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Updated: November 6, 2013 23:36 IST

Rousing reception for Carlsen

Arun Venugopal
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Norwegian GM Magnus Carlsen was accorded a grand welcome at the Hyatt Regency. Photo: R. Ragu
The Hindu
Norwegian GM Magnus Carlsen was accorded a grand welcome at the Hyatt Regency. Photo: R. Ragu

The Norwegian looks relaxed and ready

The stately Nagaswaram notes, forging a euphonious alliance with the Thavil, bore unmistakable signs of a ceremonial reception.

A huge garland was conspicuous, too, as the welcome party at Hyatt Regency — the venue for the FIDE World chess championship match, beginning on Saturday — was in readiness for the arrival of Magnus Carlsen, the challenger to Viswanathan Anand.

The notorious peak-hour traffic did delay the Norwegian master’s arrival a little. But, when he eventually did, along with his family at 7.40 p.m. on Wednesday, Carlsen was enveloped by the garland.

Magnus returned the courtesy, with a spontaneous smile, and swiftly proceeded towards his room. His entourage was anxious to ensure that every minor detail was taken care of; none more so than Bjorn Nesse, Carlsen’s coordinator of security “for many years.” He seemed happy with the security arrangements.

Professional

“Everything is under control. Things are very professional here. I can see there’s a lot of buzz because the local boy Anand is playing, but that’s a positive thing,” said Nesse.

Having travelled with Carlsen to Russia, China, and other European countries, he is aware of Carlsen’s requirements.

Peace and quiet

“All he needs now is peace and quiet. We are there to relieve him of any external worry. There’s never been any trouble, but, from a security point of view, we always have to be a bit careful.”

Meanwhile, Carlsen, who had been camping at Fisherman’s Cove, a hotel in the city’s outskirts, spent his time over the last two days playing tennis, badminton, and beach-volleyball, besides relaxing by the poolside, a release from the hotel said.

The food was “medium-spicy as per Carlsen’s preference”, and his diet consisted of whole wheat croissants, cheese omelette with green chillies, and fresh mango juice, the release added.

No specific request

The authorities at Hyatt said they hadn’t received request for a specific diet from Carlsen’s camp yet.

“There is a huge Norwegian contingent here with almost 50 journalists apart from Carlsen’s team. We have special menus to cater to them such as Norwegian smoked salmon and salmon steak. Carlsen’s chef will obviously have a say in what is being prepared for the player,” said Pratiti Rajpal, marketing communications manager, Hyatt Regency.

Anand, who checked in at the hotel a few days ago, didn’t appear to be fastidious about his food.

“Anand ordered all kinds of cuisine, particularly Italian, Chinese, and Indian.

There hasn’t been a specific diet-pattern,” said a source at the Hyatt.

The championship will be inaugurated on Thursday, the afternoon of which both players will address the media.

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