If the bid is successful, more than 100 countries will send teams to Norway's seventh largest city located 200 miles inside the Arctic Circle. Norway has no tradition as a leading chess power but has become the unlikely focus of interest as 19-year-old Magnus Carlsen has become the youngest ever world No 1.
Carlsen is interviewed in the latest US and European editions of Time magazine. The best question was whether Carlsen saw chess as combat or art: "Combat. I am trying to beat the guy sitting across from me and trying to choose the moves that are most unpleasant for him and his style. Of course, some really beautiful games feel like they are art, but that's not my goal."
Andrew Green of Edinburgh, Scotland's top 19-year-old, defeated David Eggleston of Durham in combative style in the recent Hastings Masters.
Hastings Masters rd 6, White: A Green (2151), Black: D Eggleston (2367)
1 e4 e6 2 d3 d5 3 Qe2 Be7 4 Nf3 Nf6 5 g3 b5 6 Bg2 dxe4 7 dxe4 b4 8 Nbd2 Ba6 9 Nc4 Nc6 10 e5 Nd5 11 Qe4 Qb8? 11...0-0 is simpler. 12 Ne3 Qd8 13 Bd2 Bc5 14 0-0-0 Bxe3 15 Bxe3 Rb8 Too late for 15...0-0 16 Ng5! 16 Qg4 Rg8 17 Qe4 Rh8 18 Qg4 Kf8 19 Ng5! Nce7 20 Qf3 Qe8 21 Nxe6+ Kg8 22 Nc5 Bc4 23 Bh6!! (See Diagram) A sharp idea to capitalise on Black's awkward king with the immediate point that 23...gxh6 24 Qg4+ regains the piece. 23...Qc6 24 e6! f5 25 Nd7 Rd8 26 Rhe1! gxh6 26...Rxd7 fails to 27 Qh5! so Black finally grabs on h6. 27 Qh5 Ng6 28 Qxf5 Rxd7 29 exd7 Kg7 30 Bxd5 White cashes in for a simple win. 30...Bxd5 31 Qxd5 Qxd5 32 Rxd5 Rd8 33 Re8 1-0.
Carlsen heads the 14-player field in the Corus GM event at Wijk aan Zee, Holland, which runs from 15-31 January. Current and former world champions Vishy Anand and Vladimir Kramnik and Britain's Nigel Short will be eager to topple the young Norwegian. Official website: coruschess.com. Carlsen blogs at www.arcticsec.no, his investment bank sponsor. The link is under the "interactive" menu.
This article was first published in Scotsman on Sunday on 10 January, 2010.