Norway is a country that has long been known for their prowess in winter sports, but the European nation has experienced little success in the world of competitive chess; until recently that is. With the famous win in the World Chess Championship by Magnus Carlsen last month, the game has blossomed in popularity throughout the Scandinavian country, as their 23-year-old chess prodigy has finally claimed the ultimate title in the game, and is poised to dominate the sport for the foreseeable future.
Back in 2004, Carlsen emerged on the world scene when he was declared a chess grandmaster at the age of 13, making him the second youngest grandmaster ever at that time. While the sport was still in a general quietness around Norway, the stage was set for Carlsen to become one of the nation’s most popular sportsmen in a game that doesn’t even feature snow!
Magnus Carlsen’s story would begin blossoming throughout the years as he continued to win tournaments and saw his ranking steadily grow. By 2010, he was the top ranked chess player in the world with a rating of 2810. He was just 19 and already consistently defeating the world’s best players like Vladimir Kramnik and Veselin Topalov, while winning various tournaments like the London Chess Classic and the Corus Chess Tournament.
His top FIDE chess ranking would not last throughout the year, however. His mind was clearly affected by his experiences at the top of the chess world, and the celebrity status that was beginning to grow. He began modeling with the Dutch designer brand G-Star Raw, and many felt that his exploits away from the chessboard were distracting him. He would suffer surprise losses at the Grand Slam Masters Final in the fall that year, reducing his rank to 2nd in the world.
Carlsen’s belief would never waver, however, and throughout 2011 he would work to re-establish his dominance at the top of the chess world. By the summer, he would reclaim the number 1 ranking, where he remains today. Remember, at this time he was just 20 years old!
While in training, Carlsen has been touted as a natural player, who rarely applies his mind to the strategies of computer driven statistics, instead employing the power of his intuition. While he obviously possesses a brilliant mind, Carlsen has been known for his aggressive play and ability to keep his mind alert throughout the duration of long matches and tournaments. While many chess players struggle with fatigue towards the end of events, Carlsen stays reserved and calm, and continues to play the game with brilliance and ease as the pressure mounts. With such mature play, is their any surprise that this young man has already achieved so much success in the sport?
In early 2013, it was time for the youngster to mark his growth and development in the game. He achieved a world-record FIDE rating of 2861 in January. After succeeding at the Candidates tournament last March by topping Kramnik through a tiebreak, Carlsen earned his right to contend with the then Chess Champion of the world, Viswanathan Anand. Although he lost several tournaments leading up to this ultimate chess showdown, Carlsen was smartly building up confidence towards the monumental match.
Held last month in Chennai, India, Carlsen would have to claim the world title from his adversary far from home, and in his competitor’s hometown! Anand had held the title since 2007, though it was evident that his game was slipping. His FIDE rating had slipped to 8th worldwide, and he had even refrained from participating at chess tournaments in order to prepare for the match.
From the start, it was clear that Carlsen had come to play. After 4 straight draws, Carlsen finally made a breakthrough to win game 5. He would be in control from then on. In Norway, the action was followed with great interest. The matches were broadcasted live on television, attracting massive numbers of viewers. Additionally, online broadcasts of the games with in depth analysis and discussions were made extremely popular during the competition.
The whole nation seemed to stop as people tuned in to watch their rising chess superstar! University students were glued to each and every move on their computer screens, while the nation became a buzz! Even people with little interest in the sport became transfixed as they witnessed the first ever Norwegian player become the World Chess Champion! Carlsen would even become the first Western European player to become a champion in 76 years! During that time, chess was dominated by players from China, Russia, and India. However, the times are surely changing.
By the end of game 10, Magnus Carlsen was declared the World Chess Champion with a final score of 6.5-3.5, having not lost a single game to the reigning champion. In Norway, his popularity and that of the game of chess has simply exploded!
Regency Chess Company has seen a dramatic rise in interest in the sport from the nation, and chess set orders have grown immensely, especially in preparation of the Holiday season! Due to this growth, we can now offer discounted shipping to Norway of just £25, helping many new chess fans enjoy the incredible mind game with a dazzling new board.
Of interest to Norwegians is the spectacular replica of the historically significant Lewis Chessmen. Discovered in the Isle of Lewis of Scotland, the Nordic chessmen from the 12th century resemble one of the few rare chess sets to survive from medieval times and likely originated from Norway itself! For anyone from Norway with new interests in the game, the Lewis Chess Set replicas from Regency are the perfect item for anyone in this nation!
And so with their new chess celebrity, Magnus Carlsen, the sport of chess is experiencing a massive revival in Norway. As youngsters and player alike aspire to be like their new hero, perhaps the country will soon become a major player in the sport, like the traditional powers of Russia and China. But for the short-term future, it is evident that Carlsen will be leading the way for the country and the game itself for the next several years. Having just turned 23, the young adult will now focus on maintaining his hold on the world’s most intellectual sport! With such extreme poise and brilliance, it seems that he may be holding this title for many years to come. His challengers will now have to figure out how to beat this sensational chess grandmaster. While one assumes that someone will eventually find a way to dethrone Carlsen, for the near future his position in the sport will be unmatched, and he is set to become a household name throughout the world. Meanwhile, the entire population of Norway seems thrilled about their new celebrity, and have all joined in with adoration of the game of chess. With an exciting opportunity to purchase a new chess set from Regency Chess Company, this is also a great time to celebrate the sport of chess itself, and enjoy the incredible rise to prominence of the world’s latest chess hero, Magnus Carlsen!