Interview with the World Junior Champion


Jamie Kenmure: Firstly, congratulations on winning the World Junior Championship. We know it is a tough tournament to win so tell me how you felt after winning the event or when you found out that you won?

Aryan Tari: So after getting the half point, I was still not 100% sure that I had won. I was told by Shohreh Bayat, one of the Deputy Chief Arbiters for the event that most probably it was enough and that I would win. I then checked my phone and getting a lot of messages of congratulations from people. I then understood that I most probably won and I was just so happy and words cannot explain it.

JK: You are a player representing Norway which currently has the World Champion, Magnus Carlsen. You have played in 2 previous editions in 2014 and 2015 of the same event. Was this event stronger for you or were the previous editions stronger for you?

AT: The strength of the field was around the same for this event as were the previous 2 editions that I played in. Maybe 2014 was slightly stronger but this year was strong as well. Many players from China and India can be underrated. There was many dangerous players in the field and anyway, it feels huge to win in this hard field.

JK: You have mentioned about dangerous players and the talented kid from India, Praggnanandhaa was looking at being the youngest Grandmaster in the world. You game against him as a tough one, can you tell us about your game against him?

AT: He is definitely becoming stronger and stronger and since we played at the end of February I believe in Moscow, he gained elo and became stronger since that point and of course is very dangerous. In our game, it was a very fighting game. I was better at some points and he was better at some points in the game. At some point in the game I made a mistake and lost my advantage and the result was a draw. It was a good fight and a draw was a fair result I think.

JK: Many players in a tournament always predict the winner of a tournament. Who was your prediction to win this tournament apart from yourself?

AT: I believed if it wasn’t me, it would be GM Kirill Alekseenko of Russia. At the beginning of the event he was a strong and dangerous player.

JK: 2008 was the last time a World Junior Champion and World Champion came from the same country whom respectively it was GM Abhijeet Gupta and GM Viswanathan Anand. How do you think this will improve chess in Norway?

AT: Firstly, this is very great for Norwegian chess. It is very cool that the World Champion and World under 20 Champion are from Norway. I think chess will become more and more popular and hopefully it will be one of the main sports.

JK: We all know that chess has a big following in Norway thanks to the NRK, the Norwegian government-owned media company. Do you think that becoming the World Junior Champion you will get more fans now?

AT: I think and hope so. Many newspapers have mentioned that I am the new World Junior Champion now so I hope I will be more famous and that many people will know me.

JK: Do you think you can bring more people to chess now that you are a Junior World Champion now?

AT: I think the fact that the World Champion and World Junior Champion come from Norway helps a lot. I think this will bring more Norwegian people to chess.

JK: Now that we have 2 World Champions from Norway, do you think this will get more parents and grandparents playing chess with their children?

AT: It might happen I think. I see just more and more people are getting interested in chess. With the media promoting chess, especially NRK, people are sitting at home and watching the TV when Magnus plays. I think this will help a lot now that I became the World Champion.

JK: Will there be any celebration on arrival back in Norway, especially on arrival at Oslo airport?

AT: I got a lot of phone calls after my victory today and NRK was asking for my flights details of when I am arriving, when is my flight as they might greet me at the airport. I am expecting a lot of interviews when I get back to Norway and I hope that my win will not be forgotten too fast.

JK: You have mentioned that you will be expecting interviews when back in Norway. Do you think there will be any pressure dealing with the media?

AT: I think I will be good to handle it and I hope to still manage to concentrate on my career and get stronger and stronger. I will not think too much about this title and especially about the media interviews.

JK: Now you are World Junior Champion, will there be any financial reward or medal from the Government for your achievement?

AT: I am not sure actually. The good thing is it will definitely help getting sponsors to chess and to get more sponsors for me. I have some sponsors from before but this will definitely help more.

JK: Who would you like to thank for sponsoring you?

AT: I have like 5 sponsors. My sponsors have been helping me financially regarding travel and accommodation. I would like to thank each of them who have helped me and they are Entercard, Aktivprofil, GANT, Betonmast and Eterni.

JK: Finally before I let you continue your celebrations; do you will attract more kids to chess and maybe potentially have chess in schools program in Norway?

AT: I would like to help and spend my time in getting kids to play chess. I hope it will be one of the main sports and it would be very cool if it gets more and more popular.

JK: Thank you so much for your time and all the best for 2018.

AT: Thank you.