P. Nikolic wins "old masters" tournament

by André Schulz
3/3/2020 – The 80th Noteboom tournament took place in Leiden last weekend. In addition to the Open, a four-way battle was carried out by the "old masters". Nikolic won ahead of Hübner, Karpov and Timman. Casper Schoppen won the Open. | Photos: Harry Gielen

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80th Noteboom tournament in Leiden

Alongside Max Euwe, Daniel Noteboom was considered the greatest talent in Dutch chess in the 1920s and 1930s. He was born in Nordwijk in 1910, but died of pneumonia in London in 1932, at the age of only 21 years. Shortly before, he had participated in the Christmas tournament in Hastings 1931/32. In 1930 and 1931 he represented the Netherlands at the Chess Olympiads in Hamburg and Prague.

Daniel Noteboom 1910-1932

A variation of the semi-Slav in the Queen's Gambit is named after Noteboom.



The Triangle Setup - A complete defense to 1.d4

The polish GM Michal Krasenkow presents a repertoire based on the Noteboom and the Stonewall. Black's set-up may lead to a whole range of different and interesting positions, which help the black player to broaden his strategic and tactical understanding.

The Semi-Slav defense (1.d4 d5 followed by ...e7-e6 and ...c7-c6) is one of the most popular opening set-ups for Black. Black can follow two entirely different concepts.

Daniel Noteboom was a member of the Leiden Chess Club, which holds a memorial tournament every year in memory of him. This year marks the 110th birthday of Daniel Noteboom and the chess friends from Leiden also invited four chess legends for a double-round tournament, namely the 12th world champion Anatoly Karpov, the former world championship candidates Jan Timman, Robert Hübner and Pedrag Nikolic.

Nikolic won three of his six games which led to win the tournament with a point advantage over Karpov. The 3rd and 4th place went to Hübner and Timman respectively.

Nikolic and Timman


Huebner and Karpov


During the game against Hübner, Karpov’s demonstrated typical excellence, improving his position gradually and allowing him to grind out a technical win.


White won with 57.xa2 xa2 58.g8.

"Old Masters" games


Final standings


Karpov at the prize giving

Anatoly Karpov


Dr. Robert Hübner


Jan Timman

Translation from German: Arne Kähler


André Schulz started working for ChessBase in 1991 and is an editor of ChessBase News.


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