For the newly-crowned World champion Magnus Carlsen, representing the country in the Olympiad to be held in Tromso, Norway for the first time in August next year will be fun and a privilege at the same time. “It’s a great event,” he said, but discounted his team’s chances. “We have no high ambitions. It’s fun to play for my country.”
The Olympiad, where Magnus will be the brand ambassador, is considered a significant championship as it is touted to be the biggest (and first) ever sports event in Norway with 160 countries and 1500 players participating.
A three-member contingent from Norway came on Thursday to watch the Norwegian super star being officially crowned the World champion, and to get a first-hand idea of how a World championship is conducted, and possibly scout for sponsors for the Olympiad.
Norwegian Chess Federation president and Deputy Chairman for the Olympiad Joran Aulin-Jansson, marketing manager Lene Hansen and Head of Communications and Public Relations Jarle Heitmann said they will be here for a couple of days and take tips on how to conduct a successful championship.The team, as such, is extremely happy with the way the championship was conducted, and is hopeful of organising a grand Olympiad. Speaking to The Hindu here on Friday, Jansson said, “We would like to study how you conducted the championship. I am very impressed by everything I’ve seen,” he said.
The Tromso Olympiad will be held in Mackhallen Hall, said to be an old brewery factory. “The area is about 7000 sq.ft, which can accommodate 1500 players,” said Heitmann. Heitmann informed the major sponsor for the Olympiad is the University of Tromso which has committed to a budget of 17 million crowns (Norwegian currency). Spare Banken Nord Norge is the other major sponsor, he said. The Head of Communications is aware of Magnus contribution to chess and the euphoria it has created. “Getting Magnus to play in Olympiad is what we wanted. We are really happy he is coming,” he said.
The Olympiad, said the 51-year-old Jansson, conducted on a massive scale, will be the biggest-ever sports event in Norway. In the land of midnight sun, “the sun is shining (for chess) in Norway,” hesaid.