Some writings from the second part of the 18th century show that correspondence chess (CC) was already played in the Netherlands. 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 Diepstraten (in 1991), who, at that time, was the chairman of the NBC. In that 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 correspondence chess 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 organized 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 base. 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 Fernschach Bund). This association was founded in Berlin on December 2, 1928 by John Keemink from Hilversum and his two German friends Dr. Rudolf Dührssen and Hans-Werner von Massow.
The first Dutch championship was organized in 1934 and Dr. Teunis ten Kate was the winner. Till 1999 he 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. Therefore, 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 colored 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 organizers of the national tournaments. And therefore, they founded a correspondence chess federation, the “Nederlandse Bond van Correspondentieschakers”, on November 19, 1966 in Arnhem. The first board was formed by internationally well-known players and officials: Henk Mostert, Berthold Perfors, Henk Sarink, Dick Smit and Jan Zaagman.
Nowadays the NBC not only organizes the Dutch championships, but also a lot of other tournaments: promotional tournaments, cup tournaments, 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 by email and monthly mailings with all the newest information.
Nol van 't Riet
Very likely, without the work of two Dutchmen, Henk Mostert and Nol van ‘t Riet, the ICCF would not have developed into the present federation: a VERY GOOD CORRESPONDENCE ORGANISATION with many professional volunteers. Nol van ‘t Riet wrote a good article about the history of ICCF in Chessmail of March 1999, which can be recommended. NBC and ICCF should be proud of this kind of volunteers!
Dutch officials have always played an important role in the history of the organization of international correspondence chess. As already stated, John Keemink was one of the founders of the IFSB. After the Second World War Jan 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 till 1967. From 1964 till 1995 Dick Smit was a member of the Telechess commission, being the President of that commission from 1980 till 1995. From 1967 till 1996 Henk Mostert was one of the most prominent members of the ICCF Presidium. After being Vice-President and General-Secretary first, he was elected ICCF President at the ICCF Congress in 1987 in Bloemendaal, very near to his residence Haarlem. Finally, Nol van ‘t Riet, in his role as European Tournament Office Director (1983–91), started the computerization of ICCF. Moreover, he also constructed the ICCF Rating system (1980–87).
Henk J. Mostert
Henk Mostert not only contributed extensively to the organization of the ICCF, but also to his national Federation, 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 did get possibilities to score master and grandmaster norms in all kinds of international tournaments. Although it was mainly the individual merit of titled players themselves, it was through the contribution of Henk Mostert that the Netherlands had and still 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 humor to solve all kind of problems (or better: in preventing all kind of possible problems!). Sadly, he passed away in 2002.
Of course, there have been many Dutch players who have achieved remarkable results.
In the nineties Walter Mooij has won the 44th European Championship.
The following Dutch players have played in the finals of a World Championship: Theo van Scheltinga and Paul van ‘t Veer (1st), Cor Jansen (6th), Peter Boll (14th), Joop van Oosterom (15th, 21st and 22nd), David van der Hoeven and Rudolph Maliangkay (23rd), Carol-Peter Gouw (25th), Ron Langeveld (26th and 31st) and Hans van Unen (27th). Gert Timmerman was the first Dutch World Champion (15th), Joop van Oosterom won the World Championship title twice (18th and 21st) and Ron Langeveld won the 26th edition.
In 1995, Gert Timmerman took 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 quitting with correspondence chess, he was succeeded by Joop van Oosterom first and Ron Langeveld thereafter. Ron Langeveld won the 26th edition of the World Championship and took first place in the ICCF rating list. After a break, he played again in the 31st edition of the World Championship.
Of course, we are very proud of our successful members, who have won 4 titles!
NBC has organized several international invitational tournaments, in which ICCF titles could be achieved. These tournaments will be mentioned shortly with the final results.
NBC Master tournament (1969–1971):
1. Ir. Anton den Ouden (NLD) 8; 2/3. Sandor Brilla Banfalvi (HUN), Cor Groeneveld (NLD) 7; 4. Dr. Fedor Bohartirchuk (CAN) 6½; 5. Ing. Mihajlo Trajkovic (YUG) 5½; 6/7. Paul Heilemann (FRG), Erik Gosta Svensson (SVE) 5: 8. Ing. Frantisek Batik (CSR) 4½; 9/10. Dr. Mario Napolitano (ITA), U. Slump (NLD) 2½; 11. Henk Mostert (NLD) 1½.
Perfors Memorial tournament (1976-80):
1. Keith Richardson (ENG) 9½; 2/3. Dick Smit (NLD), Peter Hugh Clarke (ENG) 8½; 4/5. Henk Sarink (NLD), Horst Rittner (GDR) 8; 6. Felix Grzeskowiak (FRG) 6½; 7/9. Manfred Mädler (FRG), Jef Boey (BEL), Hans Bouwmeester (NLD) 5½; 10. Jaap Staal (NLD) 5; 11. Matyas Berta (YUG) 3½; 12/13. Göran Lägland (FIN), Lucius Endzelins (AUS) 2.
NBC-15 Volmac Grandmaster tournament (1982–1987):
1. Horst Rittner (GDR) 11; 2/3. Tjalling Wiersma (NLD), Gert Timmerman (NLD) 10; 4. Hans Bouwmeester (NLD) 9½; 5. Bartolomé Marcussi (ARG) 8½; 6/7. Ger van Perlo (NLD), Juhani Sorri (FIN) 8; 8/10. Prof. Rudi Planta (NLD), Keith Richardson (ENG), Joop van Oosterom (NLD) 6½; 11/12. Dr. Vitor Bergraser (FRA), Viggo Quist (DEN) 5; 13/14. Frank Boyd (ENG), Matyas Berta (YUG) 4; 15. Åke Backlund (FIN) 2½.
NBC-15 Volmac Master tournament (1982–1987):
1. Dr. Dick van Geet (NLD) 9½; 2. Dag Orseth (NOR) 8½; 3/4. Bram van der Tak (NLD), Anders Berggreen (DEN) 7½; 5. Hans Brugman (NLD) 7; 6. Henk Sarink (NLD) 6½; 7/8. Paul Diaconescu (ROM), John Toothill (ENG) 6; 9. Walter Mooij (NLD) 5½; 10. Øystein Sande (NOR) 5; 11. Jouni Yrjölä (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; 5/6. Terje Wibe (NOR), Frank Hovde (NOR) 13½; 7/8. Peter Boll (NLD), Horst Rittner (GER) 12½; 9. Henk Sarink (NLD) 11; 10/11/12. Dick Smit (NLD), Haije Kramer (NLD), Henk Temmink (NLD) 10½; 13. Viggo Quist (DEN) 8½; 14. Ronald Overveld (NLD) 8; 15/16. 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 Bouwmeester (NLD) 0.
NBC-30 Jubilee tournament (1997):
1. Manfred Kahn (GER) 9½; 2/3. Achim Soltau (GER), Michiel Plomp (NED) 9; 4. Heinz Prokopp (GER) 8½; 5. Jens Fries Nielsen (DEN) 8; 6/7/8. Toon Stuart (NED), Laurent Jacot (SUI), Georg Walker (SUI) 7½; 9/10. Luc Compagnie (NED), Wim Boom (NED) 6½; 11. Albert Hebels (NED) 6; 12. Yrjo Oksanen (FIN) 5½; 13. Åke Backlund (FIN) 5; 14. George Pyrich 4½; 15. Bent Sørensen (DEN) 4.
Millennium E-Mail Chess Tournament (2000-2002):
1. GM Hans-Marcus Elwert (GER) 7; 2. GM Harald Tarnowiecki (AUT) 6; 3. GM Joop van Oosterom (NLD) 5½; 4. GM Ulf Andersson (SVE) 4½; 5. GM Gert Timmerman (NLD) 4; 6. GM Erik Bang (DEN) 3.
Dick Smit Memorial (2000-2002):
1. Tim Remmel (NLD) 7½; Max Zavanelli (USA) 7; 3. Marc Schroeder (NLD) 6½; 4/5. GM Horst Rittner (GER), IM Kier Nienhuis (NLD) 6; 6. GM Bram Idema (NLD) 5½; 7. SIM Ernst Sprenger (NLD) 5; 8. GM Ger van Perlo (NLD) 4½; 9. IM Cor van Wieringen (NLD) 3½; 10. IM Ragnar Wikman (FIN) 2½; 11. GM Henk Sarink (NLD) 1.
Joel Adler Memorial (2005-2008), together with the Argentinian federation LADAC:
1. Névio João (BRA) 9; 2. Christopher Williams (ENG) 9; 3. GM Dan Olofson (SWE) 9; 4. Daniel Menéndez (ARG) 9; 5. David Beaumont (ARG) 9; 6. IM Joop Jansen (NED) 8½; 7. Zdenek Nývlt (CZE) 8; 8. Ian Pheby (ENG) 7; 9. Arend Hotting (NED) 6½; 10. GM Josep Mercadal Benejam (ESP) 6; 11/12. Ajoy K Mukherjee (ENG), Juan Bautista González (ARG) 5½ 13/14. Henk van den Bos (NED), IM Juan Carlos Zárate, (ARG) 4½; 15. Ronald Ritsema (NED) 4.
H.J. Mostert Memorial Team Match (2006-2009):
The Netherlands 33½ – 30½ International friends
GM Joop van Oosterom 6; GM Ron Langeveld 6½; GM Michiel Plomp 5; GM Dr. Dick van Geet 4; SIM Jacques Kuiper 3½; GM Hans Bouwmeester 3; SIM Everdinand Knol (RSA) 1½; Jan Verleur 4; GM Mikhail Umansky (RUS) 5; GM Erik Bang (DEN) 2½; GM Dr. Fritz Baumbach (GER) 5; GM Achim Soltau (GER) 5; IM Ervin Liebert (EST) 4; SIM Carlos Flores Gutiérrez (ESP) 3; SIM Mohamed Samraoui (ALG) 4; SIM Gerhard Binder (GER) 2.
Ger van Perlo Memorial A (2010 –2012):
A team tournament with 9 Teams (6 players < 2100) from 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 and gained first price. The second place was for Germany-1 and the third place was for Spain. Highest score was for Uwe Eschert with 7 out of 8 games.
Ger van Perlo Memorial B (2010 –2012):
Same as above, but now with players < 1800! Belgium and Norway didn’t have a team. Spain played with two teams and France augmented this Group. The two German teams took first and second place, and third place was for Czech Republic. Josef Stangl, Joachim Bars and Jose Sanz Algarrada scored 7½ out of 8; and Stefan Ulbig scored even 8 out of 8!
Dick van Geet was a great Dutch player, known from the van Geet opening 1.Nc3 (2133).
The Dutch federation started 3 tournaments in his honour.
Van Geet A (2014-2016):
1/2. Straka, Van 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.
Van Geet B (2014-2016):
1. Merrheim 10½; 2. Bucek 10; ¾; 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.
Van Geet C (2014-2015):
1. Pecka 11½; 2. Keskowski 10½; 3/5. Kragten, Van Wieringen, Whaley 9; 6/8. Leenders, Fister, Kural 8½; 9/11. Wukits, Vera-Cruz jr, Cumming 8; 12/14. Thierry, Folk Gilsanz, Pezo 7½; 15. Sadler 6½; 16. De Waard 6; 17. Ganiev 2½.
Hessel Visser Memorial (2015-2017):
Hessel Visser was the secretary of the board of the NBC for a very long time. In his honour the NBC organized a memorial in three categories. He passed away on 24 October 2013.
Group A: 1. Guidoni 8; 2/3. Claridge, Bolz 7½; 4. Brasier 7; 5/6. Bobel, Frijling 6; 7/9. Cantelli, Wichert, Lunek 5½; 10/12. Sutton, Sinnett, Van Dijk 5; 13. Pulghe 4½.
Group B: 1. Sherwood 9; 2. Cornelisse 8½; 3. Laliga 8; 4/6. Williamson, Jones, Legrand 7; 7. Maguire 6; 8/9. Prati, Tieken 5½; 10. Collobiano 4½; 11. Van Gool 4; 12. Paesschesoone 3½; 13. Joachimsthaler 3.
Group C: 1. Cloës 10½; 2/3. Troia, Vieth 9; 4/5. Cheek, Knittel 8½; 6. Flecher 8; 7. Niewold 7; 8. Cole 6½; 9. Ghisi 4; 10. Lonnee 3½; 11. Kemperman 2; 12. Azzoug 1½; 13. Dahmen 0.
In 2016 the 50th anniversary of the Dutch Correspondence Chess Federation NBC has been celebrated. In remembrance of this event, the NBC published a book: "Correspondentieschaken in Nederland", ISBN-nr: 9789492510044.
Furthermore, 3 tournaments “50 Years NBC” were organized, each with 17 participants.
50 Years NBC Tournament A:
1. IM Michael Glatthaar (RSA) 10; 2. IM Aleksandr Chamaev (RUS) 9½ 3/5. IM Josef Pecka (CZE), IM Frits Bleker (NED), Hermann Rösch (GER) 9; 6. IM Robert Fass (USA) 9; 7. IM Ronald Ritsema 9; 8. IM Benjamin Bester (RSA) 9; 9. Alan Johnston (AUS) 8; 10. IM Carsten Schweer 8; 11. IM Magnus Andersson 7½ 12. IM Tomasz Slawinski (POL) 7; 13. Asko Huvamäki (FIN) 7; 14. IM Peter de Jong (NED) 7; 15. Arghyadip Das (IND) 6,5; 16. GM Arild Haugen (NOR) 6 17. IM Henk van den Bos (NED) 5½.
50 Years NBC Tournament B:
1. Olivier Ronat (FRA) 10; 2. Jindrich Binas (CZE) 9½; 3. CCE Pascal Roques (FRA) 9; 4. Johan Engelen (NED) 9; 5. CCM Angel Hernandez (USA) 9; 6. Ladislav Pesa (CZE) 9; 7. Om Prakash (IND) 8½; 8. Dariusz Fraczek (POL) 8½; 9. Michael Brooks (USA) 8; 10. Richard Heinke (GER) 8; 11. Konstantin Norchenko (RUS) 8; 12. Simon Lagendijk (NED) 8; 13. Anders Sten Johansen (NOR) 7½; 14. Miroslav Dedina (CZE) 7½; 15. Robert Booij (NED) 7; 16. SIM Francis Cottegnie 6; 17. SIM Albert Hebels (NED) 3½.
50 Years NBC Tournament C:
1. Daniel Mostowik (POL) 10½; 2. Ferry Lunek (NED) 10; 3. CCE Norbert Lukas (GER) 9½; 4. Ramil Khairullin (RUS) 9; 5. IM Gert Legemaat (NED) 9; 6. Michael Bergmanolson (SWE) 9; 7. Ilmari Ilonen (FIN) 8½; 8.Huib Nieuwland (NED) 8½; 9. Henryk Panman (NED) 8; 10. Egil Fagerbekk (NOR) 8; 11. Han Kragten (NED) 7½; 12. LGM Barbara Skonieczna (POL) 7½; 13. LGM Alicja Szczepaniak (POL) 6½; 14. Yimothy Geier (USA) 6½; 15. Pervez Mandviwala (IND) 6½; 16. IM Kaj Söderberg (FIN) 6; 17. Efren Ramos (PAN) 5½.
One of the great Dutch players, Joop van Oosterom, died by the end of 2016. He was twice World Champion and sponsored a lot of events in over-the-board-chess. Joop Jansen wrote a nice article in Schaakmagazine.
To his memory, the NBC organized a Category 16 event with the top of the world. Sadly, just after the beginning of the tournament, GM David Lafarga Santorromán (ESP) died after an aggressive illness. Therefore, only eight players remained in the tournament. Unfortunately, all games have ended in a draw and so there was no winner of this tournament.
Joop van Oosterom Memorial:
Participants: GM Roman Chytilek (CZE), GM Ron Langeveld (NED), GM Aleksandr Dronov, GM Matthias Kribben (GER), GM David Lafarga Santorromán (ESP), GM David van der Hoeven (NED), GM Arno Nickel (GER), GM Marjan Semrl (SVK) and GM Richard Hall.