Watching the stars at the Dutch Blitz Championship

2/12/2004 – Last weekend there was an interesting blitz championship. It was held for the 19th year in succession in the Dutch town of Dordrecht (near Rotterdam). What makes it interesting is that there were many international stars present – Sokolov, Short, Dreev –, but also our reporter Jeroen van den Belt, who sent in a pictorial report.

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The "Open Dutch Blitzchess Championship" in Dordrecht attracts amateurs and professionals alike. The prize fund cannot be the whole story. The first prize is: €1,600 (about $2000 and rising), the second €1.200, the 10th € 50. Still we spotted stars like Ivan Sokolov, Nigel Short, Alexei Dreev, Jan Timman, Yasser Seirawan, Loek van Wely, Pedrag Nikolic Jonathan Speelman. I too played in the tournament and achieved a very honorable 184th place (no prize money for that).


The event was held in the nice Mercure hotel in Dordrecht


Waiting for the tournement to start. The big hall is arranged in ten rows of ten tables. Each set of ten tables had its own referee who keeps track of the score.


Ten rows of ten chessboards – 100 in all


Soon the games are under way


The overall score is kept on five giant LCD screens. 200 participants mean 100 tables.


The top board is displayed on a plasma screen


We turn our attention to the stars. That's the legendary Ulf Anderson (right) and Jon Speelman (on Ulf's right).


That's Nigel the-Commonwealth-Champion Short


Jan Timman, one of the greatest Dutch players ever


Many-time Dutch champion Loek ("Lucky Loek") van Wely


Loek has clearly overtaken his great predecessor – in height


America's Yasser Seirawan, taking a break from the blitz – and from trying to resolve the mess in the chess world (as he did in Prague)


Yvette Nagel, daughter of a well-know Dutch politician, and Yasser's wife


The well-know (chess playing) Dutch politician Jan Nagel


Three cheers for him, he actually played in the blitz and came in at 132nd


Your roving reporter, who came in 52 places behind Jan Nagel


And the winner is... Alexei Dreev, proudly pocketing his €1,600

Jeroen van den Belt

Final standings

Plaats : Naam                  Punten     Rating
   1   : Dreev, A.              25,5      2682,0
   2   : Kasimdzhanov, R.       24,5      2652,0
   3   : Sokolov, I.            24,0      2706,0
   4   : Georgiev, K.           23,5      2637,0
   5   : Wely, L.A.F.M. van     23,5      2617,0
   6   : Fridman, D.            22,5      2588,0
   7   : Timman, J.H.           22,5      2578,0
   8   : l  Ami, E.             22,5      2476,0
   9   : Sadler, M.             22,0      2626,0
  10   : Seirawan, Y.           22,0      2621,0
  11   : Doel, E. van den       22,0      2599,0
  12   : Nijboer, F.            22,0      2586,0
  13   : Nikolic, P.            21,5      2648,0
  14   : Speelman, J.           21,5      2578,0
  15   : Shchekachev, A.        21,5      2520,0
  16   : Pedersen, N.V.         21,5      2510,0
  17   : Vaganian, R.           21,0      2623,0
  18   : Glek, I.               21,0      2571,0
  19   : Andersson, U.          21,0      2570,0
  20   : Vreugt, D. de          21,0      2451,0
  21   : Dambacher, M.          21,0      2419,0
  22   : Heeten, D. den         21,0      2091,0
  23   : Short, N.D.            20,5      2702,0
  24   : Barsov, A.             20,5      2524,0
  25   : Ernst, S.              20,5      2474,0
  26   : Stricht, G. van der    20,5      2447,0
  27   : Polaczek, R.           20,5      2426,0
  28   : Ris, R.                20,5      2302,0
  29   : Wit, D. de             20,5      2186,0
  30   : Muhren, B.M.           20,5      2135,0

Dutch for the world: Plaats = place, Naam = name, Punten = Points

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