"Timman-70" Composition Tourney

6/4/2021 – In December, on the 14th to be specific, Dutch grandmaster Jan Timman turns seventy. He was one of the world's leading players from the late 1970s to the early 1990s. He is also a prolific study composer. So it is appropriate that a Study Composition Tourney is being staged in his honour. Awards will be distributed on his birthday. For this announcement Jan has selected five of his favourite studies, composed by him, for you to solve.

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Study Composition Tourney „Jan Timman-70”

To honour the 70th birthday of Jan Timman, chess legend and prolific study composer, the Royal Dutch Chess Federation (KNSB) announces an endgame study composition tourney (free theme).

Judge: Jan Timman

Director: Harold van der Heijden

Organisational Support: Jan Sprenger

Prizes: 150/125/100/75/50 € (sponsored by KNSB)

Special prizes, offered by friends and colleagues of Jan Timman:

  • Hans Böhm: 15 chess king statues, made by the Dutch artist Margaret Wevers (www.schaakkunst.nl);
  • Harold van der Heijden: two HHdbVI study databases (www.hhdbvi.nl);
  • Jan Sprenger: 100 € for the best study by a strong practical player (criteria: 2000+ rating, not more than ten entries in HHdbVI);
  • KNSB: chess books by Jan Timman


  • Deadline for submissions: 1 October 2021
  • Preliminary award: 14 December 2021 (70th birthday JT)
  • Deadline for claims: 14 January 2022
  • Final award: 31 January 2022

Coproductions are allowed. There is a maximum of three studies per composer. Double money prizes will not be awarded; instead, the composer will receive the more valuable prize.

Submissions should be sent in pgn format to the tourney director Harold van der Heijden (heijdenharold@gmail.com), with „Jan Timman 70” in the subject line.

The results of the tourney will be published on the website of the KNSB and in the endgame study magazine EG.

Jan Hendrik Timman (14-12-1951) Dutch composer

Jan Timman was and still is a top player (o.t.b. GM and World no.2 at the beginning of the 1980s), but he is also an endgame studies composer and has always expressed interest for chess composition.He is one of the chief editors of the magazine "New In Chess". He recently wrote the remarkable book "The Art of the Endgame - My Journeys in the Magical World of Endgame Studies".

Jan has composed countless studies, and I wanted to show you some examples here. But instead of choosing the ones I like, Harold van der Heijden suggested we let Jan do the choosing. Below are some he considers his favourites.

You can move the pieces on the diagrams and try to solve these studies. The full solution are at the end.

Studies selected by Jan Timman

My first successful study. I composed it in 1980 or late 79. It is an aristocratic study and there is an alternate version with the black king on e8. Comments can be found in "Studies and Games".


The theme of the tourney was "Transition into a pawn endgame". I had some ideas for this study for quite some time, but it was a hard task to find the best economic form for it. You, Harold awarded it first prize!


My first successful study with a rook promotion.There is also a pointed foreplay.


The judge, GM David Gurgenidze, wrote: "Beautiful example of endgame artistry. From the first move to the last the study utilizes and fully realizes one complete idea". White comes up with three consecutive pawn sacs to effectively block the 4th and 5th row for the black rook. The end of the study is inspired by a game Mamedyarov-Navara, Shamkir '19, in which Black could have won on the 70th move.


Gurgenidze wrote: "Immensely thrilling build-up that culminates in the sublime finale!" It took me some time to find the attractive double rook sac.


And now for the solutions. You know you can start an engine (fan icon) to check the lines given – and to answer any "what if ..." and "why not ..." questions you may have.



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amarpan amarpan 6/5/2021 04:29
Fischer, Timman, Ulf Andersen, Nigel Short and Anand were the few players who managed to break through the Soviet machinery before the advent of computers.
Frits Fritschy Frits Fritschy 6/4/2021 10:28
I wonder very much about Timman's willingness, let alone his capabilities, to take a selfie.
Minnesota Fats Minnesota Fats 6/4/2021 08:02
Is this a selfie?
Frits Fritschy Frits Fritschy 6/4/2021 12:01
I wonder why Timman still is without an official title in the area of composition. (Also in this area, there are GM, IM and FM titles.) Is this because many of his studies are just published in his books instead of being sent in to composition tournaments? If that is the problem, one might reward him with a honoris causa title (that exists as well) for his efforts to popularise endgame composition.
By the way, does calling a 2012 book 'recent' reflect the age of the author of this article...?