New Issues

A new issue of the quarterly EG has just appeared. Besides the regular columns and the wealth of recent tourneys’ awards, a great deal of it is dedicated to the great Czech composer Mario Matouš [16.6.1947- 4.7.2013], one of my all time favourites. His countryman Emil Vlasák wrote a lively pictorial obituary illustrated by a small and appetizing selection of the great man’s best efforts of which three were chosen as the Study of the Year in 1990, 1997 and 2007. Here is the first of those three:

M. Matous pgn.

Among the various items in the new issue is my own article: The Magic of the Chameleon-Echo triggered and inspired by the recent Moscow studies composing championship, in which not fewer than three of the awarded studies show doubling of an element on neighbouring lines. Consequently all pieces change their colour (which explains the name of the theme).The second prize-winner in that event displays 2 masked batteries created on neighbouring diagonals:

A. Skrypnik pgn.

If you wish to enjoy the best of the Art of the Endgame Study you are invited to join the happy circle of EG subscribers by simply writing to: Marcel Van Herck: Dit e-mailadres wordt beveiligd tegen spambots. JavaScript dient ingeschakeld te zijn om het te bekijken.

At the same time we have received the November issue of the world’s leading composition periodical The Problemist, published by the British Chess Problem Society and edited by the English player and solver David Friedgood. It’s mainly dedicated to the recent Batumi congress and the 9th World championship for composing. My own regular column Studies presents the usual portion of original entries as well as a short survey of the composing tourneys in Batumi. You may read a lot more about this rich magazine and the BCPS here:    

1. c4!? Having spent part of the last weekend following the world championship match between Anand and Carlsen in Chennai I still managed to take part in a thematic rapid tournament organized by De Pion club in Amsterdam. It was the 19th edition of the Kees Besselink c4 tournament. A normal 7 rounder with 20 minutes per player, however with the unique condition of all games starting with 1.c4. That helps a great deal as you can always blame the opening. Here are the results of the A group:  In this fairly inactive period it’s a good opportunity to stay sharp for the upcoming team matches.

Posted: November 18 - 2013

VLG Wageningen at the Lead

The second round of the Dutch team competition was proved successful again for my team of Wageningen. We were paired with the ambitious SISSA Groningen and the match took place in the Mind sports centre in Groningen. Following a close and hard fought match we finally won 5.5: 4.5. Here are the individual results:




Wageningen VLG Advocaten



Jorden van Foreest


GM Jan Timman





GM Michael Hoffmann


IM Yochanan Afek





IM Floris van Assendelft


Fred Jonker





IM Gert Ligterink


Erwin Oorebeek





FM Erik-Jan Hummel


Kees Stap





Frits Rietman


Stefan Bekker





Koen Lambrechts


IM Sander van Eijk





Jan Joris Groenewold


FM Erik van den Dikkenberg





CM Paul ten Vergert


Jeroen Franssen





Renze Rietveld


David van Eekhout











read more: ...VLG Wageningen at the Lead

With GM Erwin l'Ami watching the Univé study in the press room of Hoogeveen.

The London Classics Study

The fifth edition of the super-tournament in London will take place in Olympia conference center (Kensington, London) on December 8-15. All details of the various events including the chess and education conference may be found here:

As in the last four editions I was invited to dedicate and original endgame study to all participants.

It can be seen here:,afek_study.htm

Here it is in PGN and auto play formats.

This weekend I visited the last 2 rounds of Hoogeveen tournament to see the young Philippine Wesley So winning the crown group and the Israeli GM Maxim Rodshtein winning the main open following a last round thriller. All results, games and photos may be seen here:  

An older endgame study of mine was the event’s challenger:

Here it is in PGN and auto-play formats.

See a short video about Hoogeveen. First you see webmaster Karel van Delft (white), after second 37 you see me with Lucas van Foreest, GM Erwin l'Ami and GM Maxim Rodshtein.

Posted: October 27 - 2013


Käty van der Mije (Photo René Olthoft).

A sad and happy weekend

Last Friday we accompanied a gentle and kind lady on her last journey. WGM Alexandra Ekaterina (Käty) van der Mije (Nicolau) has passed away in the city of Haarlem at the age of 73. She had been active in the sixties and seventies winning 6 times the Romanian championship and 5 times the Dutch championship following her immigration to the Netherlands in 1974. At her prime she was among the world’s best five. Although she retired decades ago she kept on visiting major events held mainly in the province of North Holland (of which Haarlem is the capital). A regular in Haarlem chess events I met her many times over the years and talking with her was always pleasing as well as instructive. You may read more about Käty here:

May her rest in peace.

Yochanan Afek wins Eijgenbrood (Photo tournament site).

Friday evening I joined the 27th edition of Eijgenbrood weekend tournament held in the biggest Dutch chess club Caissa Amsterdam. Here are the results of the A group:                                        

My club of Wageningen was well represented also by my teammate Kees Stap who shared the third prize.

Here is my decisive last round game:     

Pgn game Frank Erwich - Yochanan Afek

Posted: October 21 - 2013


Endgame Study quiz – Results

To celebrate his first 50 columns in, Harold van der Heijden published a special trivia quiz, using the endgame study as its pivotal topic. The quiz however proved a tough nut to crack as merely five experts were courageous enough to give it a serious try and send in their findings. All correct answers and the final standings may be found here:

I use this opportunity to warmly recommend once again the fourth version of Harold’s database which compiles as many as 76,132 studies in the user friendly PGN format, by far the world’s largest collection of endgame studies. I use this wonderful tool regularly as the most reliable source of reference for my composing and writing work, but also when I just wish to enjoy the best of chess beauty by the world’s finest artists.

More details may be seen here: 

Posted: October 16 - 2013      


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