My father, a fine chess player himself, has been a massive influence throughout my life.
People ask what my goal is. I don’t have a goal.
Without the element of enjoyment, it is not worth trying to excel at anything.
Chess only appeals to quite a small minority. It does not have the cachet of a mainstream popular sport.
I’m not really into rap.
It’s nice to be financially secure. Apart from that, I really don’t care too much about money.
I enjoy hiking and skiing, like most Norwegians. In winter, there will be snow for months on end. In the summer, there are the long evenings to enjoy.
I was lucky enough to attend schools where they were understanding about when I needed to go abroad to play chess. Of course, socially it is important to go to school and interact with people your own age.
Unfortunately I’m still not a fashion expert.
It’s just not my nature to go around idolizing people.
I started by just sitting by the chessboard exploring things. I didn’t even have books at first, and I just played by myself. I learnt a lot from that, and I feel that it is a big reason why I now have a good intuitive understanding of chess.
Maybe if I didn’t have the talent in chess I’d find the talent in something else. The only thing I know is that I have talent in chess, and I’m satisfied with that.
Some people think that if their opponent plays a beautiful game, it’s okay to lose. I don’t. You have to be merciless.
It’s easy for me to get along with chess players. Even though we are all very different, we have chess in common.
My former coach, Simen Agdestein, used to be the best player in Norway.