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.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



Wijk aan Zee 2012: standing from left: John Nunn, Yochanan Afek, Hans Uitenbroek and winner David Klein. Sitting: Solving current world champion Piotr Murdzia.
Photo by WGM Alina L'Ami herself a regular successful participant in the studies solving day.

Tata Steel Chess and Studies Day

The fourth international Tata Steel Chess and Studies Day will be held on Saturday, January 26th 2013 in hotel  Zeeduin in Wijk aan Zee (Netherlands) as part of the 75th edition of Tata Steel chess tournament and in collaboration with ARVES. Chief Arbiter: Luc Palmans

Here is the time-table:
10:00- 10.30: Registration
10.45: Official opening
11.00 -14.00: International Open Solving Competition of original studies with a prize fund of 750 Euros and book prizes. Special prizes will be awarded to the best newcomers and youth solvers.
14.00-17.00: Watching the penultimate round of the world’s most famous chess tournaments with live expert commentary.
17.30: Prize giving.

Entry fee: 15 Euros; juniors (u-20) 10 Euros; GMs and IMs – free.

Winners of 2009 edition: 1. IM Twan Burg 2. GM John Nunn 3. GM Eddy van Beers
Winners of 2011 edition: 1. GM John Nunn 2. GM Eddy van Beers 3. WGM Alina L'ami
Winners of 2012 edition: 1. FM David Klein 2. IM Joost Michielsen 3. GM John Nunn

The Dutch section of the International Solving Championship (for problems & studies) will be held in Wijk aan Zee on Sunday, January 27th (last round of Tata steel tournament) and is open to all. Organizer is Hans Uitenbroek and chief arbiter Peter Bakker. A separate invitation is to be published.
For further details and registration (in advance, as the number of participants is limited!) please write to the organizer Yochanan Afek Dit e-mailadres wordt beveiligd tegen spambots. JavaScript dient ingeschakeld te zijn om het te bekijken. before January 20th 2012. 
Join an enjoyable chess and chess composition weekend with the special atmosphere of the great Wijk aan Zee festival and help us to create a successful event again!

Wijk aan zee 2012: World composing champion Oleg Pervakov demonstrating one of his entertaining studies to Dutch GMs Jan Timman, Erwin L'Ami and Sipke Ernst during the closing dinner. Watching also Mrs. Geertje Timman and Yochanan Afek . Photo: Alina L'Ami.                            

Posted: October 31 - 2012


Vacation Study

As a chess artist my main goal is to entertain chess lovers with my endgame studies, to make them happy even for a little while.

My good old friend Hebert Perez Garcia from Den Helder is a strong player and an experienced trainer whose great hobby is to create documentary videos. Chess events and personalities are naturally a prominent topic in his films. In Youtube you may enjoy his instructive films on events such as the Jubilee Groningen tournament 1996 and Wijk aan Zee among others.  

Last summer Hebert and his family spent an enjoyable vacation in Turkey. one of my older miniature studies was apparently selected as part of the cruise entertainment program …

Here is the ultimate proof:


Curiously, this particular study, composed some thirty years ago, is still the favorite of more than one of my friends no matter the efforts I have made ever since to create much better ones. In 1982 I was part of an Israeli team to Cairo to play a match with the best Egyptian players of the time. In between the playing sessions I showed them this fresh effort of mine. I still enjoy remembering their baffled faces when finding the solution following some considerable effort. I guess it was the strong element of surprise in what seems such a simple setting that made it so appealing to them.

Posted: October 30 - 2012


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:

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




Recent articles in CHESS

In June I attended the match Navara- Svidler in Prague. I also gave a lecture on tactical rook endings prior to one of the games there.  My impressions from the event were put in writing in August issue of the English monthly CHESS. During the last summer I attended several Dutch tournaments: Amsterdam, Haarlem (twice!) and Vlissingen as a player, Dieren as a visitor and Roosendaal as a commentator. I covered the summer Dutch scene in the September issue of CHESS: In the same issue I paid tribute to the late Ukrainian-Israeli GM Konstantin Lerner who had passed away on September 24th 2011. 

Posted: October 29 - 2012


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