x
Chess - Play & Learn

Chess.com

FREE - In Google Play

FREE - in Win Phone Store

VIEW
Dancing

Dancing

batgirl
Jul 12, 2017, 11:15 AM 16 Other

nullJohannes Jacobus van Oosterom

      Joop van Oosterom, the Dutch business and chess maecenas, died in October of 2016.
    
The Association Max Euwe of Monaco, which Oosterom, along with his his wife Muriel had  established  in 1991** (located at La Lestra, 13, avenue de Grande Bretagne), was dissolved in December following his demise.   Oosterom had the good fortune of not only being a billionaire, but of also of having been one of the strongest correspondence players in the world [(ICCFNR: 370241) ICCF rating of 2748 as of January, 2004].  However, having had several chess masters on his payroll, most notably GM Jeroen Piket, a shadow of uncertainty was cast over this achievement.  After making his fortune with the company he founded, the Volmac Software Group, Mr. van Oosterom retired in 1989 from active participation in his business and in 1992, before the great dot-com disaster, he sold his business to Cap Gemini, a French software company. 

     Mr. van Oosterom with the Association Max Euwe is most famous for funding the famous Melody Amber tournament which featured a huge prize fund, exotic locations and luxurious accommodations - all expense-paid- to those invited to participate.  Named after his daughter, Melody Amber, the tournament ran from 1992 to 2011 and pitted the greatest players in the world against each other in dual contests (after the first year): one, blindfold; the other, rapid play (25 min. per game). Since there are no ratings involved, the playing is often wild and adventurous. There was nothing about the tournament for anyone to dislike.

     Besides the Melody Amber, the Association Max Euwe also sponsored matches such as:

1991: Judit Polgar-Lev Polugaevsky and Sophia Polgar-Gennadi Sosonko in Aruba;
1993: the finalist match for the Women's World Championship between Susan Polgar and Nana Ioseliani in Monaco as well as the Championship match between Xie Jun and Nana Ioseliani, as well as a match between Jeroen Piket and Viktor Korchnoi in Nijmegen, Netherlands;
1994: Jeroen Piket -Ljubomir Ljubojevic in Monaco;
1995: Jeroen Piket - Alexie Shirov in Aruba; Jeroen Piket - Judit Polgar in Aruba; Jeroen Piket - Jan Timman in Amersterdam;
1996: Jeroen Piket -Alexey Dreev in Monaco; Jeroen Piket - Joel Lautier in Monaco;
1997: Jeroen Piket - Loek Van Wely in Monaco;
1999; Jeroen Piket - Anatoly Karpov in Monaco.

     Lesser known, however, is another series of tournaments which Mr. van Oosterom sponsored, commonly referred to as The Dance tournaments.

     The Dance tournaments featured woman masters playing against senior male grandmasters and are alternately called "Ladies vs. Veterans" or "Veterans vs. Women."   The "Dance" refers to the practice of using the name of a dance associated with the country where the tournament is played as the name of the tournament.

     In total there were 10 Dance tournaments: Tumba, Waltz, Palladienne, Polka, Foxtrot, Høstdans, Can-Can, Flamenco, Schuhplatter and Klompendans.

     In "The Independent" of London on Jan. 4, 1997  William Hartston wrote:

     The oddest annual event in the chess calendar is the Veterans v. Ladies match organized by the Dutch Association Max Euwe and sponsored by the businessman Joop van Oosterom.  To judge from the many events that Mr Oosterom has supported, he has three strong beliefs about chess: that it should be played in the most comfortable conditions possible; that the elder statesmen of the world of top grandmasters should be accorded a high level of respect; and that women's chess deserves encouragement.
      The annual Young Ladies v Old Men match satisfies all these criteria.



** from the Lost Boys:

      The Max Euwe Association was created on January 4th, 1991 in Monaco. It was named after the Dutch World Champion of Chess and former FIDE President, Professor Dr. Max Euwe.
The members of the board are: Mr. J.M. Rapaire, President, Mrs. M.V. Van Oosterom, Treasurer and Mrs. E. Baas, General Secretary. It also employs Mr. M.L.H.J. Hermes, General Manager and Mr. E. Tolsma, Financial Manager.
     The association is interested in chess and billiards, and its objective is to promote these sports in general and to organize tournaments and matches. For this, the association organizes, together with the Fédération Monégasque des Echecs, many international events in the Principality of Monaco and other countries.


Der Danstoernooien

nullnullAruba
August 1992

null


     Not much is written in the press about the prize packages for these Dance Tournaments with the exception of the very first one, the Tumba Tournament, played during August of 1992 on the island paradise of Aruba, located off the coast of Venezuela in the Dutch Caribbean, in which the prizes totaled $75, 000 American.
     Judit Polgar, who had just earned her grandmaster title attended the inaugural editions of both the Melody Amer and the Dance tournaments.  In her 2013  book, "GM to Top Ten: Judit Polgar Teaches Chess 2"  Judit shows several photos from Aruba where she was accompanied by her mother and two sisters (Susan also participated).  One gets the impression it was a magical time for her.

           The average Elo for the men was 2550 and for the women 2525.   This rating similarity resulted in the expected results at the halfway mark of the double round robin event with the men holding a mere 1 point lead.  But the more experienced players were able to expand that lead as the tournament continued and ended up winning 39-33.


  Player   pts.
  Lev Polugaevsky   8.5
  Judit Polgar   7.5
  Oscar Panno   7.0
  Susan Polgar   6.5
  Borislav Ivkov   6.5
  Vassiy Smyslov   6.0
  Pia Cramling   6.0
  Efim Geller   6.0
  Wolfgang Uhlmann   5.0
  Alisa Galliamova   5.0
  Maia Chiburdanidze   4.0
  Keteven Arakhamia   4.0


null
     Here are two games from the Tumba Tournament. The first is a rather sweet win by the Swedish star, Pia Cramling over Efim Geller and the second is a win by Judit Polgar over Wolfgang Uhlmann.  Polgar explained that by this last round, the Ladies has already lost, but her motivation was to achieve the best score among the women. She ended up with the second best score of the tournament.  Only 58 year old Lev Polugaevsky who finished first and 16 year old Judit Polgar went through without a single loss.   Maia Chiburdanidze who had been the Women's World Champion from 1978-1991, performed somewhat poorly.


.

.


.

.



null

nullVienna
June 1993

null




     The ladies in this event, played during June of 1993, had an  average rating of 2473.3, a slight bit lower than the 2498.3 rating average for the veterans.  The women won 40.5 - 31.5.  Maia Chiburdanidze, who did so poorly in the previous event, scored highest overall.  Xie Jun, the Women's World Champion, came in behind her teammates, Maia Chiburdanidze and Susan Polgar.

note: Polgár Zsófia, in English, is usually written Sofia Polgar. This article uses the less common Sophia.

  Player   pts.
   Maia Chiburdanidze    9.0
   Susan Polgar    7.5
   Bent Larsen    7.5
   Xie Jun    7.0
   Vassily Smyslov    6.5
   Sophia Polgar    6.0
   Efim Geller    6.0
   Ketevan Arakhamia    5.5
   Alisa Galliamova    5.5
   Borislav Ikov    5.0
   Fridrik Olafsson    4.0
   Andreas Duckstein    2.5


null
    

.

.

Below is one of Efim Geller's wins over Sophia Polgar.

.

.

and Maia Chiburdanidze's win over Geller

.

.




null

nullMonaco
June 1994

null



     For the second year straight, the Ladies outplayed the Veterans though the score, 37.0 - 35.0,  was somewhat tighter. Smyslov, the oldest participant at 73, was the high scorer.  In his NY "Times" column for Aug. 2, 1994, Robert Byrne wrote:

In Round 7, Judit Polgar defeated Smyslov, one of the greatest endgame specialists of all time, in a beautifully played endgame.


  Player   pts.
  Vassily Smyslov   8.0
  Judit Polgar   7.5
  Vlastimi Hort   7.5
  Xie Jun   7.5
  Susan Polgar   7.0
  Nana Ioseliani   6.5
  Boris Spassky   6.0
  Lajos Portisch   5.5
  Maia Chiburdanidze   5.5
  Borislav Ivkov   4.5
  Bent Larsen   3.5
  Keteven Arakhamia   3.0

null

.

.

.

.

.

.

null

nullPrague
July 1995

null


     The Ladies won for the third straight year with a score of  26.5 - 23.5 even though this years' event introduced Viktor Korchnoi who was the top scoring Veteran.  This year Judit Polgar was not only thethe top scoring woman but also the top scoring player.  Pia Cramling also made a strong showing.

  Player   pts.
  Judit Polgar   6.5
  Pia Cramling   6.5
  Viktor Korchnoi   5.5
  Boris Spassky   5.0
  Xie Jun   5.0
  Vassily Smyslov   5.0
  Susan Polgar   4.5
  Vlastimil Hort   4.5
  Nana Ioseliani   4.0
  Lajos Portisch   3.5


null
    
     This event seems to have been one of the earlier uses of the Tasc Chess System for recording the games in an entire tournament. Tasc Chess System was a Dutch company that developed chess related products but  trouble with a patent infringement eventually put them out of business.

     In his "The Week In Chess" newsletter on July 16, 1995, Mark Crowther wrote:

     Joop van Oosterom has some very interesting idea's in promoting chess. He sponsors matches which help Dutch players (such as the Piket-Timman match later this year) and also pioneers new formats such as the Melody Amber Blindfold/Rapidplay events and the Sicilian Theme Tournament. This Veterans vs Women event has been another of his successful ideas. The players tend to be well matched and the results are always open to doubt. It is always nice to see the old-timers go through their paces.
     I must once against stress my thanks to Tasc Tournament Systems for providing me with all the games in a timely fashion, its a pleasure to have these things in a ready to use format. In particular to Eric van der Schilden who was operating the electronic boards there and to my cheerful mailman Marc Derksen.


     There is no doubt that these tournaments highlighted the differences between men and women players of that era - the men had more-or-less reached the top of the mountain and are on the way down while the women are working their way towards that apex.  The following two newspaper  articles that reference the Polka Tournament give somewhat different thoughts on the subject:

Chicago "Tribune" August 20, 1995

The five-woman team which included Women's World Champion Xie Jun and the celebrated Judit Polgar edged out the men by a 26.5 to 235 score in the Prague-held tournament. The men's team included ex-world champions Vassily Smyslov and Boris Spassky as well as the redoubtable Viktor Korchnoi, who at age 64 remains one of the strongest players in the world. Although the men had a slightly higher average rating, the result was hardly an upset It was what one expects when an improving group of talented young players (female or male) takes on the declining nonpareils of a previous generation or two. (The average age of the men was 61, of the women only 27. Smyslov who is 74 and Korchnoi are old enough to be the grandfathers of both Polgar and Xie.) The top performers for the women were Polgar and Pia Cramling, each of whom finished with a 6'a-3Va score. Among the men, only Korchnoi (5Va-4Va) scored more than 50 percent Trailing 23-17 after eight rounds, the veterans who clearly were "the weaker sex" in Prague showed admirable stamina as they fought back and outscored the women.

The Buffalo "News" of Aug. 5 1995 (Shelby Lyman's chess column)

     Making excuses is a poignant affliction especially when men lose chess games to women. Judit Polgar -- the world's strongest woman player -- notes with more humor than sympathy that she cannot remember beating a man who was not sick or otherwise ill-disposed.
     A typical instance occurred at the Madrid International Tournament in May. Assured of a tie for first with a round to go, veteran grandmaster Viktor Korchnoi lost his final game to Polgar.
     Afterwards he explained to Spanish chess journalist Leontxo Garcia:
"She can only beat me if I'm not interested in playing. And subconsciously I wasn't interested today, having the first prize almost in my hands."
     In the same interview, Korchnoi described a previous defeat ("on a very hot day") at the hands of Pia Cramling who is fourth ranked among women players):
"I thought I couldn't play with my normal dress against such a pretty woman," he said. "So I was very well dressed, couldn't breathe and lost. A few days later I saw Robert Hubner, who played in shorts, beat Pia easily. That was a lesson for me. If you play a woman, just be yourself."
In a recent tournament in Prague between a veteran male team and a team of top women players, Korchnoi lost another game to Cramling.

Perhaps he needs a new tailor?
 


.

.

.


.

.

null

nullLondon
August 15-26, 1996

null



     Held from August 15th to the 26 at the London Hilton on Park Lane,  this event was the usual double Scheveningen.  Geurt Gijssen, the German-born Dutch International Arbitrator who found himself in the middle of a controversy during the 2006 Kramnok-Topolov match,  served as arbitrator in all these events.  The ladies were at a distinct disadvantage without the participation of two of their stars, Susan and Judit Polgar.  Sophia, the  Polgar who did play,, failed to make much of an impression, coming in last place.  The big surprise was Keteven Arakhamia who scored highest among the women.  She had just become Keteven Arakhamia-Grant; perhaps that was her motivation.   Mark Taimanov,the new-comer, played poorest of the Veterans.   The  match ended 22.5 - 27.5 in favor of the Veterans.

      As an interesting side-note, during round one, Hort and Ioseliani got into a time scramble and Ioseliani made an illegal capture on move 28.


  Player   pts.
  Lajos Portisch   6.5
  Vassily Smyslov   6.5
  Keteven Arakhamia   6.5
  Boris Spassky   5.5
  Pia Cramling   5.5
  Vlastimil Hort   5.5
  Xie Jun   4.5
  Nana Ioseliani   4.0
  Mark Taimanov   3.5
  Borislav Ivkov   4.5
  Sophia Polgar   2.0


null

null

nullCopenhagen
July 1997

null

    Although this event was held in Denmark, the sole Danish participant from previous Dance Tournaments, Bent Larsen, didn't play.  However he did attend. This years' line-up was very similar to that of the previous year and once again the Veterans won convincingly 27.0 - 23.0.  Sophia Polgar who did so poorly in the previous year was replaced by Zhu Chen. 

     The Dutch "Lost Boys" coverage informed us:

Høstdans Skakturnering; København 1997
"This year the games of the annual Ladies-Veterans are carefully analysed by a fast computer. Every position is accompanied by a judgement and a few moves of superb analysis!  The program we use is Rebel 9, a new dutch chess program which is extremely strong."


     This tournament had some interesting elements.  The Ladies started off very strong, and the end of the second round led by 6-4; it wasn't until the fourth round that the Veterans were able to tie things up 10-10. The Ladies took back the lead in the sixth round and held  on to it until the bitter 8th round in which there were no draws, the Veterans winning 3 of the 5 games.  The Veterans widened their lead consistently until the end.  This gave 3 tournament wins for the Ladies and 3 for the Veterans, although the Veterans had a slight lead the cumulative score with 183½ to 182½.

  Player   pts.
  Lajos Portisch   6.0
  Vlastimil Hort   5.5
  Vassily Smyslov   5.5
  Ketevan Arakhamia   5.5
  Pia Cramling   5.0
  Xie Jun   5.0
  Boris Spassky   4.5
  Mark Taimanov   4.5
  Zhu Chen   4.0
  Nana Ioseliani   3.5


null

     The Lost Boys wrote: "Xie Jun too ended quite dramatically when a complex middlegame position suddenly turned into a mutual mating attack which Smyslov won. Those dramatic events made the very reasonable draw in Spassky - Cramling look nearly dull."    






null

null

Roquebrune
September 7-20, 1998
null


     The Can-Can tournament took place at the Vista Palace Hotel of Roquebrune-Cap-Martin in southern France, just a stone's throw away from Monte Carlo.  Based on rating expectations, the Veterans should have won this tournament 41-31, but the actual score was an even 36-36.  Still, Viktor Korchnoi dominated the event.  Taimanov, once again, played remarkably poorly which probably helped  account for the Ladies' fine showing.  The Ladies won the final round with a dominating 4.5 to 1.5.


The results of the six previous Dance Tournaments had been divided between the teams 3-3.  This event was the first tie.

Mr Geurt Gijssen of the Netherlands server as chief arbiter, assisted by Alexander Bach of Russia and Pavel Votruba of the Czech Republic.


  Player   pts.
  Viktor Korchnoi   7.5
  Vlastimil Hort   7.0
  Zhu Chen   7.0
  Maia Chiburdanidze   6.5
  Pia Cramling   6.5
  Nana Ioseliani   5.5
  Lajos Portisch   5.0
  Xie Jun   4.5
  Vassily Smyslov   4.5
  Ketevan Arakhamia   3.5
  Mark Taimanov   2.5


null

.

.

.

.

null

null

Marbella
October 21 - November 1, 1999

null

null

     The Flamenco Tournament was held at the Hotel el Fuerte in Marabella, located in southern Spain.

     Before this year the Ladies and the Veterans had not only been tie in event wins, 3.5-3.5,  but the scores for total games was also nearly equal, 218.5-219.5, in favor of the Veterans.  This years event, which was won by the men, 30.5-19.5,  also upset the totals by giving the men a strong lead of 250-238 games.  Korchnoi, as usual, led the pack.

  Player   pts.
  Viktor Korchnoi   7.5
  Lajos Portisch   6.5
  Vlastimil Hort   6.5
  Boris Spassky   5.5
  Maia Chiburdanidze   4.5
  Xie Jun   4.5
  Vassily Smyslov   4.5
  Pia Cramling   4.0
  Zhu Chen   4.0
  Alisa Galliamova   2.5


null

     In this 3rd round game, one of the most interesting ones in the tournament, Maia Chiburdanidze with the Black pieces,  slowed down the steam-rolling Viktor "the Terrible" by exchanging a piece for 2 pawns (augmented to 4 pawns).

.

.



null

null

Munich
July 4-15, 2000

null

      The Schuhplatter Tournament took place at the Hotel Bayerischer Hof in Munich, Germany from July 4th-15th.  The Ladies, who were given a beating in the previous event, were looking for a little revenge and with a final score of 27.0-23.0, attained that goal.   Ljubomir Ljubojevic served as the Ladies' Captain/Coach, while Vlastimil Hort was the Veterans' Playing Captain

     While this tournament format is meant to be fun, the chess players, being competitors to the bone, take it quite seriously. Geurt Gijssen, in the Arbiter's notebook at "Chess Cafe" gave a few insights into the actions, reactions and interactions of these players:

"In the last round he [Hans Bouwmeester] played against the Chinese top player Zhu Chen. At one point he had a totally won position (several pawns up in the ending) and the lady did not resign. This was probably too much for the veteran and suddenly he said to his opponent: "please be polite". His opponent reacted immediately and told him to be polite and not to speak to her during the game."

* * * * *

"From the first round, he [Viktor Korchnoi] ate a lot of chocolate. This is, of course, not a problem, but he always made so much noise with the chocolate wrappers that the arbiters had to warn him each round to stop it. Several players complained about this."

* * * * *

"...Korchnoi overstepped the time limit. The games were played with the electronic DGT clocks and Korchnoi started to argue with me, asking me whether I was sure that it was not he but his opponent, Zhu Chen, who had overstepped. I tried to explain to him that the DGT clocks show clearly who has exceeded the time control. But I could not convince him and I stopped trying. Then he started to explain quite loudly that the final position was won for him and his opponent, always polite, agreed with him. Finally he argued, again, that he did not understand why he had lost on time. My colleague, Mr. Krause, had the courage to try to explain this to him again, but I told him to do so outside of the playing hall and this is what happened."

* * * * *

     The Lost Boys coverage gave this tidbit:

This [the schuhpatter] is a Bavarian farming dance, with the hands alternating to the heels and thighs. A demonstration during the opening ceremony also showed axes, saw and whips, so that sufficient adrenaline was present in the first round.

  Player   pts.
  Viktor Korchnoi   7.5
  Nana Ioseliani   6.5
  Xie Jun   6.5
  Alisa Galliamova   6.0
  Vassily Smyslov   5.0
  Xie Jun   5.0
  Vlastimil Hort   4.5
  Mark Taimanov   3.5
  Sophia Polgar   3.0
  Hans Bouwmeester   2.5

null

.

.

.

.

     Two games from round 9:
nullAlissa Galliamova vs. Hans Bouwmeester

.

.

nullSophia Polgar vs. Mark Taimanov

.

.

    Another insightful look into this tournament was provided by the Lost Boys:

The last game of the tournament Vlastimil Hort - Nana Ioseliani also contained some drama.
Hort chose an opening that was leading to a heavy fight. Ioseliani played sound moves achieving a satisfactory game and when Hort threw in his rook along the a-file she trapped it winning the exchange.   At that moment Hort was lost, but in time trouble a few moves later he was winning already (33. Nxe6). The moves went quickly and a flag fell. The position on the board was like this:



The arbiter said: stop and that moment Hort had his rook in his hand.  The game was reconstructed and it turned out that Blacks last move (Kg8-h7) was the 41th.  Hort now realized that he had to move his rook and started talking to himself and Taimanov, who was standing at the board - "If I would not have to move my rook the matter would be quickly settled.''   According to the analysis room he could still win with 42. Re6. First it was thought that Ioseliani would miss her (male) grandmaster norm in this way, but in fact she had performed it in nine games.  Anyhow,  Hort drew in a few moves: 42. Ra6 Rgxe7 43. Be4 Kg8 44. Qxe3 etc. and this meant a norm over ten games. She was also the biggest winner on the Elo-list.

.


null

null

Amsterdam
October 23 - November 3, 2001

null

     A decade of Dances ended in Joop van Oosterom's native Holland, more specifically at the Beurs van Berlage in Amsterdam

.
      Jeroen van den Berg of Lost Boys wrote:

The last of the traditional dance tournaments is being held in the country where sponsor Joop van Oosterom was born. Since Holland doesn't have a traditional dance like the foxtrot in England or the Cancan in France, the organizers chose the name Klompendans, which means in English (literally translated): 'Clog dance'.
    

     At the halfway point the Ladies, coached by Ljubomir Ljubojevic, led by a point.

     The veterans won the event 26-24, leaving the Veterans ahead 299-289.

    

     Worth noting is that due to his failing eyesight, this event was the competitive Swan Song for the 80 year old baritone, Vasily Smyslov.



  Player   pts.
  Lajos Portisch   6.5
  Zhu Chen   6.0
  Viktor Korchnoi   5.5
  Xie Jun   5.5
  Vlastimil Hort   5.5
  Nana Ioseliani   5.0
  Vassily Smyslov   5.0
  Alisa Galliamova   4.0
  Sophia Polgar   3.5
 Mark Taimanov   3.5

null

.

.

null
Nana Ioseliani - Mark Taimanov
.
null
Vasily Smyslov - Sophia Polgar
.
null
Xie Jun - Vlastimil Hort
.
null
Xie Jun - Viktor Korchnoi
.
null
Zhu Chen - Viktor Korchnoi

.



Alissa Galliamova beats Viktor Korchnoi in 28 moves:

.

.




null

null

null

Online Now