Henrik Carlsen was a very busy man on Tuesday. Magnus Carlsen’s father had to give one interview after another to reporters both from Norway and India.

He may not quite have expected to be ‘interviewed’ by a parent, though.

When a lady asked him about the pressure of being the parent of the challenger, he was a bit taken aback.

“I have been answering lots of questions by the journalists. That’s the pressure,” he said.

Maddening crowd

Cathy Rogers, a press photographer, and the only woman in that role at the World championship is not pleased with the pushing and shoving she is treated to by the large group of photographers at the venue.

The 56-year-old Australian has a suggestion.

“In Moscow for the last World championship, four or five photographers took turns every day to go inside the playing arena and shoot their photographs,” she says. “That made sense.”

Catch ’em young

Tamil Nadu has started its ‘chess in school programme’, but the American Foundation for Chess, recently rechristened ‘First Move’, started its operations more than a decade ago to promote the sport in schools for those aged around eight years.

First Move is gaining in popularity, thanks to its spokesperson Magnus Carlsen. “The programme is meant for second and third graders,” says Aaron Gershenberg of SVB Capital, which funds First Move.

“The journey has been difficult because of the bureaucracy in schools. But, we are confident of touching a million students in the next three years. Carlsen’s impact has been phenomenal.”

When players write

There are quite a few chess players doubling up as reporters here. In the busy media room, you can spot the likes of Pravin Thipsay, V. Saravanan and Ian Rogers. They have all had years of experience as a player.

They all seem to be enjoying their roles as writers too.

‘Enjoys a quiet walk’

Magnus Carlsen likes to walk. He believes that walking freshens up his mind.

He has not been able to go for those long walks here yet, but he soon would.

“We have finally found some place where he could have a long walk,” says Carlsen’s manager Espen Agdestein.

“We needed a place where he could walk without being disturbed, and we think we have got one.”

He says Magnus likes to be physically active always, even during tournaments.

“For the rest day, he played basketball and football. He is very energetic.”

Agdestein is pretty pleased with the way things have gone so far for Carlsen.

“I think Magnus surprised quite a few people with the level of his preparation,” he says.

“I thought Magnus was excellent in the second game on Sunday.”

Are the Norwegians back home a bit disappointed that Carlsen has only been able to draw all three games?

“Yes, they are, that is because they expect Carlsen to win all the time,” says Agdestein.

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