There are some writings from the second part of the 18th century in which you can find that Dutch persons were playing correspondence chess. For instance in the Sämtliche Werke of Jean Paul Richter (1783). Much more detail can be found in the book “Tweehonderdvijftig jaar correspondentieschaak in Nederland”, written by Leo C. M. Diepstraten (in 1991), who at that time was the President of the NBC. In the book he states that the oldest correspondence chess game in the world of which the moves are known is the one which was played in the Netherlands between Friedrich Wilhelm von Mauvillon, lieutenant-colonel in the Dutch army in The Hague, and one of his (unknown) brother-officers in Breda. This game was played in 1804. For this article I have thankfully drawn on this book.
In an over-the-board tournament in Arnhem in 1858, which took 2 days, there was a very special ruling: unfinished games had to be ended afterwards by correspondence chess. In his book Leo Diepstraten records many CC games played in the second half of the 19th century between cities (also international games) and between individual players. After the foundation of the Nederlandsche Schaakbond in 1873 it took until 1899 before a first official correspondence chess tournament was organised by its magazine “Het Tijdschrift” with 20 participants. Other tournaments followed in 1910, 1916, 1920 and 1924. From 1927 on, groups were started on a continuous basis. The moves of the White players had to be posted not later than the 1st and the 16th day of the month, the Black moves at the latest on the 8th and the 23rd. Strong Dutch over-the-board players like the brothers Jonkheer Arnold and Dr. Dirk van Foreest, Jan te Kolsté, Max Marchand, Dr. Adolf Olland and Mr. Gerard Oskam were regular participants of these tournaments.
In the international scene at that time a Dutchman played an important role in the foundation of the IFSB (Internationale FernschachBund). This association was founded in Berlin on December 2, 1928 by John W. Keemink from Hilversum and his two German fellows Dr. Rudolf Dührssen and Hans-Werner von Massow.
The first Dutch championship was organised in 1934 and Dr. T. ten Kate won it. Until 1999 he has had 51 successors. Among them there is only one player who won the Dutch championship three times: the first Dutch grandmaster Kor Mulder van Leens Dijkstra, who won the title in 1946, 1947 and 1948. Kor was a very remarkable player: he was a potato millionaire, who had the phobia that he would die at the moment he would leave his own property. So he was condemned to play correspondence chess. He also had a big collection of all kind of cards, sent to him, with nice stamp-sized coloured pieces of pictures from brochures and so on, which were regularly stamped by the postal services and for which he has not been surcharged.
In the 1960s the stronger Dutch correspondence chess players were not satisfied with the way their international interests were treated by the organisers of the national tournaments. And so they founded the Nederlandse Bond van Correspondentieschakers, on November 19, 1966 in Arnhem. The first board was formed by internationally well-known players and officials: H. J. Mostert, Berthold Perfors, Henk Sarink, Dick Smit and J. Zaagman.
NBC not only organises the Dutch championship, but also a lot of tournaments: promotional tournaments, cup tournaments, senior and veteran championships, team championships, balance and thematic tournaments. And moreover many team matches with all kind of interesting opponents. Schaakschakeringen was the name of the magazine of the NBC. Nowadays we send 4 times a year a newsletter with email.
I (Joop Jansen) really think that without Henk Mostert and Nol van ‘t Riet(photo left) the ICCF would not be what it now is: a VERY GOOD CORRESPONDENCE ORGANISATION. With many professional volunteers. Please read the article he wrote in the Chessmail of March 1999. NBC and ICCF can be proud on this sort of volunteers!
Dutch officials have always played an important role in the history of the organisation of international CC. As already stated, John W. Keemink was one of the founders of the IFSB. After the Second World War J. Zaagman was one of the founders of the ICCA, the successor of IFSB and also the predecessor of ICCF. The first Tournament Director of ICCF was H. ter Braak. He was Director from 1952 until 1967. From 1964 until 1995 Dick Smit was a member of the Telechess commission, being the President of that commission from 1980 until 1995. From 1967 until 1996 H. J. Mostert was one of the most prominent members of the ICCF Presidium. After he had been Vice-President and General-Secretary he was elected as ICCF President at the ICCF Congress in 1987 in Bloemendaal, near to his residence Haarlem. Finally Nol van ‘t Riet, in his role of European Tournament Office Director (1983–91), started the computerisation of ICCF. Moreover he also constructed the ICCF Rating system (1980–87).
Henk J. Mostert
Henk J. Mostert (pictured left), not only contributed extensively to the organisation of the ICCF, but also to the NBC. Under his guidance as Tournament Director the number of members grew from 200 to 1,500 in the mid-1980s. Quite a number of these Dutch players have got possibilities to score master and grandmaster norms in all kind of international tournaments. Although it is mainly the individual merit of titled players themselves, it is through the contribution of H.J. Mostert that the Netherlands has so many titled players and so many participants in ICCF events. At the ICCF Congresses he excelled for many years, and also in two other ways: as translator (from any language into any other desired language) and in using his own sense of humour to solve all kind of problems (or better: in preventing all kind of possible problems!). Sadly, he died in 2002.
Of course there have been many Dutch players who achieved remarkable results. In the finals of a World Championship the following Dutch players have been playing: Theo van Scheltinga and P. van ‘t Veer (1st Final), Cor Jansen (6th), And Peter Boll (14th). Gert Jan Timmerman was the first Dutch World Champion (15th) and Joop van Oosterom won the World Championship title twice (18th and 21st ). In the nineties Walter Mooij has won the 44th European Championship. In 1995, one of these players, Gert Jan Timmerman, took the first place of the ICCF rating list with a rating of 2725. Asked for his best game ever he gave his game against Ove Ekebjaerg (DEN) in the jubilee tournament NBC 25 years. “A fantastic game”, as he wrote in the tournament book. After Gert Jan stopped with active correspondence chess we have a new Worldchampion; Ron Langeveld who won the 26 WORLD-championship. Of course we are very proud of our 3 members who have won 4 titles!. Ron Langeveld is now nr. 1 of the ratinglist.
NBC organised several international invitational tournaments in which ICCF titles could be achieved. Below you’ll find the final results of these tournaments.
NBC Mastertournament (1969–1971)
1°. Ir. A. den Ouden (NLD) 8; 2°. Sandor Brilla Banfalvi (HUN), Cor Groeneveld (NLD) 7; 4°. Dr. F. Bohartirchuk (CAN) 6½; 5°. Ing. M. Trajkovic (YUG) 5½; 6°. Paul Heilemann (FRG), E. Svensson (SVE) 5: 8°. Ing. F. Batik (CSR) 4½; 9°. Dr. Mario Napolitano (ITA), U. Slump (NLD) 2½; 11°. H. J. Mostert (NLD) 1½
Perfors Memorial tournament (1976-80)
1°. Keith Richardson (ENG) 9½; 2°. Dick Smit (NLD), P. H. Clarke (ENG) 8½; 4°. Henk Sarink (NLD), Horst Rittner (GDR) 8; 6°. Felix Grzeskowiak (FRG) 6½; 7°. Manfred Mädler (FRG), Jef Boey (BEL), Hans Bouwmeester (NLD) 5½; 10°. Jaap Staal (NLD) 5; 11°. M. Berta (YUG) 3½; 12°. Göran Lägland (FIN), Lucius Endzelins (AUS) 2
NBC-15 Volmac Grandmaster tournament (1982–1987)
1°. Horst Rittner (GDR) 11; 2°. Tjalling Wiersma (NLD), Gert Timmerman (NLD) 10; 4°. Hans Bouwmeester (NLD) 9½; 5°. Bartolomé Marcussi (ARG) 8½; 6°. Ger van Perlo (NLD), Juhani Sorri (FIN) 8; 8°. Prof. J. Planta (NLD), Keith Richardson (ENG), Joop van Oosterom (NLD) 6½; 11°. Dr. Vitor Bergraser (FRA), Viggo Quist (DEN) 5; 13°. F. Boyd (ENG), M. Berta (YUG) 4; 1°5. A. Backlund (FIN) 2½
NBC-15 Volmac Master tournament (1982–1987)
1°. Dr. Dick van Geet (NLD) 9½; 2°. Dag Orseth (NOR) 8½; 3°. Bram van der Tak (NLD), Anders Berggreen (DEN) 7½; 5°. Hans Brugman (NLD) 7; 6°. Henk Sarink (NLD) 6½; 7°. Paul Diaconescu (ROM), John Toothill (ENG) 6; 9°. Walter Mooij (NLD) 5½; 10°. Øystein Sande (NOR) 5; 11°. J. Yrjölää (FIN) 4½; 12°. Vidar Taksrud (NOR) 3; 13°. Carlos Germán Pappier (ARG) 1½.
NBC-25 Jubilee tournament (1991–94)
1°. Gert Timmerman (NLD) 17½; 2°. Joop van Oosterom (NLD) 16; 3°. Achim Soltau (GER) 14½; 4°. Ove Ekebjaerg (DEN) 14; 5°. Terje Wibe (NOR), Frank Hovde (NOR) 13½; 7°. Peter Boll (NLD), Horst Rittner (GER) 12½; 9°. Henk Sarink (NLD) 11; 10°. Dick Smit (NLD), Haije Kramer (NLD), Henk Temmink (NLD) 10½; 13°. Viggo Quist (DEN) 8½; 14°. Ronald Overveld (NLD) 8; 15°. Tjalling Wiersma (NLD), Piet Seewald (NLD) 7; 17°. Ronald Weijerstrass (NLD) 6½; 18°. Olavi Neuvonen (FIN) 6; 19°. Jaap Staal (NLD) 5½; 20 .Joop Kolenbrander (NLD) 5; 21 Hans Bouwmeister (NLD) 0
NBC-30 Jubilee tournament (1997)
1 Kahn,Manfred (GER) 9.5; 2 Soltau,Achim (GER) 9.5; Plomp,Michiel Pieter (NED) 9.0; 4 Prokopp,Heinz (GER) 8.5; 5 Fries Nielsen,Jens Ove (DEN) 8.0; 6 Stuart,A.J.(Toon) (NED) 7.5; 7 Jacot,Laurent (SUI) 7.5; 8 Walker,Georg (SUI) 7.5; 9 Compagnie,Luc G. (NED) 6.5; 10 Boom,Wim H. (NED) 6.5; 11 Hebels,Albert (NED) 6.0; 12 Oksanen,Yrjo (FIN) 5.5; 13 Backlund,Ake (FIN) 5.0; 14 Pyrich,George D 4.5; 15 Sorensen,Bent (DEN) 4.0.
Millennium E-Mail Chess Tournament (2000-2002)
Participants: Ulf Andersson (SVE), Erik Bang (DEN), Hans-Marcus Elwert (GER), Joop van Oosterom (NLD), Harald Tarnowiercki (AUT), and Gert-Jan Timmermann (NLD).
Dick Smit Memorial (2000-2002)
Participants: M. Schroeder (NLD), M. Zavanelli (USA), E. Sprenger (NLD), R. Wikman (FIN), K. Nienhuis (NLD), T. Remmel (NLD), B. Idema (NLD), H. Rittner (GER), G. van Perlo (NLD), H. Sarink (NLD), C. van Wieringen (NLD).
Joel Adler Memorial (2005-2008) : together with the Argentina federation LADAC.
1 João, Névio (BRA) 9; 2 Williams, Christopher C. (ENG) 9; 3 GM Olofson, Dan (SWE) 9; 4 Menéndez, Daniel (ARG) 9; 5 Beaumont, David (ARG) 9; 6 IM Jansen, Joop H. E. (NED) 8.5; 7 Nývlt, Zdenek (CZE) 8; 8 Pheby, Ian M. (ENG) 7; 9 Hotting, Arend (NED) 6.5; 10 GM Mercadal Benejam, Josep (ESP) 6; 11 Mukherjee, Ajoy K. (ENG) 5.5; 12 González, Juan Bautista (ARG) 5.5 13 Bos, Henk J. van den (NED) 4.5; 14 IM Zárate, Juan Carlos (ARG) 4.5; 15 Ritsema, Ronald J. E. (NED) 4.
H J Mostert Memorial Team Match (2006-2009)
The Netherlands 33.5 – 30.5 International friends
GM Oosterom, Joop J. van (NED) 6; GM Langeveld, Ron A. H. (NED) 6.5; GM Plomp, Michiel P. (NED) 5; GMGeet, Dr. Dick Daniël van (NED) 4; SIM Kuiper, Jacques (NED) 3.5; GM Bouwmeester, Hans (NED) 3; SIM Knol, Everdinand (RSA) 1.5; Verleur, Jan H. (NED) 4; GM Umansky, Mikhail Markovich (RUS) 5; GM Bang, Erik (DEN) 2.5; GM Baumbach, Dr. Fritz (GER) 5; GM Soltau, Achim (GER) 5; IM Liebert, Ervin (EST) 4; SIM Flores Gutiérrez, Carlos (ESP); 3 SIM Samraoui, Mohamed (ALG) 4; SIM Binder, Gerhard (GER) 2.
Ger van Perlo Memorial A (2010 –2012)
A teamtournament; 9 Teams. Teams were: Belgium, Czech Republic, England, Germany (2 teams), Norway, Spain, Sweden, and of course a team from the Netherlands. Czech Republic won 7 from 8 matches. First price is for them. Second was Germany 1, and third place was Spain. It was a tournament which every team has 6 players. Highest rating on board one is 2100! Highest score was for Uwe Eschert 7 out of 8 games.
Ger van Perlo Memorial B (2010 –2012)
Same as above. 9 teams. But now highest rating is 1800! Belgium and Norway didn’t have a team. Spain plays with two teams and France was in this Group. The first two prices were for the German teams, third price for Czech Republic. Josef Stangl, Joachim Bars and Jose Sanz Algarrada scored great 7½ out of 8; but…Stefan Ulbig scored 8 out of 8!
v. Geet- tournament
Dick van Geet was a great Dutch player. Many players know him from the v.Geet Opening Sc3 (2133). The Dutch association has in honour of him started 3 tournaments.
v. Geet A. (2014-2016) 1-2. Straka-v.Leeuwen 10; 3-4. Pessoa-Windhausen 9½; 5. Macayo 8½; 6-10. Figlio, Ritsema, Goudriaan, Jensen, Löschnauer 8; 11-12. Jong, Oliveira, Westera 7½; 13-16. Bos, Krivic, Noble 7; 17. Rotaru 5.
v. Geet B. (2014-2016) 1. Merrheim 10½; 2. Bucek 10; 3-4. Susendenko, ‘t Hof 9½; 5-6. Jasinski, Stanojevic 9; 7. Esen 8½; 8. Chocenka 8; 9-12. Morley, Ghysens, Montella, Marquez-Abreu 7½; 13-16. Booij, Poell, Steiger, Leemans 7; 17. Sanchez 4.
v. Geet C. (2014-2015) 1. Pecka 11½; 2. Keskowski 10½; 3-5. Kragten, Wieringen, Whaley 9; 6-8. Leenders, Fister, Kural 8½; 9-11. Wukits, Vera-Cruz jr, Cumming 8; 12-14. Thierry, Folk Gilzanz, Pezo 7½; 15. Sadler 6½; 16. Waard 6; 17. Ganiev 2½.