The Arctic Chess Challenge is a nine round Swiss played from July 31st to August 8th. There are 164 players, including 25 Grandmasters competing for a 13,850 Euro prize fund.
Among the players is 13-year-old Ukrainian Aleksandr Bortnik (BlackHorse96), who won his all-expenses paid invitation following his performance at the ICC Arctic Chess Challenge qualifier. Aleksandr came fourth in the online qualifier, but the top 3 GMs, regretfully, had to decline the trip to Tromsø. The winner, GM Dmitry Andreikin, couldn’t play as he is going from Biel to represent Russia in the World Junior Championship, the second-placed Indian GM Rajaram Laxman couldn’t get time off his work, and GM Alexandr Fier couldn’t turn down an invite to a closed invitational in Argentina.
Tromsø is also now an official candidate city to host the 2014 Chess Olympiad, and the FIDE Presidential Board recently met there to find out for themselves what makes this one of the most attractive areas of Europe, and, more importantly, just what the area has to offer all the world’s chess players should they successfully win their bid to host the Chess Olympiad. A decision is expected in early October.
A city of 67,000, Tromsø is situated well north of the Arctic Circle of latitude, and although the days of the “midnight sun” have passed, sunlight from below the horizon still pervades the sky through the night.
The field is the largest in the tournament’s five year history, with many players returning from past years. The atmosphere is festive with numerous side events and excursions, hampered only slightly by an unusual spate of clouds and light rain thus far.
All the best,
NB: All videos from ACC 2010 are published under a Creative Commons license(BY-NC-ND)