Norway Chess 2024 Kicks Off with Thrilling First Round


Norway Chess 2024 commenced today with a dynamic start, bringing together the world’s elite chess players for a super-tournament held from May 27th to June 7th at SpareBank 1 SR-Bank. This year, the tournament features not only the renowned Norway Chess tournament but also introduces Norway Chess Women, an all-female tournament showcasing the best female players globally. Both tournaments follow a 6-player double round-robin format with equal prize funds, underscoring a commitment to gender equality in chess.

A hallmark of Norway Chess is its distinctive format. When a classical game ends in a draw, an Armageddon game determines the winner, ensuring an exhilarating finish for every match and guaranteeing decisive outcomes.

Credits: Norway Chess / Stev Bonhage

Top Players and New Additions

This year’s Norway Chess lineup includes reigning World Champion Ding Liren, World No. 1 Magnus Carlsen, alongside other top-tier players such as Fabiano Caruana, Hikaru Nakamura, Praggnanandhaa R, and Alireza Firouzja.

In the Women’s tournament, reigning World Champion Ju Wenjun is the top seed, with fierce competitors including Lei Tingjie, Koneru Humpy, Anna Muzychuk, Vaishali Rameshbabu, and Pia Cramling.

Round 1 Highlights

The first round delivered exciting games in both tournaments. In the main Norway Chess event, Ding Liren and Magnus Carlsen played a calm classical game, concluding in a 14-move draw. Following the tournament’s rules, they moved to an Armageddon game, where Carlsen showcased his prowess by winning convincingly with Black.

Fabiano Caruana faced Hikaru Nakamura in another engaging match. Nakamura’s solid preparation led to a balanced position quickly, but Caruana missed a critical opportunity to gain an advantage. Their game ended in a draw, and Nakamura triumphed in the Armageddon game, again playing as Black.

The Norway Chess Women’s tournament also saw intense action. Although all classical games ended in draws, the game between Pia Cramling and Koneru Humpy was particularly noteworthy. Cramling gained a significant advantage early and was poised to win by move 19, according to computer analysis. However, she couldn’t convert her advantage, and the game concluded peacefully.

In a highly anticipated clash between young talents Praggnanandhaa and Alireza Firouzja, the classical game ended in a draw. The subsequent Armageddon game was thrilling, with both players under severe time pressure. Praggnanandhaa emerged victorious, clinching the win with just one second remaining on his clock.

Looking Ahead

As Norway Chess 2024 progresses, both tournaments promise more high-stakes drama and masterful play. With its innovative format and the inclusion of Norway Chess Women, this year’s event is set to be a landmark in the chess world, celebrating the game’s rich diversity and the exceptional talents of its players. Stay tuned for more captivating rounds as the competition heats up in Stavanger.