Wijk aan Zee: Again to 1963
Math Club and Olympiad

Wijk aan Zee: Again to 1963

The tragic story of Tan Hiong Liong

The tournaments in Beverwijk, after which Wijk aan Zee type one of many oldest event sequence on the planet. What started as an organization event on the Hoogovens steelworks in Ijmuiden grew after the Second World Warfare into some of the essential and charismatic worldwide tournaments. The very best gamers on the planet got here and nonetheless come right here. The rise to a world-class event started concerning the time the Fifties become the Nineteen Sixties and the Mega Database helps to observe the historical past of the event.

Wijk aan Zee: Again to 1963

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Ten gamers took half within the 1960 event, and one in all them was Tigran Petrosian, who celebrated his debut within the event sequence. Three years later Petrosian grew to become World Champion and was the one Soviet participant to participate. Later normally at the very least two Soviet grandmasters travelled collectively to international tournaments within the West, with an extra chaperone from the KGB, in fact. Petrosian gained the 1960 event along with Bent Larsen.

Tables of outdated tournaments usually reveal attention-grabbing issues – for instance the names of unjustly forgotten gamers.

Who, for instance, was Tan Hiong Liong, who performed in the identical event as Petrosian, Larsen and a number of other different well-known grandmasters in 1960?

Tan Hiong Liong was born in 1938 within the Dutch East Indies, which grew to become impartial as Indonesia after the Second World Warfare. He got here from a bourgeois household and was introduced up by a governess. He realized chess from his elder brother Tan Boen when he was 5 years outdated. On the age of 14, Tan Hiong Liong grew to become a member of a chess membership in Brandung (Indonesia) and improved his chess with the assistance of books by Max Euwe. In 1956 he got here to the Netherlands together with his household and studied actuarial arithmetic in Amsterdam, however with solely average success, as he concentrated extra on his progress in chess. In 1958 Tan had the chance to play towards Mikhail Botvinnik in a simul recreation and misplaced in 31 strikes.



Tan Hiong Liong performed in some native tournaments and competitions and have become a member of the chess membership VAS Amsterdam. There Hans Bouwmeester was to maintain the proficient younger man from Indonesia, who by then he was nearly pretty much as good as his new coach.

In July 1960, Tan Hiong Liong performed for the Dutch group within the Scholar World Championship in Leningrad and the group completed in the midst of the sector. In spherical six, Tan managed to defeat Lubomir Kavalek, who was nonetheless enjoying for Czechoslovakia in 1960.


In October of the identical yr, Tan Hiong Liong performed on board 4 for Indonesia on the Chess Olympiad in Leipzig. The Indonesian group reached the C-final and completed second behind the Philippines. Tan was the most effective participant at board 4 with 16.5/20 and obtained a person gold medal.

The next yr, Tan gained the nationwide championships of the Netherlands and defeated Jan Hein Donner in the course of the event, who was thought of the strongest participant within the nation at the moment. Fanny Heemskerk gained the ladies’s title, her tenth and final title.

Tan (on the left) and Donner, Euwe makes the primary transfer




Tan Hiong Liong

Ludwig Rellstab, Jan Hein Donner, Tan Hiong Liong, Robert Hartoch, IBM Event 1962

In 1962, Tan shared first place with Moshe Czerniak on the IBM chess event in Amsterdam and was now invited to take part within the prestigious Hoogovens event on account of his good outcomes. The event was performed in Beverwijk at the moment and 18 gamers participated within the A event. Tan achieved a draw towards Bronstein, Parma, and Pilnik, who completed in second, third, and fourth place respectively. Tan was in a position to win towards Averbakh and Robatsch.



Ultimately, Tan completed twelfth with 7.5/17. The event winner was Jan Hein Donner, with an excellent rating of 12.5/17 towards a robust area. Donner additionally took revenge for his defeat towards Tan within the Dutch Championship two years earlier. 




The Max Euwe Heart not too long ago printed a photograph of the event corridor on the time on Twitter – the corridor was a bit smaller than it’s at the moment.

Along with the A-tournament, a B-tournament and a C-tournament had been additionally performed, wherein plenty of robust Dutch but additionally some Germans took half. Within the C-tournament, the 66-year-old Friedrich Sämisch performed, however completed final.

There was additionally a ladies’s event with ten gamers, which was gained by freshly topped world champion Nona Gaprindshvili with 9 out of 9 in her first look as title holder overseas.

The Deutsche Schachzeitung, with Rudolf Teschner as editor, paid tribute to the event, which was performed from January eighth to twenty seventh, and Jan Hein Donner’s victory in its March subject of 1963 beneath the title “The Thunder from Beverwijk”, (the German phrase “Donner” means “Thunder”) praised the winner and criticized Petar Trifunović’s 16 attracts, a few of which had been fairly quick. However in some video games the Yugoslav was compelled to combat for his half level.

Along with plenty of annotated video games, the German Chess Journal additionally printed this good group photograph:

As a result of his good outcomes, FIDE awarded Tan Hiong Liong the title of Worldwide Grasp in 1963. Tan was the primary participant from Indonesia to be awarded this title. As a robust Go participant, Tan Hiong Liong additionally held a Dan rank in Go.

Nevertheless, the lifetime of Tan Hiong Liong additionally had a special aspect. Since 1958, he struggled with psychological well being issues, needed to cancel competitions within the Dutch league and in addition the deliberate participation within the Zonal event in Jakarta. He started to drink extra alcohol than was tolerable. After repeatedly stealing bicycles, Tan was recorded by the Dutch police. He was admitted to a psychiatric clinic in Santpoort, the place docs suspected he had schizophrenia.

By the top of 1963, his dad and mom got here to the Netherlands and introduced their son again to Indonesia, the place Tan was additional handled. He labored at his father’s firm, doing lighter duties within the administration. When taking walks, he needed to be accompanied by a servant, as there was all the time a threat that Tan wouldn’t discover his means again.

Often, Tan Hiong Liong nonetheless performed chess, however solely as a interest although he often visited his outdated chess membership. In September 2009, on the age of 71, Tan Hiong Liong died after choking on his meals.