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Nona Gaprindashvili wins BDO Chess Tournament Haarlem

9/10/2005 – She is a former world champion, now 64, but still in excellent shape. In the first six rounds she showed it to the local upstarts, scoring a resounding 5½/6. Then Nona Gaprindashvili lost her sense of danger and conceded two games. In the end, however, it was enough to take first prize. Big illustrated report by Frits Agterdenbos.
 

BDO Chess Tournament Haarlem

Photos and text by Frits Agterdenbos

The BDO tournament in Haarlem, the Netherlands (27/8 – 4/9 2005), surely was a moral victory for the only two ladies playing in the event. Fighting in a centre of history, old tradition, where men used to rule the waves, they exceeded themselves.

GM Nona Gaprindashvili, the legendary former world champion (1962-1978), now at the chess age of 64 (!) won the Premier Group with a TPR of 2510, outperforming her rating of 2318.

Pauline van Nies, last minute stand-in in the Challenger Group (the second group) is a 16 year old talented schoolgirl, who outperformed her rating of 2074 with a TPR of 2251, which was the best outperformance in her group. In the near future she might become a threat to the Dutch ladies top. The BDO tournament was her best tournament ever.

BDO Chess Tournament 2005 , Premier Group

No.

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

score

rating

TPR

1

GEO

Gaprindashvili, Nona

xx

½

0

1

1

0

1

1

1

1

6,5

2318

2510

2

NLD

Jonkman, Harmen

½

xx

1

0

½

1

½

1

½

1

6,0

2454

2454

3

NLD

Abeln, Michiel

1

0

xx

0

1

½

½

1

1

½

5,5

2355

2420

4

ISR

Afek, Yochanan

0

1

1

xx

0

0

1

½

1

½

5,0

2389

2379

5

BIH

Nikolic, Nebojsa

0

½

0

1

xx

1

½

1

½

½

5,0

2380

2380

6

HUN

Balint, Andras

1

0

½

1

0

xx

1

0

1

½

5,0

2293

2390

7

NLD

Ris, Robert

0

½

½

0

½

0

xx

½

½

1

3,5

2335

2262

8

NLD

Michielsen, Joost

0

0

0

½

0

1

½

xx

1

½

3,5

2320

2264

9

NLD

Strating, Sybolt

0

½

0

0

½

0

½

0

xx

1

2,5

2297

2180

10

NLD

Hartoch, Rob

0

0

½

½

½

½

0

½

0

xx

2,5

2272

2183

BDO Chess Tournament 2005 , Challenger Group

No.

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

score

rating

TPR

1

1

NLD

Van Ketel, Raoul

xx

½

1

½

1

1

½

½

½

1

6,5

2271

2352

2

NLD

Langedijk, Ardjan

½

xx

½

½

½

½

1

1

1

1

6,5

2219

2358

3

3

NLD

Merbis, Max

0

½

xx

1

½

0

1

1

½

1

5,5

2136

2281

4

4

NLD

Dek, Lennart

½

½

0

xx

½

½

½

½

1

1

5,0

2203

2237

5

NLD

Van Nies, Pauline

0

½

½

½

xx

1

½

½

1

½

5,0

2074

2251

6

6

NLD

In ‘t Veld, Daan

0

½

1

½

0

xx

½

0

1

1

4,5

2056

2210

7

7

NLD

De Roda Husman, Juan

½

0

0

½

½

½

xx

1

1

0

4,0

2238

2147

8

8

NLD

Gijswijt, Bart

½

0

0

½

½

1

0

xx

0

1

3,5

2234

2110

9

9

NLD

Duchene, René

½

0

½

0

0

0

0

1

xx

½

2,5

2219

2026

10

10

NLD

Van den Berg, Ad

0

0

0

0

½

0

1

0

½

xx

2,0

2297

1963

The tournament was organised by chess club HWP Haarlem, which was founded in 1938, just three years after Max Euwe’s reach to the world chess crown (1935).

HWPs chess hall is one of Netherlands most beautiful chess locations, it is the building of Sociëteit Vereeniging, which is a traditional men’s society, where originally no women were allowed to enter. The place is suffused with a spirit of old style well-dressed cigar-smoking gentlemen. Although the portrait of queen Beatrix is on a central spot.

But don’t be misled! The chess club is alive and kicking, has grown out to be one of the biggest in district Noord-Holland with 80 adult and 20 junior members.

While the Dutch Chess Federation is losing members, HWP is winning them. While sponsors seem to retire from chess events, HWP succeeds in finding new sponsors, like NOVA College for the yearly Haarlem weekend tournament, and now BDO. What is HWPs secret? The secret is enthusiasm. Positive thinking. Going for playing and organising chess together in a team-like atmosphere and intimacy. Maybe not everything is professional yet, but signals show they are growing to maturity.

The organisers were Frits Welling, tournament director and chairman of HWP Chess Activities (handing over a prize to Nona Gaprindashvili in the photo above), and Paul Tuijp (right), chairman of HWP Haarlem. Tuijp is the man for public speeches, Welling is the arranger. Together they are a team. Frits Welling is a name to remember. A man with a vision, capable of generating sponsor interest, who knows how to handle a team of volunteers. He says: “My chess game is not at a chess board but in the real world: with people. Moving them, combining them, so that at the end we are all better, that is my social target.”

The tournament sponsor was the Haarlem office of BDO which is an accounting and tax consultancy firm. BDO Haarlem is new as a sponsor in the chess world. The agreement with HWP is that the tournament will be organised three consecutive years.

The tournament was held in Haarlem, provincial capital of Noord-Holland (North Holland, blue in the map), which is one of the twelve provinces of the Netherlands. A city with great historical and beautiful buildings, with more than 1500 monuments, only 25 kilometers from Amsterdam. Haarlem is the city of Frans Hals. Did you know that New York district Harlem was called after Haarlem?

This is a famous square in Haarlem, the Grote Markt (Grand Market Square), which is the city centre of history, events and social gatherings. The photo shows the Grote Markt with at the left side the Stadhuis (City Hall) and in front the statue of Laurens Janszoon Coster. Haarlem citizen Coster (1370-1440) and the German Johannes Gutenberg are both seen as the inventors of the art of printing. The Grote Markt is one of the most beautiful squares in the Netherlands.

This is a photo of the Grote Markt taken from the stairs of the Stadhuis (City Hall) at the other side of the square. In the centre of the photo one sees the statue of Laurens Janszoon Coster again. Some more to the right, there is the Vishal (Covered Fish Market), the tournament venue.

Here again is a photo of the statue of Laurens Janszoon Coster against the background of the Hoofdwacht (Main Guardhouse), which is one of the oldest monuments of Haarlem. Probably built in the 13th century and at that time the City Hall. The statue is just round the corner from the Vishal (Covered Fish Market), just a few steps away.

This photo shows the famous Vleeshal (left) and a part of the Verweijhal (right). The Vleeshal (Covered Meat Market) is no more than 15 meters away from the Vishal (Covered Fish Market). The Vleeshal is a beautiful milestone of the Dutch Renaissance Architecture. The building was constructed in the period 1602-1604 according to design of Lieven de Key, city architect of Haarlem. It was the only place in Haarlem where meat was allowed to be traded. Until 1840 the Vishal had a function as meat market. Later the place was used by the National Archives and the City Library. Since 1950 the Vleeshal has been functioning as exhibition space.

The tournament venue was one of the historical places at the Grote Markt: the Vishal, which is built in a fixed construction at the northern side of the Grote of St. Bavokerk (Grand or St. Bavo Church) in the Centre of Haarlem. In the old days and for centuries the Vishal was a real covered fish market. Nowadays the Vishal is mainly the exhibition space of a group of 150 Haarlem visual/graphic artists. The photo shows the entrance of the Vishal, with the fish logo above the door.

Inside the Vishal one sees the remarkable glazed roof, which made it possible to watch both players and the Grote of St. Bavokerk.

The opening ceremony took place in the Gravenzaal (Hall of Counts) of the Haarlem Stadhuis (City Hall). The City Hall originally was a 13th century hunting lodge of the counts of Holland. In the Gravenzaal one will find a series of 16th century paintings of counts.

The ten participants of the Challenger Group lined up at the opening ceremony in the City Hall: Duchene, Langedijk, Dek, Gijswijt, In ’t Veld, Van den Berg, Van Ketel, De Roda Husman, Van Nies and Merbis. Ready to fight for promotion to the Premier Group next year.

The Vishal inside. During the tournament there was an exhibition of paintings on the walls. Again one sees the glazed roof. The five boards of the Premier Group are at the left hand side, the five of the Challenger Group are at the right.

Rounds 1 to 8 were held in the Vishal. Gaprindashvili started like a tornado with 5½/6. The photo is from round 3: GM Harmen Jonkman – GM Nona Gaprindashvili, which ended in a draw.

But then Nona’s machine got stuck and she lost both games in the 7th and 8th round. Maybe things were going to well in the first six rounds, losing sense of danger. Gaprindashvili, the maximalist who always wants to win, achieved good positions in her games with Balint (7th) and Abeln (8th) but didn’t want to go for a draw to secure her front position in the race. She overlooked moves and lost too simply.

Round seven: Gaprindashvili loses to Andras Balint. Emotionally she leaves the playing hall. Her good friend Käty van der Mije (internationally better known as Alexandra van der Mije-Nicolau, who used to be a top-ten player for more than a decade) tries to comfort her.

Round 8: And again there is a loss. Nona Gaprindashvili congratulates Michiel Abeln.

Round 8: Nona Gaprindashvili explains to Käty van der Mije what went wrong in her game against Michiel Abeln.

Round 8 left to right: Nona Gaprindashvili, Yochanan Afek, Harmen Jonkman, Käty van der Mije, Michiel Abeln and Robert Ris. Post-analysis of Nona Gaprindashvili-Michiel Abeln.

Because of a grand music spectacle at the Grote Markt during round 9 the tournament had to move to the building of Sociëteit Vereeniging. The photo shows Raoul van Ketel (fighting for first prize in the Challenger Group and for promotion to the Premier Group 2006) in front, with Gaprindashvili and Afek waiting to start playing at the background.

Round 9: Nona Gaprindashvili prepares for the final game, ready to fight again. Gaprindashvili is going to beat Yochanan Afek to become the winner of the BDO Chess Tournament 2005.

Käty van der Mije, Pauline van Nies and Nona Gaprindashvili. Pauline (16), who also is an enthusiastic soccer player, is now in her final year at school. In an interview the two veteran ladies said "Pauline is really playing well”.

Paul Tuijp proving his reputation kisses Nona’s hand at the prize-giving.

Local hero GM Harmen Jonkman didn’t disappoint his regional fans by winning the second prize in the Premier Group. Jonkman shows being in good shape. In August he won in Spain the Banyoles Open.

Ardjan Langedijk (New in Chess sales and advertising manager and player of HWP Haarlem) congratulates Raoul van Ketel (right). Both players scored 6½/9 in the Challenger Group but Raoul was better on SB. Ardjan finished second.

Michiel Abeln finished third in the Premier Group. In round 9 he wasn’t able to beat Rob Hartoch, making a draw and missing an IM norm by half a point.

IM Yochanan Afek (above) and GM Harmen Jonkman were the only two players who really could compete with Gaprindashvili.


GM Harmen Jonkman

A parting shot: Käty van der Mije and Nona Gaprindashvili in front of the Grote of St. Bavokerk. It was the tournament of Nona, the maximalist, and also of Käty, her biggest fan. The two ladies have been friends since 1961! Käty was present every day to watch Nona’s games, to share in her emotions after win or loss. After Nona’s tournament victory she finally could relax, saying “I am happy now” with a big smile. It is nice to see people at chess. Chess can be truly beautiful.


Frits Agterdenbos, 45, lives in Heemstede, not far from Amsterdam, and was one of the leading chess photographers in the eighties. From 1979–1991 his pictures appeared in several magazins, including New in Chess, Schakend Nederland, Inside Chess, BCM, Chess, Europe Echecs and Schach. In 1984 his Dutch book “64 Schaakportretten” (in English “64 Chess Portraits”) was published. In 1991 he “retired” as a chess photographer to finish his studies and in 1997 he received a diploma as an insurance mathematician (actuary). Since 1998 he has been a self-employed, working under the company name “Acturix”, which is his actuarial consultancy firm.

Now Frits is back as a chess photographer! In January 2005 he picked up his old passion, and publications show he still knows how to handle his camera. He combines his insurance job and chess photography with being a husband and a father of the beautiful Elena (three years old). You will find his photos on Chessbase.com, Schaakbond.nl, Schaaklog.nl and Schakers.info, and many more websites and magazines. You can contact him under f.agterdenbos (at) acturix.com.

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