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by Mike Klein from Chess.com, 11/07/14

Being world champion is not in the cards for most people, but now you can at least play the world champion. Ten fortunate Chess.com members will earn the right to challenge World Champion GM Magnus Carlsen in an online simultaneous exhibition on December 14, 2014. The simul will be on Chess.com's Live chess server.

The partnership celebrates the launching of the Play Magnus App, which was unveiled earlier this year. Over the next month and half, there will be banners on Chess.com providing opportunities to download the app. Chess.com will also provide an in-depth app review.

For his part, Carlsen will be creating several video lectures just for the Chess.com community.

All of this leads up to the marquee event - Carlsen's simul on December 14. Want to qualify? Yeah, we thought so. Here's how!

  • 10 spots are available.
  • 8 spots are available to qualification, 2 spots will be seated by Chess.com (may be subject to change).
  • 8 Seats will be filled via qualifying tournaments on Chess.com's Live Chess server.
  • Tournaments will begin December 1, 2014 and will run until December 8, 2014 (one per day) at 1 p.m. Pacific Standard Time (GMT -8) each day.
  • One winner from each of the 8 tournaments will qualify for a seat versus Carlsen. You may attempt to qualify as many times as you wish.
  • The format of the qualifying tournaments will be 5 rounds at a time control of 10 minutes (no increment).
  • If two members are tied for first, tiebreak points will be used. If they also have the same tiebreak points, they will play an Armageddon blitz game (7 minutes for White, 5 for Black with Black having draw odds) organized by Chess.com staff. They will be contacted after the tournament to arrange a mutually agreeable time.
  • If three or more members tie for first, tiebreaks will again be used to determine a single winner (unless the top two are also tied on tiebreak points, in which case an Armageddon match will again be used).
  • Only diamond members can participate in the tournaments and qualify for a spot.
  • Diamond members must also join this group prior to competing in the qualifying tournaments.
  • Chess.com will used advanced cheat detection for the top finishers. If a winner is disqualified due to cheating, the spot will move to the next player in the standings. If after this two players are tied on game points and tiebreak points, again an Armgaeddon match will take place.
  • Chess.com reserves the exclusive and final right to settle any rules not included here and to arbitrate any disputes.

*time control and potential prizes for the 10 simul participants themselves against Magnus Carlsen to be determined.

The Play Magnus App allows you to challenge Magnus at any age, but the highest-rated chess player of all time has assured Chess.com you'll be playing his present 2860+ self!

Sorry Chess.com members, we cannot promise he will use this opening in the simul.

Think you have no chance against the champ? Remember that Bill Gates played him and was winning after nine moves! Carlsen likely won't take such chances against the Chess.com community!

Even if you don't qualify, the simul will also be broadcast live on Chess.com/TV with commentary from IM Danny Rensch and GM Irina Krush. Want to see broadcast live? The commentary team will be broadcasting from a conference room at the USCF K-12 Grade Nationals in Orlando, FL. Come to the Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel and see the broadcast live (spectating is free and welcome)!

Remember the tournaments are for diamond members only and you must join this group prior to competing in the qualifying tournaments.

As for the app, it is free and available for iOS devices. You can find it here in the App Store. There are Facebook and Twitter accounts as well: www.facebook.com/playmagnus and twitter.com/playmagnus. The Android version will be released November 15, 2014.

He's not just the namesake of the app, he's also a user. In a case of circular logic or some sort of time-travel loop, here's modern-day Carlsen playing a slightly younger version of himself in a fascinating game:

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