The Pyjama Girls interview

11/13/2013 – As further evidence of the connection Magnus Carlsen has managed to make with young people around the world. In round two, a bold picture circulated on Twitter of four beautiful young girls showing their support for Magnus Carlsen. The interview shows that the impact goes beyond pinup pictures in a teenager's room, and has managed to bring an unprecedented 'cool' factor to chess.

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The Pyjama Girls interview

Transcription and translation by Finnbjørn Vang (Klaksvik, Faroe Islands)

It is a unique phenomenon in chess, and further evidence of the connection Magnus Carlsen has managed to make with young people around the world. During the world championship, notably in round two, a picture circulated on Twitter of a bold picture by four beautiful young girls showing their support for Magnus Carlsen. The interview below shows that the impact is more than pinup pictures in a teenager's room, and has managed to bring a 'cool' factor to chess no other player have been able to do.

You may recall the daring picture by some blond fans of Magnus Carlsen. In their homeland, the young ladies were interviewed on local TV network VG TV.

The picture that made them famous. It was the sort of picture that brought reactions
such as “Oh. My. God. Can I be Magnus Carlsen?” by a strong US grandmaster

TV presenter: Chess fever is over us and Magnus Carlsen is receiving more and more fans like you Hans Olav. We'll show a picture where 4 girls are cheering for Magnus in a special way. The picture has been shared on the internet many times since it was uploaded. We have two of the girls with us on Skype Amalie Dehli & Sara Hansen.

After the picture, the young fans were interviewed on the Norwegian TV Network VG

TV presenter: Can you tell us how you came up with the idea of making this picture?

Girls: We were watching the match on NRK and wanted to show our support for Magnus. So we decided to make this picture and send it to NRK-sjakk.

What letters did you have?

Amalie (left) had EN and Sara (right) had AR.

Amalie Dehli and Sara Hansen are interviewed via Skype regarding their picture.
Amalie (left) had EN and Sara (right) had AR.

Wasn't it cold?

It was a bit cold and it rained also, but it went well.

Who came up with the idea of undressing and holding up the Norwegian flag?

We agreed as a group to do something and then inputs were put in action.

If anyone else wants to do something similar, what kind of paint did you use?

Waterbased paint, so you can get it off again.

I see.....when did you get interested in chess?

When we saw it on TV (NRK) Saturday.

Are you following the match? Did you watch Sunday and today?

Yes....now we have been really ”bitten” by chess. We also have Helle with us here.

Helle was the LS in the picture

Hi Helle. What was your letter?

Eh...LS I think.

Are going to upload more tribute pictures?

Yes if we can find some more funny ideas.

Are you watching VGTV now?

Yes we are.

The girls came up with the idea as a group and took it on Veierland, an island in Norway

Can you show us how it works?

Like this.

So if we, who are in studio, wave at you, you can see us?

We think so.

In a while, this will be on VGTV, but aren't you supposed to be in school, and not watching chess and appearing on VGTV?

We are in school, but we have taken some time off.... we are sooo into chess.  

The turned their phone camera to show they were watching VG TV and the game being played live

Very good. Send your next pictures to VG-Sjakk and we'll bring them in the show. Thank you for taking time to talk to us.

Our pleasure. All the best.

After the interview, the resident chess expert on the show, Hans Olav Lahlum,
explained this sort of thing happens all the time in Norway. It is worth noting
that on May 22–23, 2013, he was interviewed by VG for 30 hours, 1 minute
and 44 seconds, setting a Guinness World Record for the longest interview ever,
beating the previous record by over four hours.

The full video interview


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