A player, a trainer, an author, an Icelandic champion, a Danish champ and a Greenlandic champion. The brief on the genial Grandmaster from Iceland keeps extending. A Grandmaster with a difference, Henrik Danielsen brings fresh air in his thoughts when he says, “What is important to me is not just chess results. I focus more on personal development”.
His second visit to Chennai saw the Grandmaster share his thoughts for the tournament bulletin.
Q: Please tell briefly about yourself
A: I lived in Denmark, had a normal job and played chess as a hobby. I traveled a lot, played in Germany, Sweden, Faroe Island and Iceland. Because of my good relationship in Iceland I was invited to teach chess in Iceland for an year. I loved Icelandic countryside and decided to stay back there.
Q: And then what happened
A: We were doing a great job in Iceland and traveling all over, teaching children. Then a Namibian diplomat caught up with us, and I went to Namibia to teach chess. It was a pilot project, that lasted three years. It was a great experience. I remember meeting a shy weak looking girl, but after working with her I found that she was extremely skillful. She went on to win Namibian championship. It was revelation and I was the trainer, needed to find Namibian players for the Olympiad.
Q: On your visit to India, how it come to place
A: I like to visit new places. India I find is full of life, with good and bad. Here, I find a perfect co-ordination amidst chaos.
Q: About your best results
A: I have won International Opens, the Politiken Cup in the 1990s, and recently I won the strong Icelandic blitz championship. I won an Open in Copenhagen quite recently, held in celebration for the New Year 2012. In Vizag GM tournament in 2011 I shared the first place with four other players. My results in Chennai Open 2011 and Parsvnath GM tourney at New Delhi last year were quite good.
Q: On your targets
A: For me chess and personal development are same thing. I like to follow the rhythm of the position and as a professional I need to keep myself strong mentally. I need to fight on and off the board, all the time – to keep up my life and lifestyle going on.
Q: About Chennai Open
A: In India, I found there are a lot young Indian chess players with a low rating, but playing much stronger than their ELOs. Now, I learnt to be on guard with Indian players.
Q: On the world championship match scheduled for May 2012 between Vishy Anand and Boris Gelfand.
A: I have great respect for Boris, he is extremely well chess-educated. His results have improved in the last two years. But I know Vishy Anand is a very gifted player, and I must say when it comes to a match, Vishy appears favorite. I would rather love to see Vishy Anand play Magnus Carlsen which should be a great challenge.
Q: Can name any Indian players who impressed you.
A: Parimarjan Negi is a player I had been watching for sometime. He has improved a lot and his calculations are impressive.
Q: We thank you for your time, wish you good luck in Chennai and New Delhi.
A: I am very glad to be here. It is a good experience.
By International Arbiter R R Vasudevan
SDAT-RMK 4th Chennai Open 2012 GM tournament