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Think you could beat Magnus at nine years old?

Out of millions of games played against Magnus Age 9 in Play Magnus, only 15,5 % of players have managed to defeat him.

I guess there's no shame in losing to a World Champion, but come on…he’s 9! It’s time to show him who's boss. After all, it’s your phone, and you can’t allow a little kid to push you around!

I have a feeling you’ll teach Magnus a lesson in your next game, especially if you pay close attention to the advice that follows.

Slow down

One of the reasons Magnus 9 is so successful is that his opponents play too quickly. He really is like a kid, with all that youthful energy. So while the energetic boy makes his moves instantly, you should take your time. You can even take a nap between the moves, as the game is untimed. There's no shame in thinking!

The opening

It’s not essential to know a lot of opening theory. Instead, you should focus on sound opening principles. If you remember to fight for the center, develop your pieces and castle, he won’t manage to get the upper hand. If you want to get some tips on this, head on over to Magnus Trainer.

From the opening into the middlegame

Magnus 9 follows an opening book, which means he will follow opening theory for a little while. However, right after the opening, he is on his own. The funny thing is that he struggles in this part of the game. In quiet positions, where there are no particular tactics, Magnus often makes a couple of strange moves. By slowly improving, you are likely to get the advantage.

Keep it simple

Magnus will make mistakes; either tactical or positional errors. The best way to play against him is to be patient. By playing solidly and making sure you don’t blunder anything, you can wait for his mistakes.

Hidden blunders

I’d be surprised if Magnus blundered by leaving a piece unprotected. It’s too obvious. Instead, his mistakes lie under the surface, which means you have to be alert. At first sight, his moves might look okay, but often there is a problem a couple of moves ahead. Don’t trust Magnus’ calculation!

Problems taking it seriously?

I don’t know about you, but I usually play quickly on the phone. It’s almost like I don’t care if I win or lose, which means I don’t play my best chess. A possible solution to this is to make Magnus’ moves on a chess board. Unless you have a friend to help you, you have to move the pieces for both players. I guess that it will feel more real and you’ll probably play better.

Another idea is to pair up with another person. By discussing the moves, you will learn a few things on your way, and your game will probably improve. Two against one is a bit unfair, but he won’t mind. I’m sure your family, friends or colleagues will enjoy teaming up for a little challenge!

Ready to beat Magnus at 9? C'mon, show him what you've got!
Download our Play Magnus app here.

If you’ve mastered Magnus Age 9, get Magnus’ tips to beat him at age 10 at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=awJgZdfZs28!

By Torbjørn Ringdal Hansen
Photo by Falcongj