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Jan Smeets

Jan Smeets

Jan 8, 2011, 1:13 AM 1

Jan Smeets (born April 5, 1985, Leiden) is a Dutch chess player with the title Grandmaster. He was the Netherlands' national champion in 2008. In 2009 he did not take part, but in 2010 he successfully reclaimed the championship.

While he found medals hard to come by at world and European level, he was practically unstoppable in domestic competition, taking gold medals in a number of age categories: Under-14 champion in 1998, Under-16 champion in 2000 and Under-20 champion in 2002 (the latter being shared with Erwin l'Ami).

His best performance at the World Junior Chess Championship occurred in 2005, when he took fifth place. This was a year of significant breakthrough for Smeets, when he recorded one of his best performances at Wijk aan Zee's Corus 'B' tournament, finishing equal with Shakhriyar Mamedyarov for a share of second place, behind Teimour Radjabov.

In 2008, there were a number of excellent results; he was the winner of the Dutch Championship at Hilversum and finished third at the Howard Staunton Memorial Tournament, after Michael Adams and Loek Van Wely, but ahead of Jan Timman, Ivan Sokolov and Nigel Short. He took a share of fifth place at the EU Individual Open Chess Championship, was selected to represent the Netherlands at the Dresden Olympiad and shared second place in the four player Essent (Crown Group) Tournament, after Ivan Sokolov and equal with former World Junior Champion Ahmed Adly. It was also a year in which his Elo rating broke through the 2600 barrier. In 2010 Smeets won the Dutch Championship for the second time.

Smeets is a very keen player of team chess and competes in the national leagues of Germany (for Bundesliga team Solingen SG 1868), Belgium and the Netherlands (where he drew with former World Champion Vladimir Kramnik).

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