Who can beat Magnus Carlsen

Beat the world champion in chess

Max Deutsch is a genius, writes the press, more precisely the US press, because Max Deutsch is an American, although his name actually claims otherwise. Everything that Max Deutsch deals with becomes a success. Here is his story as he posted it on his website:

In the 6th school year he sold his first self-written program to his friends in the cafeteria. In his sophomore year of high school, he created a visual effects studio, the result of which was eventually shown at the Cannes Film Festival. In his senior year, while still in high school, he started a biotech company (helped by some smart people from NYU Langone Medical Center) to develop a technique that would enable deaf people to listen to music. Today most of this technique is a standard procedure in clinics. In his sophomore year of college at Brown University, he started a payment processing company, actually just to get cheaper food around the Brown campus. In his senior year he founded the company "Rhombus" a start-up service for designers with designers and technicians around the globe in eight different time zones. In 2015, Max Deutsch graduated and moved to San Francisco to work as a product manager for Intuit Quick Books. He did a lot of other things on the side, created portraits from Lego bricks, rode his bicycle thousands of kilometers, learned Hebrew, read no fewer than 80 books in 2016 alone, co-founded a nationwide business publication, blindly solved Rubik's Cube, published crossword puzzles in major newspapers, played blues guitar and jazz drums and founded the Somebody.io format, with which anyone can quickly build their own website. He also started building muscle with a personal trainer and started making green smoothies (liquid vegetables and fruits diluted with water).

Month to Master

Eventually he developed a program he called "Month to Master". Every month he learns a special skill.

Here is his Project list the last 12 months


November: Memorize the order of the cards in a deck in two minutes

December: paint a realistic self-portrait


January: Solve Rubik's Cube in 20 seconds

February: Stand a backflip

March: Play a 5-minute improvisational blues guitar solo.

April: Have a 30-minute conversation in Hebrew.

May: Build a self-driving car.

June: Identify 20 musicals in a row based on the notes.

July: Solve the New York Times Saturday Crossword in one sitting

August: Do 40 pull-ups in a row

September: 3 minutes of freestyle rap.

October: Beat world champion Carlsen in chess

Oha. Wow. This is a list! It takes your breath away. 40 pull-ups, that's a lot of wood, isn't it? Well, the record is 612 pull-ups, set in 1994 by Korean Lee Chin-Yong. The 40 pull-ups may only seem like a lot to an internet writer who is not so trained in sports. But at least.

Rubik's Cube in 20 seconds. But that sounds like a task. Where is the record here? The Dutchman Mats Valk took 4.47 seconds in his fastest attempt. But ok, he's probably a specialist and doesn't do anything else all day. He also had a special smooth-running cube. 20 seconds for Rubik's Cube is great. Most of them can't, for example me.

The self-driving car appealed to me the most. Tesla can dress warmly. I buy it. Then I can practice the thing with the cube while driving. The feat may be very useful to me later in life.

Oh, and then there is still the task: Beat the chess world champion Magnus Carlsen in chess. Ouch?

Again: Beat Magnus Carlsen in chess.

To make it clear again. This is not Levon Aronian's list here. This is Max Deutsch's to-do list. Beating Magnus Carlsen in chess sounds pretty ambitious. Perhaps he means in the blind watch simultaneous? But no, face to face.

Carlsen is beatable too, right?

But why not? The Norwegian doesn't play badly, well, but he always loses a game. At the Isle of Man Open, where he didn't lose a game, but before that at the World Cup, he lost once to Bu and was thrown out. Well, please, he's not invulnerable. And in the Sinquefield Cup in St. Louis, Vachier-Lagrave defeated him. And in the summer in Stavanger he lost two games, against Aronian and against Kramnik. A Carlsen can also be defeated. Maybe - if he's having a bad day and overruns his position, or if you catch him in an unfamiliar opening line. It works. You just have to believe firmly in it.

A few years of tournament experience would of course be very useful. That would help. And a certain basic playing strength. 2700/2750 Elo would be quite good. Then the gap to Carlsen's skill level of 2830 is not that big.

On October 9th, Magnus Carlsen had an ambitious schedule. In the afternoon he was a talk guest at the Zeit health conference, in the evening he gave a simultaneous watch against some users of his PlayMagnus app. Max Deutsch was not there. The game against the megalomaniac ambitious Carlsen had apparently played in between. Somewhere in the hotel. The young American actually flew from San Francisco to Hamburg to play a game of chess against the world chess champion, believing he could beat him. And the renowned Wall Street Journal, which may have sponsored this company, actually made it an exclusive story for its readers.

Hard to believe. It's like someone seriously wanting to compete against Lewis Hamilton in a Formula One race on their scooter. Or my mother (1.65 m) would claim that after a month of training she could do the Klitschkos K.o. beat. Or someone thinks they can spend a month doing music and then be a Mozart. Everyone would laugh at such insane suggestions. The Wall Street Journal doesn't.

Not a single game is stored in the Mega Database under the name Max Deutsch. The young high-flyer has really no tournament experience and may have actually dealt with the game from scratch. Which of the estimated 100,000 chess books published so far did Max Deutsch read in preparation? Maybe even two?

Here is the game:

The Wall Street Journal even had a video made of this memorable event:

Playing chess well is probably a little more difficult than some people think.


Wall Street Journal ...

Max Deutsch website ...