Horses as main characters

PeterDoggers
PeterDoggers
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0 | Chess Event Coverage
This article is about horses. Nice, friendly animals, and as knights they have a special place within the game of chess. Ask anybody on the street about the moves of the pieces, and they will only be able to tell those of the knight correctly: one 'straight and one diagonally'. The brand new Remco Heite Chess Tournament seems to like horses. In fact, the winner of the tournament will be given one! That is, if the GIS (General Inspection Service) will cooperate.

The Remco Heite Chess Tournament (24-26 November in Wolvega) is quite unique if you look at its set-up. Firstly, there's an invitation group with Vlastimil Hort, Robert H?ɬºbner, Jan Timman, Loek van Wely, Jan Werle and Artur Yusupov. This was the personal choice of ex-mayor Remco Heite. Heite, who won the 'national mayors chess championship' several times, had a free hand in choosing the participants. The invitation group plays a 'half competition': five rounds or in other words a weekender.

At the same time a nine round rapid tournament is taking place, also from Friday night to Sunday afternoon. For this tournament the grandmasters Friso Nijboer, Erik van den Doel, John van der Wiel, Yge Visser and Sipke Ernst already confirmed their participation. ("The time schedule of the two tournaments is set in such a way that participants of the open tournament have several moments to have a look at the invitation group", the tournament site says. They know how to schedule!) Besides, there's a regional school chess tournament. It will all be held at the Wolvega Hotel. The organisation whispered in my ear that Wolvega is not that far away ('from Amsterdam you're there in a bit more than an hour!') and that the hotel still has plenty of rooms - so don't hesitate and do participate!

Quite special about this tournament is that the winner, besides the usual money prize, will win a horse (keeping in mind the most modern horse trotting venue which is also located in Wolvega). Well, this was the organisation's original plan, which made the press release about the tournament extra interesting.

But then they received a letter from the GIS (General Inspection Service). What was the case? Giving away a horse is illegal in Holland. Henk Feitsma, chairman of the Remco Heite Chess Tournament Foundation, reacted firmly in a second press release: "If Jan Timman wins and he wants to take the horse home, then in our opinion this is what will happen." This way he played the media like an experienced tournament organizer and the tournament got a lot of extra exposure.

I called him about the situation with the GIS. Feitsma: "The problem is not that we want to give away a horse; it's that the GIS knows we want to give away a horse. These things happen all the time, without anybody being fined. The GIS spotted us, which means our publicity is quite allright." But what did he have in mind, a player like Timman, living in Amsterdam, with 'a horse at home'? "The contracts of the players say they can also choose to receive the countervalue of the horse. Of course it was all a publicity stunt. But maybe in the end the player who wins the tournament will choose the horse!" The organizers hope to find a solution together with the GIS - in other words, to be continued.

And while we're speaking of horses, there are many of them in the next study, which I came by when reading the In Memoriam-artikel article about Tal at Chessbase. A truly magnificent study, composed in the seventies by Gijs van Breukelen but only published in 1990.

G. van Breukelen Schakend Nederland, 1990 White to move and win

You can find the solution here and read more about this study here.
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