Features Aug 2, 2014 | 1:45 AMby GM Jan Gustafsson

Jan’s Olympiad Diary: Paparazzi

The Chess Olympiad in Tromsø is about to begin! The opening ceremony is already behind us, and the pieces start to move later today at 15:00. Jan Gustafsson will be commentating live from the scene and has sent us some first impressions.

It’s already three days that I’ve been in the far north of Norway. Or 4 days – I’m no longer sure. Since it’s never dark I’ve lost all sense of time.

This, for instance, is what the town square looks like at 1am in the morning:

Tromsø by night

Despite my loss of all sense of time I’m pretty sure it’s all about to kick off. Tromsø is filling up with chess players! Let’s start with (ex-) World Champions:

Karpov and Kramnik in demand

Garry Kasparov has been omnipresent since my arrival. On cars,

The Garrymobile?

bus stops,


and since yesterday also in person!

The most famous Norwegian has also been sighted:

With so many prominent people around the FIDE President of course also had to make an appearance.

So all’s well on the streets of Tromsø.

The short distances, spacious playing hall and good weather make me feel confident that we’re going to have a fine Olympiad.

The distances in my hotel room are also short, though it’s not exactly spacious…

But no matter, it’s not the hotel but the studio that will be my primary residence, and there’s enough room there:

Everything’s set! We’re looking forward to commentating for you each day live on air – there’s never a lack of things to talk about:

  • Will Russia manage to pick up their first gold medals since 2002?
  • Can Magnus Carlsen drag the Norwegians into the leading group?
  • Who will be the first person to find a cheeseburger in Tromsø for under €20 (Norway isn’t exactly cheap…)?
  • Who will win the FIDE elections?
  • Are the dead fish on the pier the first signs of an impending Sharknado 3? 

Stay tuned!

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