My best pupil David Klein with my (and his) youngest pupil, rising Dutch talent Maarten Hoeneveld (11) celebrating in Naujac sur mer.

David Klein is finally a grandmaster!

The young Dutch player David Klein (20) is my good friend and my best pupil. He is currently also a diligent student for chemistry in the University of Leiden. His hard chess work for more than a decade was rewarded in the summer of last year when he scored in the BDO grandmaster tournament in the Dutch city of Haarlem his final norm for the supreme title. He just still needed a handful of Elo-points to cross the required 2500 barrier. That happily happened earlier this month when he won in Naujac sur mer (France) the traditional summer camp tournament, thus obtaining the final two points that still had separated between him and his desired goal.  

David’s strong qualities are his fine positional understanding, his outstanding creativity and sharp eye for tactics and his uncompromising fighting spirit. He is naturally a great fan of the art of the endgame studies that has equipped him with a whole arsenal of out-of-the-box devices. Just two years ago he stunned the chess community by winning the third Tata Steel study solving contest (his own first competitive solving attempt), ahead of such world-class solvers such as Englishman John Nunn and Polish Piotr Murdzia.

David kindly sent us a couple of his games that turned instrumental on his way to the grandmaster title:

PGN file games David Klein

My favourite combination of David was played 3 years ago in the Norwegian capital:














In this highly charged position David finds an amazing way out of a seemingly desperate situation:   1.Dxg5!  Sacrificinghis queenin favour of four consecutive batteries! 1...Tg8 2.Dxg8+! Kxg8 3.Kxf3+ (first battery!) 3...Kh7 4.Tb7+ Kh6 5.Lg7+ Kh7 6.Lf6+ (a second one) 6...Kh6 7.Lg5+ Kg6 8.Le7+ (the third battery) 8... Kf7 9.Ld6+ (and the decisive one!) 9...Kf6 10.Le5+ Kf5 11.Tg5#!  All first ten moves are unique, while just the mating move has a slight minor dual... 


One endgame study a day …

Solving endgame studies is a common practice among top players regularly using it as an effective training method to keep their brains sharp and creative and to improve their endgame play and calculative skills significantly. Amateurs are far less aware of this magnificent (and enjoyable!) tool and thus often lack the special out of the box thinking which might prove vital to sort out unusual situations, especially desperate ones. My good friend (and webmaster!) Karel van Delft, himself chess tutor and a prolific writer ( and but also still quite an active player, experienced such an opportunity in this year’s Dutch championship for rapid chess:


In view of the unavoidable fall of his pawns Karel (Black) chose here to throw in the towel.

Such a pity! Had he been familiar with an older endgame study of mine, he could have still emerged this ordeal unbeaten:


Why won’t you give it a good try? I will publish the solution pretty soon.

Posted: August 17 - 2014

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