History of Go in Norway

It would be a slight exaggeration to say that there is a long tradition of Go playing in Norway. The first Norwegians to learn this game did not start any organized activities. It was only in the late 70s that there was made any attempts of serious club activities. The background for this was the Go demonstration held by Eric van Grieken at the University of Bergen early 1976. Kristian Leer-Salvesen was one of the observers, and he got a copy of Nihon Kiin’s two-volume set called “How to play Go”. Later he and his friend Jan Nordgreen studied the two books, and they both got extremely fascinated by the game.
Fairly soon Jan Nordgreen decides to establish some `Go culture’ in Norway, and in 1976 he starts teaching Go at four secondary schools. One of the head-masters was a bit suspicious to this activity: “Who is going to pay if a window is broken?” [!!]
Later, in February 1977 he starts GIN. A few Go groups are formed in some Norwegian cities. Later, it is learned that there are Go players at the Japanese embassy and at Mitsubishi Corp.

In the beginning it was not obvious how and where to get hold of the proper equipment needed to play Go. The solution to this was buying ludo counters by wholesale from Damm! [Norwegian game company]. The board was retrieved from a local wood-ware factory. Later they became aware of Dowsey Games in the UK. Ludo counters were fairly soon upgraded to S201 stones!

Just after GIN was established the first issue of the members’ magazine Spilt Melk [SM] was printed. [Another name which was thought of was “Hvorfor hun”. You figure it out..] By the way, GIN was started in Cambridge, and it was also here the first issue of SM was written. It was first written by hand, and then in the display of a typewriter shop where the owner had a tolerant view of life! One of the purposes for SM was to keep track of the national ladder with a list containing all players, their rank as well as changes in playing strength. Also published were reports given by the local Go groups which had been growing in number. Moreover, it organized orders of Go equipment to Dowsey Games. There was also room for discussions of other board games like Wari, Othello, Shogi (Japanese chess), Shiang-Chi (Chinese chess) etc. By far the most popular of these was Diplomacy, and SM organized a postal Diplomacy where Go players from all over the country participated. In the beginning SM was a monthly magazine. Later the number of issues per year steadily decreased towards zero. The last issue came early 1983.

Go in Norway year by year

Early this year Eric van Grieken holds has Go demonstration at the university of Bergen. Kristian Leer-Salvesen and Jan Nordgreen get interested and play some games.
In December this year Jan participates in a Go tournament held at the London Go Center. This is the first time a Norwegian takes part in an international tournament. [Or?]

As has already been stated this is the year when GIN and SM are established.

In January this year SM can report of 76 members, and the following groups have been registered: Trondheim Go-gruppe, Hornnes Go-liga, Hornnes Go-gruppe, Kristiansand GO senter (KGS), Kristiansand GO-GO Boys (KGGB), Oslo Go-gruppe and Blindern-Kjeller-Nittedal Go gruppe.

Early this year the “Massacre on Grand” takes place. Here some of the players from Oslo play against Japan (represented by players from the Japanese embassy and Mitsubishi Corp.). The result: Japan 10 – Norway 1!

At about the same time the so-called Heggedal-`joseki’ is discussed in SM, and this is probably the closest one gets to a Norwegian joseki. [After a white invades at 3-3 behind black 4-4, black responds with 2-2! Not recommended!]

In May this year the first Go concerts are held in Kristiansand. (On a Go concert one brings stones and board out in the open and plays for people passing by. [Preferably in a “Gå-gate”. Knowing Norwegian will help you figuring out this one …])

In the summer (9-16 July) the first Go camp is held on Åkerøya near Lillesand [southern coast of Norway]. This is combined with the first open Norwegian Championship in Go. The event gathers twelve people, nine are non-Norwegians. Eric van Grieken is one of the participants. The championship is organized as a handicap tournament, and the first `Norwegian’ champion is Leo Solleveld (1 dan) from the Netherlands. As a consequence of this he is promoted to `Honorable Norwegian 2 dan’!

Jan Nordgreen participates in the European Championship as 8-9 kyu and get 4 out of 9 possible points. During the two weeks of this Go tournament he meets Kaoru Iwamoto, 9 dan, who should need no further introduction. Norway also becomes a member of the European Go Federation (EGF).

As a result of Jan Nordgreen’s travelling to Bahamas later this year, a new president of GIN is needed. Rune Flå takes on the responsibility. At the same time SM becomes a quarterly magazine.

GIN now has 78 members. After a fusion of Go groups in Hornnes as well as in Kristiansand there are now five groups altogether.

The Go camp from the previous year is followed up, this time in the period 6-12 August. This year all the participants are from Norway. Morten Skogen from Kristiansand wins the championship. There is also a separate championship in family-Go, and winner here is the duo Morten Skogen and Knut Ellekjær. The Lightning Go tournament is held the last day, and once again Morten Skogen becomes champion.

In Sokndal Jan Nordgreen establishes a new Go group. This one grows rapidly and it soon becomes Norway’s largest. The background for this is that Jan gets permission to teach an elective course on board games in a few secondary schools. In Sokndal these lessons become very popular and on occasions there are as much as 60 people attending.

SM is still on the defensive. After a few changes Ole Henrik Støren takes over as editor. After this SM comes out twice a year.

The annual Go camp is held for the last time (at least up to now). This year it takes place in the period 3-10 August. Tor Birger Skogen is invincible and wins the main tournament, the lightning Go tournament as well as the family-Go. The last event he wins together with Knut Roll-Lund.

This is one of the golden years in Norwegian Go history. In June Nagahara (6 dan) visits Norway during his tour through Europe, and he stays here for about a week. (For those who do not know: Nagahara is the author of “Basic Techniques of Go” and a few other books that have been translated into English.) Morten Skogen, Knut Roll-Lund, Guttorm Haaversen and Tor Birger Skogen are in charge of Go concerts on Karl-Johan [main street in Oslo], and Nagahara simultaneously plays the best Norwegians. Even with a nine stone handicap most of the Norwegians do not stand a chance. Nagahara sweeps them all (except Dag Belsnes) off the board. It is attempted to make publicity about the event and a press conference is set up at hotel Grand. However, the reporters and broadcasting companies never show up…

In the autumn the Norwegian Championship is held. This year it has a new style. After local competitions, the best five players (Trondheim 1, Oslo 2, Kristiansand 2) meet in Oslo. The two best players here compete in a best-of-three series where the results from the main tournament are taken into account. Here Morten Skogen defeats Tor Birger Skogen by 2 to 1. In addition to the title, Morten Skogen also gets the right to represent Norway in the World Championship for amateurs.

This year is started by a coup in GIN. The junta consisting of Jan Nordgreen, Morten Skogen, Magne Flåten, Dag Belsnes (+?) takes control of GIN, publishes a new issue of the members’ magazine and updates the member list. The result of updating the lists is that the number of members drops from 150 to 40! GIN does not get a new president, but Morten Skogen takes on the responsibility for Spilt Melk.

In the period 14-21 March the fourth World Championship for amateurs is held in Tokyo. Morten Skogen participates as 8 kyu (?). This is the first time a Norwegian is in the WAGC. In the first match he meets the favourite and previous World Champion Hirata (7 dan) from Japan. It ends with a `tiny’ loss: Hirata wins 45 to 0. The game is commented on TV by Cho Chikun, which at that time was both Honinbo and Meijin. In the other matches he loses by 0.5 points to the Filippines, by 5 points to Australia and he has to resign against Italy. As a consequence of this Morten Skogen becomes number 31.

This year Norway also participates in the Nordic Go Championship. The group representing Norway in Gothenburg is Tor Birger Skogen, Guttorm Håversen and Knut Roll-Lund. Guttorm Håversen plays very well, and at the end he becomes 7 out of 18.

In the autumn the Norwegian Championship is held in Kristiansand. Here it is decided that nobody can represent Norway more than once in the World Championship (as the chances to win are not so big). As a result of this two tournaments are run in parallel. In the Norwegian Championship Dag Belsnes, Morten Skogen and Tor Birger Skogen share the first place. A later play off held in Oslo also ends with a draw so they have to share the title this year. In the qualification for the World Championship Dag Belsnes wins after having defeated Guttorm Håversen in the final. Morten Skogen shows his strength in lightning Go and wins this tournament.

In the spring Knut Roll-Lund introduces 3D Go. He builds a 9x9x9 `board’ and it is tested in Kristiansand Go center.

Dag Belsnes represents Norway in the World Championship for amateurs. [Results?]

Tor Birger Skogen becomes this year’s Norwegian champion and Knut Roll-Lund gets the right to represent Norway in the World Championship.

Knut Roll-Lund participates in the World Championship. He ends up as number 30 after having been defeated in all his games.

In September this year Norway is represented in the European Championship for national teams. Morten Skogen, Tor Birger Skogen, Guttorm Håversen and Knut Roll-Lund makes up the Norwegian team. The competition is hard and they end up last.

In the WAGC Dag Belsnes represents Norway. There are 32 participants. With two victories (aginast Argentina and Thailand) Dag Belsnes ends up as number 29.

The annual Norwegian Championship is held in Bø in Telemark, and on this gathering the rules for representing Norway in the World Championship are modified. The participants are divided into the following categories:

1. Last year’s winner,
2. Participants who represented Norway 2-4 years ago, and
3. Others.

The person in category 1 cannot travel. If a person from category 3 wins he will represent Norway. If the winner comes from category 2 he will play a best-of-three match with the one doing best in category 3. These three games will be played as 3 stone handicap games. The winner will represent Norway.

Pål Sannes from Oslo becomes this year’s winner. However, he does not have opportunity to travel, so Tor Birger Skogen represents Norway next year.

Tor Birger Skogen represents Norway in the WAGC. With two won games (Thailand and Belgium) he ends up as number 32 of a total of 34 participants.

The Norwegian champion this year is Terje Christoffersen. Last year’s winner Paal Sannes becomes number two, and Dag Belsnes ends up as number three.

In the WAGC this year Terje Christoffersen wins his game against Argentina. As a result of this he ends up as number 33 (34 participants).

This year Jostein Flood makes a very good impression in the WAGC. After four won games he becomes number 16 (36 participants). Here he defeated the representatives of Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Brasil, and Czechoslovakia. As a result of this he is declared to be the strongest 1 dan player in the WAGC through all times.

Fredrik Dahl is this year’s Norwegian representative in the WAGC. After winning his game against the Filipppines he becomes 37 (38 participants).

Once again Jostein Flood represents Norway in the WAGC. He continues in the same spirit as he did two years ago, and defeats the representatives of Sweden, France, Thailand and Italy. With four won games he becomes number 21 (40 participants).

Andre Rognes takes part in the WAGC. He wins his games against the representatives of the Filippines and Thailand. With two won games he becomes number 38 (40 participants).

This is the third time Jostein Flood represents Norway in the WAGC. This year he wins five of his games (Finland, Denmark, Germany, Spain and Czechoslovakia). As a result of this he becomes number 12 (40 participants).

Terje Christoffersen represents Norway. With two won games against Mexico and Luxembourg he finishes as number 37. There were 40 participants.

Jostein Flood must by now by considered a regular in the WAGC. He wins four of his games and ends up at position 25. The games he won was against the representatives of Portugal, South-Africa, Slovenia and Mexico. This year there was 44 participants.

1995 This year Jostein Flood copies his four wins from last year when he defeats the representatives from Ukrainia, Italy, Singapore and the United Kingdom. As a results he becomes 16 out of a total of 44 participants.

Pål Sannes represents Norway in the WAGC. Here is a very interesting travelogue where he describes several aspects of his stay. He finishes as number 40.

In the Norwegian Championship Jostein Flood is invincible and with six straigh wins he becomes this year’s champion.

In the WAGC Kong FanNian wins 3 of his games against the players from Thailand, Luxembourg and Chile. As a result he becomes 32 out of 46 participants.

Jostein Flood becomes Norwegian champion with five wins and one loss. A collaboration with the Swedes is started. The former Swedish Go magazine now becomes the Swedish-Norwegian Go Magazine. Bjørn Wendsjø (Malmø) continues as editor. This year a group from Ikeda City Doctors’ Go Association in Japan visits the club in Oslo. They are all in the range 1 through 6 dan in Japan. They also bring their sensei: Hirano Maasaki who is a professional 6 dan. Many interesting games are played. Cecilie Irgens represents Norway in the Go world championship for women in Seoul. She finishes as number 19 after having won 3 games and lost 3 games. 1997 is also the first year with a European championship in pair go. Antje Rapmund and Pål Sannes makes it to the semi finals. A split third place is one of the best achievements for Norway in an international championship.

This year Jostein Flood represents Norway in the WAGC for the sixth time. After winning his games against the players from Denmark, South-Africa and Portugal he finishes as number 36. The number of participants was 50.

After a slight miss in the Norwegian Championship in 1997 he is back with six straight wins again. Oslo Go Club is in charge of the Nordic Championship which attracts 28 participants, 9 of which are Norwegians. For the first time Norway has a team in the (unofficial) World Championship in pair Go. Xia JieLin and Xia JieLi win three out of five games in the 9th International Amateur Pair Go Championship held in Tokyo.

This year Oslo Open is arranged for the first time, recognizing the need for another tournament inside the borders of Norway in addition to the Norwegian Championship. Being a 5 round tournament meant to be held in late spring, this attracted 10 players (all from Oslo), and was won by Xia JieLin, at this time still rated as 4 dan. But that was soon to change. Representing Norway in WAGC for the first time, Lin accomplished the really outstanding result of finishing among the top 10, being second best of the European players (Hungary just managed to sneak ahead of him on 9th place). On the way Lin beat strong 6 dans from Germany and Holland (and also won against Venezuela, Austria and Croatia). On returning home he naturally was awarded with a promotion to 5 dan. By the way, 10th place is the best performance of any Scandinavian players in WAGC so far. The number of countries participating in WAGC continues to increase: this year 55 players take part. But in the Norwegian Championship Jostein Flood again shows his strength by winning all his games.

For the first time in the history of Nordic Championship this is won by a Norwegian player: Pål Sannes wins the title ahead of the Finnish 5 dans Matti Siivola and Vesa Laatikainen. In the WAGC Jostein Flood ends up as number 26 out of 56 participants with 4 wins (against Argentina, Cuba, Belgium and Sweden), while Xia JieLin becomes this year’s Norwegian Champion. Oslo Open is won by Jostein.

But the big event in Norway this year is a 3 days visit of two professional players from Nihon Ki-in: Mr.Shinichiro Okada 7-dan and Mr.Shinpei Kuwamoto 5-dan. Oslo was the first stop in a round trip in Northern Europe that also included Stockholm, Vilnius and Helsinki. During the evenings of October 2-4, they were teaching and playing simultaneous games with the members of Oslo Go Club.

After some years with just one organized club in Norway, year 2001 sees the birth (actually rebirth!) of two more go clubs: in Trondheim and in Kristiansand.

In the Norwegian Championship nobody manages to win all games, reflecting the steadily rising standard of the top players: this year as much as 6 players from rank 3 dan and upwards participate. 2 players loose one game only: Xia JieLin wins the title ahead of Kong FanNian on SOS. Oslo Open is won by Jostein Flood, while Pål Sannes represents Norway in WAGC. He finishes as 24 out of 56 players, after winning against Ireland, Chile, Vietnam and Thailand. In the last tournament of the year he performs even better by earning 2nd place in the traditional 8 rounds London Open New Year Tournament.

This is a year with increasing go activity in Norway. A new club in Bergen is started, and in Oslo the number of active members increases to more than 20. Unfortunately, the activity in Kristiansand dies away.

Oslo Open is not held this year, as it is now Oslo’s turn to host the Nordic Championship. Here Jostein Flood scores second place. In the WAGC a new record of 61 nations take part, with Kong FanNian finishing on 31st place, with wins against Indonesia, Malaysia, Cuba and Peru. The Norwegian Championship sees a record of 20 participants. Xia JieLin wins all his games and the title.

In June a team of members from a Japanese email go club visits Oslo as part of a Scandinavian round trip, and a friendship match is played.

This is another good year for Go in Norway with many new players showing up. Most of them have discovered the game via the Japanese manga/anime Hikaru no go. In Bergen however, the Go Club started the previous year is laid down.

Last year’s record of 20 players in the Norwegian Championship is crushed: this year 28 players take part. Once again Xia JieLin wins the Championship, but he has to share 1st place in the tournament with the Swede Michael Yao. Lin also wins Oslo Open. 23 participants take part, this is again a new record.

In the Nordic Championship in Turku in Finland a Pair Go Championship is included for the first time. Sun Weiguo and Pål Sannes wins this for Norway. Actually, Sun proceeds to win the main tournament too, but since she is not a Norwegian Citizen (although representing Oslo Go Club), she has to leave the title of Nordic Champion to Matti Siivola from Finland.

The WAGC is scheduled to be in Japan in June, but is cancelled this year because of the fear of the SARS epedimy. However, the Koreans uses this opportunity to arrange an alternative world championship for amateurs in October. They name it WABC: World Amateur Baduk Championship (or rather IWABC, I=Incheon is the city hosting the Championship). ‘Baduk’ is the Korean name for ‘Go’. The WABC is a great success, just like its WAGC predecessors. Morten Ofstad represents Norway with 45th place among the 58 participants, beating Peru and Ireland (WABC uses 6 rounds before semifinals and final instead of the usual 8 rounds in WAGC).

Unfortunately we loose contact with Trondheim Go Club after summer, so possibly there is now only one Go club in Norway. But the activity in Oslo is good enough to once again break the record from last year in the Norwegian Championship, now with 30 participants. In the absence of former years champion Xia JieLin, Morten Ofstad succeeds in gaining his first championship by a clean sweep of 5 wins. He is immediately promoted to 4 dan.

Oslo Open is won by Pål Sannes, while Josten Flood represents Norway in the WAGC in Japan for the 7th time. Due to a somewhat unexpected loss in the last round against Sweden, he ends up as number 35 among the new record of 64 participants. His 4 wins were against Panama, Australia, Israel and Thailand.

In August, a team of Korean amatours visit Oslo as part of a roundtrip in Northern Europe, and plays a friendship match against players from Oslo Go Club. The Korean team is headed by Hahn Sang-Dae, professor in Go at the MyongJi University, at present the only university in the world providing Go as a study.

People continue to meet and play each other once a week in Trondheim we manage to find out, but nobody is willing to take the responsibility of making a board or maintaining the old web page of Trondheim Go Club. So presently Oslo is once again the only organized Go Club in Norway.

The Norwegian Championship is won by Pål Sannes, exactly 20 years after he won this for the first (and up to now only) time. With 25 players participating, Morten Ofstad places second. These 2 players also shares 1th place in Oslo Open.

Morten Ofstad manages a bit unexpectedly to beat Fredrik Dahl with 3 stones handicap in a rematch after the previous year’s Norwegian Championship to represent Norway in WAGC (see here for the Norwegian rules to decide the representative). Here he ends up as number 36 among 65 participants, winning against Peru, Italy, United Kingdom and Mongolia.

Once again we get a new record of participants in the Norwegian Championship: 31 this time. That only 3 of these came from outside Oslo, however, is a little worrying. Why are Sweden and Finland able to make clubs everywhere, but not Norway? Champion is Pål Sannes like last year, with Fan Nian Kong and Øystein Vestgården sharing second place. Two weeks later Pål follows up with winning Göteborg Open, this year part of the European Go Tour. Oslo hosts the Nordic Championship in the Easter, with no success for the Norwegian players. Oslo Open is organized as a one day rapid tournament, with Morten Ofstad emerging as the winner.

In the World Championship in Japan Pål represents Norway with 40th place among the 68 participants. His 4 wins were against Ireland, Peru, Slovakia and Turkey.

In October a new international amateur tournament is organized in Korea, called Korea Prime Minister Cup International Baduk Championship, intended to be a yearly event. One player from each country is invited with travel and accomodation covered for the eight round tournament, i.e. very similar conditions as the WAGC, so it might be quite fair to regard this as a second world championship. This means that each country will have to make qualification rules for 2 world championships, hopefully inspiring more people around the world to play Go seriously. Jie Lin Xia represents Norway, taking a strong 18th place among the 66 countries participating.

For the second time in history, Norway is represented in the International Amateur Pair Go Championship in Japan. Øystein Vestgården (2 dan) and Gunn Larsen (7 kyu) could not hope to compete for the top places due to their low rank, but honour their country well by winning the price for the best dressed couple. For Øystein this is his second trip to Japan this year, as he also makes his debut in the WAGC, winning 4 games (against Cyprus, Panama, Ecuador and Ireland) and ending up in 43th place among the 68 contestants. In the 2nd Korea Prime Minister Cup Fannian Kong gets exactly the same placing (among 66 countries).

In the Norwegian Championship Morten Ofstad emerges as the winner ahead of Pål Sannes and Sverre Haga. This last player represents Trondheim (where he is studying), and he is the first player outside Oslo for very many years that is able to place that high. 29 players took part in this year’s championship. In the spring Pål Sannes won Oslo Open, which attracted a record of 26 participants.

In the spring Morten Ofstad represents Norway in the WAGC for the second time, placing 24th of 68 contestants by getting 5 wins against Azerbaijan, Chile, Mongolia, Indonesia and Italy. In the autumn Sverre Morten Haga represents Norway in the 3rd KPMC, placing 40th out of 68 contestants.

This year the European Go Congress was held in Leksand, Sweden. The European Go Congress is a 14 day event that has been arranged every summer since 1957, and is by far the biggest Go event in Europe. A fantastic effort by the organizers to promote the event lead to this being the biggest congress ever with 741 participants, of which 9 were from Norway.

Perhaps the biggest event of the year was the first World Mind Sports Games, being held in Beijing in the beginning of October, soon after the Olympic Games. This event is meant to be the Olympics of mind sports, and is supposed to continue to be held every fourth year. The first edition featured Chess, Chinese Chess (Xiang-qi), Bridge, Checkers in addition to Go. A group of six players represented Norway in the Go events.

The Norwegian Championship was a great success with 35 contestants, which is a new record. This was largely helped by the Go scene in Bergen, Stavanger and Trondheim was flourishing. Fully 14 out of the 35 contestants were from these clubs. The Norwegian Champion was again Morten Ofstad ahead of Pål Sannes and Øystein Vestgården. Xia Jie-Lin won the Oslo Open which repeated last years record 26 contestants.

Following an extraordinary general assembly after Oslo Open in the spring of 2009 the Norwegian Go Association passes a new set of bylaws to clarify the organisational structure and to register as an official non-profit organisation. The goal is to be able to register a new domain for the website which has been down for almost half a year (due to the sudden decision of posluh.hr not to host any websites for EGF members anymore). Even Jansen is elected President to relieve Terje Christoffersen who has served as the president for more than a decade. Finally the website comes online again in August. At the general assembly after the Norwegian Championship, the board members are changed again with Morten Ofstad taking over as president.

In April Pål Sannes wins the Nordic Championship in Copenhagen, this is the second time Pål wins the title and he is still the only Norwegian to ever have won it. Jostein Flood, who took 4th place in the Norwegian Championship last year, represents Norway in the 30th WAGC in Japan. He places 46th out of 66 contestants, winning against Ireland, Peru and Chile. Later in the year Pål Sannes represents Norway in the 4th KPMC, placing a very respectable 21st out of 66 contestants by winning against Malaysia, Philippines, Germany(!) and Finland.

The Norwegian Championship has 28 contestants this year with 11 coming from outside Oslo. Pål Sannes wins the Norwegian Championship ahead of Morten Ofstad and Øystein Vestgården. Pål Sannes also won the Oslo Open earlier this year which had 27 contestants, a new record.

Pål Sannes wins the Oslo Open held in the spring, this time with only 11 participants. This year the 31st World Amateur Go Championship is held in Hangzhou, China. Øystein Vestgården represents Norway and places 44th out of 60 participants with wins against Costa Rica, Finland (represented by the veteran Vesa Laatikainen 5. dan) and Cyprus.

In September Odd Arne Roll and Leon Hetlevik starts up a new Go club in Mandal. In October Glenn Kjetil Vasdal from Bergen represents Norway in the 5th Korean Prime Minister’s Cup and places 28th out of 68 participants.

Morten Ofstad and Pål Sannes shares first place among the 21 participants in the Norwegion Championship this year with identical SOS, and can both enjoy the title of Norwegian Champion for a year.

This year there are more places in Norway where you can play Go than ever before: Active go groups are found in Ski, Grimstad and Mandal in addition to the more established groups in Trondheim, Bergen and Oslo.

The Oslo Open tournament is held in the spring, this time with 19 participants. Pål Sannes emerges as the winner after five rounds. At the 32nd WAGC in Shimane, Morten Ofstad surprises everyone by beating Hironori Hirata 8. dan from Japan in the third round. Facing tough opposition he only manages one more win in the final round and ends up placing 24th out of 57 participants.

In September Ko Juyeon 8 dan professional go player from Korea visits Oslo and holds a weekend workshop with lectures and simultaneous games that is attended by 15 players from Oslo, Bergen and Ski Go clubs.

The Norwegian Championship sees a welcome increase in participants from last year, and among the 30 participants Pål Sannes ends up as the winner ahead of Morten Ofstad and Heming Hanevik (Bergen). Around the same time Sverre Haga represents Norway in the 6th KPMC and places 36th out of 70 contestants.

This year’s Oslo Open tournament has 16 participants and the winner was Øystein Vestgården who edged out Pål Sannes on tiebreak (SOS). Pål Sannes is also this year’s representative to the 33rd WAGC in Guangzhou, China. He finishes in 36th place out of 55 participants after winning against Colombia, Serbia, Mexico and South Africa.

In May the Norwegian team which has participated for the first time in the Pandanet Go European Team Championship is met with success as the team is promoted to league B and will be fighting with countries like Finland, the Netherlands and Poland in the upcoming season.

In the summer, Bergen Go Club holds the first Bergen Open tournament which is a great success with 19 participants. The winner is Antti Törmanen 6. dan who was also teaching Go at the event.

In the autumn Heming Hanevik from Bergen represents Norway in the 7th KPMC and finishes in 40th place out of 70 participants. The norwegian championship has 29 participants and Pål Sannes ends up as the winner like last year, while Fredrik Dahl is the runner-up.

Michelle Bjerke and Glenn Kjetil Vasdal represent Norway in the 23rd International Pair Go Championship in Tokyo and finishes 26th out of 32 pairs after winning against the pairs from South Africa and Singapore. This is the third time Norway was represented in this championship, the last time was in 2007.


The year started with the introduction of a new tournament in Norway, the Trondheim Open which was held in February. There were 17 attendees at the tournament; 10 from Trondheim, 4 from Oslo and 3 from Bergen. The tournament was won by Pål Sannes. A report from the event can be read (in Norwegian) here: https://www.goinorge.no/2017/03/17/rapport-trondheim-open/

Oslo Open had 23 attendees this year, and it was won by Severin Hanevik. More information about that event is available at: https://www.goinorge.no/2017/05/11/resultater-fra-oslo-open/

This year Jostein Flood represented Norway at the World Amateur Go Championship in China. There he placed 35 out of 48, with wins against Denmark, Portugal and Croatia. Our other international representative this year, at the Korean Prime Minister Cup, was Tomas Hjartnes. He managed to win 4 of his 6 games, resulting in 19th place out of a total of 56.

The summer of 2017 the Bergen Go Club lost all of their equipment when the storage they were using was renovated. They had quite a few boards and clocks stored there, enough to host a few tournaments in previous years, so it is quite a set back to loose all of that.

The Norwegian Championship was held in Oslo, and Severin Hanevik went undefeated through the tournament and thus earned the honour of calling himself Norwegian Champion of 2017. He was followed by Michael Bitzi (from Switzerland) on 2nd place and Frank Hestvik on 3rd place. This year we had 37 contestant, same as in 2016. The only year we’ve had more players was in 2013 when there were 43 players. Hopefully we’ll get back to that number soon.

In the Pandanet Go European Team Championship (http://pandanet-igs.com/communities/euroteamchamps/) Norway played very well in the first half of the year and won it’s group by 4 point margin and without loosing a single match. The Norwegian team then had at to meet Belgium in a playoff to qualify for the B league. The playoff was a 5 vs 5 match, to ensure a victor. Norway’s team managed a slim victory with 3 won games and 2 losses. In the  the B-league the national team is in the company of nations like Germany, Finland, Sweden and the United Kingdoms. So far the Norwegian team has continued to deliver strong results, winning 3 (against Sweden, Finland and Denmark) and only loosing 1 match (against Germany) in the first half of the season.

The Annual General Meeting of the Norwegian Go Association was held during the Norwegian Championship. The most noteworthy event was that Øystein Vestgården stepped down as President, and Michael Plikk assumed the role. The complete minutes from the meeting will be available on www.goinorge.no.



The year started with Trondheim Open, with 20 attendees from Norway and abroad.

In Easter the Nordic Championship was held in Oslo. Players came from Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland. Best Norwegian player was Severin Hanevik who finished 3rd. Winner of the tournament was Henry Hemming from Finland.

A month later Oslo Open was held. Many seemed to need a break after the Nordic Championship, so only 12 people atteneded the tournament.

In the Pandanet European Go Team Championship Norway kepts it’s spot in the B-league with a solid 6th place.

The European Go Congress was held in Pisa this year, with a record attendee number from Norway with 12 players!

Early autumn the Trondheim Cabin Tournament was held for the first time. Trondheim go club had rented a cabin in the woods and 8 go players grabbed their rucksacks and hiked out there. They had a wonderful weekend with go, sauna, rowing, bathing and some card-games. A big success that hopefully will be repeated in 2019!

The Norwegian Championship was held in Oslo with 24 attendees. This year Severin Hanevik won the tournament, while second best Norwegian was Pål Sannes on 3rd.

Frank Hestvik represented Norway in the World Amateur Go Championship and Jon Runar represented Norway in the Korea Prime Minister Cup. This was the first time either of them represented Norway in these tournaments, so good to see some new players competing for these spots.

Players in both Oslo and Trondheim seems to not get enough of go on the normal club evenings, and both clubs have started to arrange extra playing opportunities. Oslo go club has started with Sunday go at Cafa-Sara, while Trondheim go club has arranged Pub-Go a couple of times the last half year.


As our new tradition would have it the year started with Trondheim Open, with 12 attendees from Norway and abroad. The tournament was won by Xiaocheng Hu, 5d.

In Easter the Nordic Championship was held in Finland. Pål Sannes, 3d, was the only Norwegian player there, and after a strong performance ended up on 3rd place. The tournament was won by Javier-Aleksi Savolainen, 5d, from Finland.

In May Oslo Open was held. There was good attendance this year, with 21 participants. The tournament was won by Severin Hanevik, 3d.

Norway had a though season in Pandanet European Go Team Championship and ended up at 9th place in the B league. The Norwegian team faced Finland in a playoff match to decide who got to stay in the B league. It was a close and intense playoff match, but in the nd Finland’s team proved to be the stronger one this time and Norway dropped down to the C league.

The European Go Congress was held in Brussel this year, and 11 players made the trip from Norway to attend the congress.

The Norwegian Championship was hosted by Oslo and managed to draw 33 attendees. First place in the tournament went to Johan Berntsson, 3d, from Sweden. Best Norwegian player on 3rd place was Severin Hanevik who kept his title as Norwegian Champion.

Severin Hanevik, 3d, represented Norway in the World Amateur Go Championship and Pål Sannes, 3d, represented Norway in the Korea Prime Minister Cup.

Throughout the year there have been regular club meetings in Bergen, Trondheim and Oslo. The desire for more real life games has been kept alive in both Oslo and Trondheim and both clubs have kept their extra playing sessions going as well. Trondheim go club has arranged Pub-Go a couple of times, and Oslo go club has now become a regular fixture at the Good Knight on Sunday evenings.

2020 – 2021: The Corona years

Like most places across the world Norway was hit hard by the corona virus and almost all go activity stopped up from early 2020 until winter 2021/2022.

During the lock down period both Oslo Go Club and Bergen Go Club moved their club meetings online, coordinated through Discord. A few tournaments where held as smaller online events as well.

In 2020 we decided to cancel the Norwegian Championship, since gatherings of that many people (especially when traveling from far away) was not allowed.

But in the autumn of 2021 we we’re again allowed to host a normal tournament and the Norwegian Champhionship was then held with 22 attendees, and won by Pål Sannes. Everyone very happy to finally have a live tournament again.

The Korea Prime Minister Cup was held online in 2020 and 2021, and Severin Hanevik and Heming Hanevik represented us at the respective tournaments.

The World Amateur Go Chamionship was not held in 2020, but in 2021 it was held in Russia – the first time it was held in a country outside of East Asia. Jonas Egeberg represented Norway at that tournament.


After the Corona restrictions where lessened the clubs started to gather again, and regular playing started happening in Oslo, Bergen and Trondheim again.

Two tournaments where held this year. The Oslo Open won by Pål Sannes, and the Norwegian Championship which was won by Kaan Malcok.

Even though restrictions where lifted this year the World Amateur Go Championship was still held online, and Jie-Lin Xia represented us there this year. Unfortunately we did not manage to send anyone to represent us at the Korea Prime Minister’s Cup.