Five-time World champion Magnus Carlsen believes that the Indian teams have a strong chance of winning medals at the upcoming Chess Olympiad. The 44th Chess Olympiad will be held in Mamallapuram, Chennai, from July 28 to August 10, 2022.
The 31-year-old is very impressed with and vocal about the top two Indian teams in the fray at the event, especially the young India Team 2. He said:
“Both Indian teams have a very strong and impressive line of players and I think both have a chance to be amongst the medals."
World No. 1 Carlsen will be in the city as part of Team Norway, which is ranked third amongst the 187 registered teams in the open section at the Olympiad. Norway is also a strong contender for one of the three medals at stake.
Awesome to be back in Chennai: Magnus Carlsen
Magnus Carlsen expressed his excitement on returning to Chennai — the city where he clinched his first-ever World Chess Championship by defeating Viswanathan Anand in 2013.
Carlsen, who is a three-time World Rapid Chess champion and five-time World Blitz Chess champion, said:
“It is going to be awesome to be back in Chennai again as it has been nine years since one of the greatest experiences of my chess career. These are fantastic memories to revisit, and I am looking forward to making new ones.”
Carlsen praised the extraordinary talent and chess culture in Chennai.
“Tamil Nadu or say Chennai, is the hottest hub of chess in the world now. So just to be there and be a part of the chess celebration is a reason in itself."
In the absence of Russia and China, India's Team 1 is rated second while the star-studded USA tops the list. India Team 2, though ranked 11th, appears to have caught the imagination of the world due to the talented teen prodigies it has.