Chess Weekend in Roosendaal
By WGM Alina L'Ami
You may have never heard before of Roosendaal, a small city in the southern
Netherlands. I for one would have probably said the same, if I wouldn’t
have passed through it on my way to Belgium, since it’s the last train
stop on the Dutch territory. Overshadowed by its bigger and more famous brothers
like: Amsterdam, Haarlem, Groningen, Maastricht, Delft, Rotterdam, Utrecht,
Den Haag, Leiden (the list seems endless, a mind-boggling concept, considering
the size of this small nation!) Roosendaal sneaks by unseen, unheard, unnoticed.
And I believe it’s unjustly so.
A walk in the city with GMs Vladimir Chuchelov and Loek van Wely
On the market square one can still admire those typical Dutch step-roofed
Traditional charisma of the St. Jans Church and the old city hall
However, nothing remains the same forever and here’s why: between 16th
and 19th of August, the heart of the Dutch chess (and not only) was beating
faster nowhere else than in this cozy little town from North Brabant.
The start of the event, whith 24 live boards are on the stage
Commentary by IM Yochanan Afek and GM Daniel Stellwagen
The main culprit was the LBV weekend tournament, won by Sergey Tiviakov with
five points out of six games. The Ukrainian Grandmaster, Martyn Kravtsiv, had
also a good performance, sharing first place with the same number of points.
As for the less fortunate ones there is always an excuse: double rounds and
late evening/early morning games – a lethal combination for the faint-hearted.
Top final standings after six rounds
The winner of the tournament celebrating his victory at the town square
Erratum: it's a bronze rooster dedicated to the event
The winner with 5.0/6 points and the best tie-break: GM Sergei Tiviakov
In tenth place with 4.5 points: GM Erwin l'Ami, NDE, rated 2628
18th: WGM Iozefina Paulet from Romania – it was wonderful to see my friends
19th: GM John Van Der Wiel with 4.0/6, NED, rated 2419
John won the brilliancy prize, handed to him by colleague Jan Smeets, for
his first round game
The winners GM Martyn Kravtsiv, UKR, 2582, and Sergey Tiviakov with the trophy
And yet, the city has been flooded (no worries, the country has the water level
under control) with enthusiastic chess lovers; almost 200 players were present
which is a great achievement for the first time the tournament is being organized!
But I am not surprised at all judging by the amount of work and dedication the
Roosendaal team has invested in their event.
Training session for the Dutch team before the Chess Olympiad, under Vladimir
Chuchelov, the Dutch national trainer.
Furthermore I will spare you the technical details which were clearly right
in place and mention the part that I enjoyed most: the warmth. I can honestly
say I have never seen such joyful, full of life and happy to help you organizers!
I can explain it only by the love they had for what they were doing. And the
Dutch gezellig way became rather contagious. Almost nobody was rushing
to go back to the hotel after the evening round, prolonging the nice atmosphere
over a beer or two (or three), commenting and analyzing and talking…
Wardrobe suggestions for next year's event, in a Roosendaal shop window
So if the history or the architecture or the cultural details didn’t
succeed in making Roosendaal a must, the new chess wave (which has the tendency
in turning into a tsunami) will surely do its job!