GM Magnus Carlsen vs. Andrew Grojean – Game and Analysis

On September 22, I got to live out a dream. I had the opportunity to play the world chess champion, the number one ranked player in the world, and my chess idol, grandmaster Magnus Carlsen.


I’ll be writing about my full experience soon, including a New York movie premiere of Disney’s Queen of Katwe and a cocktail party with Norwegian dignitaries. Until then, I’ve included notation from my game below, with personal commentary so you can see what I was thinking as I played each move.

For those unfamiliar, columns from left to right are “a” through “h,” and rows bottom to top are “1” to “8.” The bottom left square is a1 and the top right square is h8.

As you can tell, I opted for a closed Ruy Lopez opening. Feel free to reach out with any questions or advice on the game!

UPDATE: Here’s my full write-up of the Play Magnus Live Challenge!

About Andrew Grojean

Andrew is a Social Media Manager at a digital marketing agency in KC, interested in all things social media, pop culture, sports, and technology.

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One Second Every Day: Vol. 3 (2016 Highlights Edition)

2016 was full of adventures. I traveled across Europe, cruised the Caribbean, played chess against the world champion in New York, and attended some fun conferences for a job I enjoy. Thanks to my friends and family who helped make the year a special one! Here's the third installment of my "One Second Every Day" project.


  1. Thanks for posting this! I was so pissed at whoever was running the tech end of the exhibition. No commentary or info about how you were doing other than random statistic info and sometimes the camera panned over to your board. Bah!

    I am definitely nowhere near your level, but one thing I was thinking watching your play: I never ever break my pawns if I get a chance to castle. It always seems like a fantastic defense that almost always requires the loss of an opponent’s piece to break it open. Then again, taking a risk and building a pawn wall can give you really good control of the board.

    I don’t know if it was archived on (was it VG TV that hosted the stream?) but I recorded a bit of the stream from my own PC before I had to leave for the day. I’ll throw it on a flash drive and try to remember to bring it to next board game night if you’d like it. 🙂

  2. Thanks Beth! Glad you could watch. I agree that’s a solid strategy. 13. h6 was a defensive move to preempt even more attacks on my king-side and a quicker mate. The h-pawn was defended by my g-pawn and it gave my king a flight square in case he attacked me on the back rank. Even when he sacrificed his bishop I declined to capture back because when Magnus presents a sacrifice, he knows what he’s doing 🙂 If I could do it over again, I’d move Bf8 for more defense instead. Appreciate the insight!

    Here’s a stream from VG. Let me know if you have a different one!

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