• Norway's news in English
 
Chess Olympics opens in Tromsø, Norway
Finance minister Siv Jensen opens the 41st Chess Olympic Games in Tromsø. Photo: Geir Arne Paulsen

Chess Olympics opens in Tromsø, Norway

The Local · 2 Aug 2014, 12:38

Published: 02 Aug 2014 12:38 GMT+02:00


Around 1,500 people attended a spectacular opening ceremony at Tromsø’s Skarphallen that featured a spectacular visual light show and music from some of Norway’s top bands.

Excitement had built steadily before the Games. Børge Robertson, CEO of the Olympiad said on their official website: “We are very excited! With 174 participating nations, the Chess Olympiad is the world’s fourth largest sporting event – and the biggest event ever held in northern Norway.”

Finance minister, Siv Jensen, officially opened the tournament which will see the best players in the world compete over two weeks. Prime Minister Erna Solberg will visit later in the championship.

In a speech on the opening night, Jensen said: “The world chess championship is a global event which attracts global interest. We have eleven days of exciting competition ahead of us. Norway is proud that the city of Tromsø was selected as host. ”

There was live music from Violet Road, Hekla Stålstrenga, Inger Biret Kvernmo Gaup and Lisa Stokke, accompanied by a full ensemble of the Arctic Philharmonic Orchestra.

There was also guest appearance by Norway's and the world's top ranked chess player, Magnus Carlsen. The 23-year-old said: “I am very happy to be here and I am sure the Norwegian team can give everybody a fight in this tournament.”

The ceremony also saw the flag ceremony, the drawing of lots and a speech by FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov welcoming in a “real festival of chess.” Ilyumzhinov also thanked the Norwegian government for granting 87 million kroner towards the event.

The Mayor of Tromsø, Jens Johan Hjort, was also in attendance on behalf of his city to host the opening ceremony. Hjort said: “We are proud and happy to put on these games and open our city to nations from all over the world. We hope the cool climate and the bright daylight here will be a good setting to deliver world-class chess games.”

Einar Gausel  - a Norwegian Chess Grandmaster - said on the organizer’s official website: “For Norwegian chess enthusiasts the fact that the Chess Olympiad will now take place in our own country is quite literally a dream come true. Magnus Carlsen’s conquering of the chess world has resulted in our beloved game gaining massive attention from mainstream media, and this mammoth event will no doubt boost public interest even further.”

This year marks the 200th anniversary of the Norwegian Constitution and the 100th anniversary of the Norwegian Chess Federation. This is one of the main reasons why Norway applied to host this year’s Chess Olympiad. The event has attracted a record number of participants – with no less than 174 countries and 3,200 players, officials and FIDE representatives coming to Tromsø.

Visitors and locals to the chess can enjoy a packed schedule of events, education and activities connected to the Olympiad and taking place in and around the city.

Local Tromsø brewery, Mack, has produced a special-edition beer called “Sjakk Mack” (Check-Mack) for the Chess Olympiad. Also, Norway’s Postal Service released a commemorative stamp on Friday in honour of the Games and Magnus Carlsen. Norwegian artist Arild Yttri designed the stamp and 500,000 will be printed.

Chess Olympiad stamp
Magnus Carlsen stamp launched on Friday by Posten. Photo: Posten / NTB scanpix
 

For more news from Norway, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.no)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Smokers in Norway 'like Jews under the Nazis'
Geir Finne describes his platform to iTromso newspaper. Photo: Screen Grab

Smokers in Norway 'like Jews under the Nazis'

11 hours ago

A politician from a fringe conservative party in the far north of Norway has compared the plight of smokers in the country to that of Jews during the Nazi occupation.

Norwegian arrested for murdering star pianist
Natalia Strelchenko was just reaching her maturity as a pianist. Photo: Natalia Strelchenko website

Norwegian arrested for murdering star pianist

11 hours ago

The Norwegian husband of renowned concert pianist Natalia Strelchenko has been arrested by police in England on suspicion of murdering her.

Norway PM pushed to follow Merkel on asylum
Christian Democrat leader Knut Arild Hareide on Sunday called on Solberg to suspend the Dublin Regulation.

Norway PM pushed to follow Merkel on asylum

12 hours ago

Norway’s Prime Minister Erna Solberg is under pressure to follow her German counterpart and stop sending refugees back to the country in which they first arrived in Europe.

Syrians cycled Norway's Arctic border in winter
The Norwegian Customs and border inspection post at Storskog. Photo: Gorm Kallestad/SCANPIX

Syrians cycled Norway's Arctic border in winter

14 hours ago

A group of Syrian refugees cycled across Norway's Arctic border from Russia in midwinter, when temperatures reach a low of -30C and the sun does not rise.

Norway prize body to 'empty chair' Snowden
The Norwegian Nobel committee represented Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo with an empty chair in 2010. Photo: Photo: Heiko Junge/Scanpix

Norway prize body to 'empty chair' Snowden

2 days ago

Edward Snowden will be represented by an empty chair next week when he is honoured with a freedom of expression prize in Norway, as he fears extradition to the US, organisers said Friday.

Video
 World's largest outdoor mural unveiled in Norway
"Lilith and Olaf" by French street art duo Ella & Pitr. Photo: Screen Grab

World's largest outdoor mural unveiled in Norway

3 days ago

French artist duo Ella & Pitr, and a small army of volunteers, have created what they claim to be the world's largest mural covering the 21,000 square meter rooftop of an industrial estate.

Snowden warned Norway he faced death in US
Sheremetyevo airport, where Edward Snowden was hiding when he sent his extradition request. Photo: Cha già José

Snowden warned Norway he faced death in US

3 days ago

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden warned Norway that he faced a possible death sentence if returned to the United States in the extradition request he made in 2012.

Utøya survivor to sue Norway over citizenship
Mubarak Haji Ahmed's brother Khaled Ahmed Taleb, a local politican, has already been deported. Photo: Jo E. Brenden / NTB Scanpix

Utøya survivor to sue Norway over citizenship

3 days ago

An Utøya survivor who lost a brother in the shooting is suing Norway for withdrawing his citizenship because his parents lied about their nationality, his lawyer said on Friday.

Snowden may get freedom prize at border
The Storskog border station between Norway and Russia. Photo: Cornelius Poppe/NTB scanpix

Snowden may get freedom prize at border

3 days ago

The Norwegian academy which gave Edward Snowden a free speech prize is planning to hold a "symbolic ceremony" for the whistleblower at the country's far-northern border with Russia.

'Norway took my child because of pretty dress'
Airida Pettersen with her son in April. Photo: Facebook

'Norway took my child because of pretty dress'

August 28, 2015

A Lithuanian mother living in Norway who had her two children taken into care has speculated that social services intervened because of her daughter was dressed too prettily.

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS

National
Norway man built secret child's room in cellar
Education
Norway starts school for Vikings
Sport
Sepp Blatter should win Nobel Peace Prize: Putin
National
The oddest TripAdvisor comments about Norway
National
Experts baffled by freak downpour in Norway
National
Dude, where's my house? Avalanche smashes Norway farmhouse
Culture
VIDEO: Norway artist's naked tree stunt goes awry
Health
Norway scientists find secret behind gluten intolerance
National
VIDEO: Have you seen this jet ski blunder at a Malmö hotel opening?
National
Oslo is the crystal meth capital of Europe
Sport
VIDEO: Man in Norway catches fish too big for boat
International
'Snowden could come to Norway to collect prize'
Technology
Oslo builds world's first bumblebee highway
Culture
World’s biggest elk statue arrives in Oslo
Norway's men soon to be among Europe's fattest
National
Muslims form 'ring of peace' at synagogue
Business & Money
Schumacher's Norway retreat sold for $3m
National
King Harald visits Antarctic namesake
Culture
Norwegians streak the streets of Berlin
Culture
Norway couple find love on word game app
International
Norwegian chef wins world's top food prize
Politics
Solberg: The fight for freedom isn't won
National
Gaza doc named Norway's person of year
National
Norway extends Russian military freeze
National
Kjell Inge Røkke tops Norway's Rich List
International
Surprise! Norway priciest for home comforts
National
Norway terror attacks to become TV drama
International
Malala: Youngest ever Nobel Peace Laureate
National
Norway celebrates 25 years of Sami politics
Business & Money
CurrencyFair: Why it pays when making overseas transfers
International
Norway best country for older people
National
Muslim centre wanted on site of Munch Museum
International
Norway to send military staff in fight against IS
National
Father warns Breivik 'more extreme than ever'
National
Four-year-old Norway girl sleepwalks 4km
Travel
Cruise line offers Northern Lights promise
National
10-tonne shark found dead off Norway coast
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

2,128
jobs available
!-- /1774138/no.mobile.3.320x50 -->