From the 26th to 29th of December chess legends Anatoly Karpov and Jan Timman will start their 4-game match in Groningen. This promotion match, which is part of the traditional Chess Festival at the end of the year in the Dutch Northern city, is one of the special activities organized this year enhancing the Dutch-Russian relations. Continuing a recent trend of bringing the world of art and chess together, the match takes place in the Groninger Museum and will be accessible for the visitors of the museum as well.
Jan Timman is a true legend of Dutch Chess and I find it a real pity I never crossed swords with him in a classical game. In 2009 I was invited to play the Staunton Memorial in London, where amongst others Timman and Korchnoi participated in a Round Robin event. I still regret I had to decline the invitation for personal reasons.
On May 5th in Wageningen there is annually held the Bevrijdings Dag (Liberation Day) rapid tournament. Since a couple of years Timman is member of the local club and also plays in the tournament himself. In 2010 I was happy to meet him on the chess board for the first time and I remember I was pretty nervous at the start of our game. Handling the white pieces, I remember I spent a huge amount of time in the opening, but thanks to a blunder I won a pawn for which my opponent didn't obtain sufficient compensation. Getting shorter on time and failing to keep my nerves in control I returned that favour and in the ensuing pawn ending I was fighting for my life. Unfortunately I can't reproduce the exact position anymore and only remember he offered me a draw when I thought I was lost with just a couple of seconds on the clock left (true, we played with a few secs increment). He clearly understood the endgame better than me, but his classy attitude has made a big impression on me.
The next year in the same event I was paired with Black against him and after a huge mistake I quickly got the upper hand in the Scotch Four Knights. I played rather confidently this time, grabbed some material and converted the advantage with good technique. Even though the game basically ended after Timman's blunder I'm still quite proud of that game and hence glad it has been recorded in the following link
Perhaps you have some problems following the battle closely so for that reason I'll add the final moves of the game
By the way, I also managed to grind down my good friend Loek van Wely, who is still suffering from some psychological problems after this battle. For your joy (and evidently my own as well!) here is that game on video!