Tomorrow in New York: Magnus vs the World

by ChessBase
9/9/2010 – The countdown is under way: on September 10th, at 12:00 noon, in New York City, the current number one ranked chess player in the world – will take on the world. The match will take place online, and you can watch it on the special RAW World Chess site and on The drawing of colours gave Magnus white. Yesterday he stopped in Amsterdam for an appearance on Dutch TV.

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One Man vs The World

The challenge of pitting yourself and your skills against every other person on the planet may be many people's worst nightmare ... but for Magnus Carlsen, it's a dream.

On September 10th, in the penthouse of the Cooper Square Hotel in New York City, 19-year-old Magnus – the current number one ranked chess player in the world – will take on an online TEAM of global chess players led by three Grandmasters: the 20-year-old Frenchman, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave; the highest-ranked American in the world, Hikaru Nakamura; and the best female player of all time, Hungarian Judlt Polgár. Start time in your location...

Global chess fans (including yourself!) will be able to watch the game online and vote on the moves suggested by the three GMs, with the consensus vote choosing the next play against Magnus. Providing live feedback on the challenge will be Grandmaster Maurice Ashley, with additional insight provided by chess legend Garry Kasparov.

Rules of the game

  • Magnus Carlsen will be based in the Penthouse of the Cooper Square Hotel in New York.

  • Magnus will play on a physical chessboard and have no access to external support.

  • The three GMs supporting the World Team will be located in a different location and will suggest their moves on a computer.

  • A butler, present in Magnus’s room, plays the chosen moves of the World Team on Magnus’s physical chess board.

  • The only contact between Magnus and the three GMs will be through an arbiter, who will assist both sides in the running of the challenge and rule on any disputes.

The game will be played LIVE with strict time controls, as follows:

  • Magnus has 1 minute's thinking time per move.
  • When Magnus makes his move on his physical board, it stops his countdown clock.
  • A game operator inputs this move into a computer, which reveals it to the three GMs and the online audience, and triggers the GMs time clock.
  • The GMs now have 1 minute to determine their response.
  • When the GMs propose their counter move choices to the online viewers, their countdown clock stops.
  • The online viewing public now has 1½ minutes to place their votes.
  • During this time, a commentary team discusses the three proposals, while the computer counts the votes.
  • When the 1½ minutes are up, the most popular move is shown on the online feed.
  • The butler in Magnus’s suite now plays that move on his physical board on behalf of the World Team. As soon as this is completed, Magnus’s clock reactivates and he has 1 minute to make his follow-up move.
  • If all 3 GMs propose the same next move, it gets made automatically without an online vote.
  • Both Magnus and the World Team are allowed three ‘Extra Time’ periods. These grant them an additional 2 minutes' thinking time on a particular move (giving a total of 3 minutes).
  • These are triggered by making a request to the arbiter, who will monitor the additional time and the number of ‘Extra Time’ periods taken.

Special rules

1. Violation of the 1 minute rule:

  • If any player has not made his move within 60 seconds, that side automatically loses 1 ‘Extra Time’ period. This allows them an additional 2 minutes thinking time on that particular move (giving a total of 3 minutes). This continues until all 3 ‘Extra Time’ periods are used.

  • In the case of The World Team, this also happens regardless of which of the 3 GM’s run out of time. This means that the same player could use up all of The World Team’s ‘Extra Time’ periods.

  • If any side exceeds the 60 seconds and has no more ‘Extra Time’ periods left, that side loses the match.

2. Draw

  • Both parties can request a draw at any point during the match. In the event of a draw offer by Magnus, the three GMs will discuss this verbally amongst themselves – it will not be offered to the vote by the online World Team. A majority decision by two GMs will decide acceptance or rejection of the offer.

3. Two or three different moves with the same percentages

  • If two (or all three) of the GMs suggested moves receive exactly the same percentage vote from the online World Team, the move with the greater physical count number will be played. In the event that both (or all three) receive exactly the same number of votes, the move that reached the vote number first will be played.

Match commentary by GM Maurice Ashley

Reporting live from the event will be Jamaican-born grandmaster and chess teacher
Maurice Ashley, who has just completed a new Fritz-Trainer DVD with ChessBase.

Maurice Ashley: The Secret to Chess
02.09.2010 – This is one you really do not want to miss. Star international trainer and commentator Maurice Ashley reveals a secret he discovered on his way to becoming a chess grandmaster. It is a simple idea that anyone can understand – something that you can use immediately to improve your game. Maurice's entertaining style and great clarity make this a first class DVD. Here's a sample lesson.


More information on the RAW World Chess Challenge can be found at, where fans can sign-up from September 5th onwards. The site also had live video and audio from New York. The games will also be broadcast live and discussed on

Also read:

Promotional on Dutch TV

Magnus on Dutch TV – with some very nice scenes from early childhood, including a historic game, at 13,
against Garry Kasparov. He also plays a blitz game against Dutch IM Hans Böhm

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