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Praggnanandhaa, Humpy and Vaishali set to battle Carlsen, Wenjun and co. at 12th Norway Chess 2024

by Shahid Ahmed - 24/01/2024

The 12th edition of Norway Chess will introduce an equal Women's tournament. The inaugural edition of the Women's event will be played in the same playing hall concurrently, identical number of players, same format and an equivalent prize fund. The Open section will feature - Magnus Carlsen (NOR), Fabiano Caruana (USA), reigning Norway Chess winner - Hikaru Nakamura (USA), World Champion - Ding Liren (CHN), Alireza Firouzja (FRA) and R Praggnanandhaa. Koneru Humpy, Tingjie Lei (CHN), reigning four-time Women's World Champion - Wenjun Ju (CHN), Anna Muzychuk (UKR), R Vaishali and Pia Cramling (SWE) will be seen in action in the Women's event. The tournament will witness both world champions in their respective sections along with four participants each from FIDE Candidates and Women's Candidates 2024. Photo: Norway Chess

Norway Chess introduces an equal Women's tournament

Norway Chess is thrilled to announce the lineup for this year’s tournaments! For the 12th consecutive year, the prestigious Norway Chess tournament will unfold from May 27 to June 7 at SR-Bank’s main building in Stavanger.

R Praggnanandha, Koneru Humpy and Vaishali R will be the three Indians taking part in the 12th edition | Photo: Norway Chess

The international supertournament will feature six players this year. A noteworthy addition is the introduction of the world’s inaugural equal female tournament, the Norway Chess Women’s Tournament. This parallel event will transpire in the same playing hall as Norway Chess, concurrently, with an identical number of players, same format and an equivalent prize fund.

Historic tournament

In a historic move, Norway Chess annually extends invitations to players based on world ratings, selecting the top 15 from the world rating list. Regrettably, within the top 100 players globally, no women are listed. It takes a descent to number 115 to find a female player. The scarcity of women in top-level privately held competitions is a complex issue, with limited invitations and unequal prize money being contributing factors.


Norway Chess is actively addressing this disparity by organizing the Norway Chess Women’s Tournament. Collaborating with EY, the Sparebank-1 SR-bank foundation, Sparebank-1 SR-bank, and Stavanger municipality, the organizers aim to provide women with more opportunities and a comparable prize fund, fostering female participation and serving as role models for aspiring female chess players. Notably, three out of six players in the Norway Chess Women’s Tournament boast World Championship titles.


“After dedicating several years to securing sponsors for a women’s tournament, we take great pride and joy in announcing the realization of this event. Our aspiration is for the tournament to serve as an inspiration for young female chess players to pursue a professional career. Furthermore, we hope that other super tournaments will follow suit, organizing women’s events with prize money on par with the open class. Firmly believing that these measures will accelerate the process of increasing female representation in chess, we acknowledge the ongoing grassroots efforts worldwide. While commendable work is being done at the grassroots level, it is equally crucial to raise awareness at the top level. We envision this as a regular addition to the annual Norway Chess tournament and invite sponsors committed to gender equality and diversity to reach out and join us in this endeavor.” - Benedicte Westre Skog & Kjell Madland, Norway Chess

Two reigning World Champions

Participants this year include reigning world champions Ding Liren and Wenjun Ju, alongside Magnus Carlsen and the previous year’s Norway Chess winner, Hikaru Nakamura.


In a historic occurrence, siblings R Praggnanandhaa and R Vaishali will compete side by side in their own supertournament, marking their debut in Norway Chess and the Norway Chess Women’s Tournament. Vaishali is the third woman in India to achieve the Grandmaster title, making her and her brother the first brother-sister duo to attain this distinction.


The Norway Chess Women’s Tournament will also feature chess legend Pia Cramling, who since the early 1980s, she has been one of the strongest female players in the world.


“Pia Cramling serves as the Nordic region’s counterpart to Magnus Carlsen, and we are delighted that she has embraced the opportunity to participate. Cramling exhibits immense enthusiasm for our concept, adding an extra layer of gratification. Her positive outlook, along with that of the other players, makes them excellent ambassadors for the broader message we aim to convey to the world.” - Benedicte Westre Skog, Norway Chess


Norway Chess maintains its policy of excluding players from Russia and Belarus.


Player field in Norway Chess (Live Rating & World standings as of 18th of January 2024):

Magnus Carlsen (Norway), 2830, World No. 1

Fabiano Caruana (USA), 2804, World No. 2

Hikaru Nakamura (USA), 2788, World No. 3

World Champion, Ding Liren (China), 2776, World No. 4

Alireza Firouzja (France), 2765, World No. 6

R Praggnanandhaa (India), 2748, World No. 11


Player field in the Norway Chess Women’s Tournament (Live Rating & World standings as of 18th of January 2024):

Koneru Humpy (India), 2554, World No. 2 among women.

Tingjie Lei (China), 2550, World No. 4 among women.

Women’s World Champion Wenjun Ju (China), 2547, World No. 5 among women.

Anna Muzychuk (Ukraine), 2525, World No. 7 among women.

Vaishali R (India), 2481, World No. 14 among women.

Pia Cramling (Sweden), 2437, World No. 31 among women.




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