HSG wins 1st Dutch Championship

PeterDoggers
PeterDoggers
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0 | Chess Event Coverage
Last Saturday, in the penultimate round of the Dutch club competition, HSG from Hilversum has won the national team championship for the first time since it was founded in 1887. They only needed one match point, but the players from HSG could open the champagne bottles after another big victory: 1?Ǭ?-8?Ǭ? against Homburg Apeldoorn.

Finally they made it. 'Always second' in the Dutch club championship, HSG has managed to clinch the national title after there wasn't a serieus compeititor for the first time in years.

For years it was De Variant from Breda preventing success for HSG and in more recent years, the final standings had sponsor names such as Ordina, ZZICT and even U-Boat Worx topping the list. Last year, Share Dimension from Groningen had enough pocket money to be able to include Kramnik and Ivanchuk in their team, and they won the championship one point ahead of HSG.

The Dutch champions in the 21st century:

2007-2008 HSG 2006-2007 Share Dimension Groningen 2005-2006 U-Boat Worx (after playoffs) 2004-2005 ZZICT (after playoffs) 2003-2004 ZZICT (after playoffs) 2002-2003 ZZICT (after playoffs) 2001-2002 Ordina (after playoffs) 2000-2001 Ordina

Hilversums Schaak Genootschap (Hilversum Chess Society), founded September 28th, 1887 is one of the oldest clubs in The Netherlands. In the eighties of the last century, HSG became a very strong club pretty fast because of Joop van Oosterom, who then played in the first team. The generous millionaire started to sponsor his club long before the Amber tournament existed.

HSG's team was enrichted by strong players, e.g. the three Polgar sisters, Ljubomir Ljubojevic, Lev Polugaevsky, Ian Rogers, Yasser Seirawan and Predrag Nikolic. The latter two still play for HSG regularly, and although Ljubo hasn't played yet this year, he promised his team mates in Nice to join the championship party.

Loek van Wely had always been ZZICT's top player but started to play for HSG at the start of the season 2004-2005. This must have stimulated the new generation, consisting of Spoelman, Smeets, l'Ami and Stellwagen, enormously.

Team captain Jan Stomphorst always kept faith to his strategy to include mostly Dutch players or players living in The Netherlands in his team, instead of flying in strong players. This has its charm, and has resulted in a team of friends, but partly because of that, there was never a big party at the end of the season.

This year HSG was clearly the strongest Dutch team. All matches were won so far and 59?Ǭ? board points have been collected; an average of 7,4.

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After the big victory against Homburg Apeldoorn (and title holder Groningen drawing their match against LSG 5-5) HSG is now leading with a four-points gap with Schrijvers Rotterdam and Hotels.nl.

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Here some convincing HSG games from this season:






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