Sandipan at the Netherlands Open

by Alina l'Ami
8/21/2017 – The history of the NK Chess Open began 140 years ago — that is — a long time ago. The city of Dieren hosted not only the first edition ever, but every event for the last 49 years. This year's edition was played between July 25th and August 3rd and crowned champion Sandipan Chanda, ahead of Koen Leenhouts. Both scored 7/9 points. | Photos: Alina l´Ami

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Of chess players and animals

The 2017 Netherlands Open in Dieren

Hand and pawn

Click or tap all photos to open at full-size | Photos: Alina l'Ami

Once upon a time...

…in the lower part of a lowland kingdom, there was a town, and in the town a palace, and in the palace, a king. I daresay you have heard of Max Euwe, the Dutch king of chess, haven't you?

Born a long time ago — and yet perhaps it wasn't such a long time ago — the former world champion galvanized his nation. The Max Euweplein, a square in Amsterdam, honors his name, while thousands of chess enthusiasts still day-dream of similar paths to fame.

But it all started in the olden times when wishing still helped. And believe it or not, it is absolutely true: the NK Open, which takes place in Dieren (which literally means "animals" in Dutch), at the end of July/beginning of August, and dates back more than 140 year. It has been 49 years since it was held in the current location.

Cafe

(Above) Just the tip of the iceberg
(Below) 
The playing hall, hidden underneath the Cafe

Playing hall

It must be a cultural thing. I do dislike stereotyping, but a fact is a fact: the Dutch chess players, even though some might be under-rated, are very dangerous opponents, especially if you are facing young ones. They are ambitious, energetic, calculate very well and most annoyingly of all: they know their openings. You don't want to mess with them by entering war zones like the 6.Bg5 Najdorf. And even if the battle is not a theoretical one, very often one can witness the struggles the higher rated players must endure.

 

Forty-nine years of a revered chess tradition

Mother and child

Everyone knows that tradition is not to preserve the ashes but to pass on the flame

Every year in Dieren, a Brobdingnagian chess fire warms up the hearts of hundreds of people — 508 this time, to be exact.

“I played there as a kid”, says the Dutch GM Erwin l'Ami. “It feels great to be back and enjoy the game in the same gemoedelijk atmosphere”.

atmosphere

Chess in a convivial habitat does wonders but just when about to grab the 1st place, Erwin (below) fell off the ladder by losing the last game against Dimitri Reinderman

Erwin l'Ami

Iturrizaga

The top seed, Eduardo Iturrizaga (above), had to face a similar fate as he lost in Round 8 against IM Koen Leenhouts (below), who shared 1st with 7/9 along side Sandipan Chanda

IM Koen Leenhouts

GM Chanda Sandipan was crowned Dutch Champion for the second consecutive time | Sagar Shah, ChessBase India

The Modern Pirc

The Modern Pirc is actually a mixture of the Caro-Kann and the Pirc. In many lines Black combines the ideas of the classical Pirc in which the fianchettoed bishop is important with the Caro-Kann idea to fight for the center with c6-d5.

More...

 

For as long as one can remember, countless players have been playing chess in the very same tournament hall. Many felt the wonder of a child returning now, back and back again, as adults. 

Players

The trusted environment is propitious for the emotional memories to unfold, and for planning properly — one can block the dates way in advance for the next edition

But the tournament is not just a dinosaur which miraculously avoided extinction. It also gives impetus to the young talents and hardens them for when the time will come to be crowned as chess kings and queens.

Mother and children

Sometimes the chess world feels like a world in which one would move like a chess horse that would move like a rook that would move like a bishop. It can be quite puzzling and chaotic. But it is beautiful too.

IM Manuel Bosboom

The one and only Manuel Bosboom, IM and a legend in the Dutch chess scene, was the winner of the Blitz event in Dieren

For the chess fanatics, there are Rapid and Blitz events to attend, plus a wide range of additional activities, tailored to satisfy the special people that we are. There is also a popquiz, simul, football match etc. And if that's not onto your liking, just enjoying the sun and the typical Dutch scenery can't be wrong either.

Besides, the entire setting is so Dutch — you know:

cows

Green grass, cows, flat land, strong winds, heavy rains

Alina in the wind

In this environment, playing chess feels most natural | Photo: Patrick Put

Because my tale started with Euwe, will round it up with his granddaughter, Esmee Lammers. She has written a children book called “Lang Leve de Koningin” (Long Live the Queen), which is popular with young people.

Father and daughter

The princess and her queen

It is a tale about a young girl who learns to play chess, and I can only wonder why there are such few women chess players in the Netherlands? A Sherlock Holmes mystery which still needs solving...

Meanwhile, you can puzzle out the following examples:

 

Some people don't believe what they are told. They only believe what they see. Next year, will mark 50 years of chess history in Dieren. And the story can be yours in 2018.

Dieren

All photos: Alina l'Ami

All games

Final standings

# Nombre Elo Fed. Puntos Rend. W-We BH SB
1 GM Sandipan, Chanda 2575 IND 7.0 2675 +1.18 51.0 38.5
2 IM Leenhouts, Koen 2486 NED 7.0 2685 +2.32 51.0 38.0
3 GM L'Ami, Erwin 2610 NED 6.5 2623 +0.31 52.5 35.75
4 GM Iturrizaga, Eduardo 2664 VEN 6.5 2642 -0.11 52.5 35.5
5 IM Annaberdiev, Meilis 2485 TKM 6.5 2557 +0.93 48.5 33.75
6 GM Reinderman, Dimitri 2573 NED 6.5 2556 +0.04 47.5 33.75
7 GM Gavrilov, Alexei 2491 RUS 6.5 2566 +0.97 46.0 32.0
8 IM Schoppen, Casper 2432 NED 6.0 2464 +0.49 47.5 29.25
9 GM Pruijssers, Roeland 2508 NED 6.0 2529 +0.36 47.5 28.75
10 GM Shyam, Sundar M. 2534 IND 6.0 2492 -0.31 47.0 29.75
11 IM Brodowski, Piotr 2442 POL 6.0 2415 -0.19 41.0 26.5
12 GM Ikonnikov, Vyacheslav 2538 RUS 6.0 2423 -1.03 41.0 26.25
13 Elgersma, Simon 2120 NED 6.0 2359 +2.70 38.5 25.0
14 IM Butkiewicz, Lukasz 2455 POL 5.5 2497 +0.61 48.0 26.5
15 IM Van Foreest, Lucas 2473 NED 5.5 2490 +0.30 47.5 27.25
16 GM Hausrath, Daniel 2482 GER 5.5 2440 -0.35 47.5 26.75
17 FM Vrolijk, Liam 2419 NED 5.5 2361 -0.48 46.0 26.5
18 IM De Jong, Migchiel 2338 NED 5.5 2386 +0.68 46.0 25.75
19 FM Baglan, Esat 2305 TUR 5.5 2455 +1.84 46.0 25.25
20 Van Dael, Siem 2132 NED 5.5 2421 +3.29 42.0 23.75
21 FM Buckels, Valentin 2332 GER 5.5 2344 +0.26 41.0 22.0
22 IM Roy, Prantik 2351 IND 5.0 2493 +1.68 50.5 25.5
23 IM Hendriks, Willy 2411 NED 5.0 2332 -0.86 48.5 25.0
24 IM Beukema, Stefan 2400 BEL 5.0 2309 -0.93 47.5 23.5
25 FM Lai, Hing Ting 2393 NED 5.0 2375 -0.14 46.5 22.5
26 FM Warmerdam, Max 2357 NED 5.0 2345 -0.09 46.0 22.0
27 Zwirs, Nico 2399 NED 5.0 2385 -0.02 46.0 21.5
28 IM Bosboom, Manuel 2405 NED 5.0 2317 -0.99 44.5 23.25
29 FM Maris, Ivo 2332 NED 5.0 2370 +0.48 43.5 21.75
30 FM Stillger, Bernhard 2262 GER 5.0 2326 +0.79 42.5 22.0
31 Kooijmans, Jermo 2272 NED 5.0 2398 +1.48 41.5 19.75
32 Van Meegen, Ruud 2239 NED 5.0 2340 +1.21 40.5 19.0
33 WFM Caglar, Sila 1976 TUR 5.0 2151 +1.41 40.0 20.5
34 IM Beerdsen, Thomas 2452 NED 5.0 2221 -2.32 39.0 20.5
35 FM Beukema, Jasper 2218 BEL 5.0 2290 +0.71 39.0 18.25
36 IM Wiersma, Eelke 2352 NED 4.5 2260 -1.01 46.5 19.5
37 IM Luch, Michal 2393 POL 4.5 2234 -1.79 45.5 21.25
38 Vos, Tjark 2171 AHO 4.5 2383 +2.13 43.5 21.5
39 Kokje, Joris 2112 NED 4.5 2342 +2.53 40.5 19.5
40 Grieve, Harry 2076 ENG 4.5 2231 +1.77 39.5 17.0
41 Wedda, Dries 2094 NED 4.5 2265 +1.93 39.5 16.75
42 Ojas Kulkarni 2351 IND 4.5 2136 -2.35 37.5 16.0
43 De Boer, Bas 2079 NED 4.5 2260 +2.00 36.5 16.75
44 De Boer, Eelke 2161 NED 4.5 2194 +0.21 36.5 14.75
45 FM Kollen, Zyon 2307 NED 4.0 2335 +0.34 45.0 18.5
46 FM Maatman, Nick 2386 NED 4.0 2187 -2.21 44.5 18.5
47 Van Baar, Esper 2067 NED 4.0 2212 +1.54 41.5 16.0
48 FM Muehlenhaus, Sven 2199 GER 4.0 2187 -0.25 40.5 16.25
49 FM Rietveld, Renze 2312 NED 4.0 2133 -2.06 40.5 14.5
50 Mesman, Edwyn 2230 NED 4.0 2149 -1.08 38.5 13.5
51 Hommes, Elmar 2062 NED 4.0 2156 +1.06 38.0 14.75
52 Sparenberg, Erik 2158 NED 4.0 2148 -0.22 38.0 12.5
53 Bekedam, Tyro 2150 NED 4.0 2128 -0.32 36.5 13.0
54 Guelsen, Taylan 2095 GER 4.0 2138 +0.53 36.0 14.75
55 Evengroen, Henk-Jan 2208 NED 4.0 2105 -1.31 36.0 12.75
56 Zwirs, Jasper 2082 NED 4.0 2156 +0.82 34.5 12.0
57 Likhit Chilukuri 2125 IND 4.0 2127 -0.03 33.5 13.5
58 Van der Zon, Stef 2103 NED 4.0 2158 +0.64 33.5 12.75
59 Ciornei, Dragos, Dr. 2118 GER 4.0 2070 -0.64 31.0 11.0
60 IM L'Ami, Alina 2304 ROU 3.5 2154 -1.77 42.5 14.0
61 Evengroen, Jan 2108 NED 3.5 2192 +0.79 39.0 14.5
62 Bakker, Guido 2167 NED 3.5 2152 -0.37 39.0 13.5
63 Van Helvoort, Rob 2123 NED 3.5 2134 -0.12 38.5 13.25
64 Losekoot, Pascal 2110 NED 3.5 2155 +0.44 36.5 11.5
65 Verhoef, Pieter 2122 NED 3.5 2040 -1.09 29.0 9.0
66 Bruil, Rembrandt 2061 NED 3.0 2094 +0.25 37.5 11.5
67 Binnendijk, Ferdinand 2049 NED 3.0 2071 +0.20 37.0 9.5
68 Krueger, Andre 2134 GER 3.0 1980 -1.91 33.0 8.75
69 Kouwenhoven, Derk 2150 NED 3.0 2006 -1.81 32.5 9.0
70 Tromp, Pieter 2114 NED 3.0 2005 -1.26 31.5 7.25
71 Bus, Tom 2153 NED 3.0 1990 -2.03 31.5 6.75
72 Blok, Michiel 2160 NED 2.5 1987 -2.16 31.5 7.75
73 Kalle, Erwin 2005 NED 2.5 1989 -0.24 31.5 7.25
74 Pols, Wiggert 2090 NED 2.5 1971 -1.45 31.0 5.75
75 Bielderman, Guy 2107 NED 2.5 2030 -0.84 30.0 7.0
76 Roorda, Thijs 2115 NED 2.5 2039 -0.97 30.0 6.25
77 Boersma, Jan 2095 NED 2.0 1925 -1.93 30.5 4.5
78 Elgersma, Onno 1992 NED 1.5 1852 -1.40 29.5 3.5
79 FM Gungl, Theo 2286 GER 0.0 1261 -0.78 25.0 0.0

Correction: An earlier version of this article referred to the tournament as the "Dutch Championship", which is actually a separate event that was held in July and won by Loek van Wely, after a two-game tiebreak over Sipke Ernst.

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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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adbennet adbennet 8/22/2017 06:38
"Without much thought, they all played the mind-blowing and by now well known theory: 13.Bb5! The 2nd piece is offered for a higher cause. All the aforementioned games ended rapidly in 1-0, which shows (if anybody had any doubts) how important home preparation is."

I am sorry, but I believe this account is not quite accurate. 9...g5 was the prepared novelty, whereas 13.Bb5 was found over-the-board by Geller, after MUCH thought, and copied by Keres and Spassky. So we could say that this historical example does NOT show how important home preparation is.
ulyssesganesh ulyssesganesh 8/22/2017 03:35
a great coverage of the dutch open!
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