Joop van Oosterom bigraphy, stories - Dutch chess player

Joop van Oosterom : biography

12 December 1937 -

Joop van Oosterom (born 12 December 1937, Hilversum) is a Dutch billionaire, chess and billiards enthusiast. For many years he has staged the annual Melody Amber tournaments in Monaco, where world-class Grandmasters play rapid and blindfold games. It is named after his first daughter Melody Amber. His other daughter was the eponym to the Crystal Kelly Cup, a three-cushion tournament, which has been held between 1994 and 2011 mostly in Monte Carlo and Nice.

Van Oosterom was a strong correspondence chess player, but suffered a severe stroke some years ago. Nevertheless, he concluded the world correspondence chess championship successfully and became the 18th World Champion in Correspondence Chess. This achievement, however, has been criticized, as at the time of the championship van Oosterom had hired grandmaster Jeroen Piket as his personal secretary. Earlier, van Oosterom had had two Dutch International Masters on his payroll whose job was to analyse his correspondence games. Chess author Tim Krabbé wrote: "The Turk was operated by William Schlumberger, Mephisto was operated by Isidore Gunsberg, Ajeeb was operated by Harry Pillsbury and Joop van Oosterom is operated by Jeroen Piket.", by Tim Krabbé, originally published in the Algemeen Dagblad, April 2, 2005. He didn't stop at only one World Correspondence Chess Championship title, he also won the 21st World Championship Final in Correspondence Chess, being the actual Champion of the ICCF.

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