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Solberg in stalemate over Russian chess match

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Solberg in stalemate over Russian chess match
Prime Minister Erna Solberg under pressure to miss the Sochi chess tournament. Photo: Jon Olav Nesvold / NTB scanpix

Prime Minister Erna Solberg has declined attending the Chess World Championship in Sochi this November, it was announced on Wednesday.

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Solberg wrote in a letter to the International Chess Association: “I regret that the current international circumstances do not allow me to attend a sports event in the Russian Federation.”

Kirsan Ilyumzhinov was re-elected as president in the International Chess Association (FIDE) during the Chess Olympiad in Tromsø in August. Last week he sent a formal invitation to the Norwegian Prime Minister to be present during the championship.
 
In the invitation Erna Solberg was also asked to make the first move in the first match of the Chess World Championship in the Russian Olympics city. The World Championship will begin on November 7th and run until November 28th.
 
This year, as last year, Norway's Magnus Carlsen will meet Viswanathan Anand of India in the fight for the World Champion title.
 
Carlsen was unhappy with the choice of Sochi as the World Championship host city and considered for a long time not showing up to defend his title.
 
Solberg wrote in her answer to Ilyumzhinov: “I enjoyed our recent meeting at the Chess Olympiad in Tromsø and want to take this opportunity to congratulate you on your re-election as President of FIDE.”
 
The Norwegian head of state then declined the invitation to attend a sports event in a country that the West have introduced sanctions against in connection to the conflict with Ukraine.

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