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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.

163469 reads 98 comments
23 votes


  • 21 months ago


    Good to see Magnus having some well-deserved fun.

  • 21 months ago


    Carlos Slim has been number 1 for a while.

  • 21 months ago


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

    Prokhorov is the first now??

  • 21 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?!)

  • 21 months ago


    bill gates had a clear win.. 

  • 21 months ago


    Chess is easy.

  • 21 months ago


    “No, I do not accept everyone on Facebook!”


  • 21 months ago


    This is how i digested it, anyone elaborate? or is this it?

  • 21 months ago


    Too bad Carlsen didn't manage raking down a few $$mil from the game... :)

  • 21 months ago


    carlson made a mistake but gates blew it! of course carlson had to beat gates in less than 30 seconds

  • 21 months ago


  • 21 months ago


    If Magnus wants to get any sponsorship he better learn to let the billionaires win some games.  

  • 21 months ago


    re1 allows the king to be chased instead of mate bill wins on material 

  • 21 months ago


    wow Bill sure has aged!

  • 21 months ago


    Anyone under 2000 would lose to Carlsen easily with 2:00 to :30 time odds.  The skill difference is so large that it wouldn't even be close.  The 2000 would be losing on time ;]

  • 21 months ago


    I once saw an FM win a K+B+N vs. K endgame in about 40 seconds. It's a pretty funny video and worth a look if you haven't seen it before:


    The point is that if motivated, someone as strong as Carlsen can bang out 2-3 reasonably decent moves per second just by playing the first candidate move that pops into their head. Someone under 1200 like Gates couldn't last another 40 moves against play of that quality without dropping lots of material and getting checkmated. If Gates had actually played 9.Re1 we'd have seen a completely different Carlsen as he popped into bullet mode. Yeah, Carlsen wouldn't have played 7...Ne5 against a peer, but he knew he was in no danger down a piece against Gates and was 99% certain he'd get a quick, easy win without having to work at it.

  • 21 months ago


    that was fun to watch

  • 21 months ago


    Sure Calrsen beat Gates in 12 seconds, but in that 12 seconds Bill Gates made more money than Carlsen will make in his entire life.

  • 21 months ago


    An awesome game! Bill (Williams) Gates v World champhion Magnus. Its near new year for chinesse year it called wood horse in Shanghai. Bravo!!

  • 21 months ago


    That was cool!  Cool

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