And how it all started.

Although I wasn't a board game kind of person (I really hate dice), my mother learned me to play chess when I was about 7 years old. The absence of dice and tactical part of this game sparked my interest and for for a few years I have played against her. 

Then in 1982 (I was 10 years old) there where sports demonstrations on my primary school, and the town chess club Schaakvereniging Almelo gave demonstrations. They offered the interested students to get a few free chess lessons during there weekly club meeting to get potential students interested in there chess courses and chess club. Normally I wasn't much of a club / peoples person, the potential to learn more about chess and frequently have the possibility to play against other players, made me join the club. For a few years I followed the courses, played club matches and even started reading into chess history and games. The passing the courses where rewarded with diploma's from the  "Koninklijke Nederlandse Schaakbond".



My interest in chess grown so much that when I was 12 years old, started saving money (birthday money, holiday season donations from family etc) to buy a real chess computer. That chess computer would become a Chess Challenger 7 from Fidelity Electronics which I bought at Bart-Smit. A that time "the" toy store of The Netherlands. 


Getting the final diploma took me a longer then the other diploma's because of a new school I went to, a paper route etc so I had to time share my spare time. 


But finally I passed it. 

Less time means less chess

In 1988 I started a new course at a MTS (Mid level Technical School at age 16) and due to lack of time to visit the weekly meetings I canceled my membership of the Schaakvereniging Almelo . In time my interest in chess got less, but I kept playing privately to family members and often to fellow students on the MTS and later on the HTS (High level Technical School age 20) in the lunch brakes at school.

But it never really leaves

When I started working, change of interest pushed my chess game to the background. But once in a while I would place a game of chess. When I got kids of my own and they where old enough I learned them how to play chess and on rainy days we often played  a few games. They even often fired up my old Chess Challenger 7 to play against.

But times would change. With the introduction of PDA's and later smart phones, chess engines applications where getting more common and often I played games during my "woon-werk verkeer" (commuting traffic). Being a divorced single dad I had a co-parent arrangement with my formal wife, giving me every other weekend off. In those weekends I often visited my favorite local cafe (Cafe de Stam) where  a lot of guests like to play chess also. allowing me to play chess gmes with a nice pint next to the board.  The kids grow up, having (boy/girl) friends of there own, sometimes challenging there dad to play a game of chess.

So years with occasional a game of chess go by. . . and then everything changed . . . .    

Covid 19 and online chess : there is always somebody to play against.   

The 2019/2020 would write a few dark pages in my life book. Those years, there where a few major changes  in my personal live (some good, some bad), Covid 19 would get a grip on the world, free travel would be restricted (bye bye holidays), social distancing has become key (keep your 1.5m and where masks), and meeting new people in real-live was a no go (social distancing and dating don't really mix). In the evenings I would play chess against my chess computer and even bought a few old ones which needed repairs on a dutch trading site called Marktplaats to keep myself busy. My formal education (Electronics) and my main hobby (Hamradio) came in handy repairing those old chess computers and one of my best purchases was  Mephisto II from  Hegener & Glaser. 1980's chess computer from Germany. 


I love that little black brick and I played a lot of games on it during the evening lock down period (in the periode Februari / March 2021 you weren't allowed to be out on the street from 21:00 to 4:30 except for walking the dock, emergency aid, etc).  

But I started missing playing against a human-beings , and although I work on screens the entire day and prefer not to do so in the evening,  in April 2021 I subscribed to Lichess and to explore both platforms on how they have implemented online chess.  Until today (mid December 2021) I haven't made up my mind which one is better but I play the puzzles on both platforms and when I have time I play online games. Keeping them mind trained and focused. 

Online game with real pieces

A have been using DGT (DigitalGameTechnology) products for a few years now like DGT non-electronic TimeLess pieces, the DGT3000LE and had to opportunity to borrow a DGT Centaur for a while. And when I heard the news that DGT would release a dedicated chessboard for online play called DGT Pegasus . . .

. . . I started to safe up money to get one.


When it was released I bought one and even made a unboxing video about it.

It's my first unboxing video ever, so with a improvised setup (used my Nikon D7000 with a MF prime 24/2.8 Nikkor) it will look quite non-professional. 

At the time of writing this I have played a few games with it on Lichess and have to say I like the experience. I'm going to add a dedicated DGT Pegasus page to this website to document my experiences, add demonstration video's etc, so stay tuned. 


. . . to be continued

Previous page: Chess
Next page: Chess computers