Chess to enjoy: The Café Batavia tournament

by André Schulz
3/3/2016 – The Batavia tournament in the Batavia Café in Amsterdam celebrates Dutch coffeehouse chess culture. Back in the days Max Euwe, who in 1935 became World Champion, played his very first tournament in such a café. Three grandmasters started in the Batavia tournament 2016: Lars Schandorff, Sabino Brunello, and Friso Nijboer. And they showed no respect for the young.

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The Café Batavia is close to central station of Amsterdam, right in the middle of the city. And the Batavia café is the venue for an attractive chess tournament the first edition of which was played in 2009. Chief organizer of the tournament is IM Merijn van Delft who is supported by Peter Tames, the owner of the Cafe Batavia. In the eighth edition of the tournament, which took place from 18th to 28th February 2016, ten players - a good mix of talent and experience - took part to play a nine-game round robin.

Among the more experienced players were GM Sabino Brunello from Italy, GM Friso Nijbour from the Netherlands and Danish GM Lars Schandorff. Anne Haast and Lucas van Foreest were two representatives of the young Dutch talents. However, the three grandmasters more than hold their own against the younger generation and took the first three places.

Café Batavia

The tournament started

Tournament winner Lars Schandorff

Lars Schandorff won four games and drew five to share first place with Friso Nijbour.

Here is Schandorff's win against Thomas Willemze. After Black had equalized he became a bit careless and gradually lost the thread.




For Anne Haast, the only woman in the field, things did not go too well. 
(The picture in the background shows Alina l'Ami)


All games



Having fun with beer, blitz, banter, and analysis

Dutch coffeehouse culture

Blitz tournament

Sabino Brunello dominated the blitz tournament and won with a two-point margin

Games of the blitz tournament


The participants: Sabino Brunelli, Lars Schandorff, Friso Nijboer, Moulthun Ly, Arthur Pijpers, Stef Soors, Danny de Ruiter, Thomas Willemze, Lucas van Foreest, Anne Haast

Lars Schandorff explores Amsterdam

Photos: Bas Beekhuizen, Harry Gielen, and Lennart Ootes

Tournament page...


André Schulz started working for ChessBase in 1991 and is an editor of ChessBase News.
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Queenslander Queenslander 3/3/2016 10:19
A solid result from Moulthun Ly of Queensland, Australia. Good luck for hunting a third GM norm Moulthun!