Minutes after reaching Hyatt Regency for the World chess championship here on Tuesday, Norway’s Tarjei J. Svensen shot off this tweet: “I guess no need to remind everyone that I said there will be action once I arrive Chennai?”
Svensen did no harm to his reputation by doing some nice stuff on Twitter.
A sample: videos of Garry Kasparov’s movement inside the hotel with journalists ‘chasing’ him, and an interview with a crazy fan of the World No.1, and the best part was the interview of FIDE president Kirsan Ilyumzhinov by a Norwegian channel on his now famous ‘alien occupation.’
On Twitter, Svensen, Carlsen’s childhood friend, is the man to follow during the event. More than 1000 people are following him, and there will be many more in the remaining days.
A big fan
“I am here to offer Magnus technical (computer) help,” says Svensen.
“I am a big fan of Magnus as he is a great player. Lots of attention is on him and a lot of people care for him,” says the 31-year-old.
Svensen, who is here on Carlsen’s invitation, says he works as a front editor for Scandinavian Online back home, where news — general and chess — is collected from all around Norway and the internet traffic is transferred to other news sites. “What we do is similar to Yahoo,” he says.
From 1998 to 2001, Carlsen and Svensen played in the NTG Academy, run by Simen Agdestein, and it was here that the Carlsen legend began to grow.
“The first tournament that I watched Magnus play was in 2000 in Gausdal, against my classmate Bekker-Jensen. Magnus drew from a losing position. We all then thought that he would become big,” he says.
The interest generated for the championship on Carlsen, observes Svensen, whose highest rating has been 2145, is unreal.
“If not for Magnus, chess would not have become this popular in Norway. We now have around 2000 rated players.
“All this thanks to Magnus. It (the rated players) still needs to grow.”