Saturday, September 4, 2010
Tromsø Chess Olympiad 2014
Hungarian-American Chess Grandmaster Susan Polgar has had an illustrious career, which includes winning 4 Women’s World Championships, and is the only player to win the triple-crown (Blitz, Rapid, and Classical World Championships). She became the #1 ranked female at the age of 15, and remained in the top 3 for nearly 25 straight years. In 1991, she broke the gender barrier by becoming the first woman in history to earn the Grandmaster title through traditional FIDE requirement. She is also a five-time Women’s Olympic Champion, earning 10 overall medals – 5 Gold, 4 Silver, and 1 Bronze.
She has promoted the game in various roles away from the board: an award-winning chess journalist; best-selling chess author; heading the Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence (SPICE) at Texas Tech University; and leading the Susan Polgar Foundation, a non-profit organization supported by charitable donations that aims to promote chess and its educational benefits to youngsters, especially girls. The Susan Polgar Foundation has presented more than $1,000,000 in chess prizes and scholarships to young chess players since 2003. In 2009, Susan became the first woman to coach a men’s division I collegiate chess team to the Final Four.
“I have visited Tromsø and can personally say Tromsø is a beautiful city, well equipped to be an excellent choice for the Chess Olympiad 2014.” -Susan Polgar
The city of Tromsø, backed by the Norwegian Chess Federation, is committed to become the host city for the 41st Chess Olympiad in 2014.
With its 68 000 inhabitants, including 10 000 university students, Tromsø has all the amenities of “a small large city”. Chess players around the world will discover a friendly and open-minded population with hotels of excellent international standard, an attractive restaurant scene and a diversity of cultural activities. Tromsø has a very active chess environment, and hosts an annual international Chess festival, Arctic Chess Challenge, in August every year. The tournament will be further upgraded in the coming years in order to prepare for the potential Olympiad in 2014.
“Being elected as the host city of the Chess Olympiad in 2014 is a major ambition for our city”, says Tromsø mayor Arild Hausberg. “We promise the chess world a unique experience combining competent and experienced organizing skills in a friendly and exciting environment. And the event, if we succeed in winning the bid, will engage the whole city to the pleasure of the participants and the population. A comprehensive cultural program will be an integrated part of a Chess Olympiad in Tromsø”, concludes the mayor.
The preparation for the bid is well under way with both delivery of the international bid to FIDE in May 2010 and the subsequent international campaign. The bidding committee has been actively engaged for most of 2008. Active working relations with the Norwegian government have secured sufficient support. The bidding committee have troughout the national financial application and through the development of the international application to FIDE have had of a committee of Olympic and chess expertise. The chairman in this process was former managing director of the Lillehammer Olympic Organizing Committee, (17th Winter Olympics 1994), Mr. Henrik Andenæs. Now succeeded by former Mayor of Tromsø (1999-2007) Mr. Herman Kristoffersen. Working alongside him you have a business professional, the President of the Norwegian Chess Federation, Mr. Jøran Aulin Jansson, as vice chairman. To coordinate the international campaign former vice president and legal adviser of FIDE, Mr. Morten Sand, is working as international adviser. General Manager is Mr. Børge Johan Robertsen.
What makes Tromsø exceptional is its magnificent nature. Located north of the Arctic Circle, Tromsø is blessed with midnight sun all through the summer, and has more polar Northern lights, “Aurora Borealis”, than anywhere else in the world. Being referred to as the entry-port to the Arctic, Tromsø still has a relatively mild climate, and lies a limited 3 hours flight away from London and Frankfurt, and less than 2 hours flight from the Norwegian capital, Oslo. This will give easy access to chess participants from all over the world.