M2M Day 381: 34 hours later…

Max Deutsch
2 min readNov 17, 2017


This post is part of Month to Master, a 12-month accelerated learning project. For October, my goal is to defeat world champion Magnus Carlsen at a game of chess.

Like with all of my past challenges, today I decided to tally up the total amount of time I spent on this final chess challenge.

Since this challenge was effectively 50% longer than previous challenges, it’s no surprise that I spent a bit longer on it. In particular, over the past six weeks, I committed 34 hours to the pursuit of defeating Magnus.

It turns out that 34 hours isn’t quite enough, but, knowing what I know now, I don’t think it’s too far off.

I’d estimate that it would take between 500–1,000 hours to become a human chess computer capable of defeating the world champion (assuming that an algorithmic approach at this level of gameplay is possible… the verdict is still out).

While this is considerably more time than the 34 hours I spent, it’s completely dwarfed by the tens of thousands of hours that Magnus has spent playing chess.

Of course, this estimate only matters if I can actually demonstrate the result.

For now, I’m going to take a little break from my chess preparations, but, if inspiration strikes, I’m may proceed forward.

1,000 hours really isn’t so crazy. It’s about six months of a standard 9-to-5 job.

I suspect that I’ll be circling back some time in the future, putting in these 1,000 hours, and, assuming everything goes to plan, playing a competitive game against Magnus (in what will still likely be a very lengthy game).

Until then, Magnus can continue enjoying his spot at the top…

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Max Deutsch is an obsessive learner, product builder, guinea pig for Month to Master, and founder at Openmind.

If you want to follow along with Max’s year-long accelerated learning project, make sure to follow this Medium account.