The legendary Geurt Gijssen

by Sagar Shah
10/4/2023 – Geurt Gijssen, born in 1934, is one of the most famous chess arbiters in the world of chess. He was the chief arbiter for the World Championship match between Kasparov and Karpov in 1987. He has been the top arbiter for several world championships, Olympiads and also the chairman of the FIDE rules commission for 20 years! What makes him so special? In this interview IM Sagar Shah sits down with Geurt and gets to know all about his life story. Towards the end Geurt also gives his advice to young and budding people who want to become chess arbiters.

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Geurt Gijssen was born in Germany, but has lived in Nijmegen, Netherlands since 1952, where he worked as a mathematics teacher at a secondary school until he retired in 1983. He has been the head arbiter of several Chess Olympiads (1998, 2000, 2002, 2006), as well as several matches and tournaments for World Chess Champion titles: Garry Kasparov-Anatoly Karpov (1987, 1990), Anatoly Karpov-Gata Kamsky (1996), Anatoly Karpov-Vishwanathan Anand (1998), FIDE World Chess Championship (1999), Vladimir Kramnik-Veselin Topalov (2006).

Geurt is also a chess writer and has written several books on the game. In 2013 he was awarded the title of FIDE Honorary Member in recognition of his outstanding contributions to chess. Here are some of Gijssen's most notable achievements:

  • International Arbiter (1979)
  • FIDE Honorary Member (2013)
  • Head referee of several Chess Olympiads (1998, 2000, 2002, 2006)
  • Head referee of several World Chess Championship matches and tournaments
  • Chess writer, author of several books on the game

Geurt Gijssen is a highly respected figure in the world of chess. He is a dedicated and experienced referee who has made significant contributions to the game. IM Sagar Shah interviewed him during his coverage of the Levitov Chess Week 2023:

Sagar is an International Master from India with two GM norms. He loves to cover chess tournaments, as that helps him understand and improve at the game he loves so much. He is the co-founder and CEO of ChessBase India, the biggest chess news portal in the country. His YouTube channel has over a million subscribers, and to date close to a billion views. ChessBase India is the sole distributor of ChessBase products in India and seven adjoining countries, where the software is available at a 60% discount. compared to International prices.


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