Putin to Go to Carlsen’s World Cup Match

Ukraine crisis has caused a number of sanctions against Russia from the EU and Norway. In this tense political atmosphere, the Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg has declined to World Cup invitation of the International Chess Federation (FIDE). 

It is likely that Putin will take the first move of the match starting on November 8. 

Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet previously asked chess phenomenon whether he would shake hands with Putin. 

Carlsen said he would not be there to cause trouble. Also Carlsen’s manager Espen Agdestein said they would like to focus on sport not politics. 

– We are in contact with the Foreign Ministry and the Norwegian Embassy in Moscow to discuss the kind of thing. Magnus is there to play a chess match and not do politics. I think he will behave normally in terms of the regular procedure, said Agdestein. 

It was previously speculated that Carlsen initially did not want to be photographed with Putin, after western sponsors do not want to be associated with the Russian President. 

Sven Magnus Øen Carlsen (24) is a Norwegian chess grandmaster, reigning World Chess Champion and the No. 1 ranked player in the world, and the reigning World Champion in rapid and blitz chess. His peak rating is 2882, the highest in history.

A chess prodigy, Carlsen became a Grandmaster in 2004, at the age of 13 years, 148 days, making him at that time the second youngest grandmaster in history, although he has since become the third youngest. On 1 January 2010, at the age of 19 years, 32 days, he became the youngest chess player in history to be ranked world No. 1. On the January 2013 FIDE rating list, Carlsen reached an Elo rating of 2861, at that time the highest in history. In November 2013, Carlsen defeated Viswanathan Anand in the World Chess Championship 2013, thus becoming the new world chess champion. He will face Anand again in the World Chess Championship 2014 in November 2014.

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