Birkebein

Primarily for winter-sports. Things related to NHL, european Hockey and Cross Country Skiing.
"The Korean men’s and women’s national teams will be competing on home ice at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeonChang, following a decision by the IIHF Congress to grant the country automatic entry into the ice hockey events. “After careful deliberation and discussions with the IOC and the Korea Ice Hockey Association (KIHA), we have decided to grant an automatic qualification to the men’s and women’s national teams for PyeongChang 2018,” said IIHF President René Fasel.The decision came following meetings held during the 2014 IIHF Semi-Annual Congress, where the KIHA presented a comprehensive four-year plan to intensify the development of the men’s and women’s teams. The plan has the backing of the IOC, the Korean government, and national sponsors, who together with the KIHA have pledged to invest over $20 million U.S. into the national team program in the leadup to the Games. In addition to the financial investment, the KIHA plans to organize annual exchange programs for their players with the world’s top hockey leagues and organizations. A major effort will be also made towards increasing the number of domestic and international games for the national team.“Korean hockey has been working for a long time for this opportunity, and to have this presented to us today is overwhelming,” said Korean men’s national team head coach Jim Paek. “I don’t want to make any promises but as long as we focus on the process every day to get better I think we’ll be very competitive and hopefully we’ll represent the country well.”
More at Source

"The Korean men’s and women’s national teams will be competing on home ice at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeonChang, following a decision by the IIHF Congress to grant the country automatic entry into the ice hockey events. 

“After careful deliberation and discussions with the IOC and the Korea Ice Hockey Association (KIHA), we have decided to grant an automatic qualification to the men’s and women’s national teams for PyeongChang 2018,” said IIHF President René Fasel.

The decision came following meetings held during the 2014 IIHF Semi-Annual Congress, where the KIHA presented a comprehensive four-year plan to intensify the development of the men’s and women’s teams. The plan has the backing of the IOC, the Korean government, and national sponsors, who together with the KIHA have pledged to invest over $20 million U.S. into the national team program in the leadup to the Games. 

In addition to the financial investment, the KIHA plans to organize annual exchange programs for their players with the world’s top hockey leagues and organizations. A major effort will be also made towards increasing the number of domestic and international games for the national team.

“Korean hockey has been working for a long time for this opportunity, and to have this presented to us today is overwhelming,” said Korean men’s national team head coach Jim Paek. “I don’t want to make any promises but as long as we focus on the process every day to get better I think we’ll be very competitive and hopefully we’ll represent the country well.”

More at Source


Great article on the recent Sinquefield Cup in St. Louis, the up-coming World Championship match, chess politics, and last but not least the historic performance of Fabiano Caruana. Source

“There are a few things you should probably know about FIDE—or the Federation Internationale des Echecs, if you’re feeling continental. FIDE is, by all accounts, comically corrupt, in the vein of other fishy global sporting bodies like FIFA and the IOC. Its Russian president, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, who has hunkered in office for nearly two decades now, was once abducted by a group of space aliens dressed in yellow costumes who transported him to a faraway star. Though I am relying here on Ilyumzhinov’s personal attestations, I have no reason to doubt him, as this is something about which he hasspoken quite extensively. He is of the firm belief that chess was invented by extraterrestrials, and further “insists that there is ‘some kind of code’ in chess, evidence for which he finds in the fact that there are 64 squares on the chessboard and 64 codons in human DNA.”

Great article on the recent Sinquefield Cup in St. Louis, the up-coming World Championship match, chess politics, and last but not least the historic performance of Fabiano Caruana. Source

There are a few things you should probably know about FIDE—or the Federation Internationale des Echecs, if you’re feeling continental. FIDE is, by all accounts, comically corrupt, in the vein of other fishy global sporting bodies like FIFA and the IOC. Its Russian president, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, who has hunkered in office for nearly two decades now, was once abducted by a group of space aliens dressed in yellow costumes who transported him to a faraway star. Though I am relying here on Ilyumzhinov’s personal attestations, I have no reason to doubt him, as this is something about which he hasspoken quite extensively. He is of the firm belief that chess was invented by extraterrestrials, and further “insists that there is ‘some kind of code’ in chess, evidence for which he finds in the fact that there are 64 squares on the chessboard and 64 codons in human DNA.”

Spitfires general manager Warren Rychel and head coach Bob Boughner went to Ohio Tuesday to meet and get to know Norwegian prospect Markus Soberg, who is attending the Columbus Blue Jackets’ prospect camp.
Within hours of meeting Boughner and Rychel, the 19-year-old Soberg, who was Windsor’s first pick in this year’s Canadian Hockey League import draft, had signed on to play for the Spitfires in 2014-15.
“The meeting went well,” Soberg said Tuesday.
The six-foot, 187-pound Soberg is a right-handed shot, but can play either wing. He was a sixth-round pick by Columbus in the 2013 NHL Draft. Rychel wasn’t expecting the process to move as quickly as it did.
“We didn’t think it would happen this fast, but we’ve worked hard on it the last week since the draft,” Rychel said.
Soberg spent last season with Vastas Frolunda in the Swedish Super Elite under-20 junior league and had 21 goals and 38 points in 45 games along with 40 penalty minutes and a plus 18 ratings.
“I’m a player who builds my game on speed,” Soberg said. “Also, I have a good shot and (I’m) a player who loves to score goals.”
Soberg played for Norway at the World Junior Hockey championship this past year and had an assist in five games and that’s where Rychel saw him.
“I watched him (in Europe) and he’s a good player,” said Rychel, who used the 29th pick overall in the draft to select Soberg. “He’s skilled and he’s fast.
“He’s a good forechecker and can make plays at a high level.”
Soberg’s older brother Steffen Soberg is a goalie who was taken by the Washington Capitals in the fourth round of the 2011 NHL Draft. His brother remains in Norway, but the young forward is looking forward to a new chapter in his career.
“I signed the contract (the Spitfires) and they told me about the team and how much they believe in me and they think I will fit in the league and the teams,” Soberg said. “(They) said it’s a great city and the fans are the best.”
Because the Blue Jackets drafted him out of Europe, the NHL club has four years to sign him, which also opens the door to a possible overage season in Windsor in 2015-16.
“He’s a great skater and great playmaker, but he’s slight and might need two years of development,” Rychel said. “We’ll work with the Blue Jackets, but he goes right into our top six (forwards).
“He’s a really nice kid and he’s fast and plays at a high level and we’re happy to have his services.”
Source

Spitfires general manager Warren Rychel and head coach Bob Boughner went to Ohio Tuesday to meet and get to know Norwegian prospect Markus Soberg, who is attending the Columbus Blue Jackets’ prospect camp.

Within hours of meeting Boughner and Rychel, the 19-year-old Soberg, who was Windsor’s first pick in this year’s Canadian Hockey League import draft, had signed on to play for the Spitfires in 2014-15.

“The meeting went well,” Soberg said Tuesday.

The six-foot, 187-pound Soberg is a right-handed shot, but can play either wing. He was a sixth-round pick by Columbus in the 2013 NHL Draft. Rychel wasn’t expecting the process to move as quickly as it did.

“We didn’t think it would happen this fast, but we’ve worked hard on it the last week since the draft,” Rychel said.

Soberg spent last season with Vastas Frolunda in the Swedish Super Elite under-20 junior league and had 21 goals and 38 points in 45 games along with 40 penalty minutes and a plus 18 ratings.

“I’m a player who builds my game on speed,” Soberg said. “Also, I have a good shot and (I’m) a player who loves to score goals.”

Soberg played for Norway at the World Junior Hockey championship this past year and had an assist in five games and that’s where Rychel saw him.

“I watched him (in Europe) and he’s a good player,” said Rychel, who used the 29th pick overall in the draft to select Soberg. “He’s skilled and he’s fast.

“He’s a good forechecker and can make plays at a high level.”

Soberg’s older brother Steffen Soberg is a goalie who was taken by the Washington Capitals in the fourth round of the 2011 NHL Draft. His brother remains in Norway, but the young forward is looking forward to a new chapter in his career.

“I signed the contract (the Spitfires) and they told me about the team and how much they believe in me and they think I will fit in the league and the teams,” Soberg said. “(They) said it’s a great city and the fans are the best.”

Because the Blue Jackets drafted him out of Europe, the NHL club has four years to sign him, which also opens the door to a possible overage season in Windsor in 2015-16.

“He’s a great skater and great playmaker, but he’s slight and might need two years of development,” Rychel said. “We’ll work with the Blue Jackets, but he goes right into our top six (forwards).

“He’s a really nice kid and he’s fast and plays at a high level and we’re happy to have his services.”

Source

Markus Søberg (the younger brother of Steffen Søberg, Vålerenga’s great goalie) participated in the prospect camp of Columbus Blue Jackets this June, and was back just now for their candidates team in a tournament against other NHL candidates teams. He did well, and will now participate in their main training camp, and has already been told the Blue Jackets would like him to play for the Windsor Spitfires junior team in the OHL in the upcoming season. 
The Columbus Blue Jackets has a record of Norwegian players among them. Espen Knutsen played there 2000-2004 (and is now the coach for Vålerenga), and Ole-Kristian Tollefsen from 2005-2009, so it’s fun they keep an eye out for Norwegian talent!

Markus Søberg (the younger brother of Steffen Søberg, Vålerenga’s great goalie) participated in the prospect camp of Columbus Blue Jackets this June, and was back just now for their candidates team in a tournament against other NHL candidates teams. He did well, and will now participate in their main training camp, and has already been told the Blue Jackets would like him to play for the Windsor Spitfires junior team in the OHL in the upcoming season. 

The Columbus Blue Jackets has a record of Norwegian players among them. Espen Knutsen played there 2000-2004 (and is now the coach for Vålerenga), and Ole-Kristian Tollefsen from 2005-2009, so it’s fun they keep an eye out for Norwegian talent!

(Source: vg.no)

"On Monday night, an invite-only crowd of about 75 blue-suited Wall Street workers and chess devotees hovered around a board on the second floor of the W Hotel in Midtown, awaiting two special guests.
"It’s not often you get to see Michael Jordan and LeBron James in the same room," grandmaster Maurice Ashley, the MC for the event, told the throng idling in anticipation of seeing their heroes in action.
In this case, the heroes were Magnus Carlsen, the 23-year-old world chess champion, who strolled in wearing faded jeans and a tan, and Garry Kasparov, the 51-year-old former world champion considered by many to be one of the greatest players of all time, who was 30 minutes late.
"The world waits for Kasparov," said Gaute Ulltveit-Moe of Arctic Securities, a sponsor of the event along with Nordic Semiconductor, both of which are based in Carlsen’s home country of Norway. The basis of the match, said Nordic Semiconductor CEO Svenn-Tore Larsen, was to find investors for the company. One of the other spectators, 13-year-old Tyrone Davis, a competitive chess player who attends Pelham Prep in the Bronx, called the event “life-fulfilling.”
When they sat down to the board, both champions were paired with a guest from the crowd who would serve as a playing partner and alternate making moves with the grandmaster—a way of skewing the match into a realm of chance rather than the deep rote of a face-off between two of the world’s greatest chess players.
About halfway through, Carlsen suddenly told his partner, Doug Hirsch, “Now we can win in one move.” It was Hirsch, a managing director and founding partner at Seneca Capital, who made the ideal move on his own—a knight attack—that appeared to seal the victory for Team Carlsen. Kasparov was visibly upset, suspecting, perhaps, that Hirsch had been tipped by Pascal Charbonneau, a nearby grandmaster. Hirsch called the entire experience “surreal.”
But as the clock wound down, Team Kasparov evened in material, and Ashley riled up the crowd with pronouncements like, “Now the G-pawn looks like food!” and, “Kasparov is about as giddy as a child right now.”
Soon it became clear, though, that Team Carlsen had secured the win. Kasparov—an outspoken opponent of Vladimir Putin who considered a run for the Russian presidency in 2008 and, more recently, lost a bid for the presidency of the World Chess Federation—was all smiles after the match, as he and Carlsen spent about 10 minutes rehashing and analyzing the in-game possibilities.
"It’s all fun," said Kasparov. "But naturally this is not a real game." 
Source

"On Monday night, an invite-only crowd of about 75 blue-suited Wall Street workers and chess devotees hovered around a board on the second floor of the W Hotel in Midtown, awaiting two special guests.

"It’s not often you get to see Michael Jordan and LeBron James in the same room," grandmaster Maurice Ashley, the MC for the event, told the throng idling in anticipation of seeing their heroes in action.

In this case, the heroes were Magnus Carlsen, the 23-year-old world chess champion, who strolled in wearing faded jeans and a tan, and Garry Kasparov, the 51-year-old former world champion considered by many to be one of the greatest players of all time, who was 30 minutes late.

"The world waits for Kasparov," said Gaute Ulltveit-Moe of Arctic Securities, a sponsor of the event along with Nordic Semiconductor, both of which are based in Carlsen’s home country of Norway. The basis of the match, said Nordic Semiconductor CEO Svenn-Tore Larsen, was to find investors for the company. One of the other spectators, 13-year-old Tyrone Davis, a competitive chess player who attends Pelham Prep in the Bronx, called the event “life-fulfilling.”

When they sat down to the board, both champions were paired with a guest from the crowd who would serve as a playing partner and alternate making moves with the grandmaster—a way of skewing the match into a realm of chance rather than the deep rote of a face-off between two of the world’s greatest chess players.

About halfway through, Carlsen suddenly told his partner, Doug Hirsch, “Now we can win in one move.” It was Hirsch, a managing director and founding partner at Seneca Capital, who made the ideal move on his own—a knight attack—that appeared to seal the victory for Team Carlsen. Kasparov was visibly upset, suspecting, perhaps, that Hirsch had been tipped by Pascal Charbonneau, a nearby grandmaster. Hirsch called the entire experience “surreal.”

But as the clock wound down, Team Kasparov evened in material, and Ashley riled up the crowd with pronouncements like, “Now the G-pawn looks like food!” and, “Kasparov is about as giddy as a child right now.”

Soon it became clear, though, that Team Carlsen had secured the win. Kasparov—an outspoken opponent of Vladimir Putin who considered a run for the Russian presidency in 2008 and, more recently, lost a bid for the presidency of the World Chess Federation—was all smiles after the match, as he and Carlsen spent about 10 minutes rehashing and analyzing the in-game possibilities.

"It’s all fun," said Kasparov. "But naturally this is not a real game." 

Source

Pål Johnsen (Storhamar) has in an age of 38 has made 849 points, in 912 matches, over 20 seasons for Storhamar in the GET Liga. And in the middle of that he had two years in Sweden, His peers, most of whom have retired, don’t think he’ll ever stop playing hockey. 
He starts a new season today, when Storhamar faces Vålerenga.

Pål Johnsen (Storhamar) has in an age of 38 has made 849 points, in 912 matches, over 20 seasons for Storhamar in the GET Liga. And in the middle of that he had two years in Sweden, His peers, most of whom have retired, don’t think he’ll ever stop playing hockey. 

He starts a new season today, when Storhamar faces Vålerenga.

(Source: vg.no)