Guess how long Bill Gates lasted against a chess champ

Bill Gates isn't so good at chess.


Patrick Howell O'Neill


Published Jan 27, 2014   Updated May 31, 2021, 8:09 pm CDT

It took chess world champion Magnus Carlsen just 12 seconds to beat Bill Gates this week on Norwegian television.

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Millions of viewers have since watched the game on YouTube, marveling at how quickly the champion defeated the tech giant.

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If you’re wondering how Carlsen was able to beat Gates so quickly, the answer is might disappoint you: Bill Gates is bad at chess. Carlsen knows the skill gap between the opponents is enormous, so he played a few tricks in the game to get the quickest, flashiest win in front of the camera.

The always-excellent Chess Network breaks down the champion’s thinking in the game:

Screengrab via YouTube

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*First Published: Jan 27, 2014, 6:24 pm CST