Finding inspiration in Haarlem (1/2)

by Alina l'Ami
11/5/2016 – "A Dutch legend, a Syrian refugee and a 64 year-old Israeli… and chess, of course. That's all it takes to rediscover the pleasure of the 64 squares, through the pleasure of the others. One doesn't necessarily need to be around Carlsen to feel the spark of the beauty of chess. The light in a chess player's eyes wired for this game is just as fascinating and, perhaps, the best mirror a chess lover could possibly find." Thus starts an illustrated report by Alina L'Ami.

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 Last week in Haarlem during the HWP Festival, consisting of a Masters Group (nine round robin IM event) and two Opens (A and B, depending on the strength of the contestants) I had the chance to meet or see again such inspiring characters.

One of a kind: Manuel Bosboom

Some of Bosboom's creative efforts

Gifted with magic powers, Manuel Bosboom can drag you into a fantasy and before you know it, make it real too. His own twists and views on chess are unmatched and they do make you feel part of something special.

Manuel is like a candle...

…burning himself up to light the chess pleasures in our minds and hearts. The Dutch community is lucky to have a distinctive chess player like him on their list.

In Bosboom's footsteps: had my own share of fighting chess, with most of my games spinning out of control (photo: Patrick Put)

Two of my games

Playing crazy chess is not too bad, but the Masters group (click on image for high-res version) was clearly dominated by...

IM Thomas Willemze, who won the tournament with 6.5/9. Being efficient, calm and making no mistakes is easier said than done.

Among those who tried to stop Thomas were Maurice Schippers...

...Nargiz Umudova (now the wife of GM Twan Burg)...

Willemze – Umudova

...myself and Max Warmerdam alike, but to no avail.

Only one player took a full point from Thomas, Jasel Lopez. It didn't change much though – a well deserved 1st place.

Masters standings

Continued in part two...


The games are being broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server If you are not a member you can download a free Playchess client there and get immediate access. You can also use ChessBase 13 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.

Alina is an International Master and a very enthusiastic person in everything she does. She loves travelling to the world's most remote places in order to play chess tournaments and report about them here on ChessBase! As chance would have it Alina is also an excellent photographer.


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