From Iceland — Chess Nerds And The Drug-Knights That Say Ni!

Chess Nerds And The Drug-Knights That Say Ni!

Chess Nerds And The Drug-Knights That Say Ni!

Published February 14, 2019

Valur Grettisson

It’s safe to say that the Icelandic nation was in shock when the president of the Icelandic Chess Federation was arrested after special forces burst into their headquarters in January last year.

Shortly after the bust, the police issued a statement that the president was in no way a suspect in a complicated drug import scheme that the narcs had been following for some time. The police had tracked a package with amphetamines that was sent to the federation. In the package, they found chess pieces filled with drugs.

Three men were arrested in the days that followed. One of them — wait for it — was pinched at a bar appropriately called the Hvíti Riddarinn (White Knight) in Mosfellsbær. Somewhat like the band of knights that say Ni, the gang was looking for their shrubbery (drugs?) when they were arrested.

The president of the chess federation, Gunnar Björnsson, said in a radio interview with the national broadcater RÚV that he received a phone call from DHL informing him that his chess pieces arrived. Gunnar said that he knew that they didn’t order anything, but the delivery was paid in full, so Gunnar accepted the package. It was when he was opening the mysterious package that the swat team broke down his door and Gunnar found himself staring down the barrel of a gun.

“I’m just glad that our 67-year-old secretary wasn’t opening the package when they came,“ he said in the interviews following the bust, adding that it was just dumb luck that there were no children in the house when the 14 swat members came screaming into the headquarters.

Again, Gunnar is a completely innocent bystander here. The real perpetrators, Há­kon Örn Berg­mann, Jóhann Axel Viðars­son and presumed ringleader Sig­urður Krist­ins­son, are currently on trial in what the media has dubbed the “chess federation case.” Sentencing is expected in the next few weeks, barring any surprise gambit.   

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