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Leon Pliester (Photo ChessVibes)

Leon Pliester

This afternoon we fare welled IM Leon Pliester for the last time in Amsterdam. He passed away last week at just 58 following a long illness.
You may learn about his chess career here:
www.chessvibes.com/reports/dutch-im-leon-pliester-dies-at-58

I first met Leon in an International open in Holon (Israel) in 1985 and ever since we occasionally met upon my numerous visits in Amsterdam in the famous Chess café Gambit in the Bloemgracht.
We played several times in Dutch tournaments (we mostly drew) and in recent years we were even neighbours in the very heart of the Dutch capital and team mates in the Belgian club Jean Jaurés Gent. We sometimes travelled there together in his car (with his faithful and loving wife Dory) as well as to his last tournament, the Pinkstertoernooi in Bussum last June. He obviously did not feel well but still tried his best to give his opponents good fights. Though his poor condition was evident it was quite a blow to hear the sad news in Hoogeveen.
 As a tribute to Leon I chose the following amusing miniature against one of the would-be Dutch leading grandmasters:   

Pliester,Leon (2417) - Reinderman,Dimitri (2375)

Leiden open (5), 01.03.1992

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e5 6.Ndb5 d6 7.Bg5 a6 8.Na3 b5 9.Bxf6 gxf6 10.Nd5 f5 11.Bd3 Be6 12.Qh5 Bg7 13.0–0 f4 14.c4 bxc4 15.Nxc4 0–0 16.Rad1 Nd4 17.Bb1 Rc8

 18.Nxd6! Rc6 [18...Qxd6!? 19.Rxd4! Bg4! 20.Qxg4 exd4 21.Nxf4] 19.Rxd4! exd4?? [19...Rxd6 20.Rd2±] 20.e5+- h6 21.Nf6+ Kh8 22.Nf5! Rc5 23.Nxh6 Rxe5 24.Nxf7# 1–0

Posted: October 30 - 2012