Do You Know Carlsen?

I was in Hellesylt, Norway with its gorgeous waterfall that divided the town in half.  This occurred during the Norway Chess event.  When I left the ship, I asked the Cruise Director where I might find the elementary school.  She pointed to a white building near the dock.  I easily found the road to the building and walked inside to locate the office.  There were two students whom I observed just inside the entrance.  Since I did not speak Norwegian I tried to keep it simple.  I said, “Office?”  They both looked at me and then looked at each other.  No success.

Then, I said, “Teacher?”  They quickly left.  I had no idea what would happen.  Shortly, a teacher arrived to greet me and I said, “I stopped by and wanted to donate a heavy weighted chess set to the school.”

She said in English, “Let us go up to the second floor where the office is located.”  They were very pleased to accept the chess set and the teacher and I returned to the first floor.  As I was departing she said, “Do you know Magnus Carlsen?”

I replied, “Not personally, but his name is very familiar to American chess players.”

I have left chess sets in many parts of the world including the Amazon, India, South Africa, Peru, Egypt, Guatemala, China, Sicily, Myanmar, Nepal, Kenya and Botswana.  Now, there is one residing in Norway.  This makes my wife happy because it creates some extra room in my suitcase for some souvenirs.