Written by Anton van Rijn
Chess came early to me: barely seven years old I joined the local chess club of Terneuzen. The only thing I remember is playing touch-and-run until we were collected by our parents. Our house-moving to Doetinchem, when I was eleven, resulted in a shock: there were only grown-ups in the chess club, no youths at all. Every Monday evening I played a senior member. Gradually I became immune to the smoke of cigars.
When I was twelve I came to realize that I would never be a Bobby Fischer. My 0 out of roughly 26 against opponents who, after 1.e4 e5 2. Qh5, refused to play 2…g6 contributed to this insight.
At the age of eighteen I took up the study of philosophy at Nijmegen and I soon got stronger at chess, at the expense of my study of philosophy however. At SMB I played first division, but at the same time I was confronted with my “chess-ceiling”. Eventually my ambition disappeared.
After various trades, and master of none, in the IT business, followed by editorial work for some years (I beg to recommend myself, especially where chess, literature and philosophy are concerned), I decided, two years ago, to write my final essay in philosophy. Last year, aged 42, I graduated. I have never played a closed tournament before. It’s formula greatly appeals to me: one can’t hide. Therefore I’m thoroughly looking forward to this Euwe memorial.
By the way, the eh…..pleasure of playing the game is foremost in my mind. So beat them all.