Providing Play Magnus with its Artificial Intelligence


Play Magnus is Magnus Carlsen’s official chess app. The Play Magnus company aims to spread chess amongst younger people and its first product was the app. The app allows you to play against Magnus Carlsen at 19 different ages. Beginners will be able to try their hand at chess with 5-year-old Magnus while more experienced players can challenge older ages. The chess engine it tuned to play like Magnus Carlsen. 


The challenge was to develop a chess AI engine that behaved and played like Magnus Carlsen as he grew up and developed as a chess player. There was a lot of data on his games throughout his career, but how did one make a AI engine for a mobile app to emulate this?


Because of the difficult challenge the project first considered to use a standard version of the renowned chess engine Stockfish, but when the project found one of Stockfish original authors, Tord Romstad, the original scope was back. One of the key challenges in this was to make the AI engine behave like a human and make occasional mistakes, and to make it emulate the strength and playing style of Magnus Carlsen at each age. Tord got onboard and took Glaurung an earlier version of Stockfish, and developed it to play as similar as possible to Magnus Carlsen at different ages. This made the chess engine in Play Magnus one of a kind allowing you to challenge yourself towards the world champion. You might beat him at the age of 5. Tord is still responsible for maintaining and developing the AI engine in the app. The project now focuses on chess training features.

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