exactly comparable (even though they use the same basic system), because they don't often play against each other. The tournaments are separate. Also the computers don't play in the same way vs. other machines as vs. human opponents. So the outcome is hard to predict on any particular game. However over enough games, for sure Fritz would win.

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

        by Vlad_the_Inhaler (32958) on Sunday January 26, 2014 @06:38AM (#46071843) Homepage

        It was a Rapid game where Carlsen only had half the time to make his moves than Gates had, but neither had very much time at all. Gates was under no illusions as to his chances either - he considered the result to be a forgone conclusion.

      • 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.

    • Of course Gates would be expected to lose, and it would be a shocker if he didn't lose.

      But he lost in only 9 moves. He should have been able to last longer than that.

      • by nedlohs (1335013)

        Speed chess is like that. Playing it against someone with the "feel" that a grandmaster has would make lasting 9 moves be an achievement...

    • 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.

    • Much of his 23 year long life. Still couldn't have been very long. I've spent more time taking a crap than he's been alive.

    • I've been looking for someone to finally make this point.

      Let's also consider that the attack Magnus used on Bill was a class speed chess method. He sacrificed his front row, took a small gamble that Bill would play regular chess and be protective of his front row. As a result, Magnus came out fast and hard with his knights and queen. I have seen this precise game played (move for move) many time growing up by the old jewish men in the park in Brooklyn. In fact, I'm almost sure I played it against other peop
  • 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).
    • 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.

      I've never lost a game of chess (thank you, thank you) but I pick my games as it takes a lot out of me. Forced into a game by the "barracks chess master" I beat em in two games back to back - left em muttering it's not possible and me with a bad headache.

  • If you place all of your pieces in the right place you can get out of this TV show quicker .
  • by arcade (16638) on Sunday January 26, 2014 @06:00AM (#46071743) Homepage

    I'm sorry, but first off - Magnus Carlsen has been an extremely well known chess player since 2004. Justin Bieber was discovered when? 2008?

    Secondly, while Bieber is famous for being famous.. Carlsen is famous for using his brain and becoming the world champion of chess. He built his career around his brain. Yes, some fashion agency also discovered his good looks and started sponsoring him and using him as a model - but that's not his main work. It's a hobby thing on the side. Good for him.

    For those slightly interested in chess, but not interested enough to normally follow ratings and such - take a look at: http://2700chess.com/ [2700chess.com] for the up to date live ratings.

    Aronian is doing a massive jump these days due to Tata Steel. I'm guessing the next WCC match will be between Carlsen and Aronian. They're typically rather evenly matched.

    • Bieber is famous for singing. Ok, so I don't particularly enjoy his music, but his fame is at least based on a talent - as opposed to people like Paris Hilton, or Kim Kardashion, who never really showed any particular talent, except for self-promotion.

      • 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.
      • by fisted (2295862)
        Eh, the only talent invovled there is potential coding talent of the autotune devs, m8.
    • by jez9999 (618189)

      Aronian is doing a massive jump these days due to Tata Steel.

      Huh? How does a company make the guy better at chess?

    • You emphasize how this guy made a career out of using his brain. So what ??
      Having and/or using a brain is same as having nice voice or being handsome. Something none of us individually wished for. You're born that way - therefore nothing to be proud of.

      Your post is assuming that having a brain and building a career out of it is better or more ... whatever .. than people having a nice body/voice .. talent for music.

      I know this is a nerd web site.. and nerds are same as other groups of people.. biased, but c'

    • by rolfwind (528248)

      Secondly, while Bieber is famous for being famous.. Carlsen is famous for using his brain and becoming the world champion of chess.

      Maybe you are thinking of Paris Hilton or something (and maybe someone will refute me on her, idk), but JB is famous because he has talent, he appeared in youtube vids that had apparently enough draw for multiple people wanting to sign him:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J... [wikipedia.org]

      You and I may think his music sucks, I don't think he has the talent near, say, some of the Jacksons at his

  • by rossdee (243626)

    Not
    and also not stuff that matters

    Anyway you don't measure the length of a chess game by time, you measure it by the number of moves

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I'd like to live just long enough to be there when they cut off the head of Bill Gates and stick it on a pike as a warning to the next ten generations that some software comes with too high a price. I would look up into his lifeless eyes and wave, like this. Can you and your Utilities arrange that for me, Mr Norton?

  • 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.
  • by igomaniac (409731) on Sunday January 26, 2014 @06:20AM (#46071791)

    An annotated game record is available here:

    http://en.chessbase.com/post/carlsen-mates-bill-gates-in-79-seconds [chessbase.com]

    • by Bomarc (306716)
      Mr. Gates did three week... well, one week and two bad moves.
      6.0-0 - This move was done WAY to early. For one to castle is (usually) a passive move, which allows your opponent to gain an extra move
      8.hxg4 - This is a clear mistake. This opens his right side rank for the queen to enter
      9.Kxe5?? - This was the final nail.

      IMHO, if Bill hadn't have ... panicked, Carlsen left his King wide open. Also in this game, I noticed that Carlsen seem to oppressive to Bill. Responding to Bill's moves before
  • Reminds me (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dtml-try MyNick (453562) <litheran@ g m a i l . 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...

  • ...than a chess game with Bill Gates, as even a Microsoft Surface tablet will behave in a wildly different manner between the two:

    * Surface placed in front of Bill Gates and switched on = Very low levels of molecular, audio and visual excitation

    * Microwave loaded with a Surface and switched on = Very high excitation and dynamic visual displays

  • but all of the pieces required were in play - both play horses, hate those people!!!
    Can take them just takes longer.

    Bill Gates is impressive steal code or whatever he did it. but Chess isn't his game. Leading with a knight sigh was after a quick win but
    prevented all his other pieces from moving; able to castle, had em on the run from the start. kinda think e castled to show he knew a bit about chess.

  • by J'raxis (248192) on Sunday January 26, 2014 @07:03AM (#46071911) Homepage

    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.

    Thanks for that helpful comparison---without it, I would have had no clue how long 71 seconds actually is.

    • Thanks for that helpful comparison---without it, I would have had no clue how long 71 seconds actually is.

      Really? I didn't find it helpful at all. I had to look it up myself. 71 seconds is about 81.5 miles (~ 131.3 km) long. Given approximately 69 miles (or 111 km) per degree of longitude or latitude (longitudinal degrees vary widely, covering less distance approaching the poles).

      I'm still confused about their thermal coefficient as related the distance or how exactly that relates to 8oz of water microwaved -- Seems it would depend on at least the pressure, starting temperature, destination temperature, and

  • I don't think so. Sure, he's a smart guy, but 99.999% of his success came from being at the right place at the right time.
    i.e. writing DOS just as IBM entered the PC market. The rest is history.
    • by qubezz (520511)

      They bought MS-DOS and re-sold it to IBM, six years after being in business. Their main product, which Gates wrote and was incredibly involved with, was Basic. They started in the right place, by moving to Albuquerque where the 1975 Altair was made and putting their Basic on it, along with every other microcomputer for a decade. He is a smart person and master code monkey; maybe the next challenge in Gates vs Magnus Carlsen will be an 8086 assembly coding competition.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A... [wikipedia.org]

  • Game on chessgames.com [chessgames.com].

    1. e4 Nc6 2. Nf3 is unusual but not crazy.

    2. ... d4 seems suitably aggressive; the black queen backs her pawn up, the white king can't.

    3. Bd3? Gates is trying to protect his pawn (and preparing to castle), but ends up blocking in his black bishop; better is 3. d3.

    3. ... Nf6

    4. exd5? Qxd5 lets the black queen out of her hidey-hole.

    5. Nc3 Qh5 White tries to play queen-be-gone, but the queen is happy to be on her way.

    6. 0-0? Dude, with the queen sitting on h5? 6. ... Bg4 after the knight

  • 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?

  • http://en.chessbase.com/post/c... [chessbase.com]

    If nine moves is in the TL;DR range for you, it was a bishop sacrifice to open up the h-file for a queen and knight attack. Poor Bill missed a mate in one, but I suspect most would do the same under those conditions.

  • 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.

    • you are right that it is unsurprising — as is the result of a game between a tennis champ and an amateur — but you are wrong in saying that the skills one squires in chess are unrelated to everything that matters in life.

      you obviously have never taken up the sport, or you would soon see how it disciplines and trains the mind to meet everything else in life with more and better discrimination — just like science enables one to cut out a lot of the crap that people superstitiously believe

  • This article claims he was beaten in 71 seconds, while most sources claim 79 seconds. Who is correct and why is there a discrepancy?
  • Barf (Score:2, Insightful)

    by markdavis (642305)

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

    I think I shall barf now.

  • by Kimomaru (2579489) on Sunday January 26, 2014 @12:36PM (#46073725)
    I guess being good at chess isn't an indication of anything when it comes to real life. For all its relevance, they may as well have played tiddlywinks. I appreciate chess myself, but I have to laugh when people crow about how good they are. You beat Bill Gates. Great. Go build an empire now.
  • by nurb432 (527695) on Sunday January 26, 2014 @08:09PM (#46076775) Homepage Journal

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

    Sure there is.

  • by manu0601 (2221348) on Sunday January 26, 2014 @09:37PM (#46077269)

    A young chess grandmaster, who has being practicing chess every single day for 10 years, quickly defeats Bill Gates, who is now an old man with little chess experience.

    I wonder why this is a news.

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