Once a year it's allright

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
Yesterday for the 14h time the Boerenkool Met Worst Tournament was played (boerenkool = kale). This is already the good news, because the tournament was almost canceled. The old playing hall in the West-Frisian town Nibbixwoud was turned into a wok resutaurant this year and so the organisation had to move a few kilometres away to Wadway. On the arrival the bad news was told: because the tournament was played so late in the season, (usually it's being held early March) no kale could be served! This vegetable, like Brussels sprout, needs frost to grow, so to speak, and we didn't have very cold nights in Holland lately. So no fresh kale could be found in any supermarket in the country! But, the kitchen assured us, we would definitely be served a true West-Frisian diner.

The fact that tournament was held during the Easter weekend this year was shown in the number of participants. Some regular customers (the tournament actually only has regular customers) were dearly missed. Despite this, everybody started enthusiastically around two thirty with the seven round Swiss rapid tournament that traditionally has a rule you might expect at a tournament with such a name: pressing the clock is finishing the move. Touching, letting loose or topple over pieces can be done without any harm, as long as you do it in your own time.

This year Sjoerd Plukkel, Daan Zult, Marc Helder, Alexander Geerts and yours truly were the favourites (and we shouldn't forget to mention Jerrel Thakoerdien, the eternal dangerous outsider). Only the former had never won the tournament but Plukkel seemed determined to change this, because he won his first four games and shared the lead with Thakoerdien and Zult during the kale (oh no, endive, or what was it) diner. Geerts, Helder and y.t. had lost a game already early in the tournament. After diner Plukkel became clear first when he beat Thakoerdien and Zult only drew against me (and he was lucky!) because I seem to have found an answer to the feared Daan system (c4/d3/e4/Nc3/Nge2/g3, sometimes called the Botvinnik system). The sixth round saw the clash Plukkel-Zult on board one, which was decided by a nice combination by Black. He thus took the lead with a half point and with this the tournament was already decided, felt most of the experts. And indeed Daan had no trouble winning his last round game against Marc Helder. And so he prolonged his boerenkool title with 6,5 out of 7 and again he fetched the most expensive bottle of whisky.

Warning: the following pictures are not suitable for young viewers. At the Boerenkool Met Worst Tournament sometimes a few beers are consumed during a game. The ChessVibes editorial team doesn't propagate this kind of misbehaviour, at the very most a blind eye is turned to it.

The playing hall.

Prominent participants of the organising club Attaqueer.

This is how Jerrel looks when he's out of beer.

A white wine? This cannot be.

Typical boerenkool chess: two queens and two kings are hanging, and the players don't know who is to move.

Do we recognize next year's sponsor?

What was played for.

Between rounds 4 and 5, as always the boards were put aside for plates.

It looks like boerenkool, but isn't.

Music as inspiration. Rogier Prince is not a chess player but did score 3 out of 7.

New Yorker Macauley Peterson loved to play in this typical Dutch tournament but remained faithful to his own style (and clock).

Round 6: Plukkel-Zult. Black to play and win.

If you found the combi, you've seen this position.

Board 1, last round: Zultan has a slightly better ending against Helder.

And with concentration till the very end...

...he converted the game with pointes like these (Bh7 has just been played).

With this position the game and the tournament was decided.

The winner: again Daan Zult
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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