Emanuel, how easy is it to make a living from chess in Sweden?

Well, having family it’s not at all easy. It cost a lot of time and my travelling days.

When you were a full-time pro, how did your life look like?

It was a lot of travelling days with maybe about 8-10 tournaments a year plus league matches in several countries. I would say my life was very much focused on chess during these years I were a full-time pro.

Is it socially accepted in Sweden to be a professional chess player?

Difficult question but I would say No. I think people in general don’t regard chess as a profession but rather a hobby.

How often do you play these days?

Very little. Having a full time regular work and a big family my own chess has been reduced to just a few team matches per year and perhaps a rapid or blitz Tournament now and then.

With chess heading more and more into the direction of eSport, do you think your professional career could resume again?

Sure it could, never too late to resume. The future will show!

What are the biggest differences between playing online and over the board?

The lacking of the social atmosphere meeting people while also in the specific game you play while not seeing your opponent face to face some important mental aspects dissappear.

Why should players who only play on chess.com also try to check out chess offline?

Chess is different when socialicing with humans and it’s a special atmosphere at a chess Event which can not fully be compensated in front of a computer.

What are your thoughts and expectations about the new format of the PRO Chess League?

It’s my first time participationg in PCL so I don’t have much thought on the format but I’m expecting a great event.

The time control of 10+2 is unusual. What are your thoughts on that?

It might be hard to use the time in a proper way (not to play too fast and not too slow) but I guess everyone will get used with it pretty fast.

Will the Sweden Wasabis have a chance to make the playoffs?

It will be tough but we defintly have a chance!

Do you think the Sweden Wasabis can transform the Swedish chess scene by marrying traditional chess life with eSport?

Who knows!?