"Magnus is a boss, I am his worker" (2023)

The winner of the ShamkirChess 2018 Super Tournament in the Memory of VugarHashimov, and the World Chess Champion, Magnus Carlsen's father Henrich Carlsen has given an interview to the official website of the contest.

- After having the interview with Magnus Carlsen, it is very interesting to talk to his father. How is the influence of your son to your life?

- We have get accustomed always being in the spotlight of the public. Before, all the people used to see little Magnus as an ordinary chess player. After his 13, when he became a grand master, the attention grew to him. My son has always been recognized more than me. When my friends defeat me, they always say that we have beat Magnus`s father.

- Let us talk about your family. How many children do you gave?

- My wife is SigrunEen. We have a son and three daughters. Magnus`s sisters are Ellen, Ingrid and Signe. My elder daughter Ellen is also playing a chess. In his childhood, Magnus started to be interested in the chess exactly to beat her. Eventually, Magnus started to win his sister conveniently after 6 months. When he was 7 years old, he was already holding seances to the children in the yard.

- When your son started to learn the chess?

- I tried to evoke an inspiration in chess in Magnus when he was 5. Within a short time, I could memorize all the pieces. In the beginning years, his talent could not be noticed. I have never forced him. When he was 8, he already started to go to the chess school. In that age, he could beat his sisters effortlessly. Therefore, most of the time, Magnus was playing by himself at home. It is very interesting to play against yourself in the chess. Can you imagine, at the end of the game, you win yourself and you lose.

- For a long time, we see you with your son together. Is it possible to say that, you are the closest second of your son?

- I was working as an engineer in the Oil sector in Norway. A few years ago, I obliged to leave my job. Because, I am always with Magnus on all his trips after his 15. I always want to be with him. When he was a child, I was helping Magnus to make a decision about all issues. Now, the situation is different. My son has grown up already. He makes his all decisions by himself. Sometimes we go on trips with trainers, second and a cook together. I am a worker as well as them. The boss is Magnus. In our family, he listens to all my advices as a father. However, here, Magnus is the boss, I am a worker.

- How many people do include in the Magnus's team?

- It is difficult to me to tell the exact amount. Magnus has come to Shamkir with his father, second and cook. Mainly, it depends on the tournament. For instance, when we prepare to the World Chess Crown, the number of the people increases in our team.

- How do members of the team help Magnus?

-I would say, I work for 24 hours. I elaborate the dates of the contests and trips. At the same time, I run his business. I control the publication of the books. We need a cook when we are on trips. Sometimes, we are offered the Western cuisine. In that case, the cook of Magnus provides us with our accustomed food. However, when we are at the home, his mum cooks.

- How was your son's attitude when you were invited again to the tournament in the memory of VugarHashimov after two years off?

- Magnus loves Shamkir very much. Because there are all the conditions in order to play chess. Simply, we ratify all our tournaments a few months earlier. This time, the vice-president of the Azerbaijan Chess Federation, FaigHasanov contacted us and said that, they will try to hold the tournament in an appropriate time to Magnus. Consequently, our participation in the Shamkir Tournament was agreed. He has been always the winner, when he comes to Shamkir. Therefore, my son accepted the invitation with a great pleasure. Simply, after he became the world champion, the invitations to the different tournament has increased. Even, we get the invitation a year before to the tournaments. It is impossible to accept all of them.

- Has Magnus Carlsen was offered to play on behalf of other country?

- This kind of thing has never happened. At least, I have never heard. He has always played on behalf of Norway in an international level. My son is not that kind of a person who always thinks money.

- Norway is known mostly with the winter sport. Meanwhile, how the achievement of Magnus welcomed in Norway?

- I agree with you. Everyone would like to see their child deals with the winter sport. However, Magnus chose a different way. His achievements are welcomed as a great success in Norway. It is a good contribution to love the chess in Norway.

- Usually, players engaging in business before terminating their career. If it is not a secret, what kind of companies does Magnus have?

We have not got that kind of big companies. Certainly, the main profit is related to the chess. I mean, the grants of the tournaments and contracts with sponsorships. Except the chess, we have an internet project called “Play Magnus”. It is possible to learn chess after downloading that program to you phone. Its specialty is that, here you can play against Magnus. You choose the age. For instance, you may play against 7 years old Magnus, or it is possible to counter with 11 years old Magnus. "Play Magnus" is free of charge. If you cannot play against Magnus, you may get the help from the computer. The help and hints are with charge- only 1 dollar. Nowadays, almost 3 million people utilize "Play Magnus".

- He has three sisters. However, mostly he is known in the family. How are the reactions of his sisters to this situation?

- Normal. They are very kind siblings. Approximately, 4-5years ago. Magnus tried himself as a model in Germany. He advertised the uniform of two different companies. In that time, his sisters were jealous about him. They used to say that, he is a grand master, when did he start to the modeling field? (He laughs)

- Your son has a lot of fans, but what about girlfriend?

- You may ask about this question, directly form himself. I do not interfere his personal life, it would be difficult for me to answer this.

- He did not answer to this question…

- I could only tell you that, nearly a year ago, he had a girlfriend. For a while it continued.

- What type of meals does he like?

- He prefers mostly Italian cuisine. In recent years, his attitudes toward the Asian cuisine has changed positively. He likes tasting different things.

- Your son is a "Real" fan. Is it real that, after his favorite football team loses the game, it is not recommended to approach to Magnus?

- Usually, he tries to keep his emotions inside of him. He does not show them to anyone.

- It is interesting us to know your opinion on the ShamkirChess Tournament in the memory of VugarHashimov…

- The competition is organized in a high level. That is why I fell obligation to tell my gratitude to the organizers for their work. On the other hand, Shamkir is a very nice place. It is quiet and has its own fascinating nature. Magnus usually likes to participate in tournaments holding in these kinds of cities. There is no traffic in the city. Most important fact is that, the competence is organized in the memory of Vugar. I am very glad that, Azerbaijan makes his name memorable. Hashimov was a great grand master. His games and behavioris an example for many others. I always remember Vugar with a smile. He never used to show his disappointment while he was losing the game. When he won the game, he used to treat his competitor with a respect. Magnus also used to say that, Vugar was an opponent who really used to make him in difficulty.

- Were you following the Candidates Tournament held in Berlin?

- I am about to tell you a secret. I hope that, Magnus will not read the interview. I do not make any mistake, the World Championship among youth were holding in 2004-2005. There, young Shahriyarperformed well and win the first place. From that time, I started to be fan of Mammadyarov. Undoubtly, afterwards, I was only the fan of Magnus. As far as the games held in Berlin are concerned, we have watched some of them. Mammadyarov had a high chance to be the winner. He lost only one final step, hence, he has a capability to gain win that final step even.

- I would like to thank you for such a detailed interview.

- I also thank you. I would like to tell you that, I always tell my regards to the God. Every day. My son has been a grand master in his 13. Now, I am the father of the World Champion. Magnus wins different tournaments in every year. I have everything to be happy. I feel myself happy indeed.

Press Service of the ShamkirChess 2018 Tournament

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