Norway Chess 2024 concludes


The 12th edition of the Norway Chess super-tournament concluded on June 7th, with Magnus Carlsen claiming his sixth Norway Chess title and Ju Wenjun becoming the first-ever Norway Chess Women Champion.

This year’s event stood out for several reasons:

  • Inaugural Norway Chess Women Tournament: This was the first super-tournament in chess history to offer equal prize funds for both men and women.
  • Global Broadcast Reach: We established our own broadcast studio, delivering live coverage in India, China, Austria, Germany, and Switzerland. Remarkably, Round 6 attracted 2 million live viewers in China, and one of our articles in India reached over 125 million readers.
  • Social Media Milestones: The tournament saw substantial growth on social media, with over 51 million total views on YouTube, more than 50,000 new followers, and 4,78 million engagements across five social networks.

The celebrations on Saturday, June 8th, included a special player’s party and a closing ceremony. Players shared a prize fund of 1,690,000 NOK, received a watch by Von Doren Watches, and a commemorative plaque with a 5,000 NOK award for the «Brilliant Move of the Day» sponsored by the IK Group.

Thrilling matches 

The Norway Chess tournament featured many exciting games, with Indian chess prodigy GM Pragnanandhaa Rameshbabu stealing the show. Starting the tournament as World No. 14 with a live rating of 2747, Pragnanandhaa achieved remarkable victories, defeating World No. 1 Magnus Carlsen, World No. 2 Fabiano Caruana for the first time in classical chess, reigning World Champion Ding Liren, and World No. 3 Hikaru Nakamura in the Armageddon format. He finished his first Norway Chess tournament in third place, rising to World No. 8 with a live rating of 2757.

In the finals, Magnus Carlsen managed to reclaim his Norway Chess title for the sixth time. His stellar performance included victories over World Champion Ding Liren and World No. 2 Fabiano Caruana in the classical format. The 2023 Norway Chess Champion Hikaru Nakamura came close to forcing a tiebreak with Carlsen for the title but agreed to a draw in the last round against Pragnanandhaa, finishing second and becoming World No. 2 with a live rating surpassing 2800 (!).

Norway Chess Women

In the inaugural Norway Chess Women Tournament, reigning Women’s World Champion, Ju Wenjun emerged as the first-ever champion, followed by GMs Anna Muzychuk and Vaishali Rameshbabu. Ju Wenjun was the most solid player of the tournament, losing only one Armageddon game to Anna Muzychuk and defeating Vaishali Rameshbabu, Pia Cramling, and Lei Tingjie in the classical format. Anna Muzychuk’s incredible performance elevated her from Women’s World No. 10 to Women’s World No. 8.

A notable highlight in the women’s tournament was Vaishali Rameshbabu’s first-ever victories over her compatriot, India’s Women’s No. 1 Humpy Koneru, and the legendary Swedish GM Pia Cramling in classical chess, putting her in contention for first place for a while.


Making history with equal prize fund for women

This year marked the introduction of the Norway Chess Women, an inaugural super-tournament featuring top female players. In a significant stride toward achieving gender equality in chess, Norway Chess realized a groundbreaking vision with the creation of an all-female super tournament.

Supported by generous contributions from Sparebankstiftelsen SR-Bank, Stavanger municipality, and esteemed sponsors like EY and Sparebank 1 SR-Bank, the Norway Chess Women tournament ran parallel to the main Norway Chess event. It was broadcast live on TV with equal importance in Norway, India, China, Germany, and Switzerland, as well as, the leading platform in the chess industry.

The organizers ensured equal prize funds for both tournaments, despite the overall rating of female players being lower than their male counterparts. This momentous initiative aimed to bring attention to women in chess, a historically underrepresented group, and set a new standard for gender equality in the sport.

Ju Wenjun, winner of Norway Chess Women 2024


The Confessional Booth

The Confessional Booth is a unique Norway Chess innovation, allowing players to enter a private room during their games to share their thoughts, analyses, and commentary with the audience. These insights are broadcast live, offering viewers an intimate glimpse into the players’ minds.

Magnus Carlsen and Hikaru Nakamura have been the most frequent visitors to the confessional booth, providing commentary on their own games, discussing other matches, sharing their preparation insights, and even engaging in some lighthearted trolling.

For the women’s tournament, the confessional booth was a first-ever experience. Pia Cramling courageously pioneered its use among female participants, encouraging others to follow her lead.

Norway Chess Open 

Norway Chess Open 2024 took place over 9 exciting rounds at the Clarion Energy Hotel in Stavanger from May 24 to May 30, including exactly 100 players from 19 different federations. Among the 66 participants in the GM group, we could find 7 with a GM title, 10 with an IM title and 2 with a WGM title. Chances for title norms were very good, as illustrated by two players still in the run for GM norms during the final hours of round 9. 15 year old Ukrainian IM Svyatoslav Bazakutsa needed only a draw as black against a GM to complete his first norm, but remarkably turned down an early draw offer(!) – and went on to win the game as well as the tournament!

22 year old Swede IM Jung Min Seo meanwhile needed a full point as white against Norwegian GM Elham Amar, and for a few moves in the fifth hour was reported two pawns up in a queen endgame. 19 year Amar scraped a draw and at 7.0/9 shared the first and second prize equally with Bazkutsa. Seo with half a point less still shared the third to fifth prizes with Slovakian IM Juraj Druska and top rated Norwegian GM Frode Urkedal. Best woman prize was won by 17 year old Indian WGM Savitha Shri Baskar, finishing shared sixth to tenth.

The ELO group also saw a tense fight leading to a slightly surprising list of prize winners, as the first and second at 6.5/9 were shared between twelth rated Indian Brunth Sundar Nitish and eight rated Polish Marcin Zielinski. The top boards were remarkably hard fought in both groups and no player remained undefeated after round 9. Almost all games were transmitted live and almost all players as far as known enjoyed the tournament.

Winner of Norway Chess Open, Svyatoslav Bazakut, together with winner of Norway Chess, Magnus Carlsen

Norway Chess park chess tournament for high school students

On May 31st Norway Chess organized a tournament for school teams with 6 players on each team. 23 teams participated in total. We were lucky with the weather and had a fun day full of exciting matches and great team spirit. We had a visiting team from Spain, who had qualified to partake in the tournament by winning a similar tournament in Spain organized by Neusus, the manufacturer of the chess board and pieces they were playing on. The winning team in Norway won a trip to Leon, Spain in November 2024 to partake in a tournament there.

The team visiting from Spain

Norway Summit

Norway Summit is an annual business conference held cocurrent with Norway Chess.  The conference gathers leaders, politicians, entrepreneurs, researchers, investors, and socially engaged individuals, all coming together for a day of vibrant discussions and knowledge sharing.

Key topics discussed included the crucial role of tech and knowledge companies in driving innovation, environmental economics and the complex global geopolitical landscape in Europe and globally. One of the most powerful segments was the humanitarian panel, which delved into stories of change and empowerment. The panel highlighted the incredible impact individuals can make in addressing global challenges.

In a unique and highly anticipated appearance, World number one chess player, Magnus Carlsen, joined Danny Rensch to share strategic insights and visions for the future of global chess. Carlsen’s participation was particularly special, as he rarely engages in such public discussions. Additionally, James Altucher provided unique perspectives on success and innovation, drawn from interviews with billionaires, artists, and scientists.

Boat trips, flower island visits, pulpit rick hiking, free massages and other excursions 

Norway Chess is renowned for its exceptional organization, providing a rewarding experience on both professional and personal levels for players and staff. The tournament’s rest days are particularly well-spent, with Norway Chess offering a variety of activities to enhance the participants’ experience.

Private boat trips allowed attendees to explore nearby islands and fjords, including a visit to a beautiful tropical flower island. For those seeking a more active adventure, organized hikes to the famous Pulpit Rock were available. Alternatively, for those wishing to relax, hotel massages were offered.

3 broadcast studios 

For the first time in the history of Norway Chess, we had 3 independent broadcasting studios.

  • broadcast with Daniel Rensch, David Howell, and Anna Rudolf on the chess24 Youtube channel (479k subscribers)
  • TV 2 sport broadcast with Fin gnatt, Jon Ludvig Hammer, Maud Rødsmoen, and Hans Olav Lahlum on TV and on OTT
  • Our own Norway Chess International Broadcast with Carina Olset Hovda, IM Tania Sachdev, and one surprise guest every day, shown on: SONY LIV in India, Netease in China, Sina Sport in China, and Sportspass in Austria, Switzerland and Germany

Guinness World Record

An impressive guinness world record was set at the Norway Chess premises this year. Askild

Bryn and Odin Blikra Vea sat the Guinness World Record in «Longest chess marathon». The record now officially stands at 61 hours, 3 minutes and 34 seconds of continuous play! During these games, the two played 383 games. Bryn won the match with the score 208 – 175.

Documentary film crews & influencers

We had two documentary crews visiting us to document Norway Chess. Being one of the most renowned elite chess tournaments, they followed the players, the crew and overall atmosphere to create documentaries that will be out this coming fall and next year. Netflix was one of these crews, which speaks massive to the increasing popularity of chess.

Thank you to players, sponsors, fans, crew and everyone involved!

2025 tournament dates:
May 26th – June 6th

Photos: Norway Chess/Roy-André Tollefsen