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!
It is of course completely crazy that those ladies would give such a kluns a first still less a second look (well maybe a filthy one). Me neither — going to sit near Walther, as suggested, no thanks!
A better idea was asking Natalia Zhukova to pose for some photos. Her voluptuous forms are very tempting.
Unfortunately no question of that — on the day I was beaten to the mating net by Zhu.
Besides, she prefers a photo shoot with big shots such as Alexander Grischuk (erstwhile hubby but no more according to my sources) and Genna Sosonko, inter alia. And as if to prove she will never do me a favor, she shows everyone her amazing looks.
For me only a dull picture, taken by a friend. So why not invite Cor van Wijgerden for some blitz, just to teach him a lesson?
In 1979 he was coaching John van der Wiel who was aiming to become European Youth Chess Champion. John’s main rival was Sergey Dolmatov from Russia. They met in the early rounds of the tournament. In a Svesnikov, Dolmatov came up with an exchange sacrifice, well known theory at the time, and after 35 moves a draw was agreed.
Being the chess reporter of the newspaper Het Nieuwsblad van het Noorden I was allowed to sit in on their analyses. Dolmatov was blown away time after time, and that fact informed my published comments. However, Cor and John, commenting in the official tournament book had a different view: “utter rubbish” was their verdict on my analysis!
So nice to prove to Cor 20 years later, that his Morra gambit is utter rubbish as well!
Jacques 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. He manages to combine a romantic style with an eye for the painful truth about that twilight world, where grandmasters and patzers meet. 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).
Important to know: the reflections of Ham 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.