Norway’s national chess federation (Norges Sjakkforbund) was meeting on Thursday with top city officials in Oslo, to discuss a bid for hosting the next World Chess Championships in 2018. Stavanger is also interested in hosting the event.
“We think we can create a fantastic folkefest (celebration) in Oslo and in Norway, Geir Nesheim, secretary general of the chess federation told state broadcaster NRK. Federation officials and other chess enthusiasts were meeting on Thursday with Oslo Mayor Marianne Borgen and Raymond Johansen, leader of the Labour Party-led city government, to work on an application to the international chess federation (FIDE) and championship organizer AGON.
Nesheim had earlier told newspaper Aftenposten that both Oslo and Stavanger would likely compete to host the championships, while other venues are interested as well. The most recent world championship, won by Norway’s own Magnus Carlsen for the third time in a row, was held in New York City. The two previous events were held in Sochi, Russia and Chennai, India.
Oslo has already approved NOK 500,000 to fund the application process but raising more funds remains the major challenge. It’s expected that hosting a World Chess Championship will cost around NOK 40 million, so the search is on for financiers and sponsors.