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It seems like Bill Gates has been having a lot of fun on late night talk shows these days. First there was his appearance on Jimmy Fallon (complete with viral video), and now he’s taken to Norway’s airwaves.

This time around, instead of a manufactured viral video, Gates squared off against world chess champion Magnus Carlsen in an exhibition match. Gates was even given a handicap: he had 2 minutes to make his moves, while Carlsen was kept to 30 seconds. If he managed to keep Carlsen from checkmating him until the clock ran down, Gates would have won. Here’s how it all played out:

Carlsen demolished Gates, clearly putting the Microsoft co-founder on his back foot. If you look closely, the 23-year-old Carlsen actually baited Gates into making his fatal blunder, loading up the right side of Gates’s board with both of Carlsen’s bishops. That tempted Gates into moving his far-right pawn up to threaten Carlsen’s bishops, allowing the Norwegian grandmaster to pull off a quick checkmate.

At the end of the game, Carlsen had 18 seconds left on his clock, while Gates had burned through a full 50 seconds choosing his moves.

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  • Stephen Medawar

    BillG seems like a pretty good sport to go on TV knowing he’s going to be trounced.

    Seems: His Generosity > His Ego.

  • Michael Hazell

    I’m glad Bill didn’t take that hard. For a second I had to look at the video to see how Bill got checkmated because I thought that the piece next to his king was a bishop but then after looking harder I saw it was a queen. Damn.

  • Roy Leban

    Demolished is the right word. When I was in Junior High and High School, I played in chess tournaments. I was very good compared with average people but middle-of-the-pack in tournaments. In one game, against a significantly better player, I “baited” him into giving me an easy mate early in the game through a sacrifice like Carlsen did. No question I was lucky because I didn’t expect him to fall for it (and, had he not, I would have been down a piece and surely lost). When I won two plays later, he upended the board, something you rarely see in a hush-hush tournament room.

    Nice to see Bill took it with a smile.

    (btw, those are knights, not bishops)

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