This July I visited Leiden and by accident attend international tournament there. I discovered that for some people chess can be a real job, and for others just a nice way of travelling, experiencing new places with combination of their favorite hobbies. Here I want to share with you some of the things I discovered in Leiden.
For me it was a new experience in attending such big international events.
Where is Leiden?
Leiden is situated in South Holland, around 40 km from Amsterdam. There is the oldest Dutch university in Leiden, the oldest botanic garden in Holland. History of the city can be tracked to Roman times, Leiden got its city rights in 1266.
In general, it is small, cozy city. I adored its channels and bridges.
The 9th chess tournament in Leiden took place from 16 till 27 July.
The opening ceremony was at city hall, where mayor gave speech. Participants could try to ride a bicycle and play chess at the same time. There were 2 groups, in group A – 59 participants, in group B – 81 participants.
The victory in group A got David Howell from England, in group B – Sander Hilarius from Netherlands.
I was there at the last day, and it was interesting to see how people have passion for chess, how they gather after the game and analyse their moves.
By accident I talked with some Russian speaking people there.
And one of them was Evgeny Postny, from Israel. He told me he got second place in Leiden tournament. As I discovered later, Evgeny is on 117 place among chess players in the world, he won Russian youth tournament at age of 14, and got became grandmaster in chess when he was 18.
Now he is travelling a lot in Europe and takes part in different tournament, his next destination is Greece.
Chess museum in Amsterdam
Also for chess lovers it would be interesting to discover, that there is chess museum in Amsterdam. It is Max Euwe Centrum. Max Euwe was a Dutch chess grandmaster, world chess champion (1935 – 1937), served as President of FIDE (1970-1978).
This museum is small, but very cozy, and we had an amazing guide there. He is a volunteer for 4 years at this museum, so he knows a lot about it. He showed us some of exhibition dedicated to chess, also they have library with chess books, and boards for the one who wants to play.
What about you, my dear reader, do you play chess yourself? What do you think about this game?