Hans Ree at the presentation. (Photo René Olthof)
The Chess world of Hans Ree
Two chess books, translated from the Dutch language and recently published by Russel Enterprises, were presented last month in Max- Euwe Centre in Amsterdam. You may find all details about that interesting event here:
Hans Ree is a Dutch grandmaster and one of the finest contemporary chess writers known for decades from his lively articles both in the daily NRC Handelsblad and in New in Chess magazine. In “My Chess” he takes us to a fascinating journey in his own chess world through a fascinating selection of his charming short stories. We are privileged to meet a whole range of well known chess celebrities many of whom the author has had a personal acquaintance over many years of his rich chess career, alongside with a gallery of local Dutch heroes barely known to the general chess public. Ree artfully portrays them from his own unique perspective, proving once again that even a chess story may turn by a maestro author into a fine piece of literature. There are 45 such stories in the book and although I managed to spot just one single diagram, I can still gladly recommend it to all chess lovers especially if accompanied by a glass of good wine.
I was especially delighted by the following story and even got a special permission by both author and publisher to give it here in full. Have a good look to see why:
Good Start for Wageningen
While I was composing and solving funnier positions in Batumi, my Dutch team of Wageningen (for the last 13 seasons!) managed pretty well in the first round of the KNSB competition, beating Philidor 1847 from the city of Leeuwarden convincingly. I tried my best to play my own game in advance as common according to the rules when one or more of the players involved are to participate as official representatives in an international event. I was indeed an official delegate in Batumi yet of the “wrong” federation as the captain of the opponent team refused to cooperate. I admit that I was hoping for a sportive revenge and my team indeed lived to my hopes and even way beyond! Though the rival captain managed to get away with a draw on the fifth board, the total score was one of the best news I could receive in Batumi.
For the time being the score table looks quite appealing:
The winning teams: Boris Tummes, Arno Zude, Michael Pfannkuche (Germany-silver); Aleksander Mista, Piotr Murdzia, Piorun Kacper (Poland-Gold); Bojan Vuckovic, Marjan Kovacevic (who took part in all 37 championships to date!), Gadjanski Borislav (Serbia- Bronze). Photo: official website.
A Magical Week in Batumi
We spent the last week in Batumi at the Georgian shore of the Black Sea where the 56th congress for chess composition and the 37th world chess solving championship took place. 169 composers, solvers, delegates and accompanying persons from 30 countries took part in its various events enjoying the outstanding Georgian hospitality as well as the delicious Georgian cuisine. It was especially pleasant to meet so many old and new friends from so many countries especially the large delegation of my own countrymen.
Analyzing a game with Jan Timman in Dieren 2011.
An improved birthday present
When I turned 60 (not yet used to this figure…) last year, my good friend and teammate Jan Timman, treated me to an original endgame study. Needless to say how flattered I was by this gesture (which at the time was even accompanied by a delicious visit at a Greek restaurant and two bottles of …quality Israeli wine courtesy Jan and his wife Geertje). However as a true artist Jan was still not happy enough with his creation and in one of the recent issues of the New in Chess Magazine he introduced an improved version, still dedicated to me. I am afraid I can’t share with you the superb wine anymore, but you may certainly still enjoy the final version of the beautiful endgame study with Jan’s annotations as published in New in Chess 5 / 2013:
Doesn’t it taste like an extra-fine old wine improving with the years?
Download the study as pgn.
Posted: September 20 - 2013
Miniature Rook Endings
Two of my Rook endings have been recently awarded in annual informal tourneys in American and Serbian magazines. Rook endings are especially favoured by the Georgian school. Both judges are Georgian. I will take part in the annual congress for chess composition in Batumi (Georgia) next week. I will keep you informed.
Posted: September 19 - 2013