“The World Junior title was a dream come true”
Interview by Ingemar Falk
You became World Junior champion this autumn. Describe your first days as a new world champion?
”My first days after I won the World Juniors were amazing, as I was so happy and thrilled. It was a dream come true. And I think it is the best feeling, when you work for something and spend time on it, and then you achieve something big. That gives happiness.”
What is your next goal in your career?
”Now that I have the Wordl Junior title, the goal must be to try to step up as a senior, that is, to increase my rating.”
What is your connection with Magnus Carlsen. Only messages, or perhaps some training sessions?
”We have a good relation. He is nice and funny. We have played the Olympiad and European teams together, and he is a good teammate. We had a training camp some months ago, which was great.”
What do you expect from TePe Sigeman tournament?
“I have heard a lot of great stuff about the TePe Sigeman tournament, and I really look forward to playing there. I expect it to be strong and well organized, and I will enjoy to be there”.
You have played several tourneys in Sweden. What do you like most competing in Sweden?
“What I like most about playing in Sweden is that the tournaments are usually well organized and a lot of nice people. It is very close to Norway, so it feels a bit like home.”
What was your favourite chess opening when you were twelve years old?
“My favourite chess opening with white when I was 12 years old was 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Nxd4 Bc5 5. Be3 Qf6 6. Nb5. I remember I loved to play this and played it a lot, but I dont know if it has a name.”
And your preferred chess opening nowadays?
“I don’t really have a special chess opening I love these days… maybe the aforementioned. But it is not so good, sometimes it works playing blitz maybe… But for classical, what I know best is Caro Kann, I think.”
What’s your best tip to more easily fall asleep at nights during a chess tournament?
“My best tip to fall asleep is to go for a walk outside 30 minutes before you go to bed, and don’t use social media. Just think about life and walk. After the walk you will find it easier to sleep.”
Do you have any superstitions when you sit down at the chess board before a tournament game?
“When I have a good tournament with a pen, I don’t change that pen, and want to use it for every game. Also sometimes I don’t change my pants if I win the day before with them.”
Who was your first chess trainer?
“My first personal chess trainer was Håkon Strand from Stavanger. Before that I had group sessions with Per Blikra/Håvard Løvik when I was 5-6 years old.”
How much chess do you study an average day?
“That really depends. I’m not so structured, I work as much as I feel like. Sometimes I don’t work, if I don’t want to work with chess that day. Other days, it might be that I’m very motivated, and work 8 hours. But usually, there is not passing day without me looking at chess. It varies from 1 to 8 hours.”
Who is your best chess fan?
“I’m not sure who my biggest chess fan is, but I have some fans that follow me here in Norway!”
When you think of Sweden, which three things pop up first in your mind?
“Candy, girls and chess!”