Moscow, 7 July 2014

H.E. Erna Solberg
Prime Minister

Your Excellency,

I am approaching you in respect of the World Chess Olympiad which is scheduled to be held in Tromso, August 1-15.

When bidding for the Olympiad, Norway and the city of Tromso declared that all countries in the world will get visas to attend this worldwide event.

Now we are less than one month from the event and only recently we have learnt from several Federations who have no Norwegian Consulates in their country that they have to travel to another country to apply and collect their visas and moreover, each and every member of the respective team (sometimes 12-15 people) have to do it individually in person.

I would like to mention this has no precedents in the history of FIDE and probably not in any other sport. Needless to say that no one from the Organisers’ side has ever mentioned such a possibility as the common understanding between FIDE and them has been, as in previous Olympiads, that the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Interior of the organising country coordinate this issue to avoid such unfortunate situations.

FIDE Secretariat has been receiving a considerable amount of letters of complaint from the Federations which are unable to bear huge expenses of 15 persons travelling to another country (within the African continent, for example, or from Syria to another country).

Other Schengen countries allow people to collect visas from other Schengen countries that have embassies in the individual countries, thus sparing the cost of so many people travelling, but apparently Norway does not allow this.

So far, all our requests addressed to the Organising Committee of Tromso 2014 have been answered in the same manner, claiming that in spite their goodwill, they are unable to solve the problem.

I wonder whether this problem will be solved before the decision on the Winter Olympic Games 2022 is taken, and in case of a positive solution, whether it can also refer to the coming event in Tromso.

Your Excellency, I am approaching you with the request to use your authority to instruct relevant Norwegian institutions to find a way for solving the problem and avoiding a worldwide chaos.

Thank you so much. 

Yours very truly.
Kirsan Ilyumzhinov

Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar
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