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Dutch House Representative

In 2001, Wiersma participated in his 8th National checkers championship of the Netherlands at Zwartsluis. However, a little controversy surrounded this checkers game competition. After the regular play between opponents at the checkerboard, the tournament in Zwartsluis remained unresolved. The games had not led to a decisive win for one checkers player; in fact, three competitors finished in first place: Harm Wiersma, Hans Jansen and Hein Meijer.

After the initial match, Hein Meijer was eliminated. Then the second match was played in rapid checkers with an accelerated pace between Jansen and Wiersma, yet the standing remained the same after the competition across the checkerboard. Finally, in the third match, which now included speed plus ten seconds per move limitation ended with ten turns that were equal and again Jansen and Wiersma were tied for first place. The KNDB organizers decided not to try a fourth match, but rejected Wierma’s suggestion to award the win to both checkers Grandmasters as a joint first place win. Instead they elected to chose the National winner of the Netherlands by drawing lots! What a way to win the Champion’s title. It’s like the ending to a top notch soccer game between two champion teams when the first place finish is decided by the fate of ‘shoot outs’. It doesn't test the skills of the players except how well each player can withstand the pressure and for the keeper, the luck of his/her reflexes. In this checkers game, a reasonable outcome would have been to give the title to both checker masters as a joint first place. This was indeed an unsatisfactory way to win the Championship title of the Netherlands. However, the final outcome was that Harm Wiersma won the lot and won his eighth National Championship title. Not an easy end to explain to the outside checkers world.

Wiersma also contested the field of checkers masters in the 2001 Orap Open held in Den Haag or The Hague. Once again he faced the opposition of such players as defending tournament champion, Alexander Baljakin, Alexei Tsjizjov, Hans Jansen, Kees Thijssen, N’Diaga Samb, Mustafa Durdyev and Leopold Sekongo, as well as a roster of other checkerists. Based on the Dutch national rating system of 2000, Wiersma ranked second in the Netherlands, just behind Alexander Baljakin. During the tournament competition, the most eye-catching checker players were Harm Wiersma and Alexei Tsjizjov. The top contenders maintained a close positioning throughout the various challenges at the checkerboard and by Round 9, the winners had claimed their place. Harm Wiersma, Kees Thijssen and Alexander Baljakin tied with a total of 19 points each, but Wiersma won the championship title with a total of 135.

Shortly after the opening in a game against Fennema, Alexei Tsjizjov missed an opportunity to make a great play, but he didn't see the move and then later in a draw position he made a mistake and lost the game. This cost him the one point that would have kept him in the top contention with the other five players who scored the 19 points.

Alexei Tsjizjov vs Harm Wiersma
Alexei Tsjizjov vs Harm Wiersma

Orap Open Den Haag 2001
Harm Wiersma Tournament Champion Another Change for Harm Wiersma in 2001

During the past twenty years or so, the Royal Dutch ‘Dambond’ or checkers federation of the Netherlands had sponsored Harm Wiersma as coach and trainer. However, over the years, there had evolved some differences of opinion between Wiersma and the KNDB concerning the role of a trainer/coach within the field of checkers. There was also the issue of funding for the coaching position within the KNDB and monies paid out for this job came under scrutiny more frequently. As with everything in the 21st century, the organization was trying to find ways to economize on expenses and so the focus turned to the position Harm held within the auspices of the Dutch federation.

Ultimately, Wiersma and the KNDB decided that to part ways, though whether this will be a permanent arrangement only time will tell. Firstly, all parties must come to a consensus on the new structure for a modern training program that will lead to the creation of top level

Harm Wiersma in Politics

Dutch House of Representatives Harm Wiersma in Politics.

During the summer of 2001, Harm Wiersma discovered a new interest outside of the checkers arena. This became an involvement in local politics. Several new parties had formed in surrounding towns and soon the Leefbaar Leeuwarden party had been created from the group Dolstra, mother of dammer Erwin Heslinga. Leefbaar Nederland established Pim Fortuyn as foreman and Wiersma became chairman of LL. Soon Fortuyn’s ideals were recognized as somewhat apart from LL and Pim Fortuyn broke with Leefbaar Nederland, and created the LPF (List Pim Fortuyn) political party. Wiersma ran for a political post for Leefbaar Netherlands as an LPF and tried for the kamerlidmaatschap, wherein the sport portfolio appealed to him with his background in mind sports. This became more than just an expression of one’s casual political beliefs; this was a serious endeavor on Wiersma’s part.

His new interest was so strong and sincere that he consulted with the heads of the party about running as a candidate in the election for the sport portfolio in the Dutch House of Representatives. Harm consulted with the board from the Boerenpartij or literally translated, Common Party, about becoming a candidate for the election. The current head stated that “Checker players are thinkers and he fits with us. Wiersma is not in the first ten candidates on the list, since he was nominated by our members, but has made himself a candidate,"commented BP Group Koekoek. Wiersma said that the philosophy of the Boerenpartij appealed to his own beliefs because it comes for the middle class.
In May 2002 Harm Wiersma was a Frisian who was elected as one of the 26 members of the LPF to the Lower House in the Dutch House of Representatives. Wiersma held office in Foreign Affairs dealing with the Third World and Eastern Europe, in Sports and in Social Affairs and Expenditures. Harm’s son, Joeri Wiersma, who studied government management and public administration at the Thorbecke Academy, worked as his personal assistant during Harm’s tenure in office.

As a result of Representative Wiersma position in elected office, Harm Wiersma acknowledged that he would not be participating in forthcoming Netherland or European checkers championships because of the time commitment and busy schedule involved with his position as a member of parliament in the Dutch House of Representatives. Representative Wiersma did still take the opportunity to be a guest speaker at different functions on different topics such as the nature of the mind sport called checkers.
Harm Wiersma Speaker
Harm Wiersma Speaker
in Politics
Huizum Jeugdamclub
Huizum Jeugdamclub
(Checkers Youth Club)
Guest Speaker on Checkers
However, despite his desire for public service, Representative Wiersma’s political career was troubled and short-lived. He was strongly impressed with and influenced by the views of Pim Fortuyn. As an elected member of the List Pim Fortuyn party, his main concerns were the development of Eastern Europe and sports. His knowledge and experience suited his political position because the former checkers player had worked with East European companies. In fact, Representative Wiersma had business involvement with the Eastern block of countries resulted in his marriage to a Russian woman with whom he later had two daughters.

Harm Wiersma interviewed with son, Joeri
Representative Harm Wiersma interviewed with son, Joeri
Member of the House of Representatives, LPF

Unfortunately, 2003 resulted in Wiersma’s departure from the House of Representatives because of difficulties within his municipality of Leeuwarden and the fact that the LPF lost some of its popularity. His past position within government politics, combined with the fact that he was a checkers player, led to the pun that Wiersma was a “Dutch politician with a checkered past.”

Since Harm was no longer in a working relationship with the KNDB, he joined the board of the FMJD ~ the World Checkers/Draughts Federation and will use his skills within that organizing body for the benefit of the International checkers arena. However, former Representative Wiersma also moved back into the checkers circuit and participated in various competitions, simultaneous displays and demonstrations within the checkers arena.

Harm Wiersma & Alexander Georgiev
Harm Wiersma & Alexander Georgiev
Singing a song at Ufa.
Harm Wiersma at Valkenburg 2004
Harm Wiersma at Valkenburg
Simultaneous Play
Harm Wiersma in Varazze, Italy 
Harm Wiersma in Varazze, Italy
World Team Championship
Teammates: Rob Clerc, Kees Thijssen
& Alexander Baljakin for Netherlands
Daniel Bof vs Harm Wiersma
Daniel Bof vs Harm Wiersma
5th in checkers tournament
Alexander Georgiev vs Harm Wiersma
Alexander Georgiev vs Harm Wiersma
Russia vs Netherlands,
Varazze, Italy
Harm Wiersma, Rob Clerc, & Ron Heusdens
Harm Wiersma, Rob Clerc,
& Ron Heusdens
Blindfold Checkers Championship
Schiedam, NL

Netherlands Harm Wiersma
Checkers Game Simultaneous Record World Champion Harm Wiersma Harm Wiersma European Champion
Representative Wiersma Dutch checkers Harm Wiersma Players Harm Wiersma and 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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