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 Our hospitable longtime home court –De Vredehorst   Photo: www.hervormdwageningen.nl/Algemeen/Gebouwen/Vredehorst.php

A good start for VLG Advocaten Wageningen

It is my twelfth happy season as a player-trainer in the chess club of Wageningen- a small and pleasant university town in the East of the Netherlands known to the rest of the world also for the capitulation pact of the Nazi Wehrmacht signed in Hotel de Wereled which is still an active Hotel restaurant in the central 5th of May square. The Liberation Day (De Bevrijdings Dag) has been celebrated ever since in town by, among many other s, a traditional strong rapid chess tournament. In 1957 the zonal tournament was won here by the Hungarian Szabo ahead of the Icelandic Olaffson, the Dane Larsen, Dutchman Donner and East-German Uhlmann. The popular chess magazine Schaakbulletin was founded here by Wim Andriessen, before moving to Alkmaar, changing its language to English and becoming the world's leading periodical New In Chess. Two world congresses for chess composition were held in town in 2001 and 2006 and it was during the first one that I got acquainted with my would-be club mates for many years to come. The chess club [De Vredehorst, Tarthorst 1, Wageningen, tel. 0317-411805] has 3 teams in the National Dutch league (and more in the regional league). The top team, now led by the world-class GM Jan Timman (afead of IM Sander van Eijk and yours truly) has been doing well in the 1B section of the Eerste klas (second division). Its chief sponsor, the lawyer (and club player) Harrie van Lotringen, as well as other faithful supporters, accompany (and videofilm!) the team in most of its home and out matches. Our non playing captain and current chairman of the club Albert van der Harst is always there to let us all (and especially the playing captain Bert Torn) concentrate on the events over the board and avoid external distractions. This year the competition has started well for us. Following a 5:5 draw against SAS van Gent (with GM Paul Motwani and several strong IMs) and a minimal 5.5: 4.5 victory against Charlois Europort Rotterdam (with GM Erik van den Doel) we beat last Saturday the team from Paul Keres Utrecht quite convincingly 6.5:3.5. Here is the table following the third round. DD from Den Hague (led by GM John van der Wiel) is still on the lead ahead of LSG from Leiden. Our team's stars to date are the newcomers Evert Rademakers and Jan Timman with 2.5 /3. I have scored so far 2 points [1+ 2=].  

 Let's have a look in the final part of my own game against a young local talent.

After spoiling a promising position and then missing a simple draw I was finally lucky to find the safest way to salvation:
51.Bc1! Kf5
51…b5 52.a3 a5 53.Kd1 Kd5 54.Bb2 Kc4 55.Kc2 seemed OK to me too
52.f7!
52.Bb2 d3+ 53.Ke3 Kxf6 54.Bxe5+?? Kxe5 55.Kxd3 Kd5 would have been a draw if the a7 pawn was standing on a6.The reader may try to find out why.
52…Nxf7 53.Kd3 Ke5 54.Bb2 Kd5 55.Bxd4 Ne5+ 56.Kc3
56.Bxe5 draws too
56…Nc6 57.Bg1 b5 58.Bxa7 Nxa7 59.a4 bxa4 60.Kb4 Nc6+ 61.Kxa4 and there was nothing to play for anymore.
After each match we are having dinner together usually in a Chinese restaurant. Tasty, no doubt, but from time to time I try to persuade my team mates to switch to a more Middle Eastern cuisine or at least to some more Mediterranean delights. For the time being I may boast merely partial success, I am afraid. 

Wageningen chess club: club evening- every Thursday from 20.15 Official website:  www.svwageningen.nl

Posted: November 6 - 2012