Chess: Kasparov and Carlsen in Oslo

Minister Solhjell (left) plays Chess with Carlsen (front right) and Kasparov. Photo:

A scheduled training session with Garry Kasparov (Russia) and Magnus Carlsen (Norway) was used as an occasion to meet the Norwegian press, reports

The two sat down for a friendly game against Education Minister Solhjell, and all three answered questions for a Channel 2 journalist. The Norwegian government is set to back their brightest chess star, said the Minister, and his country’s bid to host a Chess Olympiad, writes Chessbase News on their website.

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 – the Pele of chess.”

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.


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