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Norwegian Chess Championship

The Norwegian Chess Championship (NM i sjakk) is an annual tournament held in Norway during the month of July, in order to determine the national chess champion. The tournament is held at different venues each year as part of the Landsturnering (National tournament). Clubs may bid for this tournament, which is awarded by the Norwegian Chess Federation (Norges Sjakkforbund).

Past events and champions

This table summarizes all past championship events. The tournament was not held in 1928 and 1939 due to the Nordic Championships being held in Oslo those years, nor was there any event between 1940 and 1944, when Norway was occupied by Nazi Germany.

The number of participants is the number of players in the entire Landsturnering, not just the championship section. The champions are listed along with the club they represented when they won the championship. Titles decided by play-off matches due to equal scores in the main tournament are noted.

Year City Champion and club Participants
1918 Kristiania (Oslo) Josef Lilja, CS (Christiania Schakselskab) 30
1919 Kristiania (Oslo) Jac. A. Brekke, CS 30
1920 Kristiania (Oslo) Jac. A. Brekke, CS 32
1921 Bergen H. G. Hansen, CS (after play-offs) 27
1922 Kristiania (Oslo) A. M. Erichsen, CS 30
1923 Kristiania (Oslo) Jac. A. Brekke, CS 30
1924 Kristiania (Oslo) Leif F. D. Lund, CS 49
1925 Oslo Jac. A. Brekke, SK Centrum, Oslo 66
1926 Bergen H. C. Christoffersen, Drammens SK (after play-offs) 50
1927 Trondheim H. G. Hansen, OSS (Oslo Schakselskap) 40
1929 Drammen H. C. Christoffersen, Drammens SK 33
1930 Oslo Olaf M. Olsen (later Olaf Barda), SK Odin, Oslo (after play-offs) 45
1931 Stavanger Andreas Gulbrandsen, Moss SK 35
1932 Bergen Eugen Johnsen, SK Odin 58
1933 Fredrikstad Trygve Halvorsen, OSS (after play-offs) 48
1934 Hamar Trygve Halvorsen, OSS 42
1935 Sandefjord Jørgen Saurén, OSS 48
1936 Oslo H. C. Christoffersen, Drammens SK 60
1937 Trondheim Arne S.B. Krogdahl, OSS 31
1938 Grimstad Oluf Kavlie-Jørgensen, Bergens SK 53
1945 Oslo Ernst Rojahn, Tønsberg SK (after play-offs) 132
1946 Bergen Erling Myhre, OSS (after play-offs) 109
1947 Kristiansand Olaf Barda, OSS 79
1948 Fredrikstad Olaf Barda, OSS (after play-offs) 96
1949 Oslo Aage Vestøl, OSS 125
1950 Trondheim Erling Myhre, OSS 96
1951 Stavanger Harry Kongshavn, OSS 127
1952 Skien Olaf Barda, OSS 165
1953 Fredrikstad Olaf Barda, OSS 160
1954 Drammen Einar Haave, Stavanger SK 120
1955 Stabekk Erling Myhre, OSS 113
1956 Steinkjer Otto B. Morcken, OSS 94
1957 Lillehammer Olaf Barda, OSS 148
1958 Ålesund Ernst Rojahn, Tønsberg SK 111
1959 Oslo Svein Johannessen, OSS 131
1960 Fredrikstad Daan de Lange, Hamar SS 108
1961 Sandefjord Per Ofstad, Bergens SK 145
1962 Hamar Svein Johannessen, OSS 174
1963 Moss Ragnar Hoen, OSS 156
1964 Oslo Arne Zwaig, OSS 143
1965 Mosjøen Arne V. Gulbrandsen, OSS 112
1966 Bodø Paul Svedenborg, Narvik SK 160
1967 Bergen Paul Svedenborg, Narvik SK 130
1968 Oslo Arne V. Gulbrandsen, OSS 202
1969 Hamar Arne Zwaig, OSS 178
1970 Kristiansund Svein Johannessen, OSS 156
1971 Skien Terje Wibe, OSS (after play-offs) 214
1972 Røros Erling Kristiansen 270
1973 Sandnes Svein Johannessen, SK Fischer 326
1974 Sandefjord Leif Øgaard, OSS 378
1975 Oslo Leif Øgaard, OSS 327
1976 Harstad Knut J. Helmers, SK Stjernen 215
1977 Bergen Knut J. Helmers, SK Stjernen 330
1978 Risør Ragnar Hoen, OSS 375
1979 Molde Leif Øgaard, OSS 419
1980 Oslo Sverre Heim, Akademisk SK 546
1981 Kirkenes Ragnar Hoen, OSS 226
1982 Lillehammer Simen Agdestein, Asker SK (after play-offs) 417
1983 Trondheim Bjørn Tiller, OSS 377
1984 Oslo Berge Østenstad, Asker SK 427
1985 Gausdal Leif Øgaard, Brugata SK 299
1986 Steinkjer Simen Agdestein, OSS 297
1987 Kristiansand Jonathan Tisdall, Brugata SK (after play-offs) 437
1988 Asker Simen Agdestein, OSS 564
1989 Randaberg Simen Agdestein, OSS 446
1990 Brønnøysund Berge Østenstad, Asker SK 334
1991 Gjøvik Jonathan Tisdall, Brugata SK 587
1992 Kristiansund Einar Gausel, OSS 463
1993 Oslo Leif Øgaard, OSS 588
1994 Drammen Berge Østenstad, Asker SK 519
1995 Namsos Jonathan Tisdall, Nordstrand SK 433
1996 Alta Einar Gausel, OSS 299
1997 Stavanger Berge Østenstad, Asker SK 486
1998 Oslo Roy H. Fyllingen, Bergens SK 537
1999 Gausdal Berge Østenstad, Asker SK (after play-offs) 414
2000 Asker Simen Agdestein, NTG (after play-offs) 427
2001 Kristiansund Einar Gausel, OSS 420
2002 Røros Simen Agdestein, NTG 549
2003 Fredrikstad Berge Østenstad, Asker SK 623
2004 Molde Berge Østenstad, Asker SK (after play-offs) 520
2005 Sandnes Simen Agdestein, NTG (after play-offs) 583
2006 Moss (Mossehallen) Magnus Carlsen, NTG (after play-offs) 533
2007 Hamar (Scandic Hotel) Espen Lie, Porsgrunn (after play-offs) 501
2008 Tønsberg (Slagenhallen) Frode Elsness, Moss (after play-offs) 471
2009 Bergen (Haukelandshallen) Kjetil Aleksander Lie, Porsgrunn 513
2010 Fredrikstad Kjetil Aleksander Lie, Porsgrunn (after play-offs) 485
2011 Oslo(Njårdhallen) Berge Østenstad, Asker SK (after play-offs) 496
2012 Sandefjord Frode Olav Olsen Urkedal, SK 1911 (after play-offs) 437
2013 Lillehammer Jon Ludvig Hammer, OSS 490
2014 Trondheim Frode Olav Olsen Urkedal, SK 1911 503
2015 Oslo (Oppsal Arena) Aryan Tari, Vålerenga SK 671
2016 Tromsø
2017 Stavanger
2018 Moss (option)

Rules for participation and other classes

The rules for participation are governed by the Norwegian Chess Federation (NSF).

The championship ("Elite") section is restricted to the top-rated players. In order to play for the most prestigious title of national chess champion, a player must meet at least one of the following criteria:

In general, an even number of participants is sought in the championship section to prevent byes from occurring.

However, the Landsturnering has several sections for lower-rated players, as well as sections for different age groups. In general, players must be members of the Norwegian Chess Federation, or a club affiliated with the federation, although exceptions may be made if the person is a member of another national chess federation. To be eligible for a championship title, a player must either be a Norwegian citizen or have been a resident of Norway for the past year.

The current regulations provide for the following age categories:

The Senior, Junior and Cadet categories are split into an "A" and "B" group by rating, but are combined if either of the groups has fewer than 10 participants. A separate section for Junior B has not been arranged in the last few tournaments, and in 2008 the number of entries for that section was zero.

The rating sections are open for players of all age groups, and are divided into the classes

A player cannot be required to play in a higher class than what the last rating list indicates; however, a player may elect to play up if a sufficiently high rating was obtained on any of the four official rating lists during the year. In addition, players may elect to play in a higher section if they scored at least 60% in that same class the previous year, if they were in the top 7% of the class below the previous year, or if they won the Norwegian Grand Prix tournament series for the rating class below in the previous year. In addition, winners of the individual circuit championships and the champion of Northern Norway are automatically qualified for play in the Master class, regardless of rating. The top two finishers of the Master class qualify for next year's championship section.


In the past ten years, the championship section has had approximately 20 players. If there are at least 16 players, it is arranged as a nine-round Monrad tournament, a system similar to the Swiss system tournament. The official Norwegian Chess Federation policies also allow the tournament to be arranged as a round-robin with 10 or 12 players. From 2013 the regular Swiss system will be used in the Championship section, and be an alternative to the Monrad in the other sections.

If two or more players are tied for points at the end of the tournament, the tiebreak rules depend on the system used. When the tournament is arranged as a Monrad, a modified Buchholz system is used, where the first tiebreak is the sum of a player's opponents' scores, except the two weakest. If still tied, the second weakest and then the weakest scores are added to the tiebreak points. If still tied, the Neustadtl score, that is the sum of defeated opponents' scores plus half of drawn opponents' scores, is used. In 2015, when the Swiss System was used in all sections, the tiebreaks, in order, were median Buchholz (strongest and weakest opponents discounted), Buchholz -1 (weakest opponent discounted), regular Buchholz, and finally the average rating of opponents.

Prior to 2014 the Championship, Junior, Cadet and Senior sections, a tied score resulted in a play-off for the title within 60 days after the end of the main tournament. The rules of the play-off changed several times. A rule change in 2013 abolished the play-off entirely effective from the 2014 tournament.