Q: How was Magnus as a child different from his three sisters?
A: He wasn’t different at all as child. He was pretty much the same as his sisters. We didn’t notice anything unusual at all. For instance, I am good with numbers. So was Magnus till he turned 5, but after that, he didn’t take interest in numbers at all. Honestly, it took us a long time to figure out that Magnus could be good at chess or be different from his sisters in any way at all. So the way we brought him up wasn’t different at all from the way we raised our other children.
Q: At what point did you realize that he was a gifted chess player?
A: When he started taking interest in chess, he could really focus on it. He wasn’t interested in anything else at all. It was only then that we realized that Magnus could focus on only one thing, unlike other children who would be interested in several things. For Magnus, it was chess and chess alone. That was the time when we realized that he was somewhat different from other children of his age. He must have been 8 or 9 at that time. By the time, he turned 9 or nine-and-a-half, he started beating me at chess. So, looking at his drive from within, we thought maybe Magnus wants to play chess seriously.
See the old interview before 2013 World Championship.