It´s a great pleasure for me to welcome you all to Drammen, the regional center west of the capital of Norway, Oslo.

Over the last decade our city has first and foremost been marketed as “The River City”. But we also go all out for sports. Our goals for physical activities are described in the Municipality plan:

”Drammen shall offer the best opportunities for physical activity, sports and outdoor life and thus improve health and the well-being of all citizens”.

And that brings me to the point: “Chess is intellectual gymnastics”.

Drammen has been hosting quite a number of international sport events over the years, within for instance skiing, handball, judo, bandy – and so forth. And after August we can add an international tournament in chess to the list.

The game of chess has long traditions in Drammen. Drammen Chess Club was founded as early as in 1904, and the club can boast three Norwegian championships.

During the tournament you are going to be sitting bent over the chess boards. Even though chess is intellectual gymnastics, you will also need to get some physical exercise and fresh air. Take a look around, Drammen has a lot to offer when it comes to out door facilities. We have 14 km of pedestrial walkways along the river banks on both sides, not to mention all the trails in the hills around us – which also offer a magnificent view of the city.

As the mayor of Drammen I look forward to see you here in August. We will be ready for you, and I am sure you will come well prepared and ready for the battles of the white and black squares.

Best of luck to each and every participant!

Tore Opdal Hansen
mayor of Drammen