Hoogeveen: Matches, Open, Basque, Bike

Hoogeveen: Matches, Open, Basque, Bike

| 15 | Chess Event Coverage

Matches with GM Jan Timman vs soon-GM Jorden van Foreest and IM Sopiko Guramishvili vs WFM Anna-Maja Kazarian formed the main event, but more chess “variants” were seen in Hoogeveen last week.

The Hoogeveen Town Hall | Photo Frans Peeters.

The 19th edition of the Hoogeveen Chess Tournament took place October 17-24 in the City Hall in Hoogeveen, The Netherlands. The festival included two matches, an open, a Basque tournament, amateur events and even bike chess.

With the conclusion of Univé as main sponsor, the tournament where chess used to be played with glass pieces by former world champions (Karpov! Smyslov!) has lost most of its glamour. But, money or not, Hoogeveen loves chess.

“The 19th edition was a close call, as our main sponsor had lost interest. We’ve had to work hard to get things done,” said Hoogeveen alderman Erik Giethoorn at the closing ceremony. “We hope to welcome you again next year, to make the 20th edition an unforgettable one.”

This year no world-class players were present, but a certain former world-number two still makes the hearts of the older Dutch fans beat faster. Jan Timman played against the country's biggest talent, IM (but soon-GM) Jorden van Foreest.

At the moment Timman is rated only 14 Elo points higher than Van Foreest, but his huge match experience made the difference. As GM Hans Ree noted, Timman managed to reach positions where his young opponent was not at his best.

Timman won the match 3.5-2.5. Here's game three, annotated by GM Dejan Bojkov:

A very thematic game by Timman. | Photo Frans Peeters.

Van Foreest, whose brother and girlfriend were both playing in the open, did win one game. Interestingly, in this Open Spanish the players followed a game Tal-Timman(!) from 30 years ago.

Alongside this match, two young ladies played six games as well: IM Sopiko Guramishvili, whose husband GM Anish Giri was playing in Skopje (“I feel like a free bird!” — Guramishvili at the opening), and another big Dutch talent, WFM Anna-Maja Kazarian.

This match was a complete walk-over for the Georgian IM/WGM, who won five games and drew one. Kazarian, who had won the U16 European Girls Championship a few weeks before, is back with both feet on the ground.

Sometimes top chess can be a bloodbath,” tournament director Loek van Wely described the match afterward. Here's game three:

Guramishvili was just a bit too strong for Kazarian. | Photo Frans Peeters.

The open tournament was won by Indian GM Abhijeet Gupta, who was the only player to finish on 7.0/9. Three players shared second place with 6.5 points: GM Deep Sengupta, also from India, and local heroes GM Benjamin Bok and GM Jan Werle.

Here's a good win by Gupta over American grandmaster Alexander Shabalov, who had come to Berlin after playing the World Rapid and Blitz in Berlin.

The variation in this game was also played a few days later in the crucial game Wang Yue-Bacrot in Skopje.

Besides € 3,000 Abhijeet Gupta also won a chess painting. | Photo Frans Peeters.

Another American GM, the Estonian-born Jaan Ehlvest, got the chance to play the standard Sicilian Rxc3 sacrifice, as NM Julian Lin pointed out:

A nice combination was played by Marijn den Hartog in his game against Talitha Munnik. Can you find the win for Black?

Hoogeveen Open | Final Standings (Top 20)

# Name Score Fed. Rating TPR BH-HiLo SB
1 GM Gupta, Abhijeet 7.0 IND 2629 2652 39.0 38.5
2 GM Sengupta, Deep 6.5 IND 2580 2636 40.5 37.0
3 GM Bok, Benjamin 6.5 NED 2591 2646 40.5 36.0
4 GM Werle, Jan 6.5 NED 2524 2588 39.5 33.75
5 GM l'Ami, Erwin 6.0 NED 2619 2617 42.5 35.0
6 GM Vishnu Prasanna. V 6.0 IND 2503 2600 40.5 32.5
7 GM Pavlidis, Antonios 6.0 GRE 2522 2577 38.0 30.0
8 GM Neelotpal, Das 6.0 IND 2465 2560 38.0 29.5
9 GM Pruijssers, Roeland 6.0 NED 2501 2486 37.5 30.75
10 GM Ernst, Sipke 6.0 NED 2527 2529 37.5 30.0
11 GM Shabalov, Alexander 6.0 USA 2522 2464 36.0 27.5
12 IM Schroeder, Jan-Christian 6.0 GER 2519 2392 34.5 27.0
13 FM Beerdsen, Thomas 6.0 NED 2313 2436 33.5 26.75
14 GM Debashis, Das 5.5 IND 2501 2519 39.5 27.75
15 GM Halkias, Stelios 5.5 GRE 2534 2459 38.0 28.25
16 GM Ehlvest, Jaan 5.5 USA 2535 2420 37.5 27.75
17 GM Stocek, Jiri 5.5 CZE 2566 2446 36.5 27.25
18 IM Rudolf, Anna 5.5 HUN 2329 2372 35.0 25.25
19 GM Gopal G.N. 5.5 IND 2536 2426 34.5 27.0
20 FM Maris, Ivo 5.5 NED 2319 2358 34.5 25.0

(Full final standings here.)

On the rest day of the Van Foreest-Timman match, two different type of chess were tried out in Hoogeveen: Basque chess and bike chess.

Basque chess is named after a tournament in San Sebastian four years ago, where players were playing two games against one opponent at the same. It was also played at the World Mind Games last year.

GM Dimitri Reinderman defeated GM Erik van den Doel 1.5-0.5 in Basque chess.

Van Foreest accepted Van Wely's challenge to try it out as well, and it was the tournament director who won both games. Earlier on the day, Van Wely had beaten his younger opponent 1.5-0.5 in bike chess, where the players are riding a (not moving) bike during play.


A brief clip by Frans Peeters with Loek van Wely vs Hans Böhm playing bike chess.

Last year Van Wely experimented with heart rate monitors, and now this. Who knows what kind of experiments KingLoek will come up with for the 20th edition?

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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