Viktor Korchnoi in Holland — still going strong

11/26/2005 – Bunschoten-Spakenburg is a little village north of Amersfoort in Holland. Bunschoten has it's own chess club, in a special building designed in chess style. Two weeks ago they invited the legendary Viktor Kortchnoi for a blitz tournament to commemorate their 70th anniversary. We bring you a special photo report by Fred Lucas.

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The En Passant chess club in Bunschoten-Spakenburg

Saturday 12th of November was a special day for the chess club En Passant. Exactly 70 years ago this club was founded, during the enthusiasm for Max Euwe’s world championship in 1935.


Alice defeats the king

A few years ago, in 2001, En Passant managed to build their own chess building .... like a chess rook! And right before this building there is a very nice statue named "Alice defeats the king".


Viktor in front of the building

Also this year the club En Passant organized a blitz tournament and the sponsor wants it to be a spectacular happening. So this local fisherman (“The Cayman”) invited Viktor Kortchnoi from Switzerland.


There was a lot of fried fish for everybody. And free! So in between the rounds you could see chessplayers go outside to pick up a some fish.

Next Dutch GM Friso Nijboer accepted his invitation. GM Dennis de Vreugt (who won the tournament in 2004) and GM Vladimir Baklan from Ukraine joined the players list. Except for the GM’s and IM’s there were a lot of strong players present this tournament.


A fish-eye's view of part of the playing hall

Kortchnoi didn’t have to play the first three rounds of the tournament, he just started in the final group with 15 opponents. After beating a lot of IM’s, he drew with his strong opponents Baklan and Nijboer. His surprising loss against IM Jelmer Jens placed him second behind Nijboer. Baklan became third.


Viktor Kortchnoi, chess legend


Viktor the Terrible in full action against Bruno Carlier


Blitz monster Manuel Bosboom playing Cekro


Bosboom in attack mode


The chess legend at work


GM Friso Nijboer who won the tournament

So, why did this great chess legend come to a unknown fisher village in Holland? “Well, I like chess, this is my only hobby. And I like happy faces who say I will not be forgotten."

Will he come come back again next year? "Invite me again!”


Viktor got a chocalate cake from the sponsors at the end of the tournament

All photos by Fred Lucas

Final standings (15 rounds)

1
Friso Nijboer
13
2
Viktor Kortchnoi
12
3
Vladimir Baklan
11.5
4
Manuel Bosboom
11
5
Bruno Carlier
10
6
Jelmer Jens
9
7
Dennis de Vreugt
8.5
8
Ekrem Cekro
8.5
9
Stefan Kuipers
8
10
Hans Böhm
7.5
11
Henk Vedder
7
12
Mark Dogge
5.5
13
Jaap Dros
3
14
Gerard van Es
2.5
15
Cor van Ingen
1.5
15
Joost Marcus
1.5


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