Roeland Pruijssers International Master

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Seventeen-year-old Roeland Pruijssers made his third IM norm in Groningen with a full point overscore, passing the 2400 mark in the process and thereby becoming International Master! Sipke Ernst won the Harmonie Chess Tournament with an impressive 7 out of 9, directly followed by Roeland with 6,5 out of 9.

Following Doggy's annual survey I should mention that 2006 has been a memorable year for Apeldoorn. The local first team Homburg Apeldoorn managed to beat the strong team of Rotterdam for the first time, finally had a good start in the season and is now on a proud fifth position of the Meesterklasse. Frontman Sipke Ernst finally got what he deserves, the grandmaster titel and in the meanwhile his rating raised to an impressive 2540. My father as a chess organiser reached a milestone with his 50th birthday, the celebration of which was a lot of fun. We won the Dutch blitz championship for teams, even though several strong teams were missing. Blitz belongs to Apeldoorn, we host the national Lightning Chess championship and the local blitz championship is always well attended. Manuel Bosboom spoiled the chess fans with one positional exchange saccrifice after the other.

Then there suddenly was the disappointing 4,5-5,5 loss against ESGOO, but we can close the year with a great piece of news: 17 year old Roeland Pruijssers made his third IM norm in Groningen with a full point overscore, passing the 2400 mark in the process and thereby becoming International Master! Sipke Ernst won the Harmonie Schaaktoernooi with an impressive 7 out of 9, directly followed by Roeland with 6,5 out of 9. All games can be found here.

Photo: Karel van Delft

Roeland was not born, but did grow up in Apeldoorn. When I saw him for the first time, he was a very timid little boy, but in this respect he showed great progress as well, nowadays he simply is a nice guy. He is somebody who takes his sport seriously and works hard for it. Nowaways there are enough young players with some potential, but most of them do not really go for it. They have some initial success but in the end it is not going anywhere. Roeland is the perfect example of somebody who does combine talent with hard work.

In recent years through our SBSA and as the teamcaptain of Homburg Apeldoorn I have coached Roeland every now and then. We discussed what went wrong in his games, which books he should read, in other words we discussed the direction he should work in. All of the real work he did himself. A little breakthrough was when he started playing main lines ?¢‚Ǩ‚Äú which enables one to stand on the shoulders of giants. He still has enough to learn (a happy thought considering that he now is an IM already), but plays very manly chess: a combination of classical and aggressive. Last year was a year of collecting experience in the Meesterklasse with decent games against Timman and Van Wely (see below). No wins all season long, but in the games itself a lot was happening. Now it is clear that the investment was worth it, so far 3 out of 4 with a performance of 2586 in the Meesterklasse and now this marvellous result in Groningen. On the january list 2357, add 39 points from the Harmonie Schaaktoernooi, combined with the results so far in the Dutch and German leagues that gives a virtual rating of about 2410. Waiting for the official confirmation Roeland can hardly believe it himself. Congratulations from Chessvibes!



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