“A good decision to choose The Netherlands”

The World Youth Olympiad U16 and the women’s Top 10 Tournament are almost over. Can we be satisfied? How did it go?

We received compliments from players, parents, teamcoaches, sponsors, governments, spectators and the World Chess Federation FIDE. Representatives of the FIDE said: “it was a good decision to choose The Netherlands as organiser of the Youth Olympiad”.

On Thursday there was a special relationship meeting for invited guests on the High Tech Campus near the room where the chess games are played. Everyone was unanimous: it is a beautiful venue, the organization is perfect, everyone enjoys playing chess, friendships are made and a record of 47 different countries are participating. And then, in addition to the Youth Olympiad, there is at the same time also a wonderful tournament for 10 women in the Van der Valk Hotel: the ‘Open World Dutch Women’s Top 10 Championship’.

At the meeting we asked a few people what they think about it.

Bianca de Jong-Muhren. (Photo: Frans Peeters)
Bianca de Jong-Muhren. (Photo: Frans Peeters)

Bianca de Jong-Muhren president of the Dutch Chess Federation KNSB:

“I think it’s really cool that what we’ve been working on for so long, has succeeded and that we now have the Youth Olympiad on the High Tech Campus, the smartest square kilometer in Europe.”

“As part of the 150th anniversary of the Dutch Chess Federation KNSB, we wanted to bring a major international youth event to The Netherlands. We are very happy that we succeeded and that the Youth Olympiad is taking place here. It’s also very nice that every team consists at least one boy and at least one girl, because we promote youth chess for both girls and boys. It has become a big event, with the participation of 47 different countries from all over the world and a total of 63 teams. At the Youth Olympiad there have never been so many participants.”

“We have also put The Netherlands in the center of the chess world. We are now better known. The FIDE and NOC*NSF and other sports associations and governments in The Netherlands can see now what we are doing. It’s also great that we have now the women tournament with two very strong Dutch players, which underlines our ambitions to stimulate chess for girls and women.”

“It also means a lot to me that I get so many grateful responses from parents and children. They like it to come to The Netherlands and they like our country and our hospitality. Many children said that they want to study at Dutch universities”.

Marleen van Amerongen. (Photo: Frans Peeters)
Marleen van Amerongen. (Photo: Frans Peeters)

It was the previous president of the Dutch Chess Federation KNSB, Marleen van Amerongen, who already had the ambition to organize an important international youth event. So also for her it’s nice that this event has indeed come to The Netherlands, notably in her hometown Eindhoven.

“I am incredibly happy that a FIDE event has come to The Netherlands, and especially that it is a youth event. Of course a grandmaster tournament is also fantastic, but the fact that it is a youth event is extra nice because the KNSB is committed to youth chess. It is also wonderful that FIDE has agreed that the teams have at least one girl. All the children are proud to represent their country. You can see this, for example, in their clothing with the name of their country. The organizers deserve a big compliment because all the chess games are live on the internet. I also like the live streams on Twitch. A big compliment to everyone.”

Ralph Kurt. (Photo: Frans Peeters)
Ralph Kurt. (Photo: Frans Peeters)

We also want to know the opinion of a father of one of the players. We spoke to Ralph Kurt. He is the father of Sascha Kurt of ‘The Netherlands 4’. He is also team coach of this team. Ralph thinks it’s a great event and especially that it takes place in Eindhoven.

“It is super nice to see how all the players interact with each other and that they not only compete against each other on the chessboard, but also that they have fun together and that they play table football together, for example.”

“It is also nice that we have four Dutch teams in the Youth Olympiad that can compete at this level, this also means that we have strong youth chess players in The Netherlands that can compete with the top players, and they learn a lot. Many chessgames enter a time-trouble phase and you can see that they can make good moves within a few seconds, even under time pressure. Although that does not always goes well.”

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