Study contest – Jan Timman turns sixty-five

by ChessBase
1/7/2017 – In December he turned 65. For decades Jan Timman was a top GMs – in 1982 in fact the world's number two player, behind Anatoly Karpov, against whom he played a World Championship match. Timman is also an expert in endgame studies, with many prize-winning compositions to his name. It is therefore appropriate that Hans Böhm celebrates his 50 years of close friendship with Jan with a special composition contest, and we present some enchanting pictures.

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Jan Hendrik Timman was born on December 14, 1951 and in the late 1970s until the early 1990s became one of the world's top GMs – certainly the best non-Soviet player, and in 1982 the world's number two, behind Anatoly Karpov. He won the Dutch Chess Championship a total of nine times, and was a multiple Candidate for the World Championship. When FIDE broke with World Champion Garry Kasparov in 1993 they staged a rival Championship to counteract the Kasparov-Short match in London.

Timman and Karpov FIDE World Championship in Zwolle 1993 [© ANP Historisch Archief Community]

It was a FIDE title match between Timman and Anatoly Karpov, played in Zwolle, Arnhem, Amsterdam, and Jakarta from September to November 1993, and won by Karpov 12½ to 8½.

Twenty years later: Karpov vs Timman in Groningen 2013

It has been a long rivalry, and continues. Karpov turned 65 seven months before Jan Timman, and in June 2016, as part of the 100-year celebration of the Russian city of Murmansk, the two played a four-game match, which Timman won 2½:1½. In his report Priyadarshan Banjan wrote:

It might seem like a needle to the great Dutch player, but consider that Timman and Karpov have a rivalry that now spans over 100 classical games, with their first match taking place 26 years ago. In this time, Jan Timman had never been able to best the 12th World Champion, Anatoly Karpov in a match, and it was not for lack of trying. At long last, he can finally cross off that item on his bucket list that had to seem was written in permanent ink: 'beat Tolya in a match.'

At 65, Timman is still a pretty active GM and a long time player of both the Dutch team Wageningen and the German team Porz. He is also an active book writer and one of the chief editors New In Chess, which recently published his book Timman's Titans, which portrays ten World Chess Champions that played an important role in his life and career. The book not only presents a personal view of these chess giants, but is also an evocation of countless fascinating episodes in chess history.

In his regular very readable articles for the magazine New in Chess he comments on world chess in general, but also provides many endgame studies. Timman is a consummate expert in this area, and so it is appropriate that

another well known study composer, Yochanan Afek, Jan's friend and teammate in Wageningen club, and the world class studies expert Harold van der Heijden, have announced two composing tourneys for endgame studies to celebrate Jan Timman's 65th birthday:

1. Only for over the board title-holders (FIDE GM, IM, FM, WGM, WIM, WFM)
Theme: free
Judges: Yochanan Afek & Hans Böhm
Tourney director: Harold van der Heijden
Prize fund: 1000 EUR

2. Open section
Theme: mate by the bishop (or struggle against mate by the bishop)
Judges: Jan Timman & Hans Böhm
Tourney director: Harold van der Heijden,
Prize fund: 1000 EUR

If you wish to participate you should send your originals, before July 1st 2017, to the tourney director: preferably in PGN-format. In both sections there is a maximum of three studies per composer. Co-authored studies are allowed (in the first section all authors must be title holders).
The final award will be ready on December 14th 2017, the 66th birthday of Jan Timman.

Jan Timman analysing endgames with Yochanan Afek in 2005

Recent studies by Jan Timman

Note that in the following selection of Timman studies you can move pieces on the replay board to analyse, and in fact start an engine to help you. You can maximize the replayer, auto-play, flip the board and even change the piece style in the bar below the board. At the bottom of the notation window on the right there are buttons for editing (delete, promote, cut lines, unannotate, undo, redo) save, play out the position against Fritz and even embed our JavaScript replayer on your web site or blog. Hovering the mouse over any button will show you its function.

The solutions to the studies are given at the end of this article.

[Event "3rd Pr. The problemist -2014-"] [Site "?"] [Date "2015.??.??"] [Round "?"] [White "Timman, Jan"] [Black "White to play and draw"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [Annotator "Afek,Yochanan"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "r7/2p5/P7/4kB2/2K4B/b7/8/8 w - - 0 0"] [PlyCount "0"] 1/2-1/2

[Event "1st Pr.Kozlowski -100 MT"] [Site "?"] [Date "2012.??.??"] [Round "?"] [White "Timman, Jan"] [Black "White to play and win"] [Result "1-0"] [Annotator "Afek,Yochanan"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "1r6/2b5/Kp6/3P4/1P1R4/8/5k2/8 w - - 0 1"] [PlyCount "0"] [EventDate "2012.??.??"] 1-0

[Event "3rd Pr. Brieger MT"] [Site "?"] [Date "2014.??.??"] [Round "?"] [White "Timman, Jan"] [Black "White to play and draw"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [Annotator "Afek,Yochanan"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "1R4K1/8/b1N4r/B3p2P/1P6/2p5/5k2/b7 w - - 0 1"] [PlyCount "0"] [EventDate "2013.??.??"] 1/2-1/2

[Event "1st Pr. Beliavsky-80 JT"] [Site "?"] [Date "2015.??.??"] [Round "?"] [White "Timman, Jan"] [Black "White to play and win"] [Result "1-0"] [Annotator "Afek,Yochanan"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "B3r3/P3p3/8/5P1b/2N2P1k/1P1p3P/p6K/b1Rn4 w - - 0 0"] [PlyCount "0"] 1-0

The prize money for the studies contest announced above has been made available by Böhm Communications BV. In this way Hans Böhm celebrates 50 years of close friendship with Jan Timman.

An undated very early picture of Jan and Hans...

... and the two friends in a more contemporary picture [this one by Chess Vibes]

See also

The Love for Wood - 1979 chess documentary
2/17/2014 – Recently a fascinating Dutch documentary on chess, dating from 1979, surfaced on YouTube, showing in intimate detail the state of chess at the time, and a glimpse into the players’ minds. The protagonists are Jan Timman, Jan Hein Donner, Hans Ree, Max Euwe and more. They answer questions on chess addiction, chess sadism, home preparation, often with exceptionally insightful comments.

Solutions to the Timman studies

Reports about chess: tournaments, championships, portraits, interviews, World Championships, product launches and more.


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