Chess and politics

Hi Everyone

So far this blog has been without any posts about chess (I think). As I’m more than average interested in sport there has been a number of posts about cricket, football, sailing and even one about roller skiing. But now I think it is about time to even write about chess.

Norway and India doesn’t really have any huge rivalry in sports. It has been Norway against Sweden in cross country skiing and India against Pakistan in cricket. But this will change now! In November this year young Norwegian Magnus Carlsen currently ranked as number 1 in the world will play against Indian Viswanathan (Vishy) Anand in a world championship match in November! The match will take place in Chennai in India. This is of course not without controversies. Anand is actually from Tamil Nadu so playing in Chennai will be very much on his home ground.


Management team of Magnus Carlsen has criticized the selection of Chennai. Surely I can understand this. Chennai is hot. The food is different. He will be travelling to the other side of the world and so on. But why not look at the opportunities this brings instead of just looking at the challenges?

A match like this will surely get a lot of media attention (not only on this blog). Norwegian television and newspapers has already started to write about this match and more will surely come! Norwegian trade with India is increasing. In fact Norwegian Business Association (India) was launched as late as January this year. Establishment of such an association will surely affect the already increasing collaboration between India and Norway. The Norwegian government launched what they call the Indian strategy a few years back. This was done based on the fact that there is more and more business between Norway and India.

As you probably know, sport and business very much goes hand in hand in India. Just read my post about the 4 C’s of India for an update on this. I really hope that Norwegian officials and business take the opportunity that this match creates to show their presence in India and even uses it as an opportunity to build on more business in the country. Maybe chess and collaboration can be two new C’s when it comes to the relationship between Norway and India?

Talk to you soon



Hi Everyone

Writing about weather these days sound a bit like mainstream doesn’t it? As you can see from the picture below, winter has just started in Norway.

As always when the first snow comes, it turns into a disaster at the streets. In Norway it is common to change tires between summer and winter. The tires you use in winter are much better suited to snow and ice. For some reason, every year there are some stupid people who not change until AFTER the first snowfall. Not sure, but I wouldn’t be that surprised if it is the same people every year.

And if you say the word Sandy, most people will probably know what you talk about. Right? New York has been hit by what CNN call a superstorm. And off course it has caused a lot of damage over there.

What about Nilam then? When I search for Nilam at Norwegian newspaper sites, I found some information about a company called Nilam and a river in Pakistan with the same name. Not even Wikipedia have any information about it.

But well, Nilam is a tropical cyclone that just has hit the shores of Tamil Nadu in southern India. Ok. Fine. I know that is has gone from the predictions of 110 kmph to “only” 65-75, but still it is massive wind. The cyclone has claimed at least 4 lives so far and with another 6 people missing. And a huge oil tanker has ended up onshore at the beach in lovely Chennai.

If some more news about the cyclone came my way, I will make sure to update you all on the latest about this cyclone.

Talk to you soon!


A typical Norwegian autumn day

Hi Everyone

When I used to live in Mumbai quite a lot of people asked me what I missed the most from Norway and also if isn’t always quite cold there.

Today I think it is one of those days that I typically missed when I was in Mumbai. The autumn has started and I can see the leafs falling down from the trees in my backyard. I’m writing this post sitting in my kitchen and looking out of the backyard. The picture below was taken around 9 am this morning. It is very quiet here. Well. Almost. The only disturbance is the neighbor playing on his piano.

If you compare the picture to the one I took from almost the same place only a few weeks back you can see a very clear difference.

This all has happened in about 8 weeks or so. And up in the mountains it has already come some snow. This is probably what I missed with Norway! The fact that we have four different seasons. The nice green summer. The autumn when everything goes from green to yellow, brown, red and all the nice colors of today. And then the winter where everything is white. And finally we will get the spring, where the nature again changes from white to green. And the temperature off course changes a lot during those four seasons. This morning it was about 8 degrees Celsius and it will probably not be much warmer during the day. There is clearly rain in the air, as it should be during autumn. But not the completely crazy rain that we have in the monsoon season in Mumbai.

Mumbai seasons I think is quite different. Some people might get a bit offended here, but to me it is mostly only two season; dry and wet. Ok. Someone might say that there is even winter in Mumbai. And yes I remember 1 (one) day when the girls were shivering a bit in their small dresses outside a bar. But that was like 4 o’clock in the morning and next to the sea at Worli where the sea breeze came in. And it was one day. And one day is not like any season to me. Not even winter.

Back in India there is an important match today. I got to remember that when I in my almost sleepy condition this morning was about to put on a blue t-shirt. Luckily I realized that that was all wrong. Today it is the T20 Champions League match between Chennai and Mumbai. And ok. The match is actually being played in South Africa, and not in India, but it is still a huge match for the two Indian teams. Last time those two teams played, I was at the stadium. It turned out to be a stupid match for CSK. Today it is time for revenge. So come on you yellow! Whistle podu with pride and go on and win this match!

Talk to you soon!


Differences in religious monuments in Norway and India

Hi Everyone

Last weekend, I did what most Norwegians like to do when the autumn is on its way and it starts to get cold; I went to do some trekking in the mountains.

On the way to our cabin we passed one of the most famous churches in Norway; Heddal Stavkyrkje. I can easily admit that religion is not my biggest interest, but I do think it is a bit interesting to compare different religious monuments from different times and religions. So when we stopped at this church, I got to think about the different churches and religious monuments that I have seen in India. The one that obviously came to my mind was Taj Mahal, and I will write more about that later. But it also strikes me that Hinduism doesn’t really have a lot of those huge monuments. And to be clear; this is not something I say out of disrespect to the Hinduism, maybe rather the opposite.

In the area where I used to live in Mumbai, there were a lot of mosques, which is off course not at all any Hinduism monuments, but rather Muslim. There is one temple for the Hindu God of Hanuman close to my former home, but even that one is quite small compared to the mosques that were around in that area. And yes, I have also been to some of the Hindu temples in places like Rishikesh. And in Chennai there were quite a few Hindu temples. In Mumbai I think the biggest Hindu temples are for the God Krishna (please correct me if I’m wrong). And during the Ganesh festival there are off course a lot of Ganesh Idols placed in mandals all around the city. But these are not really temples. And the same is the case during Navratri and Durga Poja. There are a lot of idols placed around in the city, but most of them are on open areas and removed after the festival is over.

So let me tell you more about the Stavkyrkje (stave church). The church we visited is about 800 years old, which makes it quite a bit older than for example Taj Mahal. It is said that the church was built by only five (5, not kidding) farmers! At that time around 1200 it was quite common to build churches in this way, by wood. This in itself is a big difference in how buildings are built in Norway and in India in general. Norway is recognized as a mostly Christian protestant country, which means that most of the religious building here are churches and not mosques or temples.

Taj Mahal at the other hand was built between 1631 and 1653. This is recognized as one of the finest examples of Mogul architecture. It was built by Emperor Shah Jahan (I mean; it was ordered by him, I don’t think he did much himself). Due to the sheer size and the number of years it took to build it, I think it is quite obvious that it was more than five people involved in the building process. It was constructed in memory of his favorite wife Arjumand Banu Begum. Taj Mahal is now on the UNESCO list of world heritages and it is also recognized as one of the modern wonders of the world. There is also one stave church on this list, but that is not the one in Heddal, but Urnes Stavkirke.

If you have a chance, I can absolute recommend a visit to any of these places.

Thanks a lot!

Talk to you soon!


Is there a new cricket God?

Hi Everyone

Off course I have written about cricket a number of times at this blog, including my explanation of the cricket rules in an easy way for the novices, like say, Norwegians. Today it just has to be another blog post about cricket. The T20 world cup is about to start soon. That’s all nice and good, and we all remember how the latest world cup ended don’t we?

India have had a number of great cricket players over the years, like “the Indian wall” Rahul Dravid, the God of cricket Sachin Tendulkar and the flamboyant current captain of India (and Chennai Super Kings) M S Dhoni. But right now I think there is no doubt that the most popular cricket player in India is Yuvraj Singh, a 30 year old player from Chandigarh in Punjab.

Why is it so? Ok. Fine. Yuvraj is a very good cricket player. He was part of the Indian team that won the world cup in 2011 and even chosen as man of the tournament at the world cup. But less than a year after the world cup he had to fight his toughest match, or rather fight, ever. In March 2012 Yuvraj was diagnosed with cancerous tumor in his left lung. This off course meant that he missed the whole IPL of 2012 and his whole cricket career was in danger. To make a longer story short; that fight is now over and Yuvraj is back on the cricket field! He was supposed to play his first match for India against New Zealand at the 8th of August, but in good cricket style, that match was <a href = ””abandoned due to rain. So what is more fitting that Yuvraj will make his long awaited return to cricket at cricket crazy Chennai today? The match is now only a few hours away. I will not guess about the outcome, but well, we can off course hope for an epic match and maybe Yuvraj will once again clinch the man of the match award?

And there is actually more to Yuvraj than just cricket. He run his very own foundation, Yuvraj Singh Foundation who help people get back up in life and give them the chance to relive it by fulfilling their aspirations, hopes & dreams. This organization helps both individuals and organizations who might not have it as good as they could.

After he got diagnosed with cancer, Yuvraj Singh Foundation put up another initiative; Youwecan. Through that initiative he will create consciousness on cancer prevention, early detection & fight against Stigma. I would recommend that you all enter this page and read more about this noble cause.

And today I’m sure everyone at M. A. Chidambaram Stadium will scream his name once again: “Yu-vi, Yu-vi”!

Match update: And off course the match ends in drama! New Zealand puts up 167 in their innings, which is a quite decent total. India however doesn’t plan to give up without a fight. With only 8 balls to go it look though for India but the Yuvraj Singh hits a six! This means that India now need 13 runs from their last over, which is absolutely doable when you have Singh and MS Dhoni as batsmen (or batting vallahs as I say it very incorrectly). But then only four balls later James Franklin, who actually plays for Mumbai Indians get Singh out! It’s up to Dhoni and the new batting vallah Rohit Sharma to make the five needed runs in the last two balls. They only manage four, which means that India looses the match with just one run. What a drama!

Talk to you soon!


Happy Independence Day!

Hi Everyone

Today is the Independence Day in India. As I wrote a longer article about this last year and are not in India at this time, I don’t want to write too much about this today.

Just wishing all my Indian friends in Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, England, USA, Norway and all other places in the world a very happy Independence Day!

Talk to you soon!