The Chess Challenges

by ChessBase
12/5/2012 – The Royal Dutch Chess Association organizes chess challenges sponsored by at secondary schools throughout Holland. The challenge is that you can learn how to play chess in one 45-minute lesson taught by experienced chess trainers. After the lesson they play their first tournament with a cheatsheet, and then on Playchess. ChessBase also sponsored prizes for the children.

ChessBase 17 - Mega package - Edition 2024 ChessBase 17 - Mega package - Edition 2024

It is the program of choice for anyone who loves the game and wants to know more about it. Start your personal success story with ChessBase and enjoy the game even more.


The Chess Challenges

The team and organizers start their preparations with the most basic item first: breakfast!

Everyone is presented to the goal of the challenge and what to expect

The Royal Dutch Chess Association organizes so-called chess challenges at secondary schools throughout The Netherlands. The challenge is that you can learn how to play chess in one lesson of 45 minutes. The lessons are taught by experienced chess trainers like Dolf Meijer, Arlette van Weersel, Pascal Losekoot and Franck Steenbekkers. After this lesson they play a tournament in which they are allowed to use a cheatsheet. On the cheatsheet they can find information about how the pieces move. They also get a chance to play a small tournament on Playchess during the Chess Challenge.

Name tags are given to all the participants

The first introduction to the game

The Chess Challenges are sponsored by, a company that negotiates with large software distributors like Microsoft, Adobe, etc. for all Dutch secondary schools. Students and teachers can buy software from at really cheap prices.

At the Chess Challenges there are always some strong players present to play simultaneous games against. The Chess Challenge is organized by a school and a chess club in the neighbourhood and they get full support from a team of the Chess Association. There is a special website that the schools can use when they organize a Chess Challenge:

Last Thursday there was a Chess Challenge at the Jan Tinbergen College in Roosendaal, organized by the local club SV De Pion. GM John van der Wiel, GM Jan Smeets and WIM Smaranda Padurariu were also there to support the teachers. Around 160 third-form pupils (aged around 15) participated and another 40 very young children from primary schools in the neighbourhood also participated.

Everyone had a great time

GM Jan Smeets helps the students and pairs them up

Sharing the decision didn't necessarily make it any easier, but it did make it more fun

WIM Smaranda Padurariu gives the new players their first taste of the game

What would the game be without internet play?

Proof positive that it isn't a man's game

Finally discovering how easy chess is...

Magnus Carlsen discovered the game around the same age

The next Judit Polgar?

In the evening there was a small blitz tournament with 5 minutes each for the local club players where GM Jan Smeets played two games simultaneously.

Jan Smeets gives some pointers

Chess and kids:The media just goes crazy

A number of players wanted to test their newborn claws on a champion, and got their wish always sponsors five prizes worth around 100 Euros each. This time there was a lottery where two digital cameras and three game capture cards could be won.

ChessBase sponsored ten DVDs with Schaak? Mat! for the primary school kids and ten copies of Fritz 13 for the Blitz tournament.

ChessBase sponsored ten DVDs with Schaak? Mat! for the primary school kids

The participants of the blitz tournament received copies of Fritz 13  

Copyright ChessBase

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


Rules for reader comments


Not registered yet? Register