Editor1 Comment

Statement regarding 2018 World Chess Championship Match in Oslo

Editor1 Comment
Statement regarding 2018 World Chess Championship Match in Oslo

Oslo, Norway is out of running as a host of the 2018 Championship; 2020 is an opportunity

London, UK — June 7, 2017 — In November 2018, World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen of Norway will defend his title against a challenger who will be determined in March 2018 after the Candidates Tournament.  

Norwegian Chess Federation (NCF) has submitted an application to host the 2018 World Chess Championship in Oslo, pending confirmation of funding from the government sources. However, after funds have not been secured in time, it has been decided by World Chess in agreement with NCF to terminate the 2018 application process. NCF will consider putting an application for the 2020 Match in the future. 

World Chess CEO Ilya Merenzon says:  “After the Match in New York, chess enjoys phenomenal rise in popularity globally, and the Match, the most important event in the sport, is both a huge responsibility and an opportunity. FIDE and World Chess supported the NCF’s efforts to hold the Match in Oslo because it’s home to the World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen and because it’s one of the most popular sports in the country — share of NRK’s Championship broadcast reached 70%. We also view it as a strong commercial opportunity, as it could have been one of the biggest sporting events in the country. But most importantly, we wanted hundreds of thousands of fans in Norway to be able to witness the historic event live. 

We are very pleased with professionalism and motivation of the Norwegian Chess Federation to hold the Match in Oslo, but understand that the Government support has not been committed on the level they hoped, and organizing a sporting event of this magnitude without strong governmental support is impossible, as we estimated the budget to exceed EUR 4mln.   

However, we have decided to partner with the Federation to develop the ‘National Sponsor’ package for the upcoming Match which will include development of the ‘Fan Zone’ in Oslo with commentary, TV studio and much more and will allow partners to take advantage of the event in Norway” — adds Merenzon. 

The city that will host the 2018 Match will be announced in June of 2017.  World Chess is determined to work with Norwegian companies to develop the National Partner package to utilize the unprecedented popularity of the sport (and of course, the charismatic champion, Magnus Carlsen) in this country.

Please contact the office of Ilya Merenzon at merenzon@agonlimited.com with proposals and ideas. 

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The title photo for this post, by Max Avdeev for World Chess, depicts Henrik Carlsen, Magnus's father, as he waits for the news of the tie-breaks in New York City during the final day of the Championship Match.