Date published: Monday 8th October 2018 12:54
Liverpool and England wonderkid, Trent Alexander-Arnold, has crashed to defeat in his chess match against world champion Magnus Carlsen on Monday.
The 20-year-old dubbed the “Melwood Grandmaster” after he announced his love of chess, put up a valiant defence against the Norwegian who has reigned over the sport for the last eight years.
The match held in Manchester was organised by Kaspersky Lab and World Chess, to promote the forthcoming World Chess Championship. Although championship matches can last around six or seven hours, it took Carlsen just 17 moves and five minutes to put the Golden Boy nominee into checkmate.
Alexander-Arnold, who celebrated his 20th birthday yesterday, stepped up to the table looking confident following his team’s 0-0 draw against Premier League title rivals, Manchester City.
That confidence was partly because the global cybersecurity giants and World Chess Championship partner, Kaspersky Lab had been helping Trent with innovative technology to help the rookie in his battle against the “unbeatable” Carlsen. It had also called up two of the country’s most promising players and, future Grandmasters, Kyan Bui (12) and Shreyas Royal (nine), to coach the fellow youngster ahead of the match.
The company had partnered with 4tiitoo to use NUIA eye-tracking technology to allow Trent see Magnus’ future moves based on where the opponent was looking on the chessboard. The ground-breaking tech showed what squares the opponent was focusing on and, thus, enabling Trent and his backroom staff to better plan their next move.
Tore Meyer, co-founder and CEO of 4tiitoo said that “it definitely helped Trent to stay in the game” after Trent lasted longer than another of Carlsen’s famous opponents, Bill Gates, who lasted only nine moves.
The full-back, who headed to join the England squad after the match, had promised that “he might shock people” and he definitely succeeded.
Although Carlsen was always expected to win, the match served to only further the belief that he is a future Anfield captain and a prominent part of a new generation of ‘thinking-footballers’ swapping computer games for more brain-stimulating forms of recreation.
Speaking minutes after the match, Trent said that he was “proud of his performance” and that he “hopes this will inspire more kids to play chess”.
Liverpool’s No.66 said that the technology, a lot like in football helped him to ‘survive’ against Carlsen:
“Firstly, I want to congratulate Magnus on playing a great game, he is the deserved winner today. I am so grateful for Magnus taking time out of his schedule and playing me and Kaspersky Lab for making it all possible. If it wasn’t for their support and, of course, Shreyas and Kyan, it would have been a lot harder.”
“I am definitely not on his level at chess, I play it for fun and he is the champion of the sport for eight years, that’s quite a record.
“There is no doubt that the NUIA technology that 4tiitoo created helped me by seeing where Magnus was planning to go. That being said, if I took him on at one-on-one on a football pitch, he wouldn’t stand a chance, no matter what technology he had!
“This whole experience has been an eye-opener, not only into just how much goes into becoming great at the game but also seeing the similarities between it and the sport I love, football. Football and chess can seem like polar sporting opposites, but there are so many similarities with the modern game.
“Technology is playing an increasingly important role in the life of a footballer and I guess, that is true across most sports now.
“Although it may go down as a 1-0 loss, I will be practicing more and maybe there will be a re-match.”
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