A Sad Day For Kenyan Chess

Last week Nairobi Chess Club received a letter of resignation from one of its most able committee members - Dr Nikolai van Beek.  Nikolai has been a key member of Nairobi Chess Club and was the main person who organised the two biggest chess events in Kenya over the past decade.  These included the famous Kenya Simbas v Wageningen Chess Club (which had a line up made up of GM Jan Timman, IM Yochahan Afek,  Sander Van Eijk, Fred Jonker, Erwin Ooebeek & Hotze Hofstra).

Nikolai (right) takes on Ricky Sang during one his many events
at Nairobi Chess Club
This famous match was covered by the prestigious website www.chessbase.com (http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=5818)

Nikolai was also responsible for bring GM Dimitri Reinderman to Kenya where he held a 35 board simultaneous and had some training for a select team of Kenyans.  Again this story was covered by www.chessbase.com (http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=7991)

Nikolai (right) breaks the news to us that he has paid for GM Dimitri's visit .


Nikolai is the Managing Director of Kenya Biologics which is based around Thika, Kenya.  He is a trained insect virologist  and has worked as a research scientist in both USA and Kenya.

I will share with you one small story about Nikolai.  He came up with the idea that we should invite GM Dimitri Reinderman to Kenya for a simultaneous and some training. He had been in touch with GM Reinderman for some time.  We had the first meeting and planned to meet later to discuss how to organise his visit.  Well the second meeting was  a big shock for us.  This was at the famous Dormans Coffee Shop at Sarit Centre.  Nikolai calmly told us that he had already paid GM Reinderman's appearance fee and paid for his ticket!  He bluntly told me " Dimitri will be here on 23rd July 2011 and if you cannot get anyone one else to sponsor the event then so be it. I will bear the full cost".  Now in our eyes that is what we call "The True Son Of The Soil".  A true Chess Hero in my eyes.

Asim Shah (of Tarpo Industries) who was part sponsor of GM Dimitri's Reinderman's
visit to Kenya takes on GM Dimtri in a blitz game.  Dr Nikolai van Beek looks on.  

We will miss him.

video
Nikolai on Kenyan TV

We wish Nikolai all the best and only hope that we see him at some of our chess events.


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