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General Aug 19, 2020 | 4:38 PMby Colin McGourty

Norway Chess to be 1st over-the-board super-tournament since March

Altibox Norway Chess today announced that this year’s event will be held in Stavanger, Norway from October 5-16. The previously announced 10-player field has been cut to six, but with Magnus Carlsen, Fabiano Caruana, Levon Aronian, Anish Giri, Alireza Firouzja and Aryan Tari in action the event aims to be the first undisputed super-tournament to be held in person since lockdowns began in March.

The world's nos 1 and 2 will again meet in Norway

It was announced in March that Altibox Norway Chess would be postponed from June until October due to the coronavirus situation. With that still so unpredictable any scheduling for such events is an act of faith, but the organisers believe it can go ahead. Their press release includes:

First top-tournament post corona!

The world as we know it has changed and people all over the world are facing challenging times. Sport events of all types have been cancelled as we together have been distancing ourselves to avoid the spread of the virus. For chess, this has been the case as well, where tournaments all over the world have been cancelled. However, chess online has grown exponentially during this period as tournaments and other chess events have been organized online. This has certainly been positive for chess, as it is a perfect sport to follow online!

The time for chess across the physical board is back!

Back in March a 10-player field was announced, but since then five players have dropped out – Ding Liren, Ian Nepomniachtchi, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Wesley So and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov. One has been added, however - the world’s top junior, 17-year-old Alireza Firouzja. The 6-player field consists of players who all have European passports or residency:

PlayerFederationRatingWorld ranking
Magnus Carlsen28631
Fabiano Caruana28352
Levon Aronian27737
Anish Giri276410
Alireza Firouzja272822
Aryan Tari2625154

Since the Candidates Tournament had to be stopped halfway through, elite chess has moved online, most notably with the Magnus Carlsen Chess Tour that is just reaching a thrilling conclusion. With the first wave of the virus over in most European countries over-the-board chess is gradually coming back, however, with the Biel Chess Festival the first to witness a group of international top players compete at a common venue.

Altibox Norway Chess, with four of the world’s Top 10 and the hottest junior, is a different prospect. Cutting the field to six players means it’s now going to be a 10-round double round-robin, but the twist of Armageddon after each classical draw remains. The scoring system will be: 

  • Classical win: 3 points
  • Classical loss: 0 points
  • Classical draw and win in Armageddon: 1.5 points
  • Classical draw and loss in Armageddon: 1 point

The tournament will be broadcast live with commentary and video of the players on chess24 and Norwegian TV. 

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