Magnus Carlsen Launches Chess App

  • PeterDoggers
  • on 25.02.2014, 23:37.

On Tuesday Chess World Champion Magnus Carlsen launched his very own chess app. At a press conference in Oslo, the 23-year-old Norwegian presented the app Play Magnus, with which chess fans can play against Carlsen at different levels since the age of five.

Carlsen says he launched the app to make chess more popular. In the text alongside the YouTube announcement video, he writes:

“I spent some time over the past few months creating something to give back to the chess community. As many of you know, I want to help the chess community spread the game we love to more people around the world, with a special focus on young people. The Play Magnus app is my first step in helping make that happen.”

The basic idea of the app is that chess fans get a chance to play against Carlsen. It is a chess engine set up at different levels, which correspond with different “ages” of the world number one.

As we know, Carlsen was pretty strong at a young age. At yesterday's press conference, 23-year-old, present-day Carlsen demonstrated his app by playing a few games against his younger self. 

“He's really confident, I can recognize that in myself.”

Carlsen beat his 12-year-old self, but lost to the 14-year-old. 

I thought I tricked him. I was wrong.”

Apparently this had happened before. Against Reuters he said:

“He is really tricky. Even Magnus at 11 years old was a very gifted tactician. A while ago I played as a test Magnus [aged] 14. I outplayed him at some point positionally. And just boom, boom, he tricked me tactically. But he makes mistakes as well, so I just have to be patient.”

The start screen of the app

According to Norwegian tabloid Dagens Næringsliv the app was developed by a new company with the same name: Play Magnus Carlsen. Majority share holder is the private company Magnus Chess AS, while Carlsen's manager Espen Agdestein owns 15 percent and general manager Katherine Anne Murphy five percent. 20 percent of the company is owned by the investor and entrepreneur Anders Brandt, who was also the man behind the idea and now the chairman of the company.

How dare you, playing a game against a 5-year-old!

Reportedly the development costs were 3 million Norwegian kroner (US $496,353 / €361,284). Revenue will come from paid services such as access to training videos with Carlsen (US $0.99/€0.89 each), a premium version (also US $0.99/€0.89) and the opportunity to join a tournament where the winners will play against the World Champion (on a real chess board, at a “secret location”).

Upgrading unlocks more options...

...and there are in-app videos

The app is available for free but at the moment only for the iPhone. You can find it here in the App Store. And there are Facebook and Twitter accounts: and

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  • 14 miesięcy temu


    $463,353 is not a lot of money in America.

  • 14 miesięcy temu


    I can't get on the "Play Magnus" on Chess.Com were I am a member.

    Can anyone show me the way.

  • 3 lat temu


  • 3 lat temu


    You can't complain about this app. It's worth picking up if you're a fan of carlsen. There's some decent free videos for beginners, and the play is unique. The computers different play abilities are based on his age and what he had in his repertoire at that time. At 8 years old, the openings are very limited and he gives up random blunders. But they keep it ever changing, you can't play the same line over and over for automatic wins. At 9 years old his opening knowledge is strengthened, still makes blunders. At about 10 he gets really good. I haven't beaten him on anything over 10. In his 20's he's ridiculous as should be expected. The best part of this app is that for a $1 purchase, you can qualify for the meet and great tournament for a chance to play the champ. That's what keeps be playing. If I stay on top of the intermediate boards I hope to have a shot at this tournament, not to get crushed by magnus but meeting him would be pretty awesome.

  • 3 lat temu


    It's a nice app, but I do wish the paid videos were longer. I enjoyed his commentary on the Evergreen Game, but it was so short, even if a buck isn't very much.

    8 year old Magnus is tricky.. he always drops material early on but suddenly starts playing really well.  

  • 3 lat temu


    i hope it will be available freely in android as soon as possible...thank you!

  • 3 lat temu



  • 3 lat temu


    And when it finally does come out on Android you people will find something else to complain about lol..

    And what do any of you care what it cost to develop the app? What a bunch of drama queens around here.

  • 3 lat temu

    NM Petrosianic

    only for iphone for shame... Undecided

  • 3 lat temu


    Nice move, Champ! Under half a mil. of USD for development?  You've gotten it on the cheap too! It is certainly pity there is no Android version available. I hope, just yet.

  • 3 lat temu


    "I think that mistake is quite prepared. Money money money like somebody wrote"

    I doubt that anyone is stupid enough to believe that Carlsen himself has constructed the whole app.

  • 3 lat temu


    I like Magnus, and how he promotes the game, but half a million dollars to develop a little chess app? Somebody got overcharged.

  • 3 lat temu


    Great start for the app, with video lessons by Magnus! I aspire to someday beat 10 year old Magnus. It's a high goal for me.

  • 3 lat temu


    i have watched this video so many times! Brilliant idea by Magnus though, it really raises his popularity.

  • 3 lat temu


    I believe they developed it for the Iphone because it is more adapt to the children community which use such toy phone.

    After all the android market, made mainly by adult users, is surely more demanding.

  • 3 lat temu


    “I spent some time over the past few months creating something to give back to the chess community..." hahaha he created it?. Maybe the right expression is "I spent some time over the past few months HELPING TO CREATE something to give back to the chess community...". That innoncent wrong phrase can cheat many many thousands into thinking that HE created the app which is not true.

    I think that mistake is quite prepared. Money money money like somebody wrote.

  • 3 lat temu

    IM Kacparov

    No android, such a pity

  • 3 lat temu


    I hope they come out with an Android version soon!

  • 3 lat temu


    graphic of pieces are 0

  • 3 lat temu


    Cool ;)

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