Article from Gold Book. Update to follow.
Name of Federation: Norges Postsjakkforbund (NPSF)
Year of Foundation: 1945
ICCF Delegate & E-Mail contact: Raymond Boger (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Article provided by: Øystein Sande
Norway – a small and happy CC nation
Norway has never been a big power in chess, neither OTB nor in CC. For a long time, there were no international grandmasters in either, and for a long period Olaf Barda (1909-1971) was the only one in CC, a title he obtained with his 4th place in the first CC World Championship. But in the last two decades, things have changed. OTB, Norway now (year 2002) has a handful of grandmasters, and five GMs in CC. These titles were all gained in the years 1994-2001. Besides, Norway has 3 SIMs and 16 IMs. The last appointed GM is Arne Vinje, who many years ago won the Norwegian championship OTB twice. He won the GM title in the 17th World Championship 3/4 final, where he shared 1st place and qualified for the final.
The Norwegian CC Federation (NPSF) was founded in 1945, just after the liberation from the German occupation. The German rule made ordinary organisational activities almost impossible, and playing by post was the only way to play chess tournaments. After the liberation in 1945, NPSF had a boom, with several hundred members. Today NPSF is a rather small organisation, but at its 50th anniversary, in 1995, it demonstrated its vitality by being host of the ICCF Congress that year.
In spite of its small membership, NPSF has always been independent, not a subdivision or committee of the OTB organisation, as is the case in many other countries. The key of its success is that NPSF all the time has been “lucky” in having a core of enthusiasts to run the organisation. Most known is NPSFs international contact in ICCF, TD, editor etc. Roald Berthelsen, who has been an active CC enthusiast already for many decades, and with his 62 years he is still going strong.
A good indicator of NPSF’s continuity is the membership magazine, Postsjakk, which has regularly appeared since the start in 1945, the author of this article being the third in the row of editors. (This stability is only superseded by the Norwegian monarchy; the present King Harald is only the third king after Norway got its independence in 1905). Most of the honour of this success must be awarded to the first editor, Sverre Halvorsen (also a clever player, both in CC and OTB), who was editor for 33 years (!), until he was tragically taken by an avalanche of snow in the Easter of 1978. The second editor was (who else!) Roald Berthelsen. Øystein Sande (the author of these words) has been the editor since 1991.
The results of Norwegian CC players, both individually and in teams, has always been up and down.
As mentioned above, the number of titleholders is steadily increasing, and is now 24. Five players have participated in the World Championship finale (Olaf Barda, Sverre Madsen, Sverre Aarseth, Øystein Sande and Edvard Sterud), and in the last year four more are now qualified (Frank Hovde, Rune Djurhuus, Ivar Bern and Arne Vinje), but only Ivar Bern is among the participants in the 17th Final. Frank Hovde and Arne Vinje have also won the European CC championship.
For this article I have selected a game from IM Rune Djurhuus, from the 3/4 Final where he qualified for the Final. (The game was published in Postsjakk 1/1996, and the notes are here translated into English).