Checkers Games between 1891-1955
The checkers champion Herman Hoogland was born in Utrecht, Netherlands,
and his interest in checkers began as a youth,
but he spent his early years in the game
developing his checkerboard techniques and
honing his skills, so it wasn't until the
age of seventeen, in 1908, when Hoogland
commenced playing checkers competitively.
The young player dominated the game across
the checkerboard for over a decade, and was
one of the earliest checkers players in the
2-Move Restriction style. Herman spent time
in serious study over game openings and later
devised an alternative opening that was called ‘Holland’ opening.
He was also known as a checkers player with
a special way of attacking his opponents
in the offensive position and his moves became
known as the ‘Hoogland
However, Herman also quickly discovered
that too often checkers games would end in
a draw and he wanted to change some of the
basic rules or game theory to enhance each
player’s chances of winning more often.
He did change the format of play in allowing
more movement both horizontally and vertically
on the checkerboard, though other players
did not often agree with his style of game.
Hoogland befriended master players, Jack
de Haas and Alfred Molimand, and learned
a lot about cross board play from them. In
1909 and 1911, Herman placed 2nd behind de
Haas in the Dutch national checkers championship.
Also, in 1911, he played a friendly game
with French World Champion, Isodore Weiss,
whom he just barely defeated with a score
Herman Hoogland’s triumph happened in 1912 when he won the World Championship Title in checkers and became the first draughts World Champion from the Netherlands. Unfortunately, this was Hoogland’s only World Title win during the course of his checkers career.
In 1913, he won the National Championship
in the Netherlands, and the following year
he had planned to travel to Canada to play
against Canadian checkers champions but WW1
pre-empted that plan. However, because of
his serious interest in developing the game
of checkers, Herman became involved in the
Utrecht Regional Checkers Association. From
1923 onward he became an advocate for a different
way of playing the game and launched this
new system of play entitled ‘De
Nieuwe Speelwijze’ by Herman
Hoogland, which was a prospectus detailing
his modifications to existing rules to allow
for more winning opportunities.
When the World Championship title match was once again played in 1925, Hoogland defended his World Title against a roster of experienced players but lost to Stanislas Bizot of France.
He continued to play competitively but did
not regain the World Title; however, his
interest was also taken up with the promotion
of the checkers gain both locally and regionally
within the Netherlands, and then he became
enamored with the English style of draughts
or American checkers played on a checkerboard
of 64 squares, and became involved in developing
new techniques within that style.
The first World Checkers Champion from the
Netherlands died as a result of a heart attach
in 1955, but his unique approach to the game
of checkers is a legacy in its own right.
Played Checkers Games between 1924-2003
Piet Roozenburg was a Dutch draughts/checkers
player from Rotterdam, Netherlands. Professionally
Piet worked as an economist, but he developed
a love for the challenge facing an opponent
across the checkerboard.
Roozenburg was the reigning World Checkers
Champion from 1948 until 1954, and with four
world titles was one of the strongest checkers
champion players in the world during that time
period. In 1948, when he defeated defending
World Checkers Champion Pierre Ghestem from
France, Piet received the award of Sportsman
of the Netherlands.
Piet Roozenburg vs Pierre Ghestem
World Checkers Championship of 1948
Piet Roozenburg vs Wim de Jong
Wim van der Sluis
watching the checker champion moves
In the same way that Hoogland studied adaptations
to various openings and checker moves, Roozenburg
was also so inclined and was an important
figure in the checkers game in the Netherlands
draughts arena because he created his own
opening, which was entitled ‘Roozenburg
opening’ and the ‘flankspels
systeem’ or the "Roozenburg
system", which was a new system
of attack against the checkerboard opponent.
Piet was so intrigued by the game that he
wrote numerous articles on the game.
In 1956, Roozenburg defended his World Championship
title against the Canadian checkers champion,
Marcel Deslauriers, from Montreal, Quebec,
but was not able to maintain his hold over
the match, and ending in being defeated by
Through the course of his checkers career,
Piet participated in numerous national and
International competitions and tournaments
and always played a strong challenging cross
board game against his opponents. In 1972
he contested in the Suikertoornoi (Checkers
Champion Sugar Tournament) in Amsterdam and
later became known for his involvement in
the Nijmegen NOAD.
The Grandmaster possessed a sharp analytical
skill and intuitive board techniques, but
was also know for his friendly personality.
During the last couple of years of his checkers
career, checkers champion Roozenburg was
less active in tournaments, but the game
was still an important part of his life.
He passed away in Ochten in 2003, having
given the world of International checkers
much throughout his life.