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The super tournament in Tilburg foreruns the events of Bugojno and Linares. Rennings was a director and Vael a PR-man of the insurance company Interpolis. They travelled the world in order to contract the players and led the contest.

The first installment was organised around world champion Karpov. Twelve grand-masters came to Tilburg in the autumn of 1977. Karpov won the tournament by 8/11, Miles became second (7) and Timman shared the third place with Hort, Kavalek and Hübner. 

The number of draws was high in the days before Rentoro, the boss of Linares. Actually, the organisers were pleased with decided games at this level. Hundreds of visitors from the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany visited each round. 

One game per round has been analysed for most tournaments. 

No ‘Russians’ participated in Tilburg 1978, because Karpov and Korchnoi played a match and the replacements, proposed by the Soviet chess authorities, were not accepted. The participation was strong, nevertheless. Portisch won the tournament by 7/11 before Timman (6½), Miles, Hübner and Dzindzichashvili (6). 


Karpov - Larsen 0-1 (Tilburg 1981), a rare loss for Tolya

Bosrand in Oisterwijk, the players' hotel


The ‘Russians’ were back in Tilburg 1979: World champion Karpov, Smyslov and Romanishin were sent by the authorities. The nine other participants had high rankings as well. Karpov played against Smyslov during the last round and gained a plus. Tolya left the tournament hall and went to a nearby bank. Forty-five minutes later he returned and Vasily lost quickly. Karpov won the tournament (7½/11) before Romanishin (7) and Portisch (6½).

The usual twelve players participated in Tilburg 1980. Donner worked as a host grandmaster during the event. Karpov won the tournament by a score of 7½/11 before Portisch (7) and Timman (6½). 

Kasparov made his debut at the summit level in the fifth event, Tilburg 1981. Beliavsky won the tournament by a perfect score against the weakest players and the last round win versus Timman. Kasparov’s debut was spoiled by defeats against two former world champions, Petrosian and Spassky, and the candidate Timman. Hereafter, Gary would moderate his style and win in each tournament participation for ten years. 

The organisers had asked for the young Kasparov and Beliavsky, but the old-hands Petrosian and Smyslov were sent to Tilburg 1982. Still the sixth contest became exciting. Karpov (7½/11) won the tournament again. Timman became second (7). Andersson and Sosonko shared the third place (6½).

World champion Karpov was the main participant again in Tilburg 1983. He won the event by 7/11. Ljubojevic and Portisch shared the second place. 

The organisation tried to stimulate daring play each year by giving high bonuses for wins, but drawing remained frequent. 

Miles won Tilburg 1984 because he made killing jokes in lost games. It must have been the milk he drank. His score of 8/11 was equal to the record of Karpov in 1977. Hübner, Tukmakov, Ribli and Beliavsky by a score of 6½ points. 


Korchnoi - Miles, Tilburg 1985. Tony lies on a table


Tilburg 1985 had a new setup. Eight grandmasters played double rounds. We follow the strange adventures of Miles. He began to suffer from back pain during round three and had to take strong painkillers. Tony lied flat on a message table in the last nine games of the tournament. Miles, Hübner and Kortschnoj shared the victory by a score of 8½/14. 

Six previous winners plus Ljubojevic and Timman were invited for the tenth event. Karpov had just lost his return match with Kasparov. Beliavsky started the tournament with two losses but he won Tilburg 1986 by a score of plus three. Ljubojevic followed at half-a-point. He lost twice against Beliavsky. Karpov became third, because he was overcome by fatigue at the end of the event.

Timman won Tilburg 1987 by a score of 8½/14, Hübner and Nikolic followed by half-a-point and Kortschnoj by one point. Jan won the tournament during his eleventh participation. He was lucky during the first cycle, but the Dutchmen did not bother about it and were happy for him. 

Karpov participated again in Tilburg 1988. Tolya scored the incredible 10½/14. Short followed by two points. Hjartarson, Nikolic and Timman shared the third place. 

Kasparov participated for the second time in Tilburg 1989. He won the tournament by a record score of 12/14. Kortschnoj became second at a distance of 3½ points.

While Kasparov and Karpov were battling for the world championship, their possible successors were fighting in Tilburg 1990. It became a victory for the youngsters Kamsky and Ivanchuk. Gelfand followed by half-a-point. Short ended as fourth, before the ‘old-timers’ Timman, Andersson, Nikolic and Seirawan. The winners Kamsky and Ivanchuk were celebrated in an amusing manner. Sixteen girls danced towards them and threw confetti. The song ‘You’re sixteen’ sounded from loudspeakers. It referred to the age of Gata. 

Main chess talents met in the fifteenth Interpolis tournament Tilburg 1991. Kasparov won. 


              1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8

1 Kasparov   ** ½½ 10 ½1 ½½ 11 1½ 11  10

2 Short      ½½ ** 0½ ½½ 11 1½ ½½ 1½   8½

3 Anand      01 1½ ** 10 10 0½ 1½ 1½   8

4 Karpov     ½0 ½½ 01 ** ½0 ½1 ½1 ½1   7½

5 Kamsky     ½½ 00 01 ½1 ** 10 ½½ ½1   7

6 Timman     00 0½ 1½ ½0 01 ** 10 11   6½

7 Kortschnoj 0½ ½½ 0½ ½0 ½½ 01 ** ½½   5½

8 Bareev     00 0½ 0½ ½0 ½0 00 ½½ **   3


The final table shows the success of the invitational policy by Rennings and Gijssen. World champion Kasparov wins. His future challengers Short and Anand trail. Karpov ends at place four. His coming contenders for the FIDE title, Kamsky and Timman, follow.


Bungalows of De Parel were used in later events


Knockout mini matches were played in the sixteenth Interpolis tournament Tilburg 1992. 111 participants were involved. 94 started in round one. 17 players were added later. So 64 competitors started in round two. Four players were left in round six. They had to play two games of classical chess in two days. The tempo was forty moves in two hours and the rest in one hour. If the outcome stayed undecided, rapid chess had to be played on day three. Gelfand and Adams qualified for the final. Adams won the tournament and received the grand prize of ƒ 100,000. 

Tilburg 1993. was another knockout event. Arbiter Gijssen had improved the time rule for rapid chess. The players got twenty minutes at the start of the game plus ten seconds per move. So time scrambles were avoided. The final became Karpov - Ivanchuk. Tolya was victorious in Tilburg for the seventh time and got the grand prize. 

The last Interpolis chess event became Tilburg 1994. Installment eighteen was a knockout tournament. Salov had won the final against Bareev with 1½-½. The last Interpolis chess event had ended. 
My analyses of endings started in the first half of the1990's. I had the chance to talk with Karpov in 1993 and Salov in 1994 about chess research. When I informed Karpov about criticism on my work, he responded: "I know study composers as fine analysts". A lot has changed since that time. Nowadays complete games can be analysed at a high level with the aid of modern chess engines.  



Tilburg had no super tournament in 1995. Barbara Schol interested the Fontys Hogescholen in a prolongation. The setup of 1977 was applied in Tilburg 1996. So twelve players battled. This time, the professor, Karpov, met eleven sublime students. Piket defeated Van Wely in the last round. He caught up with Gelfand (7/11). They were followed by Shirov (6½), Van Wely and Lékó (6), Karpov and Adams (5½). 

Tilburg 1997 showed the ‘old’ world champion Kasparov and eleven ‘younger’ talents. Iit became a race between three Russian players. The sensation of the tournament was the shared first place of Peter Svidler and his victory over Kasparov. Gary played many spectacular games. Vladimir Kramnik won five games and had better positions in four other encounters. Dirk Jan ten Geuzendam wrote books about the events in 1996 and 1997. 

Tilburg 1998 was the third Fontys event. Anand and Lékó competed for victory. The experienced Kortschnoj taught his young opponents how to offend an adversary. Anand won (7½/11) before Lékó (7). The third place was shared by Sadler, Zvjaginsev and Kramnik (6). The final round of the Tilburg super chess tournaments ended on 4 November 1998. 


Crosstables of the Tilburg chess tournaments


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