Wijk aan Zee Storytellers (5) - Loek van Wely

by ChessBase
2/1/2021 – In the fifth and last episode of the "Wijk aan Zee Storytellers" podcast Eric van Reem talks to his compatriot Loek van Wely. "KingLoek" played 25 times in Wijk and 297 games in group A, only Dutch Grandmaster Jan Hein Donner can boast of more. In the podcast van Wely talks about his first tournament, where he played in group B and lost to all three Polgar sisters, the soccer games on the restdays, the rivalry between the Dutch players, and what the Netflix series "The Queen's Gambit" has to do with Wijk and himself. | Photo: Magnus Carlsen (left) and Loek van Wely (right) during an intense soccer match. | Photo: Alina l'Ami

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Wijk aan Zee Storytellers (5) - Loek van Wely

In this last episode of the "Wijk aan Zee Storytellers", Eric talks to his compratiot GM Loek van Wely, who played 25 times in the highest group in Wijk aan Zee. He played the most games on the highest level in the history of the event and shares the record with the legendary GM Jan-Hein Donner: 297 games! Loek debuted in 1990 though , in the B group and in that tournament he lost to all the three Polgar sisters! 

In this episode "KingLoek" , as he is often called, talks about his best games, the rivalry between Dutch players like Van der Wiel, Piket and Timman, the famous football matches on the restdays and other Wijk aan Zee stories. He also has a fun story to tell about the Netflix series "The Queen's Gambit". When watching an episode, he suddenly recognized a game that he played in the 2000 edition of the tournament in Wijk aan Zee against GM and former world champion Garry Kasparov. 

Loek van Wely (1972) is a Dutch chess player and politician. He was awarded the title Grandmaster by FIDE in 1993, and was rated among the world's top ten in 2001 with a rating of 2714. In March 2019, he was elected to the Dutch Senate. He has won the Dutch Chess Championship on eight occasions: six consecutive times from 2000 through 2005, in 2014 and in 2017.

Van Wely participated in the elite tournament held in Wijk aan Zee (originally named Hoogovens, then Corus, now Tata Steel) 25 times, consecutively from 1992 to 2010 and again from 2012 to 2017. His best result occurred in 2003, when he shared fourth place with Alexei Shirov, Alexander Grischuk, Vassily Ivanchuk and Vladimir Kramnik scoring 7 out of 13 points.

All the information about the tournament and links that will guide you to the right place, can be found on the official website of the tournament. TATA Steel Chess is also on Twitter. Use the hashtag #tatasteelchess.

Have a look at the statistics here: All time statistics.

All crosstables and more information about the event in Wijk aan Zee can be found on the Wikipedia site.

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Host       : Eric van Reem
Guest     : GM Loek van Wely (NED)
Editor     : Dennis van Reem
Artwork  : Fränk Stiefel
Music     : Chess Pieces-Silent Partner

Feedback: talkingchess@gmail.com or tweet @ChessClassic

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