Peter Doggers

Full name
Peter Doggers
Born
Oct 9, 1975 (age 45)‎
Place of birth
Hoorn, Netherlands
Federation
Netherlands
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Bio

Peter Doggers is a Dutch chess player and one of the world's top online chess journalists. Peter is an aggressive player who reached his peak FIDE rating of 2292 in 2004 and currently holds two IM norms.

Peter started the popular chess site, ChessVibes, in 2007. He began working at Chess.com in 2013 and currently is Chess.com's Director of News and Events.


Chess Player

Peter Doggers learned to play chess when he was just a young child after his father taught him the rules. However, he didn't pay much attention to the game until around the age of 10. He grew interested in chess when one of his teachers invited him to play during school recess—something he kept doing from that moment on.

Peter's motivation continued to grow when, at age 14, one of his friends invited him to play chess with his uncle, a strong club player. A year later, Peter and his friend had a pretend "World Championship Match" during the holidays that Peter won.

Peter Doggers.
Peter Doggers playing chess.

Doggers was so enthralled with the game that people kept suggesting that he should join a chess club. After doing some research, his mother found a newly-created chess club in his hometown dedicated to young players. He joined that club and is still a member to this day— the Schaakvereniging Caïssa-Eenhoorn or the Caissa-Unicorn Chess Club.

Peter got his first national rating in 1991 after playing in the under-1800 section of the Open Dutch Chess Championship. His score at this tournament gave him his first official FIDE rating of 1737.

Peter Doggers

One of Peter's early successes came at a weekend tournament in Haarlem, the Netherlands, in 1996. He had already scored 2/3 when he had to face IM Saevar Bjarnason. Despite being an almost 300-rating point underdog, he crushed the international master in only 29 moves in a sharp Sicilian game after sacrificing his queen. Below you can enjoy this beautiful game with annotations by Peter:

In that same tournament, Peter had to play grandmasters in the last two rounds. He lost the first game and then had the white pieces against GM Alexander Wojtkiewicz in the final round. Playing accurately, Peter defeated his powerful Polish opponent:

Peter currently has two international master norms. He made his first one in dramatic fashion during a tournament in Amsterdam in 2004. Facing IM Daniel Stellwagen with the black pieces, Doggers learned from an arbiter that he could get a norm if he beat his opponent. Despite not feeling confident about defeating an up-and-coming player rated over 2500 (who became a grandmaster one tournament later), Peter rose to the occasion:

Peter made his second IM norm ten years later in the Liechtenstein Open. It was the first time he could dedicate himself to preparing for a tournament since 2006, when he began working as a chess journalist. About his second norm, Doggers joked that "the best thing about scoring a second IM norm is showing the world that the first one was not an accident."

The best thing about scoring a second IM norm is showing the world that the first one was not an accident.
— Peter Doggers

Jokes aside, it's clear that Peter is a strong player who deserves each of his norms. The game below comes from the tournament where he secured his second norm. Peter's aggressive play shines through as he, playing the white pieces in yet another Sicilian, beats the Italian IM Fabio Bruno.

Chess Journalist Career

Doggers finished his studies at the University of Amsterdam in Dutch Language and Literature in 1999. He then started working at New In Chess as a marketer. In the brief period when he worked there, he also helped the magazine's editorial department.

He left his job to teach Dutch to expatriates living in the Netherlands and worked as a waiter. After that, he started working for Amsterdam's government to improve safety and security in the city's schools.

Peter Doggers.
Peter Doggers during the 2014 Chess.com meetup in Punta Cana.

During that period, Peter was playing chess at a club in Amsterdam. Some players from that club had a digital newsletter in which they analyzed each other's games. At the same time, people started to learn about blogs for the first time, and services like Blogspot had a huge boom. Doggers decided to share his games not only in the newsletter but also on a new blog.

After only two months of creating his blog, Peter got a press pass to cover the 2006 Chess Olympiad, where he had the chance to meet many of his chess idols.

Peter Doggers.
Peter Doggers playing basketball with GM Magnus Carlsen in 2013. As Doggers has joked himself, both on the basketball court and on the chessboard he is not the world's best defender.

A year later, Peter went to a bullet tournament and started shooting videos of the games and posting them online. Back then, streaming videos online was new, and few people had seen professional players in a bullet battle. The quick and ferocious moves of the players caught the internet's attention, and Peter realized that he should do more videos.

That same year, GM Hans Ree mentioned Peter in a Dutch newspaper. GM Alexei Shirov fell for a trick against GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov. Ree commented that Shirov wouldn't have lost if he had seen a video Peter had posted of Mamedyarov and GM Judit Polgar doing a post-mortem—the Azerbaijani had shown the same trick to Polgar. Soon top GMs became reluctant to analyze their games when Peter was around and sometimes asked him to start filming only after the opening phase was over.

Peter Doggers.
Peter at an event in 2010 with Macauley Peterson who, according to Peter, was invaluable for teaching him about video filming and editing.

Peter changed his blog's name to ChessVibes in 2007 and started dedicating himself exclusively to it. In January of that year, he got another press pass to a tournament in Wijk aan Zee. He had the opportunity of filming the players analyzing their games, so he posted many of those lectures on his blog.

These free lectures by top players attracted more than 15,000 visitors a day to his blog and made him internationally famous. ChessVibes became one of the leading websites for chess news globally and launched two magazines, "ChessVibes Opening" and "ChessVibes Training."

Peter Doggers.
Peter Doggers shooting video at a self-organized blitz tournament in February 2007 to celebrate the launch of ChessVibes.com. Photo: Frits Agterdenbos.

ChessVibes' success continued to grow, and in December 2012, Doggers received an email from Chess.com's CEO Erik Allebest inviting him to join the team. They met in September 2013 in New York to iron out the details and close the deal.

Chess.com Content

Chess.com acquired ChessVibes, and Peter joined the team as the Director of Content. He mainly covered the European events while FM Mike Klein worked on events in the Americas. Today, Doggers is the Director of News and Events and covers the world's most important chess events.

Peter Doggers.
Doggers at Kjeragbolten, Norway, in 2015.

Peter's favorite work as a journalist is his excellent piece on FIDE's financial situation in 2016. After performing fine journalist work, Doggers concluded that FIDE was heading for bankruptcy if they didn't change how they were administering their money.

Another one of Peter's memorable contributions to Chess.com is his interview with former world champion GM Garry Kasparov at GM Bobby Fischer's grave. The legendary Kasparov talked about Fischer's contributions to chess and the sad loss Fischer's early retirement represented to the game.

Peter continues to write prolifically for Chess.com and contributes excellent articles, interviews, and widely popular tournament and news reports.

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