Grand Student Chess – Second Edition

A little bit of context for the title: As a PhD-student (and until recently regular student) at TU/e I know that during the average lecture or lunch break, several students are playing some chess. Regardless of the level, they are typically connected by some sort of fascination for the game. This situation is also the reason that this association, Noesis, and our sister association S.S.V.N Tussen De Torens (Nijmegen) came to exist a few years ago. In order to promote student chess in The Netherlands, we already organized an incredible chess tournament last year in the city of Nijmegen. Due to the great experience we had there, the tournament was repeated this year in the auditorium of the Eindhoven University of Technology.

Auditorium at Eindhoven University of Technology; the playing venue for the IMC Dutch Student Chess Championship. Photo by Bart van Overbeeke

And it was a beatiful day to play chess on Sunday April 30th. The weather was wonderful at around 18 degrees and sunny weather. This meant that besides the chess, the participants could also enjoy some of the green campus of the TU/e. This sunny weather also seemed to have lead to a sunny disposition of the participants, as the atmosphere was great from an early stage.

The spring sun descends on the pieces in Auditorium. Photo: Busi Huits
The crowd gathering at the registration table. Photo: Levi Baruch
When around 11:15 nearly everyone was accounted for, with ultimately 199 participants, the tournament could get started. After some welcoming words from tournament committtee chair Jitze, inspiring words by IM Stefan Kuipers and some technical chess jargon by chief arbiter Thomas Kools, the tournament could get started. There were 4 sub-tournamnets with a time control of 10+5: Three individual tournaments in Poule A (rating>1700), Poule B (1000<rating<1700) and Poule C (rating<1000), and a 4-person-team tournament. A uniformised rating was used which is comparable to blitz ratings.
Participants intently listening to the opening words of the tournament. Photo: Levi Baruch
IM Stefan Kuipers addresses the participants of the tournament. Photo: Levi Baruch
What followed were some quick victories in round 1 and 2, where some players needed to get used to playing rapid chess over the board. Also, in the first rounds the rating difference is usually still a bit higher. However, after refueling some energy with the free lunch, and a better pairing based on playing strength, the remaining rounds delivered even more fights on the board. Despite the serious efforts, the atmosphere off the board was very relaxed and sportsmanlike, causing the writer of this article an easy day as chief arbiter.
Even during the lunch break, some people could not shake of the desire to play some chess. Photo: Levi Baruch
The end of a tense game in the team tournament, while spectators look on. Photo: Levi Baruch

Before the coffee break later in the afternoon, the battlefield started to become clear in the different groups. In the A-group, the two top favourites FM Luuk Baselmans (Tilburg University) and FM Iwo Godzwon (TU/e) managed to make true to the expectations by winning their first few games. When Iwo managed to score a full point in their direct encounter, the main question was going to be who could stop him. In the larger B-group, Chris Mutsaers (Universiteit Utrecht) and Ömer Coskun (TU/e) still had full points after round 5, but with many people at 4 points it was still anyones game. Finally, in the C-group, Jan Ebbers (Fontys Eindhoven) also managed to achieve a 100% score. This promised an exciting last round.

FM Iwo Godzwon lost in thought in his game against Noesis's own Bas van Doren. Photo: Levi Baruch
Hovering your hand over the board remains a universal chess gesture. Photo: Levi Baruch
In the A-group, Iwo did not make any more mistakes, and parried all attacks on his first place. With 6.5 points he only conceded one draw and was the deserved winner of the IMC Dutch Student Chess Championship. In shared second, we find Luuk Baselmans and number 4 of the placement list Jord Ypma (TU/e), where the former managed to wrest second place based on the Buchholz score. Rating prizes were for Huub Stevens (U1900, Radboud University) and Tim van Oorschot (O1800, Utrecht University).
Some moves are so shocking..
You need some time to readjust. Photos: Levi Baruch.

Jan Ebbers in the C-group could unfortunately not continue his great streak from the start of the tournament and scored only half a point in the last two rounds, causing him to tragically just miss the podium. The podium was shared by three players, where the difference was again based on the buchholz score. First place: Levi Baruch (TU/e), who besides making nice pictures, also played some nice chess. In second place: Juul Bierens (Maastricht University), who won all his game after a false start. Finally, Vahid Nazli (Fontys Sporthogeschool Eindhoven). Rating prizes were won by Marciano Verheesen (Utrecht University) and Joop Andriesse (TU Delft) in the U750 and U500 respectively.

In the B-group Ömer Coskun had a great chance to win the tournament outright after winning the direct encounter with Chris Mutsaers. Unfortunately, he met his match in the last round in the person of Jasper van Buul (TU/e). Because of this, the tournament was shared between these three players, with six point eacht. Chris ultimately took first place based on buchholz points. In this group, the rating prizes U1200 and U1500 went to Hugo Marchand (Fontys Hogeschool) and Jurre Heijmens Visser (Maastricht University), respectively.

The prize winners in the C-group. From left to right: Vahid Nazli, Levi Baruch and Juul Bierens. Photo: Joost van Engelen
The podium in the B-group, with Ömer Coskun, Chris Mutsaers and Jasper van Buul. Photo: Levi Baruch.
Prize winners in the A-group: FM Luuk Baselmans, FM Iwo Godzwon and Jord Ypma.
Of course, we cannot forget the team tournament, which took place in a bit more relaxed atmosphere. Teams of four competed for the highly desired team prizes, including tickets for De Efteling for the entire team. Team Economakkers (Rijksuniversiteit Groningen) was the big favorite on paper, but also the team Mimu Runy from Radboud Univeristy was a candidate for a good result. Ultimately, Economakkers delivered on the their favorites status, by winning with a margin. A score of 13 points (out of 14) was sufficient to win the tournament. They only conceded a draw to the number 3: Team Bongcloud (TU/e), which shared the second place with Mimu Runy.
Naomi Han of Team Bongcloud considers her position playing Bart Borm from team Matten met Maten. Photo: Levi Baruch
Team Economakkers were mostly makkers for eachother, because they showed little mercy on the chessboard for their opponents. Photo: Levi Baruch

The IMC Dutch Student Chess Championship had come to an end, but not all activities of the day. All participants were invited to have a drink at the cost of the organization at the Hubbel student cafe. The hard core participant enjoyed themselves for a while longer, and when the sun set on the TU/e campus, the tournament was really at its end.
Not only beer was consumed on the Hubble terrace. Also, still not enough chess :). Photo: Levi Baruch
A well deserved drink at the end of the day. Photo: Levi Baruch

If you made it to the end of this report, thanks for reading! However, the information you can consume about the tournament doesn’t end here. For more beautiful pictures about the tournament, I refer you to the photo page. You can find the end results of the the individual tournament and the team tournament on our website. Finally, the student sports association SSN has made a nice aftermovie at the tournament.

The only thing left for me is to thank the different parties that helped make this tournament possible. Of course, the main sponsor IMC Trading, without their financial support this beatiful event would not have been as beautiful. The Eindhoven chess associations ESV and WLC for supplying some additional chess material so we could increase the number of participants. The photographers Levi Baruch and Busi Huits for the beautiful photos they made to immortalize this event. And finaly all volunteers in the committee who sacrificed many saturday mornings to make this event to a success. Until next year!