I just downloaded a new chess app you should check out if you play: ‘Play Magnus’. As the name suggests, you play Magnus Carlsen – the twist is, you can do so for every year of his life from 5 until 23 (the present). So far I’ve beaten five-year-old Magnus and been too scared to try any older iterations.
Clever marketing, and great publicity for the world number 1. The app includes a link to his Twitter feed, which I assume will pay dividends for his follower count.
Two main thoughts:
- It’s a bit gimmicky, really – without knowing any of the underlying mechanics, I would put good money on the whole setup revolving around a standard chess engine set to different ELOs for Magnus’s different ages. Then again, I guess it’s nice to be able to put a (young) face to what you’ve just played, rather than just a number.
- Remembering that he’s only 23 (younger than I am) always makes me slightly depressed…