Erwin l'Ami Open Dutch Champion

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
Erwin l'AmiGM Erwin l'Ami is Open Dutch Champion 2009. In the last round on Thursday he drew in 10 moves with Jan Timman after which there was only one player left who could still end on 7.5/9 as well: the surprise of the tournament, FM Roi Miedema, who had beaten Anish Giri in round 8. However, Miedema also drew his game against Brandenburg and so he shared 2nd place with Giri and Timman.

Winner GM Erwin l'Ami | Photo Ab Scheel

The 41st Open Dutch Championship took place July 21-30 in Dieren, The Netherlands. Besides the strong Open there were many lower groups, blitz, rapid and bughouse tournaments which attracted a record 527 participants.

Rounds 6-9

From our previous report we know that rising star Anish Giri had been dominating the event during the first five rounds, winning all of his games. We're not sure if he read our report, but if he did, it might have brought him bad luck, as he suddenly stopped winning.

In rounds 6 and 7 that didn't really matter: drawing top seed Ernst with White and then Timman with Black, Giri was still sharing the lead with l'Ami, whom he had beaten in the 4th round. Besides, on the program in round 8 was FM Roi Miedema, so what could happen?

Well, as it turned out the worst could happen, and it did. Giri lost to Miedema, who played the tournament of his life in Dieren, with draws against GMs Swinkels, Timman and Yuri Vovk, and besides the crucial victory against Giri he also beat IM Lalith and GM Reinderman! Normally that would have been more than enough for a GM norm for Miedema, but in Dieren he didn't meet enough foreign players. "A similar thing happened to me in Deizisau last year," he said. "In round six I offered a draw in a better position against Vovk, hoping to increase my chances of getting paired against foreigners." However, Unfortunately for Miedema only compatriots were doing as well as he was.

In the meantime, except for his loss against Giri, l'Ami had won all (!) of his games and so with a 7 points he was the sole leader after 8 rounds, half a point ahead of Timman and Miedema. The "dream pairing" l'Ami-Timman then lasted just 10 moves (with reversed colours it might have been a nice game, but alas) and after Miedema and Brandenburg split the point on board 2, it was clear that l'Ami had won the championship and the € 3000 first prize.

We cannot end this report without mentioning a second revelation of the tournament: Lars Ootes, rated 2261, who finished on 6.5/9, drawing with IM Bitalzadeh and GM Visser and beating IM Pruijssers and GMs Andrey Vovk, Nijboer and Reinderman! It seems that Ootes also missed out on a GM norm for the same reason as Miedema above. IM Merijn van Delft, co-editor of ChessVibes Openings, scored an undefeated +2.

Dutch Open (Dieren) 2009 | Final Standings
Dutch Open R5 Standings

Game selection rounds 6-9

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Erwin l'Ami

Winner Erwin l'Ami receives his cheque
and flowers from sports alderman Hans Elsenaar

Erwin l'Ami

Shared second: Timman, Giri & Miedema

Photos © Ab Scheel


Peter Doggers

Peter Doggers joined a chess club a month before turning 15 and still plays for it. He used to be an active tournament player and holds two IM norms.

Peter has a Master of Arts degree in Dutch Language & Literature. He briefly worked at New in Chess, then as a Dutch teacher and then in a project for improving safety and security in Amsterdam schools.

Between 2007 and 2013 Peter was running ChessVibes, a major source for chess news and videos acquired by in October 2013.

As our Director News & Events, Peter writes many of our news reports. In the summer of 2022, The Guardian’s Leonard Barden described him as “widely regarded as the world’s best chess journalist.”

In October, Peter's first book The Chess Revolution will be published!

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