It is always amusing when chess is covered in ordinary news from someone who really doesn’t know chess. It is also something to think about, how journalists really don’t know anything of what they are talking about, they make interviews and transfer what they find important to the public. I will write what happened on the radio in Norway to-day, for a little amusement for chess interested readers who don’t know norwegian.
Our correspondent in Moscow nowadays is Mr. Hans Wilhelm Steinfeld. He is full of himself. This is the fourth time he is correspondent in Moscow, no one has earlier taken on a fourth period of our correspondents anywhere. In a small country like Norway, a man like this can make himself a position. There are not that many in our country that know Russian and journalism, and is able to talk like you have to talk on the radio. Yesterday mr. Steinfeld visited the world championship in Blitz-chess in Moscow, where our boy Magnus Carlsen as usually is doing very well.
As a side comment from a blogger who is critical to Carlsen’s withdrawal from the true world champion cycle: Carlsen is usually doing very well on the board, off it he could clearly do better.
Likely Mr. Hans Wilhelm Steinfeld doesn’t know anything about this, or he doesn’t want to bother. He will focus on the blitz chess, and on who will become the champion in this event. There was not a line in the reportage that blitz chess is like fun, it is not taken very seriously, people are relaxed, and often smile as they lose, as can be seen on the many videos from the event. To Steinfeld the short time just increases the tension, the player has “to fight his opponent, the board (or was it his nerves?) and the clock”.
There was a short clip with an interview of the always polite Henrik Carlsen, father of Magnus. He said the results from the first day was higher than expected, Magnus was leading the field together with Aronian, and like “time will show what will be the result in the end”. Magnus himself wouldn’t give an interview between rounds – very, very, very understandable for any chess player, -, and our busy correspondent didn’t have the time to wait for the end of yesterdays rounds (even how exciting they were, according to him).
So instead of the chief player Steinfeld made an interview with the chief arbiter. Steinfeld as usually made it sound like he interviewed the president of Russia, or the president of the universe. Little does he know, that a chess journalist never interviews the chief arbiter, what does he know, his opinion is as high valued as his skill in chess, as is usually below Grand master level, to say the least. He knows a lot about arbiting, though, and they do a lot for chess and we should thank them. But when they talk about the game and who will win the tournament, it is of course a little funny.
This time Steinfeld as usual wanted his type of sensational high-class interview. He asked question about how good Magnus Carlsen really is, and what is the essence of chess, and other high sensational high-class questions. The arbiter answered as quiet as he could, and Steinfeld as the true journalist he is, misconducted just anything. For instance he claimed that Moscow is like a chess metropol, which it of course is, as the capital of the obviously best chess nation in the world, but the explanation that Carlsen traveled here, even though he soon had an important tournament in Italy… Italy? Has there been an important chess tournament there ever?
The reportage was broadcasted as “the letter from our correspondents” this morning on our state channel NRK radio. For Norwegian speakers (and learners it can be found on the NRK net site http://www.Nrk.no” My comments are made from memory, and may contain some inaccuracies, I am not sure it was the chief arbiter or some other arbeiter, for instance. But the spirit of the reportage should be truly captured. And for the chess fans of the world, the final day of the blitz championship is to-day at 1300 Moscow time, 1000 Greenwich. Aronian is now in the lead with 18,5, our Magnus has 17, and the next ones are on 16 and 15,5. There are 10 more rounds to go. I will be stucked to the servers. See you perhaps on the ICC!