Not only did Education Minister Bård Vegar Solhjell get to meet the greatest chess player of all time, he also had a chance to play against Norway's most prodigious chess talent Magnus Carlsen.
The Minister has played against Carlsen before, twice in fact. "I won both times, not surprisingly," says Magnus, who is proud of his Minister's chess abilities. Solhjell played competitive chess until he was twelve years old. "He plays mostly solid positional moves," said Magnus, "but we are both on slightly different levels." Indeed.
"Garry Kasparov is the best ever chess player," says Minister Solhjell to TV 2 news, "and very many say that Magnus Carlsen may be the best in the world. He is already among the best, in my opinion one of the best athletes we have – it's like playing soccer against Pele."
Kasparov is appreciative of the fact that the Minister is an active chess fan. "In the Western world most of the ministers play golf or tennis..."
"In addition to having one of the greatest chess players in the world – hopefully at the time he will be number one in the world – Norway should have the greatest chess festival." That would be the Chess Olympiad in Tromsø in 2014.
Breaking news: Carlsen and Kasparov join forces
||Tromsø – a Chess Olympiad in the midnight sun?
18.11.2008 – It lies well within the Arctic Circle and has a history of chess activity. Now the city of Tromsø is bidding to host the 2014 Chess Olympiad in one of the most attractive regions of Europe. A full presentation is being made at the Olympiad in Dresden. We visited the city this summer and support their bid with some WYSIWYG evidence of why it is ideally suited for an Olympiad. Photo report.
||Chess in the Arctic Circle – GM Igor Kurnosov triumphs
18.08.2008 – For the third time the Tromsø Chess Club staged an International Open in the Arctic Circle. It ran from August 2nd to 10th 2008, with sky high prizes, by Norwegian standards (total prize fund 11,000 Euros). The venue is spectacular, the atmosphere warm and generous. And the place is full of Carlsens: Magnus, Henrik, Sigrun, Ellen, Ingrid and Signe. Part one of our big pictorial report.