Just a few weeks ago the upcoming Tromso Olympiad took a brief dive because of some uncertainty over sponsorship money. Thankfully, the tournament was brought to level again when the Norwegian government finally confirmed funding of 12 million NOK. But now, only a fortnight from the start of proceedings, new turbulence has hit the event.
As far as I can tell, this new set of problems is related to the organisers' decision to exclude from Tromso as many as ten teams, one of which is the Russian women's side who, of course, won the 2010 and 2012 women's events. Expectedly, that's pissed off the Russians.
The situation is so bad that there is a suggestion that FIDE, with help from no less than Russian prez Vlad Putin, might yank the whole thing out of Norway and move the event to Russia! Well, at least one blogger seems to think that this is a dead certainty: Canadian GM, Kevin Spraggett.
Frankly I think either Spraggett or his source is pulling our legs. Just imagine the lawsuit that FIDE and the Russians will have to face from the Norwegians. Never mind the compo for travel. For their troubles, the Norwegians will want more than $2 million.
Anyway, I think the Olympiad will happen in two week's time. In Tromso. With the Russian women.