Swiss Chess Championship
The Swiss Chess Championship is held annually during two weeks of July. It is organised by the Swiss Chess Federation (the SSB), which has been a member of the overall governing body, Swiss Olympic, since 2000. The SSB is itself a relatively new organising body, created in 1995 as a fusion of two older organisations; these were the former Swiss Chess Federation (the SSV, founded 1889 for the inaugural Championship and prior to 1960, known as the Swiss Chess Association) and the Swiss Worker Chess Federation (the SASB, founded 1923).
From its inception, the Championship format was a 10-player all-play-all, open to both nationals and overseas players. The title of Swiss Champion was however reserved for the highest placed Swiss national. Various changes have been implemented along the way, particularly in respect of the introduction of new Championship categories. The two world wars prevented the Championship from taking place on a small number of occasions, but due to Switzerland's neutral status, the event was less badly affected than in many other countries. There was no competition held in 1968 due to the clash with the Chess Olympiad held in Lugano.
For 2008, major changes are planned for the Championship, including two alternate formats effectively running in parallel. The changes are aimed at keeping the tournament accessible to home and overseas players, while expanding the range of opportunities for nationals, both in terms of the Championship itself and also for Elo rating and title seeking purposes. This radically different approach will give rise to a two-year cycle, comprising an open tournament every odd year and a closed (Swiss nationals only) tournament every even year.
Throughout the event's long history, several players have won multiple titles, but Hans Johner earns a special mention for his 12 titles, spanning an incredible forty-two years (1908–1950). Joe Gallagher, a six-times Champion, has dual nationality and also won the British Championship in 2001, a unique achievement.