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Checkers Champion Ton Teunis Sijbrands

During the World Championship checkers tournament was held in Hoogezand-Sappemeer in the Netherlands, Ton Teunis Sijbrands led the competition throughout most of the match. In the final round, however, European champion, Harm Wiersma, ended in a draw with Raoul Bubbi and this one point lead Sijbrands could not make up for in a win over Getmanski. Wiersma thus captured the European Championship title with a final score of 23/30 points, while Ton and Guntis Valneris, who had moved into a second place finish as well, ended with 22/30 points overall. Harm Wiersma, Ton Sijbrands, Anatoli Gantwarg, and Alex Getmanski all qualified for the 2000 World Championship to be held in Riga, Russia.
Ton Teunis Sijbrands World Checkers Championship
Ton Teunis Sijbrands World Checkers Championship 2003
Ton Sijbrands making a checker move
Ton Sijbrands making a checker move.
Ton Sijbrands Leeuwarden Simultaneous Checkers Play
Ton Sijbrands Leeuwarden Simultaneous Checkers Play 2004

Ton Teunis Sijbrands in Simultaneous Play

Throughout his checkers career, checkers champion Ton Teunis Sijbrands enjoyed the challenge of simultaneous play. He first beat the record of Senegalese Grandmaster, Baba Sy, in 1967 at the age of 17. Then pursued the challenge with compatriot and friend, Harm Wiersma in 1970.
However, Dutch checkers Grandmaster Sijbrands took the challenge of this style of play even further, as only a few others have attempted in the past. In 1982, Ton successfully played a series of ten games in simultaneous blindfold checkers. At the conclusion of this set of games at the checkerboard, he had won 9 games and had one draw. Then in 1986, Ton played twelve games, though it’s not quite sure if he won all twelve games, as the records didn't clearly state this outcome. However, out of 14 blindfold checkers games played in 1987, Ton Teunis Sijbrands won 12, lost one, and had one draw. Then he continued to increase his number of games and by 1991 he was up to fifteen games with a final score of thirteen wins and two draws. In 1993, Ton was facing 18 checkerboards blindfolded and won fourteen with four draws.

Six years passed and Sijbrands again elected to try to beat his own world record at blindfold simultaneous checkers play. This time he played twenty games, won seventeen with three draws. The checkers skills of the former Dutch world champion were definitely in evidence during this major achievement at the checkerboard. In 2002, champion Ton Teunis Sijbrands won seventeen out of 22 checkers games, with the remaining five as draws. This score was a result of 88% wins.

Then two years later, Sijbrands improved on his record yet again. This time he played on 24 checkerboards in the Dutch village called Lutten and the ‘match’ lasted 24 hours with a final score of 20 wins and 4 draws, which equalled approximately 92% accuracy.

Aside from actually playing the simultaneous blindfold games, Ton Teunis Sijbrands has also enjoyed demonstrating checkers techniques in both regular games and the process of blindfold checkers.
Demonstrating skills at the checkerboard Blindfold Bijlmer
Demonstrating skills at the checkerboard Blindfold Bijlmer Tournament 2003
Interview focusing on Simultaneous Checkers
Interview focusing on Simultaneous & Simultaneous Checkers Play
The Dutch Grandmaster at Simultaneous play ~ Lelystad
The Dutch Grandmaster at
Simultaneous checkers play.
Lelystad 2006
Champion Ton Teunis Sijbrands at the Symposium
Champion Ton Teunis Sijbrands
Draughts (Checkers) Symposium

Universiteit van Tilburg (Tilburg University) 2007

Then, in the fall of 2007, Ton Teunis Sijbrands set out to break his own world record,
which had already made it to the Guinness Book of Records numerous times before. This time, however, there was a difference in the performance for he would be playing his checkerboard games at the Tilburg University as part of a symposium on the game of draughts/checkers.

Therefore, this great mind sport was accompanied by some scholarly attention and during the first few hours of the record attempt a symposium entitled Draughts in Perspective was held for all interested parties. Three leading academicians led the discussion. Former FMJD President Wouter van Beek and Professor of Cultural Anthropology focused on the role of checkers in Africa, while Professor Douwe Draaisma from the Department of Psychology at the University of Groningen spoke on human brain activity and the “Sijbrands phenomenon” and the third speaker was Professor Jaap van de Herik, a computer scientist from Maastricht University and his discussion followed the latest developments in checkers and chess computers and their programs.

The checkers blindfold challenge and symposium was organized by the Tilburg University as a celebratory function to mark the 80th anniversary. Champion Ton Teunis Sijbrands faced another marathon of checkers play where all his opponents were experienced and skilled tournament players, who had mostly been recruited from the Dutch draughts/checkers arena. Their hope was to give the former world champion a true test of his checkers skills as well as a real challenge at the checkerboard. However, even at the age of 57, Ton Sijbrands was a mentally fit and sharp checkers player complete with a mindset that he was going to beat his challengers.

Peter Kort, an Econometrics Professor, was amongst Sijbrands’ opponents, while tutor Marieke Quant acted as one of the three referees, with the other two as Frank Teer, World Draughts Federation (FMJD), and Hans Robben.

The final outcome was really no surprise ~ Dutch checkers Grandmaster, Ton Sijbrands, did exactly what he set out to do. He beat his own world record at simultaneous blindfold checkers yet again. Out of 25 checkers games, Ton won 21 with four draws.

The Checkers Champion

The Checkers Champion

According to the FMJD/World Draughts (Checkers) Federation 2008 rating, checkers champion Ton Teunis Sijbrands currently ranks first in the world in International Draughts. He has become known as a 'damencyclopedie' or checkers encyclopedia because he has spent so many years studying the checkerboard and hundreds of checkers games.

Throughout his checkers career, Ton Sijbrands was known as a remarkable strategist with a wealth of ingenious tactics. Even when Ton used the most unexpected moves on the checkerboard, they had a strategic foundation that could later be reviewed and analyzed. If he had been away from the checkers game for a while, he would spend tedious hours preparing and focusing on openings and midgame plays. However, the checkers game was more than a mind sport for the Dutch Grandmaster; it was also an art and a science in itself.

During his time spent within the checkers International circuit, Sijbrands wrote several books about the game, as well as works on the legendary Senegalese checkers Grandmaster, Baba Sy and Ton Teunis Sijbrands' opponent in the World Championship match of 1973, Andris Andreiko. He also writes articles about checkers analyses in a weekly Dutch national newspaper, De Volkskrant. He was also the founder and author of the journal called Checkers.

Sijbrands Checkers Champion World Champion Ton Sijbrands
Champion Ton Teunis Sijbrands Checkers Champion Ton Sijbrands


DeerLake Online Store Items

Wonder Mugs Play checkers online, and enjoy drinking from this cool wonder mug.
When adding hot liquid, the colors of the mug will change, checkers cool.

Checkers is a two-player game, where one player is assigned white-chip checkers and the other red. The aim is to play checkers online, capture all of the other player's checkers or make them impossible to move.

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