I decided I wanted to play Magnus Carlsen, the current 23-year old World Chess Champion.

Luckily for me, a few weeks later I saw a contest on Twitter which offered the winner a chance to play him.

I was picked along with 19 others. I got an email basically saying “come to the Las Vegas Convention in 3 days..”

“P.S . We are hooking you up to a heart rate monitor during the game”

I was playing him at the same time as 19 other people.  He stands in the middle and walks around to each board, one after the next.  When he’s in front of your board, you have to make a move.  You can’t pass.  When other people start losing, the speed increases to the point where he is moving around the boards so quickly, it feels more like speed chess than a normal game.

When I was younger I was a tournament chess player, so I thought I’d have a chance.  I had an even position on move 19, but then things turned for the worst.

By the way, our pulse was being projected to a wall for all to see at the Las Vegas convention center. Mine started off the lowest of the group around at 64 bpm, but once I got into an unfamiliar position it jumped to 120 bpm.  His pulse stayed around 82 bpm for the entire match.

Anyway, I made a very amateur blunder on move 20.  I lost the game and he crushed the 19 others too.   It was pretty intense.   My game is below.


(If you do not see the board below, my game was also published on a popular chess website, you can view it here).

Carlsen has the white pieces white.  I’m black.

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To Your Success,