India have a strong chance of winning medals at Chess Olympiad — Carlsen
Chennai, July 26 (PTI): Reigning world champion Magnus Carlsen on Tuesday said that hosts India stand a strong chance of winning medals at the upcoming 44th Chess Olympiad.
India will be hosting the showpiece event for the first time in the prestigious tournament’s history from July 28 to August 10.
With no China or Russia taking part at the Olympiad, the India ‘A’ team is seeded second behind the formidable and star-studded USA. On the other hand, the second Indian team (B) is seeded 11th but comprises a bunch of youngsters like R Praggnanandhaa and D Gukesh, who have impressed all and sundry in recent times.
“Both Indian teams have a very strong and impressive line of players and I think both have a chance to be amongst the medals,” Carlsen said.
The five-time world champion is currently in Chennai and is part of Team Norway, which is ranked third among the 187 nations taking part in the event.
In 2013, Carlsen clinched his first-ever World Championship title when he defeated his rival and Indian legend, Viswanathan Anand.
“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,” he added. The 31-year-old Norwegian superstar recently pulled out of his next World Championship match, deciding not to defend his title.