Upgrade to Chess.com Premium!

Magnus Carlsen Checkmates Bill Gates in 12 Seconds

  • PeterDoggers
  • on 1/24/14, 1:45 PM.

Magnus Carlsen only needed 12 seconds on the clock to checkmate the second richest man in the world, Bill Gates. As we reported earlier, Carlsen was to meet the founder of Microsoft, billionaire and philantropist as guests in the talkshow Skavlan. The show was recorded on Thursday and part of it was a game of chess, which didn't last very long.

Image: NRK/YouTube

For this blitz game, played in a studio in London, Carlsen was given 30 seconds on the clock against 2 minutes for Gates. The American billionaire opened with 1.e4, but didn't start the clock. Carlsen positioned his pieces, then started his own clock and played 1...Nc6. It was soon over:

Here's a video of the game, which was posted earlier today on Youtube and has been watched over 77K times already!

Gates had 1 minute and 10 seconds left at the end, while Carlsen still had 18 seconds left and so only used 12 seconds. (In fact he lost about 2 when he tipped over a pawn on move 2, and it seems he also needed about 2 seconds to stop the clock!) Obviously the difference in strength was so huge that chess fans won't be that surprised, but for the rest of the world “Magnus Carlsen Checkmates Bill Gates in 12 Seconds” probably sounds quite astonishing!

Norwegian TV channel NRK posted a report on the show and the game, where it says that “Carlsen had to admit that he had to break one of his own principles, namely not to use cheap tricks to win.” The world champion was obviously referring to the move 7...Ne5, which wasn't correct but did bring him a very quick checkmate.

In the TV show Carlsen also spoke about teaching Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg chess, a week before. The Norwegian felt that “[Zuckerberg] was much better after an hour.” To the question whether he's friends with Zuckerberg on Facebook, Carlsen replied: “No, I do not accept everyone on Facebook!” 

Skavlan is a Norwegian-Swedish television talk show hosted by Norwegian journalist Fredrik SkavlanPrevious guests in the show include Michael Palin, Sinead O'Connor, Wyclef Jean, Judit Polgar, Bruno Mars, Ruby Wax, Robbie Williams, Jon Bon Jovi, Richard Dawkins, Kevin Costner, Will Smith and David Guetta. Carlsen had been a guest in the show more than once before.

62381 reads 91 comments
21 votes


  • 10 months ago


    agree with Ricardoruben, and well said!

  • 10 months ago


    LOL. Imagine the look on Carlsen's face if gates played Re1.

    Gates could have also won if he designed a machine to play carlsen!

  • 10 months ago


    evolutionrevolution, well, I am of another opinion. I can see you can see it that way, because you will always hear about the jobs they created, not the jobs they destroyed, or the people they ruined, or the poverty they created. Your way of seeing it is the way the super rich people want you (and everybody else) to see it. They keep super rich, millions keep super poor (and I am not talking about communism!!!) I am talking about people having absurd amounts of money. A guy with, say, 10 million dollars (even though quite rich) is not a problem for society (or it is not a big problem in any case), but a guy with 73 billion is, for tomorrow he will own 80, the day after tomorrow a hundred, and this is a never ending process. Guys that rich are above all the laws you MUST COMPLY TO, and are able to do absolutely what they want, no matter what (that is mainly buying politics to pass laws that will make them earn even more money).

    Of course that is only my opinion, you are as entitled as I am to have yours (I stil consider that "philantropist" = love for other human beings and "super rich" can not be applied to the same person, for if he really loved humans he would share, not accummulate beyond limits).

  • 10 months ago


    Agree with Ricardo:

    Super rich people are poverty generators.

  • 10 months ago


    Richardoruben, Micorsoft’s 1986 initial public offering, and subsequent rise in its share price, created an estimated three billionaires and 12,000 millionaires. You say, “super rich people are poverty generators?” No, super-rich people usually accumulated their wealth by creating a product or service used by thousands of consumers and by generating jobs.

  • 10 months ago


    It's pretty cool to be able to say, "I lost to Magnus Carlson, World Champion, in 12 seconds!"  It's also cool to be able to say," I beat Bill Gates in 12 seconds!"  It's a win-win.

  • 10 months ago


    Super rich and philantropist??????!!! Do you know the meaning of that word???? Super rich people are poverty generators. Man, I wont read further, sorry.

  • 10 months ago


    it was 2 minutes  game for Bill - and he played like normal amateur - not very bad- he did only one mistake- impulsive move. I think ,Carlsen is very fast player,but not very strong . i think -i'm stronger (but, of course not in bullet- maybe 3 minutes is good for me3 FOR ME AND 5 FOR HIMTongue OutWink- but i need little prize- maybe 10 or 20 000 USD ( only for winer).With Bill i can to play absolutely FOR FREE- he is very nice person and amateur (Carlsen is profi). Of course - i'm amateur too, but i'm very strong amateur- strongest inthe history- i'm waiting Bill and Magnus- or bothEmbarassed

  • 10 months ago


    Gates could beat Carlsen, if Gates could design an engine to play Carlsen! :D

  • 10 months ago



  • 10 months ago


    Bill Gates showed sooo much courtesy! Re1 was the only defence against mate and a winning move, still he played Nxe5.

  • 10 months ago


    Those of us (like me) who had played bullet-style games against much stronger players know the amount of emotional pressure this brings, and it's not surprising at all when you lose a game in the end.  It may seem long odds at the start, but emotions more than intellect are at play when you're playing such games...

  • 10 months ago


  • 10 months ago


    Bill nice moves ecpect Bd3 ;)

  • 10 months ago


    I think Gates saw Qxh2# but he just himself mated for a good show..

  • 10 months ago


    Good to see Magnus having some well-deserved fun.

  • 10 months ago


    Carlos Slim has been number 1 for a while.

  • 10 months ago


    Guys, Bill is the second richest man in the world?? THAT'S the news, not the game!

    Prokhorov is the first now??

  • 10 months ago


    It was very cool if Bill Gates did move rook to e1, then he was winner and just imagine carlsen's face and that time! (cheap trick against a genius?!)

  • 10 months ago


    bill gates had a clear win.. 

Back to Top

Post your reply: