Dutch chess champions
Dutch national tournaments started with Amsterdam 1851 and Nijmegen 1858. The need for regular events led to the foundation of a chess federation in 1873. National tournaments were organised annually from that time. Stars of the early days were the strategist Maarten van ‘t Kruijs and tactician Jonkheer Dirk van Foreest. They gained little fame because they never took part in a foreign master tournament.
A schism in 1906 was followed by a reconciliation of the federation in 1909. The first official championship was organised in the same year. Max Euwe made his debut in 1919. The importance of the championship grew with his prestige. He won twelve titles in fourteen events. Matches against Landau in 1939, Van den Hoek in 1942, Van Scheltinga in 1948 and Donner in 1955 got a lot of attention. The flamboyant Jan Hein Donner took over Euwe’s superiority in the 1950's, but it was a short reign. His literary feuds with Lodewijk Prins and Hans Ree became legendary. Even Donner had to accept the mastership of Ree after a ‘shadow championship’ match.
Jan Timman showed a real supremacy in the 1970's. He won seven titles in ten years. Later he gave priority to super tournaments and the world championship’s struggle. Nevertheless, he gained another two titles. Many titles went to players from the Leiden region at the end of the millennium. The autochthonous John van der Wiel, Riny Kuijf and Jeroen Piket started this trend. When the Bosnian refugees Ivan Sokolov and Predrag Nikolic came to their area, they also began to collect titles.
The fighter Loek van Wely gained six titles in the new millennium. Official championship number sixty-four has been played in 2008. A sensation was the triumph by Giri in 2009. He also won in 2011 and 2012.
Twelve titles: Euwe.
Nine titles: Timman.
Six titles: Van Wely.
Four titles: Ree, Piket.
Three titles: Donner, Giri.
Two titles: Sosonko, Van der Wiel, Van der Sterren, Sokolov, Nikolic, Tiviakov, Smeets.
Twenty-six participations in a row: Van der Wiel.