Olympiad: just two days to go

by ChessBase
7/30/2014 – It starts in just two days, and some of our readers may be on their way already. For those going to Tromsø, and those who just want to feel the atmosphere of the 41st World Chess Olympiad, here is all the information you will need – greetings, schedules, events. You will even be able to watch a special production of the musical Chess – don't miss the video at the end of our report!

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Welcome to Norway

Dear participants,

A warm welcome to Norway to all of you! We are proud that Norway was chosen to host the Chess Olympiad 2014, and that Tromsø is the venue. As a token of the importance the Chess Olympiad 2014 has for Tromsø and our northern region, the state has granted NOK 90 million in support of the event.

With Norwegian Magnus Carlsen as the reigning World Chess Champion, one might say that it is only fitting that you gather in Norway. Chess interest has indeed had a boost here in recent years.

Norway may be the only country where a national chess champion has been Prime Minister. My predecessor Otto Blehr, Prime Minister 1902-1903 and 1921-1923, became Norwegian Chess Champion in 1895. Actually, he won the championship before his two periods as Norwegian Prime Minister in Stockholm 1891-1893 and 1898-1902, during our time in union with Sweden.

I wish you all the best of luck in the Chess Olympiad 2014!

Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of Norway

Dear chess mates! Welcome to Tromsø – the “Paris of the North”, gateway to the Arctic and mini-metropolis.

FIDE’s Olympic motto is “We are one family”. This year’s family gathering takes place less than 2000 kilometres from the North Pole. Since the 1800s Tromsø has been a starting point for polar expeditions and adventures. Nowadays, Tromsø is often referred to as the capital of the Arctic. The University of Tromsø – the Arctic University of Norway – has played a key role in this respect, focusing on Arctic education and research.

Ever since Norway and Tromsø was awarded the Chess Olympiad 2014, the local interest in the game of chess has steadily increased. Chess has been played in kindergartens and schools, and we were the proud organizers of the Chess World Cup in 2013.

Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg and Minister of Culture Thorhild Widvey will be present during the Olympiad. So will many other celebrities from all over the world.

As proud host and Mayor of Tromsø, I wish you all a warm welcome to Tromsø! Have a great stay and great play!

Jens Johan Hjort, Mayor of Tromsø

The northernmost Chess Olympiad ever

A dream has come true. The idea was born in 2006 – and after a lot of work, we are finally here.

Although chess will be the main focus for most of us, I encourage you to experience Tromsø. The light, the nature and the city with its friendly people will give an experience you’ll never forget. More than 100,000 moves will be made during the Olympiad. Some by the world champion Magnus Carlsen against his toughest opponents – and some by people who have a more relaxed view on chess. However, we all share something in common: the sweet taste of victory, and the bitter feeling of defeat. Masterpieces will be created along with blunders of unknown proportions. Admiration and empathy will follow you all over the coming two weeks.

I would also like to extend a special welcome to the chess family, which is here to elect the next leader of FIDE. My wish for us all is for a fair and respectful election. On behalf of the Norwegian Chess Federation, welcome to the 41st Olympiad. May you all leave Tromsø with a smile on your faces.

Jøran Aulin-Jansson,
President of the Norwegian Chess Federation

Timeline for Chess Olympiad Tromsø 2014

  • 2005 The idea of a Chess Olympiad in Norway is born
  • 2006 Tromsø is chosen as Norwegian candidate venue for the Chess Olympiad 2014
  • 2008 The Chess Olympiad Tromsø
  • 2014 company is established
  • 2009 Government guarantee of NOK 70 million, and Tromsø becomes official applicant
  • 2010 Norway is chosen to host the Chess Olympiad 2014
  • 2013 FIDE World Cup Tromsø 2013
  • 2014 Additional government guarantee of NOK 12 million is granted.

The venue: Chess Olympiad Arena

There is a separate players’ entrance with a security check point and a cloakroom. The players’ entrance opens one hour prior to the starting time of the round. Only accredited participants are allowed in the playing area. Players who are ready for games will also be given a token that they and their captain must carry along with accreditation cards as long as they play. When the game finishes, players are asked to leave the playing hall and to return the token to the captain. Players who are not playing on the specific day are regarded as spectators, and shall enter the arena through the spectators’ entrance. They can also go to the official chess café Driv’s Live Lounge. Electronic devices are strictly prohibited in the playing hall, and shall be left at the hotel or in the players’ cloakroom.

Players are kindly asked to appear by the entrance point at least 30 minutes prior to the round starting time. The organizers remind participants of the FIDE Chess Olympiad regulations, 7.4 that states: “Any player who will not be in his/her place at the start of the round will be forfeited, thus losing his/her game.”


Fri. Aug. 1 Opening ceremony 19:30 Skarphallen
Arbiters meeting 21:30 Chess Olympiad Arena
Sat. Aug. 2 Captains meeting 09:00 Chess Olympiad Arena
Round 1: 15:00 Chess Olympiad Arena
Sun. Aug. 3 Round 2 14:00 Chess Olympiad Arena
Mon. Aug. 4 Round 3 14:00 Chess Olympiad Arena
Tues. Aug. 5 Round 4 14:00 Chess Olympiad Arena
Wed. Aug. 6 Round 5 14:00 Chess Olympiad Arena
Thurs. Aug. 7 Day off – FIDE Elections
Fri. Aug. 8 Round 6 14:00 Chess Olympiad Arena
Sat. Aug. 9 Round 7 14:00 Chess Olympiad Arena
Sun. Aug. 10 Round 8 14:00 Chess Olympiad Arena
Mon. Aug. 11 Round 9 14:00 Chess Olympiad Arena
Tues. Aug. 12 Round 10 14:00 Chess Olympiad Arena
Wed. Aug. 13 Day off – FIDE Elections
Thurs. Aug. 14 Round 11 11:00 Chess Olympiad Arena
Closing Ceremony 20:00 Skarphallen
Fri. Aug. 15 Departure day

Tromsø – gateway to the Arctic

Climate: in spite of its location so far north, Tromsø enjoys a moderate oceanic climate. From May 20 to July 22, the city is graced by the Midnight Sun and daylight around the clock. It then gets gradually darker every night – but you will still get to experience those bright summer nights in August. The temperatures range from 10.8°C at night to 24.5°C during the day (average: 11.9°C).

NOSO Chess in Concert

The Arctic Philharmonic presents its largest production ever – with more than 200 people involved. The plot of the Chess musical is inspired by the super powers of the Soviet Union and USA during the Cold War – and the World Chess Championship in 1972 with Bobby Fischer and Boris Spassky in what is known as “the Match of the Century“.

Lyrics by Tim Rice, and music by ABBA’s Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson. Since the concept album was released in 1984, the musical has been performed on Broadway and the West End in countless versions – and the music has scaled the charts worldwide.

  • Date and time: 03.08 at 18:00 and 04.08 at 19:00
  • Location: Skarphallen, Heiloveien 19 (tickets)

All you need to know about the Olympiad

  • Full information on the games, the venue, the atmosphere and what's happening on and off the chessboard – 68 pages in PDF, 45 MB in size.
  • All practical details you need to know before and after your arrival, including information about money, the climate, arriving at Oslo and Tromsø Airports, lost or delayed luggage, check-in at the hotels, the accreditation desk, information offices and the opening ceremony.

Previous ChessBase reports

  • 7/27/2014 – Tromso 2014: Preview and preparations
    The much awaited Chess Olympiad in Tromso, Norway is just around the corner, with the gong for round one sounding on August 2. After much controversy and nailbiting, the greatest hurdles seem to have been passed, and we can get ready for two weeks of fantastic chess. The teams have been officially published, and the organizers have shared pictures of the preparations and a music video.

  • 7/25/2014 – Olympiad: Terror warning in Norway
    We don't want to scare anyone, and things around the Olympiad seem fine. But the country is bracing for an attack by ISIS jihadies that "could happen in three, five or seven days – or not at all." Meanwhile heavily armed police are patrolling streets airports, ports, train stations and other transport hubs, and there are extended immigration and border controls. Norwegian press reports.

  • 7/21/2014 – Organisers stand by case but allow teams to play
    At a board meeting on Sunday the Tromsø 2014 organisers met to discuss the situation surrounding teams that missed the deadline for Olympiad registration. They have now informed FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov that while they stand by its interpretation of the regulations the COT2014 will accept teams that missed the June 1 deadline to register. Letter to FIDE.

  • 7/18/2014 – Chess Olympiad without the Russian women?
    No way José, says FIDE President Ilyumzhinov in an Itar-Tass interview today. And hear this: Anatoly Karpov has come out strongly supporting FIDE's position. Meanwhile the Russian Chess Federation sent us a detailed description of the current situation. They have hired a powerful legal team which set the Tromsø organisers a deadline to concede: 5 p.m. CET today, 18 July, 2014.
  • 7/18/2014 – Olympiad Tromsø: FIDE President issues a deadline
    The problems of missed registrations for some teams has come to a head, with FIDE President stating that the Organizing Committee has "performed an unbelievable scheme of combined illegitimate actions which should never take place in a democratic country like Norway." Kirsan Ilyumzhinov has issued a deadline to the Norwegians to solve the issues: Monday 21 July, 11 am CET.

  • 7/10/2014 – Visa problems for the Chess Olympiad
    In order to travel to the Olympiad in Tromsø many players require a visa. But in countries without Norwegian embassies this can pose a problem. European laws require biometric data to be supplied personally, forcing players to travel to a different country. In an open letter FIDE President has complained to the Norwegian Prime Minister, and the Olympiad CEO has replied.

  • 7/17/2014 – Russian Women's team out of Olympiad
    Shocking news: the organisers of the Chess Olympiad in Tromsø have informed FIDE that federations that did not meet the June 1st deadline for registration had been excluded from the Olympiad. One of these is the Russian Women's team! FIDE Vice President Israel Gelfer has mysteriously blamed Garry Kasparov for this development and advocates cancelling the Olympiad.

  • 7/17/2014 – Garry Kasparov on the threat to Tromsø
    "Unfortunately the Organizing Committee [of the Tromsø Olympiad] is influenced by people who are working for Garry Kasparov. They are using it for their election purposes." That was what FIDE Vice President Israel Gelfer said in a much-publicised video interview yesterday. After debating the subject with Kasparov after midnight, this morning he sent us the following statement.

  • 6/5/2014 – To Tromsø with Style
    Norway's coastline is spectacular. As has been noted by thousands of tourists and by Douglas Adams in his classic "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy". But what does this have to do with chess? Well, if you want to visit the Chess Olympiad in Tromsø in August and experience the beauty of Norway's coast there is an opportunity to combine both.

  • 6/5/2014 – Breaking news: "There will be a Chess Olympiad"
    That's the good news the twitter account ChessOlympiadNorway could spread to the chess world. After doubts whether the 41. Chess Olympiad 2014, which will take place from 1. August to 14. August in Tromsø, Norway, could be financed, the Norwegian parliament has come to the rescue. With 12 million Norwegian Crowns (about 1.47 million euros).

  • 5/14/2014 – Trouble in Tromso: Olympiad underfunded
    The Chess Olympiad is scheduled to begin in just two and a half months. Everything was looking great, with participants and fans expecting to see the biggest and finest team championship ever. But now, suddenly, the Norwegian media has sounded alarm: apparently there is a US $2.5 million hole in the budget, which the organisers need to fill at very short notice. Should we be worried?

  • 10/2/2010 – 41st Chess Olympiad to be staged in – Tromsø!
    On its last working day the FIDE General Assembly took a decision on the venue of the 41st World Chess Olympiad in 2014. There were two cities bidding to host the event – Albena in Bulgaria and Tromsø in Norway. The bidding procedure lasted several days, in the end the Norwegians won by a 95-47 vote margin. We have reported extensively on Tromsø – here's a summary.

All ChessBase reports on the 2014 Olympiad in Tromsø

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