Revenge turned to remis for Magnus

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He was keen on revenge Wednesday, but Norwegian chess champ Magnus Carlsen only managed to tame his challenger Vishy Anand into a draw (remis) at the Chess World Championships in Sochi. Meanwhile, officials at the international chess federation FIDE say they want to hold the next championship event in Norway.

Chess rivals Vishy Anand (left) and Magnus Carlsen chatted for quite a while after Wednesday's match ended in a draw, but the content of their conversation wasn't made known. PHOTO: NTB Scanpix/Berit Roald

Chess rivals Vishy Anand (left) and Magnus Carlsen chatted for a while after Wednesday’s match ended in a draw, but the content of their conversation wasn’t made known. PHOTO: NTB Scanpix/Berit Roald

As newspaper Aftenposten reported, though, Carlsen first needs to concentrate on winning in Sochi if he’s to guarantee a spot for himself in the next championship to be played in the late autumn of 2016. There won’t be any championship action next year.

On Wednesday, Carlsen said himself that he thought he played “terribly” and “just wasn’t good enough.” The match went on for nearly five hours and he and Anand agreed on remis after 47 moves.

“I think overall it was just not a very high quality game on my part,” Carlsen told reporters when it was all over. “There were no glaring blunders, at least I don’t think so, but I just was not good enough.”

The result left the two men even in the race for the championship, with two points each after four matches. They’ll each have another day off on Thursday before play resumes on Friday and Saturday.

Norway urged to host next world championship
Looking further ahead, officials at both FIDE and the Norwegian Chess Federation (Norges Sjakkforbund) are looking to organize the next chess world championships in Norway. FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, who was re-elected to his position during the Chcss Olympiad in Tromsø last summer, told Aftenposten he was surprised that Norway didn’t manage to organize the current championship.

“Norway is one of the richest countries in the world, maybe even richer than the USA,” Ilyumazhinov told Aftenposten. “I don’t really understand why they didn’t manage.”

Norway’s chess federation tried, but no Norwegian city offered to be the host and the sponsor market was unresponsive as well. Last summer’s Chess Olympiad in Tromsø was no economic success, with organizers facing bankruptcy after it ended. Federation president Jøran Aulin-Jansson still thinks a world championship in Norway “would be great, and it doesn’t hurt that the FIDE president is positive to having it in Norway.”

Public interest in chess among Norwegians has soared since Carlsen won the world championship last year. Both Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) and VGTV are covering the action live from Sochi, with many other Norwegian media present as well. The public interest in Russia, however, is low and organizers only managed to sell 15 percent of the spectator tickets available at the matches that are playing out inside the former press center for last winter’s Olympics.

newsinenglish.no/Nina Berglund