Reports | September 30, 2012 21:11

Carlsen, Aronian, Kramnik, Anand, Wang Hao confirmed for 2013 tournament in Norway (UPDATE)

Norway Chess

Besides Magnus Carlsen, four more players have confirmed their participation in the new super tournament in Norway next year: Levon Aronian, Vladimir Kramnik, Vishy Anand and Wang Hao. This was reported by Norwegian media on Friday.

The website of the new tournament is

As we reported back in February, the chess calendar of 2013 will see a new, super strong chess tournament. It will be held 7-18 May, 2013 in Sandnes and Stavanger. The organizers are aiming high: they hope to hold the strongest tournament ever held, with ten participants.

On Friday Norwegian media reported that five names are known already. Besides Magnus Carlsen himself, confirmed participants are said to be Levon Aronian, Vladimir Kramnik, Vishy Anand and Wang Hao. The players will be fighting for a € 100,000 first prize.

The tournament will be played over nine rounds. According to Verdens Gang (VG), which happens to be one of Carlsen's co-sponsors, the first five will be held in Sandnes while the last four will be held at different locations in the Rogaland county, including Stavanger. Aftenbladet writes that the total budget for the event is 5 million Norwegian kroner (about 680,000 Euro).

Carlsen himself is involved in picking the players. He gives advice, to help the organizers. In February he said:

I am fortunate to have some power in the selection. I find it most inspiring to invite as many as possible of the best in the world. I know the players themselves, and hope to persuade them to come. Those I've talked to so far are very positive. Remember, most major tournaments are in the fall. 

Earlier this month a promo video was created with Carlsen playing against Kristoffer Madland (the Norwegian youth champion) on a big chess board on top of the famous Pulpit Rock, 604 meters above Lysefjorden in Norway.

Chess on Pulpit Rock | Photo courtesy of NorwayChess

Chess is going to be central in the video, along with pictures from the Stavanger region. The filming was done both from a helicopter and on the Pulpit Rock. This event got a lot of attention from the Norwegian media as well. Some links, which includes videos of the film shooting: NRK, VG, Stavanger Aftenblad.

The initiator of the new supertournament is Kjell Madland, managing director of Jadarhus and former general manager of football club Bryne. His interest in chess is easy to explain: Madland's son is a talented chess player.

Jadarhus is a real-estate company in Stavanger, and it will be one of the main sponsors. The other is HTH, a kitchen equipment company. Three municipalities in the Stavanger region have also shown interest in the event. There is even a website already, in both Norwegian and English:

Besides the new tournament in May, Norway will also host the next World Cup and Olympiad, in 2013 and 2014 respectively, both in Tromsø.

UPDATE: As Jøran Aulin-Jansson points out in the comments, it is only Magnus Carlsen who has signed a contract for this. The players mentioned above have responded very positively, but no contracts have been signed yet. Besides, Magnus does not decide who will participate, he only suggests.

Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers

Founder and editor-in-chief of, Peter is responsible for most of the chess news and tournament reports. Often visiting top events, he also provides photos and videos for the site. He's a 1.e4 player himself, likes Thai food and the Stones.


columbo's picture

Ride on ! I'll go there without hesitation

Anonymous's picture

Why doesn't the USA have any super tournaments...LA is a hotbed of chess (lots of clubs and an extensive school chess program) and would be a great place for one a year.

RG13's picture

The interest in chess in a particular city is not as important as corporate sponsors. American sponsors for chess tournaments are hard to come by.

noyb's picture

Americans are more interested in watching sports like football, baseball and basketball, along with playing video games and gorging themselves on junkfood. Not exactly an intellectual hotbed...

Seth's picture

You forgot the part about how fat we are, too.

S3's picture

Yet still they have the best universities and the most innovative companies. And with great Americans like Sinquefield it's just a matter of time until we see one in the USA.

Besides, you too must understand that the tournament in Norway is not explained by intellectualism but by nationalism, media hypes and fanboyism.

jussu's picture


This explains why they are inviting all ten from Norway.

"media hype"

Isn't this the dream of almost any sponsor?


*Fanboy", one of those marvelous meaningless words! It means just "fan" and can thus be used anywhere without technically exceeding the boundaries of politeness, but is considered derogatory and can thus be used to offend. What was you point anyway?

S3's picture

My point is that you don't need an "intellectual hotbed" to throw a big tournament. You just need some sponsors or governments who are willing to throw away a lot of money, and with a national hero sponsors are more likely to do so.
You also don't need to find intellectuals or even chessplayers for spectators 'cause fanboys will be much easier to attract in masses anyway.

And thus the fatties in the USA don't stand in the way of a tournament.

But it's funny that you ask for my point and not for Noyb's. Are you one of those guys living in some backward country wishing they could get as fat as an American?

jussu's picture

noyb's point, if he had any, was buried under the same blanket of national hatred as yours. Speaking of which, my nation is well enough to suffer from mis- rather than malnutriotion, thank you for your concern.

Anonymous's picture

US chess could use a healthy dose of fanboyism, like all the rest of the sports.

valg321's picture

"LA a hotbed for chess"...hmm...well i do know for a fact that LA has grief clinics, dream workshops, yogaholics, spirit guides, centering groups, alexander technique schools, neuroliguistic programming, pyramid energy seminars, primal therapy tutorials, colon cleansing clinics, psychocalesthenics, nude volleyball, spinach therapy, white wine hot tubs, hot coal joggers, people who sing christmas carols to zoo animals, wind lessons and traffic school for chocoholics but i must have missed their huge interest in chess when i was there last summer.

Axel Müller's picture

As far as events for amateurs are concerned there is certainly more going on in L.A. then in many European cities. I lived in several countries in Europe and now I live in L.A. It’s definitely more easy to find a weekend tournament that fits into one’s schedule here. In Europe it’s easier to play in team competitions though and it’s much easier to see top GMs play.

valg321's picture

but they do indeed have the best universities...where 27% of teachers are americans, and make that 19% for the ivy league

S3's picture

Yup. The best of the world flock to the USA. The rest stays at home b*ching how fat they are over there.

Niima's picture

They also have some of the worst higher education establishments in the world. In the US you get what you pay for. If you are rich, you have access to the best of the best. If you are not, you can be f……
As for the outsiders, if they stay home and call the Americans fat, they would have a point. Check the stats. But many also appreciate the positives of the US and its people. It’s not black & white ;-)

valg321's picture

the worst of the world also

RuralRob's picture

I'd say the other reason the USA doesn't host supertournaments is that it is so far away from Europe and Asia, and relatively expensive for the top players from those areas to travel to. Not to mention the rather notorious reputation of U.S. Customs and airport security. (Think of Van Wely's recent experience trying to get to L.A. to teach a chess camp.)

Thomas's picture

That's a strange argument: airfares from Europe to the USA are generally cheaper than flights to China, Mexico, Argentina and Brazil - and all these countries organized (at least half of) a supertournament. Immigration issues can probably be resolved if organizers contact customs in advance.
My impression (from east of the Atlantic Ocean) is that there are two kinds of US chess organizers: those organizing Swiss events want to earn rather than spend money. And then there is Rex Sinquefield who so far spent his money on American players only - the prize fund for the US Championship should be enough to organize a fairly strong international supertournament. BTW what happened to plans for a Grand Slam event in Seattle?

obl's picture

because naka loses all the time

noyb's picture

Despite his recent struggles in London, I hope that Nakamura scores an invite!

Bigglesworth's picture

If I were Carlsen, I would pick players I had a particularly good score against, such as Nakamura, Ivanchuk, Topalov, and Radjabov.

RuralRob's picture

I suspect he WON'T be picking Caruana.

giovlinn's picture

He picked Wang Hao and that guy is as good as Caruana.

Thomas's picture

"Wang Hao ... is as good as Caruana"
Maybe overall (but even that's questionable, why would you think so?), but certainly not in his games against Carlsen.

Bigglesworth's picture

Carlsen is +3 -0 =0 against Hao in the last five years, but +1 -1 =4 against Caruana.

sen's picture

yes nakamura should be picked , he should be easy prey for carlsen :-) and others.

chill's picture

off topic question: how to get a small kid (4-5 years) be interested in playing chess

Anonymous's picture

i suggest you contact the US Chess federation and ask their advice.

KingTal's picture

Make a little chess set as a present, then the kid will try to learn the rules out of curiosity.
I remember that i got interested in chess that way when my parents gave me a small magnetic chess set as birthday present.

Niima's picture

We all have a story about how it happened, and we are still inflicted! ;-)

Anonymous's picture

My child is 4 now, and I've been drilling him constantly. He already has a basic repertoire. I'm just a bit concerned because in the French for example, he will make 14 correct moves or so, and then just sit there, as if dumbfounded - he has no idea what to do next. I think he's losing interest, so any advice would be helpful.

RG13's picture

My advice is DON'T DRILL HIM. At that age you want him to associate chess with FUN. Otherwise he may lose interest in the game. Just demonstrate your passion for the game by your own study and devotion to it. As he grows older he will want to get better to beat his dad or he wont. Just put the opportunity there and let him avail himself of it as he sees fit. I know from experience - I ruined chess for my 3 year old and he didn't want to go near chess for years. Now in his twenties he has retaken an interest in it.

Here is a fun program:

And then there is the 'Fun with Fritz and Chester' from chessbase.

S3's picture

Beat him until he gets interested again.

bondegnasker's picture

"He will make 14 correct moves or so, and then just sit there, as if dumbfounded - he has no idea what to do next." - Actually, that's perfectly normal. I've been playing the French for ages, and the same thing keeps happening to me.

jussu's picture

I sincerely hope you are joking. Poor kid.

valg321's picture

i don't think he is

Chess Fan's picture

You let them watch chess and see whether they want to play. 4-5 years is anyway too young for anything - chess, Karate etc. If they are interested in themselves even with exposure, it is very very rare. I would say six to eight is the earliest. At 4-5 they are more interested in scrambling the pieces and putting the pieces in their mouth!

jussu's picture

Better leave him alone. If he picks up the interest, good, but if he doesn't, the worst you could do to both the kid and chess is to force chess down his throat.

Coco Loco's picture

My kid got interested by watching me play - over the board too, but mostly online. And the normal dating advice applies: don't push too hard, act too desperate, etc.

MJul's picture

My niece too. She's 4 and is learning because she saw me, my brother and sisters, brothers in law and parents playing. Also we go to our chess club with her since she was 5 months. It became so normal she just learned how move pieces.

The same happened to me and my sisters.

Aiy9W's picture

violence usually works

Boybawang's picture

Most important is not to force your kid to like it but here are my tips:

1. Play against your friend while your kid is watching. I'm sure he will be curious about the rules and that's how Capablanca was.

2. Give the chessboard as present or let him find it by accident. I'm sure he will ask you about it and that's how Judit polgar was.

Excalibur's picture

So this is the mysterious tournament Vlady was referring to in the chess olympiad! I don't get the part about Carlsen helping to pick the participants though, as in giving advice?

Thomas's picture

It's "Carlsen's birthday party", and he decides who will get an invitation. Probably this isn't unprecedented for a supertournament (MTel was centered on Topalov and - after Elista - Kramnik didn't participate), yet it seems new that it's stated openly.
One question: How much extra money does Carlsen get for selecting the participants? He reportedly gets 1 million Norwegian crowns as ambassador of the Tromso Olympiad, unclear what exactly he does in return.

redivivo's picture

The idea of Carlsen making money somehow seems to bother you. By the way, I don't see anything new about it being Carlsen who decides who will be invited. It's just the same thing as was said in February, that he gives advice to help the organizers etc. What is the new thing that is "stated openly"? And what if the Norwegians give him 50 crowns or 500 000 for asking Kramnik et al to participate?

S3's picture

Bother him? He just seems interested. Don't make things up. It does seem that giving attention to Carlsen's priveleged position in this tournament is bothering you though.

redivivo's picture

So what is "Carlsen's privileged position this tournament", and what is that that now is "openly stated" about Carlsen deciding who will participate?

S3's picture

"So what is "Carlsen's privileged position this tournament" : Silly question,the answer is obvious unless you don't want to see it.

The 2nd question doesn't make sense but perhaps you mean to hear that Thomas pointed out that this may be a rare case of organisation being open about a common practice like one player suggesting the other participants.

redivivo's picture

No, what was said was that "he decides who will get an invitation" and that "it seems new that it's stated openly", I just wonder what the new thing is that is stated openly now about Carlsen deciding who will be invited.

In February the complaints concerned that
Carlsen might see to it that Kramnik and Anand wasn't going to be invited and that he would pick players like Nakamura, Radjabov, Topalov, Ivanchuk just because his aim would be to avoid opponents he had bad results against. I guess this wasn't the case after all?

Thomas's picture

When I wrote "it seems new that it's stated openly", I wasn't comparing now with last February, I was comparing this event with other events (e.g. MTel).

Another question, particularly after the clarification by Joran Aulin-Jansson, is: What's actually new in the article? Why does the event deserve a second Chessvibes top story, and how many more will follow before a single piece is pushed??
There's also a subtle but non-trivial difference between the article and Joran's comment:
"the strongest tournament ever held, with ten participants" [hard to beat some editions of Tal Memorial!?]
"_one of_ the strongest tournaments in the history of chess"


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