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Land of 1000 Dances

batgirl
Dec 27, 2011, 2:14 PM 5

The Association Max Euwe is backed by Joop van Oosterom and his wife Muriel. Mr. van Oosterom has the good fortune of not only being a billionaire, but of also being one of the strongest correspondence players in the world [ICCF (ICCFnr: 370241) rating 2748 as of 1-2004], although fellow Dutch chess players, Hans Ree and Tim Krabbé hint around that GM Jeroen Piket deserves some of that credit.  Van Oosterom to be sure is a strong player even without Piket.  He had been the junior champion of Netherlands way back in 1955.  After making his fortune with the company he founded, the Volmac Software Group, Mr. van Oostrom 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 Oostrom is most famous for funding the famous Melody Amber tournament, which features a huge prize fund, exotic locations and luxurious accomodations to those invited to play. Named after his daughter, Melody Amber, the tournament was begun in 1992 and pits the greatest players in the world against each other in dual contests: one, blindfold; the other, rapid play (25 min. per game). Since there are no ratings involved, the playing is often wild and adventurous. There's nothing about the tournament for anyone to dislike.  The Melody Amber Tournament was originally played in Roquebrune, France. In 1993 the venue was changed to Morocco, where the Association Max Euwe is located. In 2008, it was moved to Nice, France but the 20th and final tournament was played this year, 2011, back in Morocco for old times' sake.

[Besides chess, Joop van Oosterom also supports billiards.  He holds the annual Crystal Kelly billiards tournament in Monte Carlo - the total prize for 2011, also it's final year (it was held from 1993-2011), was $100,000.  Crystal Kelly and Melody Amber, both his daughters' names, are also the names of the Dutch billiard teams sponsored by Mr. van Oosterom (this year's also the final one)]

Less known, however, are other tournaments which Mr. van Oostrom sponsored, commonly referred to as The Dance tournaments and the Rising Stars vs. Experience tournaments. They, like the Amber tournaments, include some peculiarities and freedom of the players from the stress of ratings.

 

There seems to have been 5 Rising Stars vs.Experience tournaments, spanning 2006-2010.  The "Rising Stars," who averaged about half the age of the "Experience" players, won 4 of the five tournaments.  Each year the high-scorer of this tournament recieved an invitation to play in the Amber tournament.

 year  Rising Stars Experience
  Rising Stars Experience
 2006  Magnus Carlsen, Sergey Karjakin, Wang Hao, Daniel Stellwagen, Jan Smeets  Alexander Beliavsky, Ljubomir Ljubojevic, John Nunn, Ulf Andersson, Artur Jussupow

 28

 Magnus Carlsen 6.5/10

 22
 2007  Ivan Cheparinov, Sergey Karjakin, Parimarjan Negi, Jan Smeets, Daniel Stellwagen  Alexander Beliavsky, Artur Jussupow, Alexander Khalifman, Ljubomir Ljubojevic, Predrag Nikolic  26.5

Sergey Karjakin
7/10
 23.5
 2008  Wang Yue, Erwin l’Ami, Daniel Stellwagen, Fabiano Caruana, Ivan Cheparinov  Evgeny Bareev, Viktor Kortchnoi, Artur Jussupow, Simen Agdestein,  Ljubomir Ljubojevic  33.5

Wang Yue
8.5/10
 16.5
 2009  Hou Yifan, Hikaru Nakamura, Fabiano Caruana, Jan Smeets, Daniel Stellwagen  Peter Svidler, Peter Heine Nielsen, Alexander Beliavsky, Loek van Wely, Ljubomir Ljubojevic

 22.5

Jan Smeets
6/10

 27.5
 2010  Hikaru Nakamura, Fabiano Caruana, Anish Giri, Wesley So, David Howell  Boris Gelfand, Peter Svidler, Peter Heine Nielsen, Loek van Wely, Ljubomir Ljubojevic

 26

 Nakamura over Giri
in a 2/0 tie-break 

 24


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

There have been 10 such tournaments. Point-wise, the series was extrememly close:

  year tournament name location ladies veterans
I 1992
Tumba Tournament 
Aruba
33.0
39.0
II 1993
Walzer Tournament 
Vienna
40.5
31.5
III 1994
Palladienne Tournament
Monaco
37.0
35.0
IV 1995
Polka Tournament 
Prague
26.5
23.5
V 1996
Foxtrot Tournament
London
22.5
27.5
VI 1997
Høstdans Tournament 
Copenhagen
23.0
27.0
VII 1998
Can Can Tournament
Roquebrune
36.0
36.0
VIII 1999
Flamenco Tournament 
Marbella
19.5
30.5
IX 2000
Schuhplatter Tournament
Munich
27.0 
23.0
X 2001
Klompendans Tournament
Amsterdam
24.0
26.0
     
Total
289.0
299.0
 
Below is a game between Sophia Polgar and Hans Bouwmeester
from the 2000 Schuhplatter Tournament -

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