Person of day   -  11 JANUARY 2021

DIRK JAN TEN GEUZENDAM

DIRK JAN TEN GEUZENDAM

Dirk Jan ten Geuzendam was born on 11th January 1957 in Heerlen. Dirk graduated from Groningen University, where he studied foreign languages- specifically, English and world literature. Dirk began to work in the Dutch magazine New Chess in 1985 and became one of the most famous chess journalists of the Western world in just a couple of years.

At that time, the sociable and witty Dutchman took interviews from tens of the world’s leading grandmasters and champions. To his pen belong Finding Bobby Fischer and a treatise devoted to super-tournaments in Linares, which collected storied and legends of the Spanish tournament but omitted the games. While writing about the 11th world champion, Dirk Jan met multiple people who knew Fischer and flew to Iceland to speak with those who saw the American genius off on his last journey. Incidentally, ten Geuzendam and Fischer met once- at the revenge-match between Fischer and Spassky in Sveti Stefan in 1992.  

Dirk Jan ten Geuzendam published a series of books about Dutch tournaments of the 1980s and 1990s and wrote a brochure about Garry Kasparov’s departure from world chess. Dirk Jan had chess columns in Dutch newspapers NRC Handelsblad and Vrij Nederland and he was one of the editors of Matten magazine, but he abandoned other activities after becoming the chief editor of New in Chess- the largest chess publication with readers in 116 countries.  

At the 1990 and 1992 Olympiads, the celebrated journalist was the captain of the Dutch team. He played an important role in the Max Euwe Foundation, he was the tournament director of the last four super-tournaments for rapid chess and blindfolded chess in Monaco and he later became the ideological inspiration behind the “NH Rising Stars vs. Experience” matches, which was hosted by a network of hotels in Amsterdam.

Thanks to his superb knowledge of English and light-hearted, humorous manner of interaction, Dirk Jan ten Geuzendam became one of the most popular contemporary English-speaking commentators. The famous journalist covered the Anand-Gelfand match in 2012, the Alekhine Memorial in 2013, Norway Chess in 2013-2015, the World Cups in Tromso in 2013 and Baku in 2015 and other large tournaments.

 “I support the idea of fusing chess and culture because one of the reasons why I like the world of chess is the opportunity to meet many people such as musicians and artists, who are not directly connected to chess, but take an interest in it. It is difficult to find someone who truly loves chess and does not like art. And the State Tretyakov Gallery is my favourite museum in Russia. I always advise those who go to the Russian capital to visit it.” (Dirk Jan ten Geuzendam)