The Olympiad in Tweets – travelling to Tromsø

Yup, the Chess Olympiad is getting closer and on Wednesday and Thursday it was quite interesting and amusing to see the tweets of the teams travelling to  Tromsø.  It seems that not everybody had a smooth journey, though:

@GMHikaruIt would be nice if chess organizers could hold an event in a city with many flights and a major airport in the case of delays/cancellations.

The next Olympiad 2016 will be in Baku, Azerbaijan and Batumi, Georgia is one of the candidates for 2018. Tough travels ahead for Hikaru Nakamura, I am afraid!

@ECUbacktoEurope: “Welcome to Batumi #chess Olympiad 2018!”


Mig Greengard , Kasparov’s aide-de-camp, has arrived and has some good advice: @chessninja: “Warning to first-time visitors to Tromsø: If you don’t put the line through the “ø” you’ll be sent to a Scandinavian reeducation camp.”

Prof. Dr. Peter Heine Nielsen explains: @PHNielsen:  ø is Danish and Norwegian, not Swedish. And “røv” means ass, Kasparøv might not work very well…. 🙂

Mig posted a nice picture upon arrival: garrymobile @chessninja: “My sweet ride. The Garrymobile” 

There are lot of posters, banners and other Kasparov stuff everywhere in Tromsø, as Paul Truong  Susan Polgar tweeted:

@SusanPolgar: “Campaign posters, banners, and flags are everywhere”, and added this twitpic: 


The boss himself, Garry Kasparov tweeted: @Kasparov63:  “It’s odd seeing my image all over. I always agreed w quote (Nabokov?) that leaders’ pictures should never be bigger than stamps!”

@FIDEnot4Sale replied: “Perhaps, it prooves you are not a leader?”

Talking Kasparov: Sweet tweet here by @DaniielSkogSomeone who can answer me if @Kasparov63 is visiting the #ChessOlympiad?

Could be a strong candidate for the “Best tweet of the Olympiad” challenge….I was surprised to see in his profile that he is one of the official photographers for the Olympiad. It seems that he is very well prepared…

The challenger seems to be ready for the elections, but what about the FIDE president? reports: “FIDE elections heating up – Ilyumzhinov ready to fight back with some personalised calendars!”


@pookita: “Isn’t he a complete patzer at chess??”

The Russian girls arrived as well: @Kosteniuk posted this nice picture. You may recognize Anatoli Karpov, Sergey Karjakin (not wearing his infamous pro Putin T-shirt that cost him an invitation to the Sinquefield Cup in St. Louis) and Andrey Filatov in the second row. They travelled with a private plane. Maybe an idea for Hikaru Nakamura? 


Did I mention Magnus Carlsen already? I am afraid that there will be some tough weeks ahead for the world champion.  Every step he makes will be watched by paparazzi , e.g. @GMJanGustafsson: “Spotted some Carlsen’s!”


@Crsieh: “Magnus Carlsen on the local news, Nordnytt. One of the volunteers: “He has such pretty brown eyes!”

@TarjeiJS: “The Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation have more than 50 (!) people working on covering  #ChessOlympiad“. @MariaMindfold: “Norwegians. Magnus-craze as usual :)” He/she tweeted later: “Yes, I`m gonna be totally STAR-STRUCK if I spot Hou Yifan at the #ChessOlympiad ! absolutely not kidding.”

Let’s finish this pre Olympiad day with some selected tweets of our daily soap “Short vs. Nazici”:

@NigelShortChess:“Every time this buffoon @alinihatyazici tweets, the moral and intellectual bankruptcy of the @Fide_chess adminstration is clear to all.”

@alinihatyazici: @nigelshortchess loosing your control? Foul public language? If I prove you are liar will you vote for Kirsan? Expensive pro?

Gentlemen, I have some advice for you:


The Olympiad in Tweets – Early tweets

Yes, Chess in Tweets is back. Earlier this year I followed the Candidates Tournament in Khanty Mansiysk by compiling a storyline around the games by using tweets about the event.  I will follow the Chess Olympiad in Tromsø in the same way: I will try to filter the most relevant tweets about the Olympiad in Norway and create a story. The good thing for you, the reader is that you only need to read this blog to get the best tweets, even if you do not use Twitter yourself. The bad thing is that I have to read a lot of crap.

Fourth largest sporting event?

On the official event website of the Olympiad 2014 you can read: “Chess Olympiad Tromsø 2014 – the world’s fourth largest sporting event”. In the “fact and figures” section of the info bulletin I found that this is measured by the number of participating countries (174). If you want to take this as reference, fine. You can also read in the booklet that the estimated online audience is 100 Million.

If you google “the largest sporting events”, the Chess Olympiad is not mentioned in the top 10. Of course, “fourth largest sporting event” sounds great.  Some people might even believe it. It is just a matter of interpretation. 

I do expect a lot of tweets about the Olympiad, because many top players will not only play but also tweet. There are not only many players in Tromsø, but also journalists, officials, trainers, coaches, commentators, organizers and visitors who will not only tweet about the games. It will also be interesting to see what wil be tweeted  about  the playing conditions, the parties, the food and the prices in the shops. And Carlsen. 


I will use twitpics from the tweeps. I found a nice one by @teotstorb, who writes: “I was wondering what is exactly a troll. But I found a lot in Tromso!”


@fischerandom: My Norwegian sister grew up in Tromsø! The nature is very beautiful there!”

That is right, and what about the stories of the midnight sun? “Can confirm that the midnight sun (or at least daylight!) in Tromso isn’t a myth…”


To get the best storyline it is essential that the tweeps use the same hashtag. I think #ChessOlympiad makes sense. One of the commentators, Lawrence Trent, uses the correct hashtag: 

@LawrenceTrentIM: “Prepping up for the big one! #ChessOlympiad Will be commentating every round of this very special event, leave for Tromso tomorrow!”


We should not forget chess politics, a major item in the next weeks. Many tweets have already been posted about the upcoming slugfest. Just to give you an idea of the friendly tone of the tweets in this matter, here is an sneak peek:   

Nigel Short wrote an article for New in Chess about the upcoming FIDE elections, titled: “Tyranny”.  Not everybody like the piece, obviously….

@alinihatyazici: “I Read 1st paragraph of @nigelshortchess bullshit in NIC! Impotence may make a person life time jealous for power!”

Short replied: @nigelshortchess: “The foul public language of @alinihatyazici shows he is totally unfit to head @Fide_chess in schools.”

@alinihatyazici:@nigelshortchess was accusing me for foul language, that is a growing manner, need hot pepper in mouth!”

@nigelshortchess: @alinihatyazici has to shout “bullshit”, rather than make reasoned argument, because he knows what I have said is true”

Creative tweet here about the FIDE president:

@olimpiuurcan: “The more I read about Ilyumzhinov the more I think of Borat, L. Ron Hubbard, Donald Trump and Saparmurat Niyazov. All-into-one.”

Nice stuff. More mud to come in the next weeks.

Travelling to Norway

Chess Olympiad in Norway: Tarjei J. Svensen cannot be far. Ah, he already arrived in Tromsø obviously:

@TarjeiJS: “Seeing posters all over Tromsø now, with “Kasparov – the future of chess”


Another interesting tweet by @TarjeiJS: “Is this the first Chess Olympiad where one page in the bulletin is dedicated to the price level of the host city?”

The price level in Norway could become quite an issue: @Chessninja: “My top takeaway from the @chess24com Tromso report: “The cheapest hamburger in this restaurant is a whopping 21 euros!” 28 dollars.” 

And added: “Norway isn’t on the euro & it’s one of the most expensive places in the world. Can’t they just go back to using salted fish as currency?”

More people are heading for Norway. Susan Polgar is on her way:

@SusanPolgar: “Our Norwegian Air plane to @Tromso2014.”


And her sister Judit is also heading for Tromsø:

@GMJuditPolgar: “Press-conference before the Chess Olympiad 🙂 We’re going to Tromso with a strong team!”


Did I mention Magnus Carlsen already?

@MagnusCarlsen: Good spirits at training camp before the #chessolympiad at @Tromso2014 with @gmjlh #krageroresort #chess


Let’s hope that everybody arrives safely. And when they arrive, I hope they have found a place to stay:

@JosipAsik: “Requested in April, @Tromso2014 is yet not sending any accommodation offer for accredited press representatives. Thank God for Airbnb.”

More tweets to come in the next weeks. Suggestions and comments welcome.