Jan Timman (born 14 December 1951) is a well-known Dutch Chess Grandmaster who was one of the world’s leading players from the late 1970s to the early 1990s. At the peak of his career he was considered to be the best non-Soviet player and was known as “The Best of the West”. His highest ranking was second on the world list.
He has won the Dutch Championship nine times and has been a candidate for the World Championship several times. In 1993 he lost the title match against Anatoly Karpov..
Jan Timman represented the Netherlands in 13 Chess Olympiads from 1972 to 2004, mostly playing on the top board. In 1976 he won the gold medal for the best individual performance on that board.
He played in the gold medal-winning Dutch team at the European Team Chess championship in Gothenburg in 2005..
Jan Timman played against most of the world champions from the former Soviet-Union : Vasily Smyslov, Michael Tal, Tigran Petrosian, Boris Spassky, Anatoly Karpov, Garry Kasparov and the Russian Vladimir Kramnik.
Vasily Smyslov (1921 – 2010)
Smyslov played three matches against Botvinnik, lost two and won one in 1957. Smyslov liked the same openings as Max Euwe the Dutch World Champion in 1935. Smyslov loved composing endgame studies and the same goes for Timman.
JT: I had the opportunity to play quite often often against Smyslov,due to the fact that he remained active till a high age.In the beginning I had problems playing him,but later on I managed to beat him twice.In Tilburg 1984 I played my last game against himIf I had won,iI would have evened the score.I reached the famous ending Rook+ Bishop vs Rook.He defended easily.
Mikhail Tal (1936 -1992)
Tal was the most beloved of the champions. He was world champion for only one year. He beat Botvinnik in 1960 and lost in 1961.His style was imaginative and attacking.
JT: The same story with the early games. After two initial losses many draws followed. Then I beat him in Wijk aan Zee 1982 .I actually got a plus score against him after a win in the 2nd game in the KRO-match in Hilversum 1988.He took his revanche in the 4th and 5th game.
We played an important match in 1985 in Montpellier.I qualified for the Candiadate Matches by equalling the score: 3-3
Tigran Petrosian (1929-1984)
Petrosian won the title from Botvinnik in 1963. He was perhaps the least favorite champion, at least from a fan’s point of view. He had a defensive and maneuvering style that was hard for amateurs to understand.
In 1966 he defended his title successfully against Spassky but lost his title against him in 1969.
JT: I never managed to beat Petrosian. He won twice, with 5 draws. So we didn’t play so many games. He was a tough opponent for me.
Boris Spassky (1937- )
In 1969 he won the title from Petrosian and lost in 1972 his title against Bobby Fischer. Spassky is known as an universal player, comfortable in many types of positions.
JT: With Spassky I had the same initial problem as wit Smyslov and Tal. Later on our score was approximately equal with many draws. Memorable was my win with Black in Montpellier after a long, interesting struggle.
Anatoly Karpov (1951 – )
Karpov ranks amongst the greatest in the pantheon. He won the title twice by default. In 1975 when Bobby Fischer refused to defend, and in 1993, when Kasparov bolted FIDE for his own organization. Karpov played against Timman and won. Karpov seeks a small advantage in the opening, confident he will be able to maintain and exploit it.
JT: Against Karpov I have played over 90 games. He won 28 against 8 victories from my side. There was a long period of ten years (1982-1992) that I didn’t manage to beat him in a single game. Afterwards I did all right .Memorable are my two wins in Rapid Chess in the Immopar Cup in Paris 91.
Garry Kasparov (1963 -)
He is perhaps the greatest player in history. He played many matches with Karpov, all successful save the first one, a marathon match in 1984 and 1985 that spanned six months and 48 games. In 1993 he bolted FIDE.
JT: In the early 80’s I let him escape from a lost position twice. Afterwards it became increasingly difficult to play him. So I have a terrible overall score. Still,I beat him in the Final of the Immopar Cup in Paris. Eight years later we played an exhibition game in the port of Rotterdam. While we played in a normal room with wooden pieces and plenty of time, our moves were then played with containers on the ground:two battlefields! I won that game.
Vladimir Kramnik (1975 – )
He was the champion from 2000 to 2006, after he defeated Kasparov in London in 2000. And he was the undisputed World Chess Champion from 2006 to 2007 after he beated Topalov in a reunification match. In 2007 he lost the title to Anand who is still World Chess Champion.
JT: Kramnik has been a very difficult opponent for me.I never managed to beat him,although I came close on two occcasions.Kramnik’s understanding of the game is very deep.
Special guest at BASAMRO Chess Tournament
Jan Timman is special guest at the first international BASAMROCHESS TOURNAMENT In Rotterdam on the 1st and 2nd of June 2013. The venue is the ss Rotterdam. One of the participants is a team from Russia (Murmansk).
For more information:
BASAMRO CHESS TOURNAMENT
Mobile : 06 52 65 09 42 , mailto: firstname.lastname@example.org
Rotterdam, May 2013