Successful first "Cafe Batavia" IM tournament in Amsterdam

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
Batavia 1920In what was a small, friendly and cosy "cafe tournament", the young Dutch talent Robin van Kampen scored his first IM norm. He finished on 6/9 together with the only grandmaster in the field, Ilan Manor from Israel. Amsterdam has got itself a brand new round-robin IM tournament, named after the location: Cafe Batavia 1920, located just across Central Station.

The Batavia 1920 Tournament took place February 11th-20th in Cafe Batavia, in the heart of Amsterdam, The Netherlands. It was a small dream of cafe owner Peter Tames to organize a chess tournament one time, and this month he succeeded. With the help of photographer Bas Beekhuizen and a bit of Corus organizer Jeroen van den Berg as well, he got together a group of ten players in the elo range 2214-2490, enough to make an IM norm possible.

And so you could call it the "small brother" of the annual Cultural Village Tournament that always takes place in November in Wijk aan Zee, The Netherlands where a GM norm is possible, not to mention the prestigious qualification spot for Corus Grandmaster Group C. In cafe Batavia the setup was more modest, but there's nothing wrong with that for a first tournament. And looking back, Tames is very satisfied with the first edition. "It was a Category 4 tournament and I was very happy with that."

The venue was an old cafe that dates from 1920, and some redecoration was needed to get everything ready in time. Tames: "At first we wanted to stage it downstairs, where we have even more space, but then we decided to hold in the room upstairs, where it would be more quiet." This place was not 100% ready yet when the tournament started, but photos of famous chess players were already hanging on the walls. "We're planning too keep the chessy atmosphere also after the tournament. You will be able to play chess in our cafe, even with clocks!"

And yes, during the tournament there was certainly a very nice, chessy and cosy (not an ideal translation of the Dutch word "gezellig", but there's not much better to our knowledge to describe it) atmosphere in the cafe. Many local players, like GMs Reinderman, Ree and Seirawan and IMs Thomas Willemze and Manuel Bosboom, to name just a few, welcomed the "newcomer" on the calendar and paid the tournament a visit.

And what more can an organizer of an IM round-robin wish for, than an IM norm scored by a Dutch talent? Together with GM Ilan Manor (Israel), Robin van Kampen finished on 6/9, exactly the number of points needed to score his first norm.


All games for replay


A view of Amsterdam Central Station, with, of course, lots of bikes


Across the street is the St. Nicholas Church (r.) and Cafe Batavia (l.)


The front of the cafe - the place to go if you're in the neighbourhood!


The interior of the cafe and some of you might recognize Corus Chess News hosts Tom & Bianca


The playing hall - Stefan Kuipers looks at chess photos on the wall...

wall1 these with Fischer, Carlsen and Kasparov - not a bad trio!


Here we see Viktor Kortchnoi, Jan Timman and Judit Polgar


The drawing of lots with Peter Tames (l.) and the players...


...and an opening speech by GM and Amsterdam citizen Hans Ree


Peter Tames (l.) and Jeroen van den Berg (r.)


Robin van Kampen


Ilan Manor


ChessVibes editor Merijn van Delft


Taco Vrenegoor


Henk Vedder


IM Tibor Karolyi


Stefan Kuipers


ChessVibes editor Yochanan Afek


Arlette van Weersel


Michael Karp


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