October 8, 2018

Rookie Trent Alexander-Arnold left in ‘check’ after defeat to World Chess Champion

Liverpool and England full-back fails to defeat world champion Magnus Carlsen in landmark chess match.

Manchester – Monday 8th October 2018 – Liverpool and England wonderkid, Trent Alexander-Arnold has crashed to defeat in his chess match against world champion Magnus Carlsen, today.

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.”

The Reds player entered the room flanked by his coaches 12-year-old Kyan Bui and nine-year-old Shreyas Royal with an entrance that felt more like the start of a boxing duel than that of a chess match. The six-foot player had the air of a heavyweight as he looked straight into the eyes of the Norwegian at the customary pre-match handshake.

The two sat down and Alexander-Arnold made the first attacking move. With support from his team when the NUIA technology showed where Carlsen was looking, it felt like a boxer’s trainers giving tips about when to defend or attack and jab. The result was a tense opening with Alexander-Arnold often staring at Carlsen to psyche him out as if facing him on the football pitch.

With each player making ten moves each, the game was starting to turn in Carlsen’s favour when he took Alexander-Arnold’s queen. If this was a boxing match, the Reds player was on the canvas but up with an eight count.

The match then only lasted a further seven moves as Carlsen, with unnerving ease swept through the Scouse player’s pieces. The final nail in the coffin saw Carlsen attack once more, he moved his knight to c4 and offered his hand, smiled and uttered the words “checkmate”. The match was over.

After the match Carlsen said:

“It was a great game, Trent’s good. He has a bit to learn, but he definitely has talent.”

The match acted as a live demonstration of Kaspersky Lab’s HuMachine approach – combining its world-class human-led research expertise with leading technologies to secure businesses and customers from cyber threats. The company said that the match served as example of “how advances in technology can help you understand your opponent and, develop better strategies to protect against an attack. In a similar way we combine human intelligence, machine learning and many other technologies to be one step ahead of cybercriminals.”

The 27-year-old Carlsen is now set to defend his title at the World Chess Championship in London, next month against American Fabiano Caruana to determine the 2018 World Chess Champion. The 12-game match, organized by FIDE and World Chess, will be played in London between 9th and 28th November. Chess fans will also have chance to follow the game online at www.worldchess.com/london, the official broadcasting platform.

To watch the match again search #TAAvMagnus on Twitter, visit Kaspersky Lab’s YouTube or watch it now on Trent’s Instagram. 

Media Contacts

Andrew Soar

0203 137 9270

07969 077 281

andrew@manifest.london

Raheema Khan

0203 137 9270

07549 253 422

raheema@manifest.london

About Kaspersky Lab

Kaspersky Lab is a global cybersecurity company, which has been operating in the market for over 20 years. Kaspersky Lab’s deep threat intelligence and security expertise is constantly transforming into next generation security solutions and services to protect businesses, critical infrastructure, governments and consumers around the globe. The company’s comprehensive security portfolio includes leading endpoint protection and a number of specialized security solutions and services to fight sophisticated and evolving digital threats. Over 400 million users are protected by Kaspersky Lab technologies and we help 270,000 corporate clients protect what matters most to them.

Learn more at www.kaspersky.com    

About FIDE World Chess Championship 2018

The World Chess Championship 2018 is a chess match between the reigning world champion since 2013, Magnus Carlsen, and challenger Fabiano Caruana to determine the World Chess Champion. The 12-game match, organized by FIDE and World Chess, will be played in London between 9 and 28 November 2018 with a prize fund of over 1 million Euros. The Match takes place every two years.

Learn more at www.worldchess.com/london   

About 4tiitoo

The goal of 4tiitoo is to take human-computer interaction to a new level for everyone and to make workplaces more efficient, more natural, but also healthier.

As a pioneer in eye control in computer operation, 4tiitoo have created NUIA Productivity+, a software platform that brings natural and fast interaction to any known program – without any adjustments to the programs themselves.

With Collaboration+ the company goes one step further and brings NUIA interaction directly into the new AR and VR world – with full access to all your familiar PC and cloud applications.

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