Mike McDonald Offers Prop Bet to Become a Chess Grandmaster7 months ago
Mike McDonald is back making crazy prop bets—this time challenging himself to become a chess grandmaster. This is no mean feat, and it is not just a case of putting in the hours. It is well beyond the vast majority of the human population regardless of how hard they try.
Can Timex Do the Impossible Again?
The basketball bet was as crazy as bets go. Not in the way we’ve seen the more ridiculous wagers such as Antonio Esfandiari lunging everywhere he went, but in terms of what people think is humanly possible.
To think that he thought he could sink 90/100 free throws on a regulation size hoop is insane—but the man did it!
$200,000 richer, McDonald is in a confident mood, and he is really looking to stretch his abilities this time.
The problem is that this task, or even dream, of his is borderline impossible, even for the most gifted chess players. The sad fact is that hard work doesn’t count for everything in chess. Although the best players obviously do work hard they are all gifted with a talent that usually requires picking up the game at a very young age.
Even if McDonald does turn out to have this gift that only around 2,000 players on the planet currently have, he’s already a little long in the tooth to be aiming at the grandmaster title.
A More Achievable Goal
After the offer of this bet at 4-1 odds over the rest of his lifetime McDonald seems to have realised that it isn’t just a case of banging the hours in.
Fedor Holz piped up on Twitter to enquire about the bet, and Bill Perkins showed interest but thought that the age gap was too much for McDonald to realistically be able to collect.
McDonald himself realised that he hadn’t given enough thought to how his life might change in the coming years. The patter of tiny feet can arrive and turn all the best laid plans upside down.
“Life circumstances can change. Kids aren't on my radar right now but maybe in 2025 I want to have kids and don't want to prematurely capitulate on the bet or miss out on my kids' childhood chasing IM norms en route to losing the bet.”
An easier bet could certainly garner interest easily enough. A Fide Master or International Master title is much more doable, but still incredibly tough.
We await news on what Mike McDonald decides.
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