Norway Chess Announces Vision For Gender Equality Women’s Tournament

Norway Chess Announces Vision For Gender Equality Women's Tournament


The organizers of Norway Chess recently announced their groundbreaking vision to host an all-female super tournament in 2024 with conditions equal to their annual top-level competition.

The minds behind “the world’s strongest chess tournament” aim to bring the same level of prestige to their new women’s event, It will feature the top female players, national live television coverage, and a prize fund equal to that of Norway Chess―compared to the custom of the women’s prize fund being approximately half that of other events.

The gender gap in chess is very evident in the earnings difference among top players. In 2022, GM Tan Zhongyi, the 2022 Women’s Rapid Champion and finalist of the Women’s Candidates, was the only female chess player to earn over $100,000 in prize money compared to 19 male competitors―11 of whom earned over $200,000.

Player TOTAL Events
GM Magnus Carlsen $558,596 7
GM Wesley So $541,632 14
GM Hikaru Nakamura $515,795 10
GM Ian Nepomniachtchi $429,512 13
GM Alireza Firouzja $358,542 7
GM Jan-Krzysztof Duda $296,178 6
GM Fabiano Caruana $263,810 11
GM Levon Aronian $260,136 10
GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave $234,904 13
GM Anish Giri $213,061 9
GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov $201,834 10
GM Ding Liren $175,540 5
GM Richard Rapport $166,938 8
GM Le Quang Liem $134,500 3
GM Praggnanandhaa R $129,000 1
GM Nihal Sarin $118,802 4
GM Dmitry Andreikin $112,861 7
GM Vladimir Fedoseev $109,405 8
GM Leinier Dominguez $109,391 8
GM Tan Zhongyi $103,753 5

Norway, a country where gender equality is continuously improving, ranks second in the world at 87.9 percent according to the 2023 Global Gender Gap Index―up three percentage points from 2022. Benedicte Westre Skog, the Norway Chess project manager, shared their progress toward realizing their vision in One Step Closer to Pioneering Gender Equality in Chess:

“Now, we are closer than ever before and our confidence grows stronger that we can transform our long-cherished dream into a tangible reality. The creation of an all-female super tournament alongside Norway Chess is within our grasp.…”

“While we have made remarkable strides, a few more sponsors remain to be secured. Once we accomplish that, we can eagerly move forward with signing the world’s most talented female chess players. The anticipation is palpable as we approach this pivotal moment.”

The FIDE Commission for Women’s Chess shared their support of these efforts as raising the standard for chess overall:

“By elevating the visibility and recognition of women in chess, Norway Chess are signaling a new standard for the sport as a whole. It is crucial to acknowledge that talent and potential in chess transcend gender, and equal opportunities for female players should be fostered at every level. By promoting inclusivity, diversity, and equal representation, Norway Chess is sending a resounding message to the chess community and society at large, emphasizing the importance of leveling the playing field and dismantling gender-based barriers.”

It is crucial to acknowledge that talent and potential in chess transcend gender, and equal opportunities for female players should be fostered at every level. 

FIDE Commission for Women’s Chess 

GM Magnus Carlsen signs a book for a young fan at Norway Chess 2023. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

In their call to action for the event, Join Us in Being a Game Changer for Women in Chess, the organizers share their belief that it will inspire more women to become professional chess players:

“We believe that creating a tournament with the same prize fund conditions, the same professional services, the same TV coverage, the same playing venue, etc. as Magnus Carlsen and his competitors in Norway Chess, will contribute to a growth in interest for professional chess amongst girls and young women. It will take time to see visible results, but we must start somewhere and it’s about time women have equal opportunities in practical terms as their male counterparts.”


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