Tor Helness (born 25 July 1957)[1] is a Norwegian professional bridge player. He was a stalwart on Norway junior and open teams for thirty years before moving to Monaco. Through 2012 he has won four world championships in teams-of-four competition.[2] As of October 2016 he ranks second among Open World Grand Masters and his regular partner Geir Helgemo ranks first.[3]

Tor Helness (2014)

From 1979 to 1981, Helness represented Norway on both its junior and open teams. In 1980 the juniors were European champions (there was yet no world championship) and the open team reached the World Team Olympiad semifinal. For 25 years the open team regularly reached European semifinals, and it won world silver medals in 1993 and 2001.[2][4] Norway finally won the world team championship in 2007, the biennial Bermuda Bowl, with a team of six including Helness–Helgemo as anchor pair.[5]

The couple Tor and Gunn Helness won the Mixed Pairs (an event without a world championship) at the 2005 European Open Championships.[6] At the inaugural, 2008 World Mind Sports Games in Beijing, Tor Helness won the Open Individual gold medal and Geir Helgemo won the silver. Norway's open team won the bronze.[2]

Emigration to MonacoEdit

From 2011 Helness and his regular Norwegian partner Geir Helgemo are full-time members of a team led and paid by the Swiss real estate tycoon Pierre Zimmermann, under contract expiring 2016. The team finished third in the 2010 world championship, not yet full-time, and it will compete in the European Bridge League open championship this spring. From 2012 all six members will be subjects of the Prince of Monaco and the team will be a prohibitive favorite to represent Monaco internationally in bridge events.[7] Helness-Helgemo's last appearance representing Monaco was in 2018. After that they switched back to Norway, and where eligible to represent their home country again from 2021.

Bridge careerEdit

Major winsEdit

Other notable winsEdit

  • Cap Volmac World Top Invitational Pairs (2) 1994, 1996
  • Macallan Invitational Pairs (2) 1998, 1999
  • Generali World Masters Individual (1) 2008
  • Cavendish Invitational Teams (1) 2010
  • European Winter Games (1) 2016[9]


  1. ^ "Norsk Bridgeforbund 75 år - Norsk Bridgefestival".Retrieved 2017-01-02.
  2. ^ a b c "International record for Tor HELNESS". World Bridge Federation. (WBF). Retrieved 2013-06-15.
  3. ^ "Open Classification" (ranked table, page one). WBF Master Points Records. WBF. Retrieved 2016-10-04.
  4. ^ "World Team Championships". WBF. Retrieved 2013-06-17.
  5. ^ "38th World Team Championships, Results & Participants". WBF. Retrieved 2013-06-17.
  6. ^ "The Mixed Pairs Final, Session 2". Jos Jacobs. Bulletin 8, 25 June 2005. 2nd European Open Bridge Championships. EBL. Retrieved 2013-06-15.
  7. ^ "Helgeness and Fantunes Immigrate to Monaco" Archived 12 August 2011 at the Wayback Machine. Bridge Topics ( 14 December 2010. Originally published in Norwegian: Alf Helge Jensen, "Helgeness skal spille for Monaco", Bridge i Norge (ed. Boye Brogeland), 13 December 2010. Retrieved 2011-08-23.
  8. ^ "ACBL".
  9. ^ a b "EBL - People".

External linksEdit