22 t/m 30 December 2018

Chess Festival Groningen

Nederlands Nederlands


Column # 7 - Short story of Anton & Short

The executives of chess have the unanimous opinion that a top GM should appear “suited up” at the chessboard (get suited or get booted!). And absolutely not in shorts. But who appeared in shorts for the first time? None other than the current FIDE vice-president Nigel Short


Column # 6 - Don Juan y las mujeres

Because almost nobody knows my blogs at the Groninger Combinatie, I will tell you all about them. In my blogs I step in the shoes of various characters, to show their specific visions. Here and now as well, as Don Juan Jamon, who puts the female beauties in the spotlight.


But let me show you first of all what other experts have to say on this theme. In 1968 GM Hein Donner wrote an article in the women's magazine Avenue, in which he stated, that women can not play chess. And you know what?

Christmas spirit: seven players share first after round 5

Today saw the fifth round in Groningen, and slowly but surely it's becoming clear who will be fighting for the prize money. On board one GM Tiviakov obtained a small plus out of the opening, which he ended up taking all the way to the endgame. 'Tivi' got some winning chances after his creative 39... g5 thanks to his passed pawn and his bishop pair. The following position arose after 50. Nd7


The Dutch GM played 50... b3?!, which resulted in a drawn ending after 51. Nf6+ Kh8 52. h5. Instead, Tiviakov could have tried 50... Kg7 to avoid the previously mentioned drawn ending.



Board two saw a quick draw between IM Vrolijk and GM Ernst. The men from Rotterdam and Groningen agreed to split the point after move 15. Both were uncertain of the structure and the way the game would continue, so they drew in order to both still keep some chances for the prize money. IM Schoppen got the black pieces against GM Plat. Much like board one, these players also found themselves in an ending with opposite coloured bisshops. They aren't always draws, but today they were.

GM Roeland Pruijssers hasn't quite hit the pace yet. 'A draw last round, today I played extremely badly' as the Dutch grandmaster himself stated. Out of a French opening, Pruissers sacrificed two pawns, which he never saw back. He had to resign the game after 42 moves.


GM Alexey Kislinsky had a great game against GM Gleizerov. 'The Count', as Gleizerov is known, was outplayed in a Dzindhi-Indian in a slow maneuvering game. Not really noteworthy, but nonetheless important: GM Mikhal Krasenkow scored a straightforward win on FM Tobias Kabos

Last but not least: a segment of Joris Kokje's game against Lahayere.


We have already seen that Kokje is capable of doing wonderful things on a chessboard, but sometimes he does go astray. Black has a draw in reach after 55... Ke5 or 55... Kf5. Instead, Kokje went for 55... h5? which was answered by the straightforward 56. Kf4! The black king was eventually forced backwards without being able to achieve the exchange of some pawns. With now seven players on four points, we're seeing a mass brawl for the first place

Of course, the attention of the spectators is often focused on the A-group of the University match starting tomorrow. Which is justified, however the Compact tournament does also have a very strong field this year. Playing in the five round Swiss tournament are not only IM Stefan Beukema, but also FM Arno Bezemer and FM Siem van Dael. Ahead of 132 other players is IM Beukema, who won against Tim Grutter. Second seed Beukema also won against Murk Viersma, however the other FM, Siem van Dael, lost half a point against Edim Salihbegovic. He was lucky to get a draw in this game and will be looking to improve on his play tomorrow. 

In group B, it is becoming more likely that the first prize will go to one of the two favourites on paper: Ruben Slagter and Pieter Tromp. Of course, it is dangerous to predict events ahead of time, but they seem to be playing on a consistently slightly higher level than the other players. 

And finally, tomorrow (Thursday), the University Challenge between Ivan Sokolov and Lucas van Foreest will start, in what is promising to become a tight match with a lot of fireworks on the board. 

- Benno de Jongh & Renze Rietveld -
Translation: Jorik Jonker
Photo: Bart Beijer



Column # 5 - God’s punishment: Thy will be done!

On a very hot summer day in 2004 the jumbo-sized BMW of local patron Kees Eldering, was ready to leave for the Jacobijner church in Leeuwarden. In the boot of the car a crate Buxton mineral water. If you race at illegal speed in that direction, the water in the radiator can start boiling and you should not fill it up with any ordinary tap water. The diva-like works of art created the Bayeriische Motor Werke would hate that. So, after a photo shoot with his girlfriend Kees was off to Leeuwarden.

Column # 4 - Terror Jaap and the Grandmasters

Ten years ago De Gouden Kooi (The Golden Cage) appeared on Dutch TV and was by far the most disgusting program ever. Fuck the spiritual and physical welfare of the residents of a luxurious residence in Eemnes, that is what media magnate John de Mol most have thought. The cameras followed the activities of these lawless geezers 24 hours a day. They went for insults, violence and even rape. With only one purpose, to eliminate the other participants and get the big cash prize. Questions were asked by the later Finance Minister, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, in those days only a plush filler and begrudging a welfare mother making some money, because her crying children were shown on tv. The viewing figures reached unprecedented heights, all because Terror Jaap, worst among equals so to speak, was spinning round in his own vomit, and by doing more of that he became the winner.


Column # 3 - Harassed by filthy looks…

Just before the turn of the century (last Millennium indeed) the chess festival was still called “Chess Tournament Groningen.” In the 1999 edition there was also a women’s invitation group. To the great displeasure of the poor German chess player Walther B. (who figured previously in this column), whose irritation was clear when he phoned the competition organizers: Die Damen aus der Invitationsgruppe glotzen mich immer so an. Sollten Sie mich noch einmal auf solche enervierende Weise anstarren, mussen Sie bestraft werden. Ich pladiere fur ein Verlustpunkt! [roughly: the ladies in the invitation group are staring at me the whole time (“Harassed by filthy looks!”). If they do it again, I want them to forfeit their games in accordance with the regulations!

Column # 2 - That guy cannot be trusted…

In 1979 IM Gert Ligterink became chess champion of the Netherlands. He beat all the big guns of the day, GMs like Jan Timman, Hein Donner en Hans Ree, and often in grand style. Big joy over here, front page news in the northern newspapers.


Column # 1 - Dead Smokers Society

The days when cigarette advertisements constantly appeared in the cinema -- and smoking was allowed -- are long gone. Where is the Marlboro man, who lit his cigarette with a glowing branding iron? Where are the globe-trotters, who understood that Peter Stuyvesant is the international passport to smoking pleasure? Banished to Siberia?


That happened to Viktor Korchnoi in 1974 in Odessa, when he won a candidates match against Tigran Petrosian? He did not leave Odessa in a plane. In those days the steward lit your cigarette for you. No, not at all, Viktor the Terrible had to make do with the train, like ordinary mortals

We present our new columnist!

We proudly present our new columnist: Jacques Jambon is not only a chessplayer but also erstwhile reporter for the Nieuwsblad van het Noorden (a northern newspaper), anarchistic enemy of the state, goal- and, barkeeper, poet,-fashion icon, (the list goes on). He neither denies nor confirms (at very possible opportunity) being responsible for the smoke bomb on 10th of March 1966, thrown to the golden coach at the wedding of Princess Beatrix and Prince Claus. As Jaciommo Prociutto he is a photographer of chessplayers and beautiful girls. And what he does under his nickname Jack Spam, nobody knows.


Jambon will produce an image column on a daily basis during the Chess Festival, where text and pictures will give you a surprising vision of the chess world, in his own words and through the eyes of a person who has seen it all (and may make you feel the same). He does not sit on the fence, run with the hare and hunt with the hounds. What he will do is talk endlessly about the past, like smoking when it was allowed, even at the chessboard… And things to come, such as why tournament director Koen Lambrechts will quit. Icons like Karpov, Tal, Korchnoi and many others will be reviewed. He manages to combine a romantic style with an eye for the painful truth about that twilight world, where grandmasters and patzers meet.

Important to know: the reflections of Jambon are not automatically shared by the tournament organization. The organizers tried their very best to contact the photographers and ask permission for using their pictures. If necessary, please contact us.

Everyday we present a column of Jambon in Dutch and English, 11.30 AM on this website. 

The organisation of the Chess Festival Groningen

Column # 8 – Monkey business

We all have dreams. As I am sitting in my living room behind my computer here in Groningen, I take a look outside at the grey, misty sky. I imagine myself at the South coast of Italy. I am in a small hotel where I’m one of the few guests. In the morning I work on my novel. In the afternoon I eat a pasta dish with fresh seafood that the cook prepares just for me. I then take an after-lunch nap and drink some cocktails with the other guests. I do a little more writing and then –in the evening – I eat a pasta dish with a sage/butter sauce, drink a nice glass of local, red wine, and joke a bit with the waiter. In the night time I go for a swim between the rocks of the Mediterranean Sea. The water is still warm from the past summer and I am accompanied by a girl from the local village, who happens to be there too. Once the temperatures in my home country rise again, I go home and meet my family and friends. At that point, my novel has been translated into seventeen languages. After spending the summer in the Netherlands, I return to the hotel in Italy.


Column # 7 - Child's play

Children are disgusting little creatures. They are the only mammal on earth that require intensive, perennial care, cost lots of money, are bad for the environment, and the main reason for overpopulation. Children are erratic, think they’re funny and get away with almost anything. They cry if they don’t get enough attention and when they are quiet for a second they will immediately break the silence and ask stupid questions.

Children contribute little to the average household, whereas it doesn’t seem too much to ask to have a cookbook assist them in cooking a decent meal every once in a while. Children don’t drink, so having a good time with them is rare. And once they finally do get older they transform into a even worse specie, the adolescent, before they finally, after all those years, become reasonable human beings.



Column # 6 – Opening line

I love chess openings, I do. Not really a good story to tell on a Saturday evening in a bar when a nice lady asks you: ‘And, what are your hobbies?’ (Although one can question the likeability of someone who asks that question on a Saturday evening in the first place, but that’s another story)

My chess openings hobby is rather serious. I make lists of alternative definitions of openings - like if they weren’t chess openings. I hope you understand. You have to do something in your spare time, right?undefined

Column # 5 – Rating fetishism

The first question your colleague chess player asks is never if you would like something to drink or how your mother is. It is always: ‘What is your new rating?’ The chess player who has lost nine rating points on the new Elo rating list, considers selling his house and leaving the country forever. Gained fourteen points? The player orders a case of champagne, drinks it, and dares to show his face at the chess club again.

Rating terror flourishes in the chess world. A few weeks ago a team member of mine lost a long, difficult game. The first thing his opponent asked was: ‘What is your rating?’ My team member answered, and the first reaction on the other side of the board was a typical one: ‘Oh, then I only won four rating points.’


Column # 4 – Alpha Bravo Charlie

December is always a bit of a strange month. Vague nostalgic feelings get drowned in alcohol and the empty feeling in our stomachs is filled by turkey and venison. In the meantime we come together with those we normally trying to avoid as much as possible; our dear family. A month of contradictions so to say, and that was certainly the case in the world of chess this December. During the London Chess Classics the crème de la crème of human chess played one draw after the other, while somewhere on the internet or in the cloud new kid on the block AlphaZero crushed Stockfish, the best chess computer known to man (and to computers), until now.

As boring as the human games were, so exciting were the pieces of art AlphaZero produced. Magnus Carlsen proved to be human after all by playing his worst game in years (against Ian Nepomniachtchi). At the same time AlphaZero was called an ‘alien’. Other commentators thought Alpha (I can call him Alpha) on the other hand produced very humanlike chess, which proves that nobody exactly knew what was going on. One thing was clear: this was something else.


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Playing Venue

Sportcentrum RUG & Hanze
Blauwborgje 16, 9747 AC Groningen


There is no official tournament hotel. Of course the organizers are more than willing to give advice or answer questions about accommodation. Our sponsor has varying offers and actions and can be found via www.hotels.nl.

Tournament Entry

Click here.

Tournament Regulations

Download the Tournament Regulations.


Bankwire the entry fee, including name(s) of participant(s) to:
NL26 INGB 0007 1113 01 attn. Stichting Schaakfestival Groningen.


ING Bank N.V.
Foreign Operations
PO Box 1800
1000 BV Amsterdam


Tournament director: Koen Lambrechts
Tel: +31 (0)6 17650767

Questions about the pairings? Email: arbiter.chessfestival@gmail.com

Chess Festival Groningen 2018
DateOpen Tournament A, B, C4-person TounamentCompactStudent TournamentYouth Grand PrixUniversity ChallengeCommentaryAfter Chess
22-12-2018Round 1Round 1Ultimate Moves
23-12-2018Round 2 and 3Round 2Entire tournamentFM Grigori KodentsovOpen
24-12-2018Round 4Round 3FM Grigori KodentsovHands and Brains
25-12-2018Merry Christmas!
26-12-2018Round 5Round 1FM Grigori KodentsovFischer Random
27-12-2018Round 6Round 2Round 1IM Stefan KuipersSISSA Christmas Blitz
28-12-2018Round 7Round 3Entire tournamentRound 2IM Stefan KuipersChess against the Bear
29-12-2018Round 8Round 4Round 3IM Gert LigterinkPubquiz
30-12-2018Round 9Round 5Round 4IM Gert LigterinkAfter Drinks

Open A (>2000)

Prize fund: > € 6000,-
First prize: € 1800,-
First prize women: € 400,-
Entry fee before 15th of December: € 64,-
Entry fee after 15th of December (Only in cash on registration): €70,-
GM's, IM's and WGM's free.

Open B (<2100 en >1600)

Prize fund: € 1500,-
Entry fee before 15th of December: € 64,-
Entry fee after 15th of December (Only in cash on registration): €70,-

Open C (<1700)

Prize fund: € 750,-
Entry fee before 15th of December: € 64,-
Entry fee after 15th of December (Only in cash on registration): €70,-

The Open A, B and C will play a 9 round Swiss tournament.
In case of insufficient participation we reserve the right to merge groups B and C.


In Open A a bye (half a point) is possible in one of the rounds 1, 2, 3. In Open B and Open C a bye (half a point) is possible in one of the rounds 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5. Please request this bye on your entry form under 'Questions'. Absence in a later round scores 0 points, but is allowed if noted before the pairing.

Playing schedule

22 December 11.00 – 12.00 hrs Registration
22 December 13.00 – 19.00 hrs Round 1
23 December 10.00 – 16.00 hrs Round 2
23 December 17.00 – 23.00 hrs Round 3
24 December 13.00 – 19.00 hrs Round 4
25 December   Rest day
26 December 13.00 – 19.00 hrs Round 5
27 December 13.00 – 19.00 hrs Round 6
28 December 13.00 – 19.00 hrs Round 7
29 December 13.00 – 19.00 hrs Round 8
30 December 11.00 – 17.00 hrs Round 9
30 December ± 18.00 hrs Prizegiving ceremony

Time control: 40 moves in 90 minutes + 30 minutes for the remainder of the game + an increment of 30 seconds per move from move 1.

Groups of 4, based on rating. Requests not to be play in the same group can be send to info@chessfestival.nl

Prize fund each group: € 45,-
Entry fee: € 15,-

Playing schedule

22 December 11.00 – 12.00 hrs Registration
22 December 13.00 – 19.00 hrs Round 1
23 December 13.00 – 19.00 hrs Round 2
24 December 13.00 – 19.00 hrs Round 3
  Followed by prizegiving ceremony

Time control: 40 moves in 90 minutes + 30 minutes for the remainder of the game + an increment of 30 seconds per move from move 1.

Groningen Compact

A five round Swiss tournament in groups of about 40 players, split up according to playing strength.
First prize in each group: € 200,-
prize fund per group: € 600,-.
Entry fee before 15th of December: € 35,-
Entry fee after 15th of December (Only in cash on registration): €40,-


A bye (half a point) is possible only in round 1 and must be requested as well as confirmed by e-mail before December 24th.

Playing schedule

26 December 11.00 – 12.00 hrs Registration
26 December 13.00 – 19.00 hrs Ronde 1
27 December 13.00 – 19.00 hrs Ronde 2
28 December 13.00 – 19.00 hrs Ronde 3
29 December 13.00 – 19.00 hrs Ronde 4
30 December 11.00 – 17.00 hrs Ronde 5
30 December ± 18.00 hrs Prizegiving ceremony

Time control: 40 moves in 90 minutes + 30 minutes for the remainder of the game + an increment of 30 seconds per move from move 1.

Students Christmas Chess

This tournament is organized for students who like to play chess, but have never competed in official tournaments or competitions. Any student (Rijksuniversiteit Groningen (including PhD) or Hanze Hogeschool Groningen) who doesn't have a FIDE or KNSB rating can participate. Prizes will be awarded based on individual scores and on the score of the best 3 players of each student association. For each student association, 1 player with a rating of <1501 can participate. This player cannot win any individual prize, but his score does count for the total score of the association. If you are unfamiliar with the term 'rating' you most likely don't have one, so don't worry.

Entry is free and you can register by sending an e-mail to info@chessfestival.nl including your name, student number and (optionally) student association. To confirm your participation you have to register in person on the 23th of December at 11.45 in the playing hall; bring your student card .

Individual Prizes: 1. €150 2. €75 3. €50
Association Prize: €120 for the winning association (half goes to the three players directly, half goes to the association)

In case of a shared 1st, 2nd or 3rd place the prizes are shared. Rules for the Association Prize: The points of the 3 best scoring players of one association are added. The highest scoring association wins the prize.

Sportcentrum RUG & Hanze Blauwborgje 16, 9747 AC Groningen

Playing schedule

Schedule will follow.
23 December 11.45 – 12.00 hrs Registration
23 December 12.00 – 12.40 hrs Round 1
23 December 12.50 – 13.30 hrs Round 2
23 December 13.40 – 14.20 hrs Round 3
23 December 14.30 – 14.50 hrs Break
23 December 14.50 – 15.30 hrs Round 4
23 December 15.40 – 16.20 hrs Round 5
23 December ± 16.30 hrs Prizegiving ceremony

On wednesday the 12th and 19th of December we’ll have free practice sessions in Hooghoudt Proeflokaal (Gedempte Zuiderdiep 61) from 19.30 - 22.00. Together with coaches we’ll play practice games, solve puzzles, answer questions and give general tips and advice. The only requirement to enter is knowledge of the rules of the game.


Youth Grand Prix

In the North of the Netherlands each year a Grand Prix cyclus is organized for younger youth players.
On Friday the 28th of December one of these tournaments will take place during the Chess Festival Groningen. More information: here


After Chess

Like previous editions there will be After Chess during the tournament, organized in chess cafe Proeflokaal Hooghoudt. The address: Gedempte Zuiderdiep 61, 9711 HC Groningen. You can find the program in the Tournament Schedule. For more information, go to the Facebook page of the cafe: Proeflokaal Hooghoudt.



Our Chess Festival is situated in the student sports complex. This offers a perfect opportunity to exercise both mind and body. During the Chess Festival there will be opportunity to play squash or football.


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