OffBeat

Play chess against world champion Magnus Carlsen in this iPhone app

Image Credit: Play Magnus

You can now play chess against the young world chess champion Magnus Carlsen. In an app.

Play Magnus AS, an Oslo, Norway-based company that Carlsen founded, today announced that its iPhone app is now available for free in Apple’s App Store.

The app is said to replicate Carlsen’s style of play. It lets players select the app’s level of difficulty by choosing an age for Carlsen. Beginners play against an 5-year-old virtual Carlsen.

Even before he beat Vishy Anand to become the international chess champion in November, Carlsen, 23, has been a sort of ambassador of chess for young people.

During a visit to Silicon Valley last month, Carlsen played chess against some children, and he fielded questions from one child about whether he felt pregame anxiety sometimes. (He does get nervous sometimes, Carlsen said.)

Now he stands to make a larger impact as far as chess education goes with this app, which brings a human feeling to a game that can be cold and calculating.

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