Checkers World Champion
Throughout his checkers career, checkers world
champion Harm Wiersma contested in International
tournaments and World Championship checkers
competitions played in countries around the
world: Russia, the Netherlands, France, Italy,
Suriname, Brazil, Mali, and Senegal. However,
the European International Draughts/Checkers
World Championship matches were most often
held in the Netherlands.
Champion Harm Wiersma faced the opposition
of Grandmaster and renowned checkerist, Iser
Koeperman in the World Championship tournament
in Hengelo, Netherlands in 1972.
Then, four years later in 1976, Wiersma’s
checkers game found the winning combination
so much so that he defeated all his opponents
across the checkerboard, including some strong
Grandmasters from the Soviet Union, in the
World tournament in Amsterdam to become the
checkers World Champion for the first time
in his career.
in 1972 checkers game.
Harm Wiersma vs Hisard
The Winning Moment?
vs Fidele Nimbi
Thom Nobbe &
Harm with his parents & sister.
~Words of Wisdom
International Checkers World Champion 1976
Two years later checkers world champion Harm
Wiersma, the Dutch checkers champion defended
his title against Anatoli Gantwarg in Arco,
Italy, but was not able to beat the Russian
master in this competition. The final score
ended as 7 wins against 5. However, in 1979,
Wiersma was the challenger in the final round
and this time succeeded in defeating the
Russian in Utrecht, Netherlands, with a closing
score of 22-18 for Harm Wiersma.
Anatoli Gantwarg vs Harm Wiersma
World Championship Utrecht, Netherlands, 1979.
Harm Wiersma World Champion
The checkers fight was
now on between Wiersma and Gantwarg, who
regained the Checkers World Champion title
in 1980 at the championship competition held
in Bamako, Mali. Then, Harm Wiersma fought
tenaciously to recapture his checkers World
Championship title in the Rotterdam tournament
of 1981. This time Wiersma defeated the Russian
World Champion and Grandmaster by a score
of 22-18, yet again.
Harm Wiersma & Anatoli Gantwarg
Rotterdam, Netherlands 1981.
In 1982, there was a new contender for
the title ~ Jannes van der Wal, who won
the World checkers title in the International
competition in Sao Paolo, Brazil. This
only lasted a year as Harm Wiersma came
back with a vengeance in 1983 and once
more regained the Checkers World Champion
title as he defeated van der Wal across
the checkerboard with a final score of
During 1983, Champion Harm Wiersma also
participated in the 8th Volmac
Achtkamp (World Qualifier) and played
against Anatoli Gantwarg, Alexander Baljakin,
and Vadim Virni and won the checkers game
tournament with a first place standing.
Vadim Virni vs Harm Wiersma
Volmac Achtkamp Rotterdam
Harm Wiersma & Jannes van der Wal
Volmac Achtkamp Rotterdam
Harm Wiersma World Champion 1983
The following year Checkers World
Champion Harm Wiersma, in International
checkers defended his title in the final
round against Vadim Virni, but the match
ended in a 20-20 tie for both checkerists.
This outcome resulted in Harm retaining
his European World title, and unfortunately
for Virni, the score lost him the championship
title and placed him 2nd overall.
Harm Wiersma retains title as International
checkers World Champion.
Shortly after the match with Virni, Wiersma
withdraws from personal world competitions
and again only the checkers Grandmaster fully
knows the rationale behind the decision. Perhaps
the competition ceased to be as challenging
or the novelty of the championship title had
worn off. Perhaps it was simply time to step
back and focus on other aspects of the checkers
world. Regardless, it would be years before
Wiersma re-entered the checkers arena in the
same limelight as before.