The 19th Hoogeveen Chess Tournament, which takes place from 17-24 October in the Hoogeveen town hall, includes a great number of attractive side events this year. Various alternative chess variants will be experimented with, there is a simultaneous exhibition by one of the match players, Sopiko Guramishvili, and every day well-known Dutch players will give commentaries on the games in the town hall.
On the day of the opening, Saturday 17 October, there is a chess event at the local McDonalds, just like last year, from 13.00-16.00h. Anyone who wants can play a game of ‘Chess biking’ or ‘Fitness chess’ here. Chess biking means that you are sitting at the board on a hometrainer. You can win the game by giving mate, by time forfeit, or by riding faster than your opponent. Fitness chess is a blitz game with the clock placed at some distance from the board, so that the players have to put on a spurt to finish their move, after which they have to run back to the board again.
On Wednesday 21 October, a Basque Chess tournament will be held from 10.00h. In this chess variant, which originated in the Basque city of San Sebastian, the opponents play on two boards at the same time: one game with white, and one with black. This is a five-round tournament: the players get 25 minutes each for a (double) game, plus 20 seconds extra after each completed move. There is a prize fund of 500 euros, the entry fee is 15 euros (a maximum of 32 participants). First prize is 250 euros. Among the participants will be grandmaster and former Dutch champion Dimitri Reinderman and ‘Mr Chess’, IM Hans Böhm.
On Saturday 24 October, Sopiko Guramishvili will give a simultaneous exhibition from 13.00-16.00h in the centre of Hoogeveen, right after her match versus European Junior Champion Anna-Maja Kazarian. If during the exhibition an opponent loses, he or she can put up the pieces again for another game, or a new opponent can join. There will also be a chess bike, on which participants or onlookers can ‘blow off steam’.
Throughout the tournament there is an exhibition with chess paintings by Tjerk Zijlstra, presented by Margreet Wevers of Schaakkunst (Chess Art). Schaakkunst will be present with a stand in the town hall on Sunday 18 and Saturday 24 October. Throughout the entire chess week there will also be a ‘chess bike’ in the town hall, on which anybody can play a game of ‘Chess biking’.
During the rounds there will be daily commentary, starting at 14.45h. On October 17, Joris Brenninkmeijer will be the commentator, on October 18 and 19 – former Dutch champion Gert Ligterink, on October 20 – former Dutch champion Dimitri Reinderman, on October 21 – Cor van Wijgerden, on October 22 – ‘Mr Chess’ Hans Böhm, on October 23 – Robert Ris, and on October 24 – Gert Ligterink again.
The tournament organization is working on other activities, such as ‘Chess tag’, and possibly an event at the asylum centre near Hoogeveen.