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Sibrand Poppema welcomes international students at Chess Festival Groningen

23 December 2014

The 52nd edition of the Groningen Chess Festival is to take place at Christmas in the Sports Centre of the University of Groningen and Hanze University of Applied Sciences. The event started life as a youth tournament where many top-class chess players started their international careers. To mark its recent 400th anniversary, the University of Groningen invited students from partner universities throughout the world to take part in this year’s edition of the tournament, which will be held from 21 to 30 December. Some sixty students from countries worldwide and with varying levels of experience responded to the invitation . They were welcomed the evening before the tournament by Sibrand Poppema, President of the Board of the University of Groningen.

The participants together with University of Groningen President Sibrand Poppema. Pictures: Elmer Spaargaren
The participants together with University of Groningen President Sibrand Poppema. Pictures: Elmer Spaargaren

More than 300 players will take part in the nine-day open tournament. Some of them will compete for the main prizes in a fully subscribed tournament. The strongest student contenders are Zaven Andriasian from Armenia, Alexander Ipatov from Turkey and Daniele Vocatura from Italy. The strongest Dutch student is Daan Brandenburg from Drachten, who has just started the Master’s programme in Multilingualism in Leeuwarden. Grand Masters Sergey Tiviakov, Sipke Ernst and Jan Werle are the favourites from Groningen.

University of Groningen Chess Challenge

University of Groningen President Sibrand Poppema welcomes the international students.
University of Groningen President Sibrand Poppema welcomes the international students.

In addition to the open tournament, two duals known as the University of Groningen Chess Challenge have also been organized. The idea of the duals is to give talented young players a chance to gain experience in games against more experienced players. Youth talent from Groningen, Jorden van Foreest, will face former Dutch champion Dimitri Reinderman in a series of six games. Dutch champion Anne Haast (student in Tilburg) will play a match against the strong German player Elisabeth Paehtz.

Open to the public

The tournament in the Sports Centre is open to the public. Hans Böhm and Gert Ligterink will provide a commentary on the games from 24 to 30 December (25th December is a rest day).

The ancillary programme accompanying the main tournament is also open to the public:

  • On 22 and 23 December, Gea Passies and Johanan Havinga will host a musical programme focusing on the French composer, Erik Satie . It will include piano music, stories and songs, in combination with film and dance. The film shown in the performance is set in a café, and revolves around a game of chess.
  • On 27 December, Karel van Delft will give a lecture on the psychology of chess.
  • On 28 December, there will be a chess/pop pub quiz
  • Simultaneous Chess: anyone wanting to take on a top chess player can sign up for a simultaneous chess session against Dimitri Reinderman (Dutch champion 2013, on 29 December from 11 a.m.) or Anne Haast (Dutch champion 2014, on 30 December from 11 a.m.). Both simultaneous chess sessions will take place in the Sports Centre of the University of Groningen and Hanze University of Applied Sciences on the Zernike complex. To sign up, send an e-mail to jancolly@gmail.com , stating which master you would like to play (or both if you like).
International students during the welcoming ceremony in the Academy building.
International students during the welcoming ceremony in the Academy building.
Last modified:15 January 2018 12.30 p.m.

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