At the prizegiving, Govert Pellikaan told the audience that the new tournament organization had had a wonderful event with just a few ‘hectic moments’ – nothing we couldn’t handle though. He thanked his team for their great commitment, then called up seven (very) young players and handed each one of them a bag with a book about previous chess tournaments in Groningen.
Pellikaan went on to hand out prizes to veterans, women players and winners of all the groups. Their names can be found elsewhere on this site.
For the Open A Group, the handing out of the first prize was something really special. A massive silver king statue was named after Johan Zwanepol, who ran this tournament (and many other chess events in Groningen) for a whopping forty years. Zwanepol himself handed out this prize to the winner, Pranav Anand. The veteran organizer said he was very honoured with this prize, and that he hoped it would be a great symbol for chess in Groningen in the coming years. ‘With Govert Pellikaan and his team, the tournament is in safe hands,’ he added. ‘We will keep playing with Kings.’
Bianca Muhren, the president of the Dutch Chess Federation, said that she’d heard many positive reactions about the Dutch Championship held in Groningen, and that it might be held here again. She thanked the organizing team heartily and then handed out the prizes for the national championships. ‘The new set-up of the Women’s Championship has led to many spectacular games,’ she said. ‘We’ve seen beautiful games and tough struggles. Machteld van Foreest is a great winner, our youngest ever, but we should also have respect for Anne who came second while being in her 36th week of pregnancy.’
She recalled the tiebreak between Max Warmerdam and Robby Kevlishvili of two days ago: ‘The Sports Centre was already closing, but these two went on until almost eleven o’clock, and the reigning champion didn’t make it. It was a highly tense evening. And the playoff of the final, won by Erwin l’Ami today, was also exciting.’
The winner of the title thanked Govert and his team for ‘ten wonderful days’ and expressed his appreciation for the special Johan Zwanepol prize. He had experienced the final today as a very tense affair – ‘it really could have gone both ways there, and I won with some luck.’
Finally, Pellikaan wished all those present a good trip home and a happy 2023.