One of the greatest chess festivals ever in Norway is being held from December 29th to January 7th, on occasion of the 100th anniversary of Gjøvik chess club.
The semiopen anniversary Swiss tournament has six grandmasters rated 2600+, with the reigning European champion on top: Tiviakov (NED) 2686, Savschenko (RUS) 2648, Malakhato (BEL) 2633, Korneev (RUS) 2623, Mchedlishvili (GEO) 2615 and Bartel (POL) 2602, followed by GMs Kulaots (EST) 2556, Gopal (IND) 2548, de Firmian (USA) 2545 and Kveinys (LTU) 2533.
The highest rated IM of the field is Norway’s own Jon Ludvig Hammer (18), who at 2522 runs for his final GM norm. Hammer is a class mate of Magnus Carlsen, who will face Peter Svidler (Russia), Hikaru Nakamura (USA) and Kjetil Lie (Norway) in the rapid tournament “Aker Chess Challenge” from January 2nd.
The big international Norwegian company Aker has become the main sponsor of the Gjøvik chess festival. The numerous Aker companies are active within the oil and gas industry, in marine technology and fishing.
The “Aker Chess Challenge” will draw the attention as a main event of the chess world during the first five days of 2009.For more information, always see the festival website: www.gjovikfestival.sjakkweb.no
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– GM Susan Polgar