General Meeting at Amsterdam

Amsterdam is worth a visit ... (Report by Michael Negele)

Amsterdam is worth a visit ...

The annual meeting of the Ken Whyld Association in the Max Euwe-Centrum was a great success.

Our second general meeting since our foundation in Brunswick took place in the Amsterdam Max Euwe-Centrum ("MEC") from September 15th to 17th, 2005. The venue turned out to be ideal, particularly the hospitality and the professional preparations of Eveline Dirksen and her team were nearly unsurpassable.

Hans-Jürgen Fresen, Otto Hutter and Norbert Fieberg in front of the "Hotel Stigter".
Hans-Jürgen Fresen, Otto Hutter and Norbert Fieberg in front of the "Hotel Stigter".

Many thanks go to Jurgen Stigter who not only strived together with Prosper Verwilligen to set up our Ken Whyld showcase but also offered again many chess friends a place to stay in his house or in his "shop".

 

You will find further photos of the "prelude" on Thursday afternoon and of the evening meal in our first picture gallery.

Compared with the barely two-day meeting in Forchheim which was felt by many as too short, the period of nearly 3 days in Amsterdam was quite generous. When the first afternoon and evening - including the very nice dinner at the Holland-Casino - were intended for the members to meet each other and were mainly characterized by conversations, the visit of the Royal Library in The Hague may rightly be called a highlight of our short club history.

We went by train from Amsterdam to The Hague. From our KWA circle Mrs Sanvito, Jörg Abramowski, Ralf Binnewirtz, Tomasz Lissowski, Frau Fayard, Michael Negele, Alessandro Sanvito and Alain Fayard are to be seen.
We went by train from Amsterdam to The Hague. From our KWA circle Mrs Sanvito, Jörg Abramowski, Ralf Binnewirtz, Tomasz Lissowski, Frau Fayard, Michael Negele, Alessandro Sanvito and Alain Fayard are to be seen.

The guided tour was exceptionally intensive and competent, especially the presentation of Alexander Rueb’s scrapbooks was a fantastic experience for all of us.

The rediscovered scrapbooks of the first FIDE president touch each collector’s heart: here you will find innumerable historical photos, drawings, documents, autographs, newspaper cuttings and other unique specimen.

Our picture gallery No 2 can reflect only a small fraction of this material.

Our thanks go to Jan-Maarten de Booij who gave an introduction and who - together with Mischa Andriessen – cared for the general guided tour, and naturally to Henk Chervet and Ron van der Schee who showed us the Niemeijer/van der Linde Collection.

It was a real pleasure for us to hand over a signed author’s copy of the "Grandmaster from Lublin" to the Royal Library after Tomasz Lissowski and Michael Negele had found before the right place for it in the stacks.

We present several further photos of the Royal Library in our third picture gallery.

The following visit of the chess department of the bookshop van Stockum was surely just right – after all those "unattainable treasures" - to enlarge once again the own collection.

From 6 p.m. the Max Euwe-Centrum filled up literally to the very last seat, among the visitors was also GM Genna Sosonko who showed much interest in the activities of our association. Jurgen Stigter inaugurated the Ken Whyld exhibition and gave some explanations on the contents of the showcase, all those who will not get a chance to visit the MEC till March 2006 will gain an insight by our small slide show. Afterwards Alessandro Sanvito was reminiscent of Ken Whyld, his friend for many years, finding very personal words.

Genna Sosonko and Andreas Saremba exchange stories (about Lasker?), on the left Bert Corneth, behind a thirsty Ralf Binnewirtz.
Genna Sosonko and Andreas Saremba exchange stories (about Lasker?), on the left Bert Corneth, behind a thirsty Ralf Binnewirtz.

Jurgen Stigter distributed with his speech a three-part handout:

"Ken Whyld Remembered"
Exhibition in the Max Euwe Centre ... (jpg-file)

The KWA. An introduction.
(jpg-file)

Obituary from Board Game Studies 6, 2003:
Ken Whyld, 6 March 1926 - 11 July 2003

Prosper Verwilligen and Jurgen Stigter taste a rosé "in between times".
Prosper Verwilligen and Jurgen Stigter taste a rosé "in between times".

Alessandro Sanvito is reminiscent of Ken Whyld, here the wording of his speech (pdf-file).

Mr and Mrs Sanvito could celebrate their ruby wedding (40th wedding anniversary) this year – among other things with their visit to Amsterdam.

The KWA congratulates on this special anniversary and wishes all the best!

A look at the curious audience – in the background (from left) our friends from the Max Euwe-Centrum: Mrs Parvin Kazemi, Mrs Lot Zwolsman as well as Thomas van Beckum and naturally on the right (next to Genna Sosonko) Eveline Dirksen who took tireless trouble over our wellbeing. Being very well in the picture as sitting in the first row (from left): Andreas Saremba, Dr. Ulrich Schädler, Richard Forster, Thomas Lemanczyk and Toni Preziuso; behind more or less clearly visible: Henri Serruys, Hans-Jürgen Fresen, Harrie Grondijs, Fred van der Vliet, Norbert Fieberg, Rolf Reinhardt, Hans Engberts, Otto Hutter, Godehard Murkisch, Jörg Abramowski.

Dr. Ulrich Schädler from the Musée Suisse du Jeu at La Tour-de-Peilz gave us a special pleasure as his short lecture on the museum and the library of our friend Ken was not at all on our agenda. We have accepted his invitation for the next year’s general meeting at the Lake Geneva with a big applause.

Ulrich Schädler, director of the Swiss Museum of Games giving an attractive preview of the venue in 2006. Here his presentation as ppt-file (5.6 MB!).

He has informed us later about the exact date – May 18 to 20, 2006.

We take further information about the museum from the leaflet in four languages distributed in Amsterdam (please click on the preview pictures below) as well as from the website www.museedujeu.com.

Also Tomasz Lissowski and Godehard Murkisch find starting-points.
Also Tomasz Lissowski and Godehard Murkisch find starting-points.

Those present then followed with great interest the results of the research of our friend Tomasz Lissowski who didn’t shy away from the long journey – together with his daughter - from Warsaw via Berlin to Amsterdam. (On September 14, 2005 in Berlin he presented - together with Cezary Domanski, Thomas Lemanczyk and Raj Tischbierek - our Zukertort biography to the Emanuel Lasker Society.) Tomasz told about Achilles Frydman and his illness – apparently he was a "streaker" among the chess masters.

Tomasz Lissowski has recorded the contents of his speech in a two-part presentation:
Encephalitis lethargica Part 1
Encephalitis lethargica Part 2
(pdf-files; 7.8 MB + 2 MB!)

After that Andreas Saremba gave some information on the Lasker Society and advertised the nice booklet on Lasker's house [photo above], while Michael Negele told about the "find" of the third part of Jacob Halpern's "Chess Symposium". (About this Michael's short presentation as pdf-file as well as an additional series of pictures and a few scans. See below.)

Michael Negele, Jurgen Stigter and Toni Preziuso having a snack at break.
Michael Negele, Jurgen Stigter and Toni Preziuso having a snack at break.

Champagne (allegedly Ken Whyld's favourite drink) was generously served afterwards, whereupon a nice evening was closed in an Indonesian restaurant.

There was a great crowd around Michael Negele at the MEC book market – on the left Tomasz Lissowski and René van der Heijden, on the right a guest, Mr Jongstra.
There was a great crowd around Michael Negele at the MEC book market – on the left Tomasz Lissowski and René van der Heijden, on the right a guest, Mr Jongstra.

The Saturday morning with glorious weather led many members and guests at 10 o'clock again into the Max Euwe-Centrum, the book market planned for the end of November had kindly been brought forward. There the chairman designate had his hands full, not only our book on Zukertort selled like hot cakes. All around only pleased looking people, the prices were fair and many interesting books changed hands.

You will find some additional photos in our book market gallery.

A great deal of the participants in the book market formed up to a group photo in front of the Max Euwe-Centrum.
A great deal of the participants in the book market formed up to a group photo in front of the Max Euwe-Centrum.

All the more satisfactory that at 2:30 p.m. – time for the general meeting – the Max Euwe-Centrum again reached the limits of its capacity. The old and new board tried to explain the formalities (change of the statutes) as quickly as possible, before the assembly had kept a moment’s silence in memory of our late friend Hubert Petermann.

First of all Michael Negele presented the participants with the agenda of this year’s meeting.

Our ex-treasurer Hans Engberts (in the front on the right) follows the events with interest ...
Next to him Pierre Voss, Remco Heite und Andreas Saremba.

... while the new treasurer Peter Holmgren is watching the circle of the members intently.

Surely the talk of Hans-Jürgen Fresen on "Peter Heinrich Holthaus and his chess books" was a further highlight of our meeting, a really convincing description of very early German chess culture.

Hans-Jürgen Fresen in front of the audience - we give an abridged version of his speech and the corresponding presentation (0.7 MB) as pdf-files.

Genna Sosonko, Eveline Dirksen and Yochanan Afek are watching the scenery from the background; in front of them Jörg Abramowski still being a little tired after his night trips. Y. Afek, (OTB-)IM and well-known study composer has been in Holland for over ten years – because of the MEC he chose Amsterdam as his place of residence!

The members then followed with great interest Andreas Saremba’s progress report on conceiving the database "Universal Bibliography of Chess" (UBoC). Certainly time was too short here for a detailed discussion, but we intend to focus on our work in the next months to get a "sandbox-system" running which is also accessible via the Internet.

Andreas Saremba made 14 screenshots available to us including short comments on some pictures (0.9 MB; pdf-file).

Tamás Erdélyi came from Hungary, he presented a few chess paintings; the "original Capablanca" (photo below) directly changed hands, it went to a Dutch collector well-known to all of us.

After the break Tim Harding gave the eagerly awaited lecture on his research about "The development of correspondence chess in the United Kingdom in the 19th century". Tim is well-known to many people for being an industrious chess author (see Tim's book list), but it was new to me that he is so seriously committed to historical research (including studies).

Tim Harding giving the plenary lecture – we pass on his presentation (1.1 MB) and his handout in pdf format [with some additional CC games (jpg-file)].

A mischievously smiling Alain Fayard in front of the entrance to "the smallest room" in the MEC
A mischievously smiling Alain Fayard in front of the entrance to "the smallest room" in the MEC

A look into the future followed with regard to our new book projects and to the planned meetings. [A short synopsis of the "Bellucci project" – Bibliography of commemorative publications of German chess clubs – may be added here.] Peter Holmgren promised a regional meeting of the Scandinavian members at Copenhagen in April 2006.

A final look at our participants (in the front row: Hans-Jürgen Fresen, Norbert Fieberg, bernd ellinghoven, Alessandro Sanvito and Bert Corneth)
A final look at our participants (in the front row: Hans-Jürgen Fresen, Norbert Fieberg, bernd ellinghoven, Alessandro Sanvito and Bert Corneth)

At the end there was a further drink served by the MEC and a farewell dinner for those who didn't intend to leave Amsterdam that evening.

Two greetings cards with the signatures of all participants went to our senior member Dr. Jean Mennerat
Two greetings cards with the signatures of all participants went to our senior member Dr. Jean Mennerat

Further snapshots of the general meeting are included in our final picture gallery.

I would like to express my personal thanks to all people who didn’t shy away from the long journey to Amsterdam (Jörg Abramowski arrived from Beijing/China) and who contributed with their good mood to the success of our meeting. Very helpful was Eveline Dirksen and her team consisting of Mrs Parvin Kazemi, Mrs Lot Zwolsman, Mrs Carolien Lesger – she produced our nice badges – and last but not least Freek Haverman, the "barman"; but also Ralf Binnewirtz who as usual had "electronically" prepared the lectures beforehand deserves a thank you.

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