Student chess players from all over the country are coming to Nijmegen

04 Apr 2022

Thanks to the Netflix series The Queen’s Gambit, chess became a popular sport. The new student chess association from Nijmegen has grown so quickly within just a year, that they are already organising a national tournament.

The club hasn’t even existed for a whole year and already has a hundred members. In other words, it is going pretty well with chess association Tussen de Torens (‘Between the Towers’, ed.). As the cherry on top, they are also organising a national tournament. Students from all over the country will compete against each other in the Radboud Sports Centre.

‘We got into contact with the student chess association Noesis in Eindhoven’, says chair Bauke Spoor. ‘Organising the tournament, we do together.’ Together they have about 75 complete chess sets. If more competitors sign up, they can borrow boards and pieces from a befriended association.

Spoor looks forward to meeting new students who love chess. ‘I can talk about it for hours, it’s just a lot of fun to meet people who know what you are talking about.’ So far, chess players from eleven different cities have signed up, including Amsterdam and Groningen. If the tournament is successful, it will return annually.

Wednesday chess day

The increased popularity of chess as a sport is partly due to the Netflix series The Queen’s Gambit. But that effect won’t last, Spoor suspects. It is already a little while ago that the show was a hit. ‘I’m curious to see how many members will sign up for our association in the coming academic year.’

‘Our members improve quickly’

If there are fewer, that is fine. Wednesday will remain chess day for Tussen de Torens. The members play against each other and have a beer afterwards. Students can also take courses at different levels. ‘They improve quickly,’ Spoor has experienced. While laughing: ‘It has become a lot harder to compete against them.’

The chess associations from Eindhoven and Nijmegen have found a sponsor for the tournament on April 24. Because of this, they can award a drone as the first prize and there is a budget for cash prizes and trophies. What the matches will look like exactly, depends on the level of the chess players that sign up. In any case, there will be seven rapid chess rounds of ten minutes each.

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