Norway’s fifth place overall gave the country’s men’s national chess team its best performance in an international Chess Olympics ever. The Norwegian team’s standing also delivered an unexpected boost to chess star Magnus Carlsen as he heads into his own World Championship play later this fall.
Norway ended up fifth after a 2-2 tie against India in the final match of the Chess Olympics, which has been playing out in Baku this month. “It’s incredibly great, and lots of fun,” Simen Agdestein of the national team told news bureau NTB. “I think this is very encouraging.”
Carlsen was also satisfied while Frode Urkedal could boast the Norwegian team’s only victory against his Indian counterpart. Jon Ludvig Hammer, the fourth player to round out the team, called the placement “a miracle.”
Norway’s best placement before this year was 11th in 1976. During the Olympic play in Baku, Norway ended 11 rounds with a total of 16 points. The Norwegian players as a team won eight matches, tied one and lost two, to Romania and the US, which placed first.
The Norwegian women didn’t do nearly as well at the Chess Olympics, ending up in 42nd place.