Five weeks before round 1 starts in the evening of October 4, we the Fagernes chess organizers are very well satisfied to see around 110 players and about the same number of hotel guests registered in our lists!
Obviously 2020 is a very difficult year to plan an international chess tournament for players as well as organizers, and still we do not know whether all invited title holders and other foreign players will be able to arrive Norway as planned.
Unfortunately we had to remove many strong players unable to come due to travel restrictions. With 13 GMs from 8 different federations on the current list we will however have a strong title tournament even in case of some more cancellations. Since the tournament is registered as our national championship in FIDE, it will be possible for Norwegian players to make title norms also if they do not play enough foreign opponents.
We in Norway fortunately still have few registered Covid-19 cases compared to most other countries, and Fagernes is in a safe area with very low risk. We have had a constructive dialogue with local health authorities. Needless to say we should still have some special rules to minimize the risks further, and these will be published 1-2 weeks in advance.
To assure sufficient distance between the players we are not sure whether we can allow more than 130 players, and also there can be a practical problem to get enough hotel rooms if we have many more registrations. Following this, we ask players who are not on the current list and plan to play our tournament to contact us as soon as possible!
We remain optimistic for a successful tournament and look much forward to meeting many chessfriends again in a safe countryside environment October 4 to October 11!
Six weeks before the start date we have reached 100 participants in this delayed edition of Fagernes Chess International. We expect the tournament to go ahead as planned with round one played Sunday 4th October.
organizers of the yearly chess festival at Fagernes in Norway, all the way into
the endgame of the preparations for our 2020 tournament hoped that that it
could take place as planned in the Easter tournament. After severe emergency
measures were declared both by the Norwegian government and by local health
authorities March 12, we however had to conclude that it was now a both
irresponsible and illegal move to run the tournament in April.
international sport events, including chess events, are this spring facing
their most demanding set back since the Second World War. It is of course absolutely
necessary that organizers and participants from all sports during such a
situation with an acute risk of a further spread of a dangerous new infection,
give full support to the emergency measures.
At the same time, it is important
that organizers and participants look forward and plan for sport events to be
reestablished as soon as possible after the crisis. For our part, we are happy
to announce that we following consultations with the Norwegian Chess Federation
and the Scandic Valdres Hotel have found a new three-year plan, including new
Easter holiday tournaments at Fagernes in 2021 and 2022.
As for the
2020 tournament, our first plan for the second half of June turned out to be too
impatient and risky. Therefore, we have made a new plan to realize our
postponed tournament as an autumn holiday tournament from Sunday October 4 to
Sunday October 11. With only a few small adjustments, Fagernes Chess
International and The Open Norwegian Championship then will be played as
planned for Easter.
The immediate response to this decision has been very
promising, and before publishing the new tournament dates we already have more
than 40 registered participants. Following this it is our hope and our belief
that the festival in the autumn will reach at least the same high level and
number of players as it would have had in the spring.
Old and new chessfriends
of different ages, coming from around the whole of Norway and the rest of the
chess world community, are hereby welcomed to a postponed and very much awaited
chess tournament at Fagernes in October 2020!
The tournament is played at the major Norwegian Chess Hotel Scandic Valdres
at Fagernes, 187 km north of Oslo.
Main organizer is Hans Olav Lahlum in cooperation with Hedmark og Oppland Sjakkrets.
Hans Olav Lahlum
Hans Olav Lahlum (born 1973) is a well known Norwegian chess player, chess organizer and chess TV commentator, having the titles of International Organizer (IO) and International Arbiter (IA) from the World Chess Federation FIDE.
Lahlum organized numerous international tournaments at Gausdal 1999-2008, Oslo 2011-2014 and Fagernes 2014-2019.
He has also been chief arbiter in many other large tournaments including the Norwegian championships 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2017, 2018 og 2019.