Organizers of the Chess Olympiad to be held in Tromsø this August were relieved after the government announced an extra NOK 12 million (USD 2 million) in funding on Thursday. Difficulty securing sponsors had put the event in jeopardy, but organizers were still on the hunt for a further NOK 3 million in sponsorship deals.
The event was thrown into doubt after the government failed to allocate the NOK 15 million organizers were expecting in its original budget revision announcement last month. The government argued it had already given the event NOK 75 million, and it was up to organizers to work within their means. The re-negotiated budget that secured a parliamentary majority on Thursday included an extra NOK 12 million for the Olympiad.
“We are extremely happy,” Chess Olympiad (Sjakk-OL) chairman Hans Olav Karde told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK). “Then the event will happen. We must still hunt for sponsors for NOK 3 million more, but we have so much tailwind that we will get this in place.”
The event will host about 2,000 participants from 181 countries. The profile of chess had skyrocketed in Norway after the success of World Champion Magnus Carlsen, who was announced to lead the Norwegian team at the event. Nevertheless the organizers have had serious trouble attracting sponsors.
The event is being organized by a company 90 percent owned by the Tromsø municipality, with the Chess Federation (Norges Sjakkforbund) owning the remaining share.