"Let's talk about chess" is a podcast hosted by Dutch chess writer and photographer Eric van Reem. In this podcast Eric talks with various interesting personalities from the chess world about their life and careers, but he also keeps an eye on the current situation in the chess world.
Host : Eric van Reem
Artwork : Fränk Stiefel
Editor : Dennis van Reem
Music : Silent Partner - Chess Pieces
#20 Wijk aan Zee Storytellers (4) - GM Ivan Sokolov
In this fourth episode of the "Wijk aan Zee Storytellers" series, Eric talks to GM Ivan Sokolov, who played twelve times in the highest group of the tournament in Wijk aan Zee, in which he played 134 games. He played his most famous game in 1999 in Wijk aan Zee against GM Garry Kasparov, who was in the lead with 7,5/8 and had just played one of the most spectacular games ever against Veselin Topalov. However, Sokolov crushed Kasparov in round 9 and shocked Kasparov and the chess world. He talks a bit about that game, but there are other, sometimes hilarious stories to tell. Sokolov also talks about the 2021 edition of the event and tells us why he is not surprised that the youngsters play such a great tournament this year.
Ivan Sokolov (1968) is a Bosnian-born Dutch chess player, coach and writer. He was awarded the title of Grandmaster (GM) by FIDE in 1987. Sokolov won the 1988 Yugoslav Championship and in 1995 and 1998 the Dutch Championship. The former world top player defeated no less than 6 world champions.
#19 Wijk aan Zee Storytellers (3) - GM Ian Rogers
In this new episode of the Wijk aan Zee Storytellers, Eric talks to GM Ian Rogers (1960), mainly about his debut in WIjk aan Zee in 1977, where he met the best players of the era for the very first time. He has a story to tell about the great Dutch chess world champion GM Max Euwe. Ian also remembers the greatest game he ever saw in Wijk, and it is not the game Kasparov-Topalov! We talk about the crazy game Bellon vs. Jamieson from the B-group in 1977. "Two cavemen going at each other. That's the sort of chess I'm happy to see".
Rogers is the first Australian-raised chess grandmaster and he attained the Grandmaster title in 1985 after becoming an International Master in 1980. He was Australia's highest-rated player for over twenty years, and represented Australia at fourteen Chess Olympiads (twelve of them on first board).
Throughout his competitive career and more so since his retirement from competitive chess in July 2007, Rogers has reported on many tournaments for various media outlets, with photographic assistance from his wife Cathy Rogers.
Rogers was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in the 1996 Australia Day Honours for his service to chess.
#18 Wijk aan Zee Storytellers (2) - GM Vishy Anand
Does this man still need an introduction? Eric talks to five-time world champion GM Viswanathan Anand (1969) from India about the tournament he won five times: in 1989, 1998, 2003, 2004 and 2006. Anand played 20 times in Wijk aan Zee, The Netherlands in which he played 247 games (the most number of games by a non-Dutchman) and won 75 games, making him the number two on the all-time Wijk aan Zee list. Only the legendary Dutch GM Jan-Hein Donner won more games (85).
Vishy talks about his first visit to The Netherlands in 1989 in which he debuted in Wijk aan Zee. He tells us what it was like to walk through the streets of the small village, being perplexed by the open curtains of the villagers. Since the five-time winner played so many games in Wijk aan Zee, he tells to the listeners which are his personal favourites. And he has some good news: he would love to be back in WIjk aan Zee in 2022, when the pandemic allows it.
Enjoy this relaxed talk about a great tournament with one of the legends of the game: GM Vishy Anand.
#17 Wijk aan Zee Storytellers (1) - GM John van der Wiel
This is the first episode of the "Wijk aan Zee Storytellers". Eric talks to GM John van der Wiel (1959) from The Netherlands, who participated no less than 28 (!) times in the tournament in Wijk aan Zee.
The Tata Steel Chess Tournament is an annual chess tournament held in January in Wijk aan Zee, the Netherlands. It was called the Hoogovens tournament from its creation in 1938 until the sponsor Koninklijke Hoogovens merged with British Steel to form the Corus Group in 1999, after which the tournament was called the Corus chess tournament. Corus Group became Tata Steel Europe in 2007. Despite the name changes, the series is numbered sequentially from its Hoogovens beginnings. In 2021, the 83. edition was played.
Since there are a lot of stories to tell about the tournament, Eric decided to invite a few former players and winners to the podcast to ask about their memories of this remote little village on the Dutch coast, that became "The Wimbledon of Chess".
#16 Jeroen van den Berg (TD TATA Steel Chess)
In this episode, Eric talks to his compratiot, the tournament director of the TATA Steel Chess Tournament, 58-year old Dutchman Jeroen van den Berg. Jeroen has not missed a single day in Wijk aan Zee since 1984, which was the first time Jeroen played a role in the tournament as a board boy and member of the press team. In 1999, the Dutchman became the tournament director of the tournament in WIjk aan Zee, and followed in the steps of the legendary Piet Zwart, who had been the TD for 45 years. 1999 was the year in which one of the most legendary games ever was played, the game Kasparov-Topalov, which is called "The Pearl of Wijk aan Zee". Jeroen tells us about this legendary game and Kasparov and has many more stories to tell.
My guest also tells us something about the COVID - safe edition of 2021, which is challenging for him and his team. Jeroen tells us about the authorities that are involved in the process. The tournament director also reveals some information about the online activities that are planned for the amateur players, who cannot come to Wijk aan Zee to play one of the famous "vierkampen" or "tienkampen". It is an lovely interview with the organizer of the "Wimbledon of Chess", Jeroen van den Berg.
#15 IM V. Saravanan (Part 2)
This is the second part of the interview with IM Venkat Saravanan from Chennai. In this spisode, Eric and Saravanan chat about the best chess books of the year 2020. Saravanan loves chess books and there are two very popular videos on You Tube, made by IM Sagar Shah of ChessBase India, in which Saravanan shows his personal chess books collection and gives advice which chess books should be read by ambitious chess players. In this episode Eric and Saravanan discuss about two great books about and by Vishy Anand (The Anand Files and Mind Master). Saravanan also tells us how difficult it is to buy affordable chess books in India.
Books that are mentioned in this episode:
Hendriks - On the origin of good moves, Gelfand - Technical Decision Making and Decision making in major pieces endgames, Daniel King - Sultan Khan, Stuart Rachels - The best I saw in chess, Alexander Münninghoff - Hein Donner, Dvoretzky & Müller - DEM - 5th edition, Bezgodov - Defend like Petrosian, Karolyi - Petrosian year by year 1942-1962, Soltis - Magnus Carlsen 60 memorable games, Navara - My chess world, Keith Arkell - Arkell's endings, Timman - Timman's Triumphs, Nikitin- Vasiukov and Coaching Kasparov 1982-1990, Donaldson- Fischer and his world, Terekhov- Life and games of Vassily Smyslov, Smirin - Sicilian Warfare, Negi - 1.e4 vs. the minor defences.