Margeir Petursson of Iceland is a successful businessman who has played in 11 consecutive Chess Olympiads from 1976-96. At 62, he is the captain of the men’s team in the 44th Chennai Olympiad and hopes his team can finish in the top 25.
“Our chances are to be in the top 20-25. We have a Grandmaster team. But there are so many extremely strong teams. Let’s see,” Patterson told Sportstar on Tuesday.
Petursson said the food and climate in Chennai have been among the biggest challenges for the members of the Iceland team. “For us, it’s a great challenge because of the temperature. Now in Iceland, it is 14 degrees. We also have problems adjusting to the food. I love Indian cuisine for its great variety. But one of our players fell ill [on the first day]. And I had to step in and play. This is what you can expect when you come from a place like Iceland,” he said.
For Petursson, Olympiads are all about experiencing the city and its people. “It is about meeting old acquaintances, socialising and seeing some good games. That’s my experience,” he said. “I was hoping to see more of India. Lots of people [in India]. In Iceland we are only around 380,000, just like a village in India (sic). I always wanted to come to India,” said the former National champion.
The situation in his city Lviv (Ukraine), where his business interests lie, is stable. “The situation is quite stable. I go to work everyday. It is not threatening. But people are upset. Young people go to fight, and we have many war funerals every day. It is very sad,” he said.
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