London – Thursday 4th October 2018 – Liverpool and England right back, Trent Alexander-Arnold has announced that he is set to take on his biggest challenge to date.
The keen chess player is swapping his boots for pawns by facing off against the World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen in a landmark chess game ahead of the World Chess Championship Match 2018. The match is being organised by global cybersecurity giants and the World Chess Championship partner, Kaspersky Lab.
The 19-year-old “Melwood Grandmaster”, who regularly plays against fellow Liverpool teammates, will now take on his toughest opponent to date. Alexander-Arnold said he ‘jumped at the chance’ when the cybersecurity giants offered the opportunity.
The match, held in Manchester on 8th October, will see how the pacey full back can fare against Carlsen, the 27-year-old Chess Champion who has reigned supreme over the sport for over eight years.
Despite the rigours of club and international football over the forthcoming weeks, Trent Alexander-Arnold is committed to giving Carlsen a real fight. Kaspersky Lab has called up two of the UK’s most promising players and, future Grandmasters, to coach the fellow youngster ahead of his big match.
Shreyas Royal, who recently won a case to prevent the Indian-born prodigy from being deported in August and dubbed the country’s best junior chess prospect in 30 years will form part of Trent’s backroom team alongside 12-year-old Essex star, Kyan Bui.
Kaspersky Lab is also helping to kick-start Trent’s defence against Carlsen by using eye-tracking technology to help him make educated guesses to future moves based on where the opponent is looking. Its innovative tech will show what squares the opponent is focusing on and, thus, enable better planning.
In advance of the main match, the public will be invited behind the scenes into Trent’s training camps with the star showcasing his training sessions on his social channels using #TAAvMagnus. He hopes that this will help bring more youngsters into the sport he loves.
Despite a career that is still in its infancy with just over 50 senior appearances for Liverpool and three caps for England to his name, he is obviously mature beyond his years. Not only has his manager Jurgen Klopp praised his deep thinking, but the player himself has also earmarked the captain’s armband at Anfield as a priority.
When speaking of his chances and his own chess ability, Trent said that ‘he might shock people’. Talking at the announcement of the match, Liverpool’s No.66 said there are similarities between chess and football:
“Chess, like football, is all about strategy and skill. Judging when and how to attack, whilst keeping a watchful eye on your defence. The pieces, like players have different positions, places and qualities and you need to know how to get the best use of them in order to get the result.
“When Kaspersky Lab came to me I jumped at the chance. Football has always been my passion but, alongside that I have always played chess. It’s a release for me. I’ve played since I was very young and more recently I play Ben Woodburn regularly, even though he is in Sheffield at the moment we still have time for matches. Magnus will be a tough test, but I think with Kaspersky Lab’s help, I might surprise people.”
Trent’s nine-year-old co-coach, Shreyas Royal issued a defiant response via his father Jitendra Singh:
“Although Trent is ten years my senior, I am confident in helping him shock Magnus. I can see that his skills on the pitch are equally matched by his talents on a chessboard and cannot wait to work together and maybe, just maybe, shock the ‘unbeatable’ Magnus Carlsen. I am excited that Kaspersky Lab brought me on to be part of Trent’s backroom team and I am hopeful for a winning result. Trent is a born winner, so that’s half the battle won!”
The World Chess Championship Match this November will see Carlsen, the reigning world champion since 2013, take on 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 follow Trent’s progress please visit https://www.kaspersky.com/about/sponsorships or keep an eye on Trent’s social channels and #TAAvMagnus.