Checkers Champion Jannes van der Wal
"A man is born and he dies.
Checkers champion Jannes van der Wal was born in the Netherlands
in the village of Driesum, the province of
Friesland. He grew up in Tjalleberd and became
interested in the mind sport of checkers at
an early age of 12 through the teachings of
his father. At the time, Jannes soon became
convinced that he would become a World Champion
in the game, but nobody took the young checkerist
seriously. However, he was strong in spirit
and commitment and other people’s opinions
did not phase him one iota.
There exists between the ability to play checkers.”
Later Jannes commented,
least I knew what I had to do here on earth
and that is to make sure that I become the
World Checkers Champion.”
Jannes van der Wal was a
bright student and passed the Dutch ‘gymsnasium exam’ easily
and began studies in the field of mathematics.
Soon after high school this deep passion
for checkers began to interfere with his
study of mathematics because he was in pursuit
of that dream to become World Champion in
draughts/checkers. Eventually, Jannes became
so involved in the art of checkers that he
discontinued his studies to completely focus
on the development of his game strategies
at the checkerboard.
Early in his pursuit of checkers, Jannes
had made up his mind that he was going to
become a World Champion and this determination
was clearly seen in his approach to the checkers
game. In fact, the young Jannes chose to
become a professional draughts or checkers
player and in that day, no one could make
a living at playing the game so as he didn't
earn much income from his checkers endeavors,
Jannes appeared on many television programs
that would pay him for his appearance.
Although the checkers career of Jannes van
der Wal was short lived due to an early demise
resultant of leukemia, the young checkers
master left behind a noteworthy legacy within
the checkers arena from the club level to
the competitive world stage of International
checkers. Jannes became a renowned opponent
at the checkerboard and reigned as a world
class Dutch player from 1978 until 1996.
Jannes van der Wal displayed his innate
checkers skill and innovative techniques
in the many games he played against his checkers
opponents at the club level in individual
matches, at the team level, and at the medal
level in National and World competition in
the checkers International arena.
Champion Jannes van der Wal ~ International
In July 1983, Jannes defended his World
Championship title in a
achtkamp” or Round
Robin qualifier against Grandmaster checkers
players Alexander Baljakin, Anatoli Gantwarg,
Vadim Virny and Harm Wiersma. Harm Wiersma
won the qualifier with a right to challenge
for the World title later that year. In the
World Championship match between Jannes van
der Wal and Wiersma, the senior Dutch champion,
Harm Wiersma, defeated the defending World
Champion with a final score of 21 to 19.
- Dutch Checkers Champion Jannes of
individual matches: Utrecht, 1978; Amersfoort,
1980; Soest, 1981, 1983.
- Dutch Checkers Champion Jannes in Team
World Cup competitions within the Checkers
Groningen Club in 1976 and Fivelgo
Club in 1982.
- Gronings Club Checkers Champion Jannes
in 1979, 1982 and 1983.
- National Dutch Checkers Champion Jannes,
Netherlands, 1981, 1984, 1985 and 1987.
- World Champion Jannes in International
Checkers, São Paulo, Brazil 1982
at age 24; no Russian Grandmasters participated
as no visas were issued at that time.
- World Record in Simultaneous checkers
game play in 1987 against 225 opponents,
where he won 207 games, lost 4 and 14 draws,
which gave him a 92% win record.
- Nijmegen Open Checkers Champion, 1990;
4th place in 1991.
Aside from his World and Dutch national checkers
championships, Jannes van der Wal participated
in various European tournaments such as the
Suiker, Brinta, and Alukontoernooi, as well
as club team competitions and simultaneous
checkers play, always searching for the ultimate
title win of the tournament championship.
A Photographic Glimpse of Jannes van der Wal
Checkers Champion & Personality
Cool down after the heat
of a checkers game?
Jannes van der Wal
Checkers Champion Jannes van der Wal
World Championship Match, Sao Paolo Brazil
Checkers champion Jannes van der Wal in
1982, played against a roster of experienced
checkers players including Harm Wiersma,
Rob Clerc, Johan Bastiaannet, Vladimir
Kaplan and Mamina N’Diaye.
Jannes & Harm at the World championship, Brazil
Jannes van der Wal, World Champion 1982
After the World Cup trophy presentation,
Champion Jannes got up on stage with the
musicians and sang a song about winning the
1982 World Champion & Compatriots Rob
Clerc, Johan Bastiaannet, & Harm
at Schizphol For Jannes van der Wal, this
championship win was a dream come true.
To become the World Checkers Champion was something
Checkers Champion Jannes
van der Wal had
worked towards since he was a boy of 12.