• Norway's news in English
 
app_header_v3
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
Trump an 'embarrassment' Springsteen tells Norway
Rock legend Bruce Springsteen interviewed by Fredrik Skavlan. Photo: SVT/Youtube

Rock legend Bruce Springsteen has described Donald Trump as an embarrassment to the United States.

Oslo to hit drivers’ wallets to combat air pollution
The cancel wants to raise toll rates fivefold by this winter. Photo: Vidar Ruud / NTB scanpix

The city council will quintuple road tolls on days with high levels of air pollution.

Freed hostage back in Norway after 'year in terror'
Sekkingstad addressed the Norwegian media in Oslo on Friday. Photo: Vidar Ruud / NTB scanpix

Kjartan Sekkingstad returned to Norway on Friday after a year of captivity in the Philippines.

New hijab discrimination case hits Norway
Model photo: Carina Johansen / NTB Scanpix

Officials in Oslo offered a young woman a job, but only if she would remove her headscarf.

Tesla sued in Norway over sluggish cars
A Telsa Model S being charged in Østfold. Photo: Tore Meek/NTB Scanpix

"When you notice that you didn't get what you paid for you feel cheated."

VIDEO: See Norway’s PM ride around on a rubbish truck
That's not something you see every day. Photo: Terje Bendiksby / NTB scanpix

Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg has posted a video to Facebook showing her performing some rather unusual work in the name of green energy.

Why Americans pay more to fly Norwegian
It pays off to know the local language when booking with Norwegian. Photo: Håkon Mosvold Larsen / NTB scanpix

Americans looking to fly to Norway on Norwegian or take a cruise on Hurtigruten are being charged much higher prices than customers in Norway.

Norway man posed as girl on Facebook to exploit 60 boys
Photo: Stian Lysberg Solum / SCANPIX .

Police believe a Tromsø man used the internet to sexually exploit around 60 children and abused some of them in real life.

Norway files terror recruitment charges for first time
Ubaydullah Hussain has been in and out of the Norwegian court system several times. Photo: Terje Pedersen / NTB scanpix

Ubaydullah Hussain, an Islamist who has had numerous run-ins with the law, is the first person in Norway to be officially charged with recruiting terrorists.

Filipino militants got ransom for Norwegian: analysts
Kjartan Sekkingstad addressed the media on Sunday along with Filipino peace minister Jesus Dureza. Photo: Stringer/NTB Scanpix

Norway has denied paying a ransom but analysts say there is no way Abu Sayyaf released Kjartan Sekkingstad "out of the goodness of their hearts".

Sponsored Article
Why you should learn to trade (and just how easy it is)
'I am so very happy and lucky to be alive': Freed Norwegian
International
'I am so very happy and lucky to be alive': Freed Norwegian
Society
Hijab discrimination: Praise, Nazi comparisons and conspiracy theories
Facebook thanks Norway PM after censorship row
Society
Facebook thanks Norway PM after censorship row
Expats say it's not just Norway's weather that's cold
Society
Expats say Norway is a cold place (and they don't mean the weather)
Sponsored Article
Gran Canaria: 'So much more than beaches'
National
323 reindeer killed by lightning in Norway
Frozen effect bringing 'too many tourists' to Norway
Travel
Frozen effect bringing 'too many tourists' to Norway
Norway's angel princess divorces novelist husband
Norway's angel princess divorces novelist husband
Norwegian motorist kills 19 reindeer in bloody collision
National
Norwegian motorist kills 19 reindeer in bloody collision
'Tick here please': Changing gender in Norway gets easier
Lifestyle
'Tick here please': Changing gender in Norway gets easier
Danish scientist: Mysterious 'blue blob' caused by weather
National
Danish scientist: Mysterious 'blue blob' caused by weather
Norwegian school permits burkini in swimming classes
Education
Norwegian school permits burkini in swimming classes
Norway's ‘biggest sovereignty concession’ to EU in years
National
Norway makes ‘biggest sovereignty concession’ to EU in years
Norway boosts defence against Russia threat
International
Norway boosts defence against Russia threat
FACT-CHECK: No, Norway isn’t banning diesel and petrol cars
National
FACT-CHECK: No, Norway isn’t banning diesel and petrol cars – yet
Norway aims to be climate-neutral by 2030
National
Norway aims to be climate-neutral by 2030
Migrant numbers plunge as Norway now 'less attractive'
National
Migrant numbers plunge as Norway now 'less attractive'
2,050
jobs available