The reincarnation of student chess in Eindhoven

By Thomas Kools

In the beginning… there was a Facebook post by now-treasurer Bas seeing if there were people who wanted to establish a student chess club in Eindhoven. By now, this loose idea has gotten well out of hand and Noesis has grown to one of the largest chess clubs in North-Brabant with over 80 members and a well visited club night every Wednesday. This means the reincarnation of student chess in Eindhoven after the old association Basileia disbanded many decades ago. On the brink to a new year, we present a retrospective on the founding year of this club and take a peek at the future of the club and what great activities are still on the agenda. But before we kick this off, as the key message of this piece: I would like to thank the board and all members for all their contributions to this club, and I look forward to many more exciting games and gezellige chess events in the next year.

Highlights of 2021

Before we were properly established, the summer of 2021 was used to test the waters. The recipe: A cold beer, good weather and outdoor chess.

However, with autumn approaching and the weather getting poorer this intermediate solution was
no longer tenable. The next step therefore was to actually fabricate some bylaws to get properly
registered as an association and after a massive amount of work, the association was officially
established on the 17th of August this year. Leaving us plenty of time (red. A few days) to officially
participate in the introduction week.

Here we provided a beginners workshop and for the first time made a name for ourselves among a
broader audience of students. Both the green strip market and beginner workshops were well visited,
and we were put on the map for the first time.

Then, it was time for the first real club activity. After a summer of ad-hoc organized events, the event consisting of a lecture from the renowned chess coach and International Master Herman Grooten, and a speed chess tournament. As you can see from the photo below, the interest was significant with around 70 participants at our very first club night. What was (and is) nice to see, is that the interest came from chess players with levels varying to people just starting out, to experienced chess players with over 20 years of experience behind the 64 squares.

Herman Grooten lecture

After this first event, the trend was continued, and regular club nights are organized by the new
activity committee. The member count climbed steadily up to 85 members with well attended
weekly club night. Also, secondary activities are currently starting up such as:

Our first (but not last) Christmas activity (unfortunately in a hybrid form):

Participation of a group of 9 Noesians in an official over-the-board tournament in Eindhoven (with potentially also people participating in a summer tournament this year, so stay tuned!

Moving forward

To some extent 2022 will be a continuation to what we have been doing in 2021. A few highlights we
already want to tease for the coming year that we are excited about:

Parallel to our association, a similar initiative was started in the student city of Nijmegen. There,
student chess club Tussen de Torens was founded. Currently plans are being drawn up to organize a
large student chess championship somewhere towards the end of April!

The activity committee is also in contact with external speakers, and there are a lot of interesting
ideas to spice up the club nights (such as external speakers, theme nights and other activities). Be
sure to reach out if you have suggestions.

Finally, in the summer there are several great multi-day chess events in the Netherlands. Such as the
Hoogeschool Zeeland chess tournament in Vlissingen, and the Dutch Open in Dieren. It may be nice
to visit one of these tournaments with some Noesians, although at this point the first question is
whether these large-scale events will be permitted again towards the summer…

Looking forward to seeing you again in 2022!

1st board of SCCE Noesis