Magnus Carlsen meets Norwegian press

by ChessBase
11/26/2013 – After his historic win, Magnus Carlsen sat down with the cohort of Norwegian press members for a group interview. There was no division in parts and all members used the body of questions and answers for their work. In it he discusses his impressions of match play, his plans for the future, and what type of world champion he sees himself as. Here is the full collective interview.

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Magnus Carlsen meets Norwegian press

Translated by Mikkel Tronsrud

After his historic win, Magnus Carlsen sat down with the cohort of Norwegian press members for a group interview. There was no division in parts and all members used the body of questions and answers for their work. In it he discusses his impressions of match play, his plans for the future, and what type of world champion he sees himself as. Here is the full collective interview.

Chennai, Monday, 25 November, 2013

Press - Do you have to get used to a different media situation now?

Magnus Carlsen - No, I don’t know. I recon I’ll be able to control some of it myself, like I have done in the past, and be able to participate in certain things, things I’d like and relevant things, and steer clear of most of the nonsense.

How does it feel to be in the centre of all the chaos in there? [In the press centre after the ceremony]

It’s OK, but today I’m a bit tired now that all is done, and I’m not going to hide the fact that it would be good to get some rest.

The viewer ratings have been enormous in Norway, there have been been over a million television viewers [1/5 of the population] on several occasions during the games. What is your reaction to those figures?

I think its absolutely fantastic that so many people find chess to be interesting or maybe switched on the telly by accident [smiles], but I think it’s fantastic that people are paying attention, people are talking about chess during their lunch breaks and children are playing chess in school. I think it’s very good for chess in Norway and because chess is a fantastic game.


VG TV Network's video of the interview

Did you think it would be this much attention?

No I didn’t. I did not think much about it in advance, but no, I didn’t have any specific expectations regarding how much attention the match [with Anand] would generate.

It’s soon time for the sports gala and nominations [in Norway]. How would you feel if you where not nominated to be the sports person of the year?

I would take that with a crushing calm [directly translated. Means it would not bother him at all].

Speaking of other sports, Petter Northug [Norwegian cross country skier] has patented his own brand of bread. Will we soon see 'Carlsen bread'?

[smiles] I don’t know. I used to eat a lot of whole wheat bread when I was young, but that has already been patented, so it would be difficult.

You said the other day that you would now spend some time being a celebrity, but according to Espen [Espen Agdestein is Carlsen's manager] you have turned down several reality shows. What would you be interested in doing if you should do something like that?

That was just a joke, really.

The interview was also published in the sports section of with very nice
pictures. Click here for the full article.

But what would it be, if you should choose anything?

I don’t know. I don’t think that reality shows is for me at the moment, but ask me in twenty or twenty five years time, and the answer may be different then.

Espen has mentioned he thinks that you have a sense of rhythm which would suit Shall We Dance? [popular celebrity show].

He may have said it, but it was not the intentions that he should say it.

You have been the world champion for a couple of days and you have been presented with the trophy today; has it sunk in yet that you have won the world chess championship?

No, not really, for several years I have been used to being amongst the world's elite, and to being the number one in the rankings the last years, but I was always missing the world championship title, so it will take some time for me to realise that I’ve got that too.

What motivates you now? How do you find motivations when you have won it all?

Now, I would like to keep on winning. Both the world championship and other things. I will be an active world champion, maybe get some rest now just after the tournament, but from then on playing tournaments, be active and to continue winning, and not be the kind who plays poorly and excuse myself by saying that the world championship is the most important thing.

Will it be a totally different approach to the next championship match, whereas you now prepared for this match by playing several tournaments?

It hasn't been decided, but it is a thought that has crossed my mind, yes.

Have you gained anything from this match that will help you in the future?

Yes, in particular I was nervous and tense in the beginning, and what I gained from it is that there is no reason [to be nervous], it’s just fun.

Will you be a different type of world champion form what Anand was?

Yes, in terms of chess, I will probably be [different]. Because he was very impressive in his period as world champion in the championship matches, but not in tournaments. You will probably never hear me use the excuse that I was saving preparations for the championship matches and that type of things.

But will you be a more active champion off the chess board?

We’ll have to see about that. But I would probably think so.

The article at NRK present several videos, the top of which contains images of both
Magnus Carlsen and Jon Hammer as children and already friends

In the past, you have wished for a tournament to be the world championship format. Do you still want a tournament, or will you go for a match?

It’s no doubt that it has been a very exciting match and that a lot of people still like the match format. But we’ll see. We’ll enjoy this for a while and then we’ll think about what will happen later on.

The experts are predicting you’ll stay on top for a long time, since a lot of your challenger’s are getting older and most of the younger players have yet to reach their peak. What are your thoughts on this?

I don’t know if the younger ones will ever reach my level, I really don’t hope so [grins], but it is apparent that I’m a bit lucky as the older generation is about to become slightly too old and that it is time for a new generation and I am probably the first of them. But there will come more; players who maybe have a different style and approach form what the older blokes like Anand had.

Having such a high profile, do you feel the responsibility to lifting the sport of chess?

Yes, but I believe the best way I can do that is just to do what I have done. Playing the tournaments that I have, and try to do well and in general just be myself and hopefully it will be a success.

Jon Ludvig Hammer (GM) was quoted all over the world yesterday about his role. How pleased are you that he gets attention after this [victory]?

It doesn’t do anything to me personally that he is being praised all over the world [big grin], but by all means, both Jon Ludvig and my other seconds have done a fantastic job, and they have worked a lot, far more than I asked for, and I am very thankful for that.

How will you celebrate when you come back to Norway?

I don’t know, I have heard that my sister is planning something that I’m not supposed to know about, but we’ll see.

What are you looking forward to the most, coming back home?

To see snow again? Eh, no, I don’t know, I’m looking forward to relax.

When you achieve big goals and win things, how long does it take before you start looking ahead towards the future?

It’s almost already happened. I’m looking forward to relaxing, I need to relax, but I think that when we reach February, my next tournament, I will be very motivated and I’ve already been thinking about a few things I would like to change from what I did in the championship match.

By the way, what are your thoughts on the trophy you where presented with today?

It was nice. A bit heavy, but apart from that is was superb.

A last question about the match format; do you like to play a match man against man, as we saw now?

MC: I must say I enjoyed the match much more than I had believed I would. After the beginning it was a lot more fun than I would have thought. I wouldn’t say it was easier, but it was less pressure and less hassle from what I was thinking it would be before the match.

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