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Capablanca-Fan
02-01-2016, 02:23 PM
According to this thread (http://www.chesschat.org/showthread.php?15868-New-Zealand-Open-Championship-2016&p=404719#post404719). The Netherlands-born Arie J. Nijman (1929–2015) was one of the real characters of NZ Chess, especially well known in Christchurch chess circles. He played for enjoyment, and could upset strong players at times even while giving decades of age handicap, although he was erratic. He was quite the chain-smoker. Some South Islanders could tell us a lot more than I can; I played him only once, and he blundered early in the game, instead of the interesting struggle he could have made it.

Adamski
02-01-2016, 03:53 PM
I am saddened to know that Arie has passed away. He was one of the real characters of NZ chess when I knew him. And I played him more than once competitively. He generally won. I recall one game where I played him at his home (for some reason one or other of us could not play on the scheduled Canterbury Chess Club night) in a rather remote place , though near Christchurch. It may have been Stewart's Gully.

Qbert
03-01-2016, 08:57 AM
Arie was a stalwart member of the Canterbury club for many decades, with a particular enthusiasm for playing endless games of blitz after the 'serious' games had finished. His infectious laughter and swearing could be heard emanating from the front room (where smoking was allowed until more recent times) at the old clubrooms in Bealey Ave. FM Roger Nokes wrote about the blitz all-nighters that inspired a generation of strong Christchurch players in one of his last articles for the NZ Chess (http://www.nzchessmag.com/) magazine.

The first time I played Arie was in the 1984 South Island Championship in Christchurch. Smoking bans at the board in tournaments had only recently been introduced in NZ, and it was harder for Arie to adapt than others. I remember him walking around the playing hall with an unlit cigarette in his mouth, joking with a quote from Nimzovitch, "the threat is stronger than the execution!" I played him many times since - and his playing strength on any given day could vary over a range of more than 500 elo points. He was nicknamed 'the master' when I first started at the Canterbury club in the early 1980s - due to his formidable range of tricks and skill with handling the initiative. But he was prone to inexplicable errors when in poor form.

Arie played in 59(!) South Island Championships - winning the title twice in 1999 and 2010. He was a life member of the Canterbury CC and the NZCF. His presence at tournaments was a great reminder that chess is primarily about enjoyment of the game, win or lose.

MichaelBaron
03-01-2016, 09:48 AM
Arie played in 59(!) South Island Championships - winning the title twice in 1999 and 2010. He was a life member of the Canterbury CC and the NZCF. His presence at tournaments was a great reminder that chess is primarily about enjoyment of the game, win or lose.

Amazing that both titles came when he was 70+ with the 2nd one coming when he was 81!

Craig_Hall
03-01-2016, 03:02 PM
A few other career highlights - Arie won the SI Rapid Championship once (that I'm aware of), the NZ Senior Championship, Canty CC Championship four times (between 1956 and 1995!), Canty CC Rapid Championship three times (for the Arie Nijman Trophy!).

While he had his form slumps at times, Arie's rating was more or less constantly in the 1800-1900 range (1700-1800 prior to the great adjustment) for the whole time since I joined at Canty CC in 1995, and sometimes a bit higher than that. Even when he slipped a bit, he always came back, and some of his best form was in the past 5 years. He was always capable of beating nearly anyone on the day, and my personal favorite story in this vein was his win over Russell Dive in a Canterbury - Wellington match - we got well beaten, but Arie pulled a great win out in the first game as Black (Russell got his revenge in the second game with colours reversed).

On a personal note, my first NZCF-rated game was against Arie at the All Canty Champs 1995 - I lost. My first upset prize was for beating Arie in the All Canty Champs 1996. He and I had some great battles in the King's Gambit and Caro-Kann over the years. Like many others, we played hundreds of lightning games over the last 20 years, and I will miss him greatly.

Arie wasn't just a player and character - he was also a great administrator in the 1950s, '60s and '70s, mostly as Treasurer, and later as Canty CC Hon. Auditor for decades after his retirement from the Canty CC Committee. He was instrumental in the acquisition of tbe Canty CC clubrooms in Bealey Ave in 1959 (we didn't own our clubrooms prior to that), the organisation of numerous NZ and SI Champs, and the founding of what was then NZCA, now NZCF. He was made a life member of Canty CC in 1976, and NZCF more recently.

Craig_Hall
03-01-2016, 03:06 PM
I am saddened to know that Arie has passed away. He was one of the real characters of NZ chess when I knew him. And I played him more than once competitively. He generally won. I recall one game where I played him at his home (for some reason one or other of us could not play on the scheduled Canterbury Chess Club night) in a rather remote place , though near Christchurch. It may have been Stewart's Gully.

Pines Beach, which is part of Kaiapoi - basically, the other side of the Waimakiriri River from Stewart's Gully.

Adamski
05-01-2016, 08:00 AM
Pines Beach, which is part of Kaiapoi - basically, the other side of the Waimakiriri River from Stewart's Gully.
Yes. Thanks Craig. That was indeed the place. I had a family friend who lived in Stewart's Gully.

Craig_Hall
05-01-2016, 10:45 AM
Death notice with funeral details and guest book: http://deaths.press.co.nz/obituaries/the-press-nz/obituary.aspx?n=adrianus-nijman&pid=177126524