The Top Chess Players in the World

GM Jon Ludvig Hammer

Jon Ludvig Hammer
GM Jon Ludvig Hammer. Photo: Maria Emelianova/
Full name
Jon Ludvig Nilssen Hammer
Jun 2, 1990 (age 33)‎
Place of birth
Bergen, Norway



Jon Ludvig Hammer is a Norwegian grandmaster, streamer, commentator, and content creator. He has won the Norwegian Championship multiple times and was GM Magnus Carlsen's second in the 2013 and 2014 World Championship matches. His peak rating of 2705 was achieved in 2016.

Chess Career

Hammer earned his international master title in 2007 and tied for first place at the 2008 Norwegian Championship (placing second on tiebreaks). He earned his grandmaster title in 2009 and put up a 2792 performance rating at the 2009 European Team Championship with a score of 6.5/9—he won the silver medal on board one for his performance at this tournament.

In 2011 Hammer finished behind the leaders with a 7/9 score at the Reykjavik Open, which gave him the Nordic Chess Champion title as the best-placed Nordic player—he was the first Norwegian champion of this event since his coach GM Simen Agdestein had won it in 1992.

Jon Ludvig Hammer
Hammer at the 2019 Fischer Random World Championships. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Hammer won the 2013 Norwegian Championship and took clear first place at the Rilton Cup. In the 2013 World Cup, he defeated the powerful GM Sergei Movsesian as well as the top Czech player, GM David Navara, before losing to GM Gata Kamsky in the third round.

It was also in 2013 that Hammer was Carlsen's main second for the World Championship match against GM Viswanathan Anand. Carlsen defeated Anand to become world champion for the first time—Hammer played a large role on Carlsen's team.

GM Jon Ludvig Hammer
Hammer at the 2017 European Team Championships. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Hammer reached his peak rating of 2705 in 2016, attaining the unofficial title of super grandmaster. He won back-to-back Norwegian Championships in 2017 and 2018. 

Hammer's style combines exceptional positional abilities and endgame technique with a sharp tactical flair. We can see his ability to combine positional and tactical play
in the following game against IM Martin Zumsande at the 2016 Rilton Cup. After a positional opening and early middlegame, Hammer doesn't miss his opportunity to deliver a sharp tactical blow with 20. Nxg7!

In the next game example, we see Hammer defeating his longtime friend and world champion, Carlsen. Hammer gets an edge out of the opening and has a pleasant position in the queenless middlegame after 17. Bb4. He takes full control with 25. Bd4 and never looks back. The final position with Hammer's rooks doubled on the seventh rank is memorable.

Twitch Channel

Hammer often streams on his Twitch channel where he covers a variety of topics and games (although chess is the most highlighted subject, of course). He plays in online events like Arena Kings, plays viewers, and much more. "Hammertime" has lots of great content, like this excellent pre-move en passant checkmate:

Hammer is always having fun in his streams—whether he is commentating, playing blitz, solving puzzles, playing chess variants, or just chilling. Here is Hammer getting excited after a win where he throws out his patented "Booyah!" and "Hammertime!" catchphrases: Content

As mentioned, Hammer is a world-class commentator. He has commentated on multiple top-level events on Norwegian television and many events. Here is Hammer commentating with IM Anna Rudolf at the 2019 Norway Tournament.

GM Jon Ludvig Hammer
Hammer (left) with Rudolf at the 2019 Norway Tournament. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Hammer also commentated with IM Danny Rensch during the opening round of the 2020 Speed Chess Championships—his excitement is palpable:

Hammer played for the Norway Gnomes in the PRO Chess League (PCL) for several seasons. He put up consistent and solid results for the Gnomes as a player and was also a great manager for his PCL team. Here we see Hammer getting very excited as his teammate clinches a win for the Gnomes:

Aside from his top-notch commentating and PCL experience, Hammer has also created a lot of fantastic content for His "Hammertime Strategy" video series is very popular, and he has other video lessons here that include his "Deep Concepts Explained" series.

GM Jon Ludvig Hammer lesson
Hammer has created multiple video lessons for

Best Game

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