General Mar 26, 2021 | 1:00 PMby Colin McGourty

Norway Chess postponed to September

Norway Chess has been rescheduled for September 7-18 after the worsening pandemic situation in Norway and Europe made it impossible to hold the super-tournament in May as planned. The 10-player line-up, 9 of whom were already announced, is set to change, but World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen is a confirmed participant in what could be his final classical appearance before he plays his 5th World Championship match in Dubai in November.

The line-up for Norway Chess was almost finalised, but is now likely to change before September

Altibox Norway Chess was one of the few super-tournaments that managed to go ahead in 2020 despite the pandemic. The field was cut to just six players, all with European passports, and it was delayed until October, but the event was held successfully, with Magnus Carlsen claiming his 3rd title ahead of Alireza Firouzja and Levon Aronian.

The 9th edition in 2021 was planned as a return to normal, with the event going back to its usual place in the calendar (May 9-21) and back up to a 10-player field, with global participants including Ding Liren and Wesley So.

Alas, the new mutations of the coronavirus have led to a recent worsening of the situation in Europe, with Norway Chess organizer Benedicte Westre Skog commenting:      

We were prepared to organise the tournament in May as we managed to organise the tournament in October 2020 in the middle of the pandemic. However, with closed borders it becomes impossible to plan and go through with the event.

The new dates clash with the Champions Showdown: Chess 9LX in Saint Louis, which is planned for September 7 – 10, while shortly after Norway Chess we’ll have the Final of the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour, set to start in San Francisco on September 25th. Check out our full and constantly changing 2021 Chess Calendar.  

More cancellations and postponements

Other tournaments have also been cancelled or postponed. The GRENKE Chess Open will not be held this Easter in Karlsruhe, Germany, with the organisers returning entry fees as they currently have no feasible alternative dates.

The pandemic has made massive opens like the GRENKE Open, last held in 2019, impossible | photo: Georgios Souleidis, GRENKE Chess

The 8-player Tepe Sigeman & Co. Chess Tournament planned for Malmo, Sweden from April 24 – 30 has also had to be postponed. The organisers say they’re looking into the option of holding the tournament in August-October. If 12th World Chess Champion Anatoly Karpov does still play he'll be taking part in a serious classical tournament against very strong opposition at the age of 70!

Magnus Carlsen plays Banter Blitz as the online action continues

That means that for now most chess life is online, with the likes of MVL, Mamedyarov and Rapport set to be involved in the European Online Club Cup starting tomorrow. 91 teams have registered, with the rapid tournament beginning with a group stage. You'll be able to watch all the games live on chess24: ABCDEFGHI. There’s then a playoff before a 10-team round-robin to decide the title.

There’s also chess action that we can all get involved in, with an incredible line-up of Banter Blitz here on chess24. Today we have Harikrishna (17:00 CET) and Sam Shankland (19:00) before an incredible double-header on Saturday: Magnus Carlsen (16:30) and Levon Aronian (18:00) - unfortunately Teimour Radjabov's previously-announced show had to be cancelled.

They’re all be taking on chess24 premium members, so now’s a great time to Go Premium! The code CCT40 will give you 40% off. 

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