Loek van Wely – Dutch Internet Champion 2011

by ChessBase
6/26/2011 – GM Loek van Wely recently added a new feather to his cap by becoming the 2011 Dutch Internet Champion, after beating GM Jan Smeets in the final. Every second Saturday, the Royal Dutch Chess Association organizes a tournament open only to Dutch players, giving special master points and crowning a champion every year. For the final, arbiters were sent to the players' homes. Report.

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Loek van Wely – Dutch Internet Champion 2011

On Saturday, June 18, GM Loek van Wely became Dutch Internet Champion 2011. In the final he beat GM Jan Smeets 5-4 winning 800 euros.

Players could only enter if they had the Dutch nationality and were members of the Royal Dutch Chess Association (KNSB). Eight players had immediate access to the final round on Saturday. Among them six Grandmasters: Loek van Wely, Jan Smeets, Ivan Sokolov, Dimitri Reinderman, Erik van den Doel and Daan Brandenburg.

The KNSB has an internet competition with an internet tournament on every second Saturday. Players can earn masterpoints in these tournament and the top two players in this competition also qualified for the final. At the moment there are 189 players who have participated at least once in this competition. KIM Peter Bolwerk and KIM Mees van Osch are on top of this list and they were also allowed to play the final. KIM stands for Candidate Internet Master.

Another eight players came from preliminary rounds in the preceding week. Four tournaments were played with forty to fifty players every night. The two best players from each tournament qualified for the final on Saturday. Among the qualifiers some young players like IM Benjamin Bok (1995), Miguel Admiraal (1994) and IM Robin van Kampen (1994).

Benjamin Bok

Robin Van Kampen

For the final the last sixteen players were ordered according to their Fide rating. To make sure that there would be no cheating the Chess Association actually sent arbiters to the players' homes during the final, with the exception of Loek van Wely because he was playing from Las Vegas!

In the matches with the last sixteen the player reaching two wins first went to the quarter final. Immediately after the start of the tournament the tournament leader himself lost his internet connection and the start of the tournament became a little hectic with matches having to be restarted. Ivan Sokolov, Jan Smeets, Erik van den Doel and Loek van Wely had no trouble, and won their games easily. The other games were really exciting. FM Rob Schoorl came a point up against GM Dimitri Reinderman and two draws followed. Unfortunately Rob lost his internet connection in the next game with only fifteen seconds remaining, losing the game and eventually the match. From the arbiter's report, one learns that Rob likes to play with his music on very loud! The match between IM Christov Kleijn and IM Robin van Kampen was really exciting and it was Christov who finally went through.

In the quarter finals, three wins were needed to qualify to the semis. GM Jan Smeets was two points behind at one point against GM Daan Brandenburg, but still won 4.0-3.0. On the other hand, GM Loek van Wely had no trouble beating GM Erik van den Doel. Note that Erik was Internet Champion in 2009. IM Koen Leenhouts had trouble keeping both his internet connection and his positions against GM Ivan Sokolov. The surprise came from IM Christov Kleijn who beat GM Dimitri Reinderman. Even so, losing now still meant winning 150 euros.

In the semi-final four wins were needed. GM Smeets convincingly beat GM Ivan Sokolov while GM Loek van Wely crushed IM Christov Kleijn. Sokolov and Kleijn won 300 euros each.

Loek Van Wely

Jan Smeets

The tournament had its dream final with GM Loek van Wely and GM Jan Smeets, and now five wins were needed. More than 180 kibitzers attended the match, and it was very close with constant changes in the leadership. Jan Smeets came within a game of takig the match at 4.0-3.0 but Loek van Wely then won his next two games with the black pieces and with it the championship and 800 euros. Jan Smeets won 500 euros as runner-up.

All in all the Dutch Internet Championship was a great success. The prize money seems to attract the GrandMasters and the preliminary rounds make sure that young and talented players can also take part.

Dutch Internet Championsip 2011


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