The team

Meet our contributors that are part of making the Altibox Norway Chess 2019 edition a fantastic event. During the tournament we gather people that are experts within their field, assuring that all aspects of the “behind the scenes” of the tournament is well taken care of.

 

Kjell Madland - Founder and primus motor

Kjell has a long background from business. He started his own construction company at 22 years old and has since held leader positions in several companies, including managing director for a Norwegian soccer team playing in 1st division. One of his strengths is to increase company revenue and earnings significantly.

Kjell is the mastermind behind the Norway Chess tournament and the initater of the Norway Summit conference. He has been the main driver in Norway Chess from the idea to the international brand its become today. He has done all the major business deals for the companies and is still a vital driver and a hands-on force within the companies. He is uniqely creative and has the ability to always think outside the box.

Benedicte Westre Skog - Project Manager

Benedicte has a central role in Norway Chess and Norway Summit. She has been part of Norway Chess since January 2015 and been part of developing the Norway Summit conference that had its first event in 2016. Benedicte has a strong academic background with an MSc in International Development. She has studied in a number of countries: Canada, India, Mexico, Norway and the Netherlands. She has experience from various organizations and runs her own non-profit organization named Argan Care as a side project to her daily work. Argan Care has been the driving force of initiating the planting of thousands of Argan trees and creating employment opportunities in rural communities in Morocco. She has been working for Norway Chess since early 2015 and been a vital force to the company. She is also a key-person to the Norway Summit conference and its development.

Frode Sømme - technical solutions manager

Frode is the owner and manager of Global Office, a company that sets up and operates IT solutions for companies. He has many years of experience within the field. He started his IT career in a petroleum company in 1995, where he was responsible for the development and operation of home office solutions for the entire company. His company Global Office operates IT solutions for companies from businesses in a wide range of sectors. Frode is responsible for the technical solution of the Altibox Norway Chess tournament. Frode has been part of Norway Chess since the early stages. He is also a board member at Norway Summit.

Judit Polgar - Expert commentator at the Official webcast

Judit Polgar is the greatest female chess player of all time.  

Judit Polgar from Hungary is considered the best female chess player in history, two-time Olympic champion. At the age 15 she broke Bobby Fischer’s record by becoming the youngest Grandmaster. She has been ranked the world number one female chess player for over 25 years, and on the occasion of this exceptional achievement she was awarded a Guinness Record in 2014. 

Ranked in top 10 in the Open (Men’s) World Rating list and participated at the World Championship tournament in 2005. During her career Judit has defeated several world champions, including Kasparov, Karpov, Anand and Carlsen. 

Silver medallist member of the Hungarian Olympic “Men” National Team, first in 2002 and repeated the success in 2014. After winning the silver medal at the Chess Olympiad the second time, she announced her retirement from competitive chess. In 2015 at the European Championship she led the Hungarian men to winning the bronze medal as team captain. 

Established the Judit Polgar Chess Foundation in 2012 and is the main organizer of the annual Global Chess Festival. Judit’s passion is to promote the game, inspire younger generations and to make a difference in education. Judit Polgar is the author of prize-winning books for professional chess players and children alike. 

Judit and her team have developed the award-winning Chess Palace and the Chess Playground programs for children age 4-11. These educational programs use chess as an exceptional learning tool to facilitate children’s development and to enable deploying their talent through chess. The motto of the Judit Polgar educational programs: Play your way to creative thinking. 

Judit is also making efforts to make steps for gender equality as a “Planet 50-50 Champion” which was given to her by UN Women in 2016. 

Given the James Joyce Award by the University College Dublin, in 2017. 

Official commentator of the World Championship Final Match in 2016 and 2018. 

From the end of 2018 Judit Polgar is the Honorary Vice President of the international World Chess Federation (FIDE) 

Anna Rudolf - Host and commentator at the Official webcast

Anna Rudolf is a Hungarian chess player, reporter and commentator who holds both the International Master and Woman Grand Master titles.

She fell in love with chess through the computer game Battle Chess at the age of 4, and competed actively as a member of the Hungarian Olympic team up until 2016.

Her main focus nowadays is to promote chess, and spread positivity, through all possible means she can: covering events, creating video lessons, streaming, blogging, vlogging, and being an all-around social media person.

Events she covered recently include the 2018 World Chess Championship match in London and the 2019 Tata Steel Chess Tournament. She collects hats, loves good food, dancing and the French Defense.

This is Anna second year as host at the Altibox Norway Chess international broadcast.

Anemone Kulczak - Arbiter

Anemone Kulczak’s father taught her to play chess when she was 7 years old. She played many tournaments during her teenage years. She became arbiter 15 years ago  and have arbitrated more than 80 tournaments in France and in other countries (round robin tournaments, French national championship, International Open Tournaments). She has been also part of the organization of many international tournaments in France and regional director of the arbiters during 10 years.

In Norway, She has been chief arbiter four times in Altibox Norway Chess (2013, 2014 and 2017, 2018) and sector arbiter at the Chess Olympiad in Tromsø.

In daily life, she is a Human Resources Manager and HR teacher at the University of Nice. She is also a French lecturer, one of the 24 members of the steering committee of the French Federation, and she lectures national arbiter training.

Anastasia Sorokina - Arbiter

Anastasia Sorokina, is Woman International Master (2001), International Arbiter (2002), FIDE Trainer (2005) and International Organizer (2018).
She was born in January 1980 in Minsk, Belarus. In 2003 Anastasia moved to Australia and worked as a chess coach in the Queensland School of Chess, and then in Chess Kids in Melbourne. Later she opened her own FIDE licensed Chess Academy. She currently lives in Belarus with her family.
Anastasia Sorokina has been Chief and Deputy Arbiter at several World Chess Olympiads, a number of FIDE Grand Prix events, as well as numerous other major FIDE tournaments.
In 2017 Ms Sorokina was elected as President of Belarus Chess Federation. Under the leadership of Anastasia Sorokina, Belarus became well-known as organizer of several international tournaments and was elected to organize 45 World Chess Olympiad 2022 and World Cups in 2020  and 2021.
In 2018 Anastasia Sorokina  was elected as FIDE Vice-President.

Arild Rimestad – Arbiter

Arild Rimestad is an International Arbiter (2000), International Organiser (2018) and ECU School Chess Teacher (2018)

Arild was born on May 4, 1966 in Time, Rogaland, Norway. He moved with his elder brothers and Faroese mother to Denmark in 1969 and to the Faroes in 1974. He moved to Denmark in 1983 to study and have stayed in Denmark since.

He has been the president of a company chess club, also of the former Faroese chess club in Copenhagen as well as the Nordic Chess Federation. He has also been the Youth Leader of Copenhagen Chess Union and organised more than a hundred cadet and youth tournaments. Since last year, he has been the Youth and Female Manager of the Danish Chess Federation and organised national youth and girls’ championships.

Besides being an arbiter for more than 20 years in a hundred and some tournaments, including Altibox Norway Chess 2013, and working with logistics and leadership for two decades, he has also done some filming and been acting in movies and series for the last ten years. In addition, he also writes English poetry.

Geir Brobakken - Arbiter

Geir Brobakken is born in May 1959 in Hamar, Norway. He became a FIDE
Arbiter in 2018. He started playing in the local chess club in 1975.
Since 1980 he has been running the local chess club and has held a
numerous tournaments in the region and eastern part of Norway. He is the
leader of the group of chess clubs in the region.
The local chess club hosted the Norwegian Championship in 2007 and the
Norwegian Youth Championship in 2013. He has been arbitrating in several
Norwegian Championships, both for adults and youth. He will arrive to
Stavanger directly from the job as an arbiter in the Norwegian Team
Championship. He was an arbiter in the Chess Olympiad in Tromsø in 2014.
In the recent years he has been working as a chess coach for his own
kids and other young players in his club.

Maria Emelianova- Social media

Maria Emelianova, also known in Norway and in the chess world as MissLovaLova, was born in Russia and now lives in London.
She learned to play chess at the age of six and reached the Woman FIDE Master level before stepping away from competitive chess at age 17. She then began to to focus on her interest in programming and mathematics, reading for a Masters degree in IT and starting an MBA at Moscow City Business School. Throughout her studies she translated and proofread chess articles and did work for “64” magazine, alongside with Alexander Roshal, besides her studies.

She later returned to chess as a photographer and journalist, completing a diploma in Photojournalism at Moscow State University, writing a thesis on Digital Manipulation and Ethics in Modern Photojournalism in 2014.

For almost a decade, Maria’s photographs have been published in all the leading online and periodical chess magazines and newspapers. Her photographs were exhibited at the Sochi 2014 World Chess Championship, the Baku 2016 Olympiad, and at the Tata Steel tournament in 2017. In 2018, Maria won the Chess Journalist’s Award for Best Chess Photojournalism.

Maria works for the largest chess website, Chess.com, providing them with regular visual content and handles their Russian social media marketing. She was involved in organising the Qatar Masters Open in 2014 & 2015, Tata Steel India 2018, and the Chess.com Isle of Man International 2017 & 2018.

Maria loves her pet cats, wildlife photography, winter sports and driving. Among her other interests, she enjoys classical music, travelling, meeting new people and languages – she speaks Russian and English fluently, and is learning Spanish and Italian. She recently started streaming on Twitch and successfully competed in Twitch Rivals against Komodo engine.

Lennart Ootes - Official photographer and chess board master

Lennart Ootes is a creative chess professional from the Netherlands. He works for numerous tournaments as a DGT operator, video broadcaster, photographer or web designer. Since 2017 he is involved with Altibox Norway Chess as a DGT board operator and photographer. Lennart was awarded as best photographer of 2018 in the photo contest of the Russian Chess Federation.

Jason Kouchak - Special Guest

The closing ceremony will include a musical performance by Jason
Kouchak, an acclaimed classical pianist in both Europe and Asia, who has
enjoyed regular guest appearances with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
and recorded music albums at Abbey Road Studios . Jason will play
excerpts from Grieg Piano Concerto and Peer Gynt suite as well as a
world premiere of his own composition: Queen of the Knight.

Juga - Special Guest

The closing ceremony will include a musical performance by Juga, a Chilean singer, songwriter and artist who has been in love with Chess from a very young age.

She founded the Chilean national Women Chess championship in 2007, and worked on the publishing of Chess books, on Chess educational promotion and the organization of several Tournaments.
Juga graduated from music composing, since then she has developed her unique style in rock, blues and pop music, recording 3 records of her own.
She lived at Easter Island and went deep into the Polynesian native culture, influencing her lyrics. She then lived at Buenos Aires and created a show called Juga Di Piaf where she made a special tribute to the French Diva Edith Piaf.
The last two years, Juga has been writing songs about Chess, playing tournaments and training to explore its psychological and emotional aspects in depth.
On last year’s Altibox Norway Chess closing ceremony, she showed her “Oh Capablanca” song before it was released.  Now again, she will show us as an Avant-Premiere for the Top 10 players of the world, her third Chess music video called “Tactical”, inspired by Mijkail Tal (World Chess Champion 1960-61).
With her surrealistic approach to Chess Juga wishes to reach not only the Chess world but a wider community, so more people can discover the beauty and mystery of Chess