I was born on the 14th of November, 1994, in Blaricum, Netherlands. Being an only child, I'd often find myself with little to do, and thus in the evenings it was always a joy to play board games with my family. It was when I played chess with my father for the first time that something special happened: I won – and without much of a struggle. And so, my journey as a chess player started at the young age of seven. At the age of eight, my parents brought me to a local chess club in Baarn. This gave me the opportunity to face some of the best local players and have a chance to work with professional chess coaches for the first time.
Realizing that by studying chess, I could increase the gap of knowledge between the competition and myself, I soon got hooked on the game and started analyzing chess in my free time. My first big success came at the under 12 National Championships in Rijswijk. Finishing first allowed me to participate in the 2004 World Youth Chess Championships in Batumi, Georgia. Competing with the world's most talented kids was a lot tougher than I had imagined. It was disappointing not being able to compete for the top prizes at the event. However, this only motivated me to work even harder on my chess, and in the next few years I won the National titles under 14, 16, and 20. My ultimate crowning came at the age of 14 by matching Jan Timman's record from 1966 and achieving the status of the youngest Dutch International Master in history.
From that moment onwards, I was regularly traveling around Europe competing in international tournaments, lecturing at local chess clubs and working with world-renowned coaches with the hope of taking the next step. Whilst trying to balance my new lifestyle with school, I enrolled in a special sports program in early 2010, which ultimately helped me to obtain, in 2011, the highest title in chess at the age of 16: The Grandmaster title.
From 2012 onwards, I played and taught chess professionally. Besides winning numerous tournaments, I've also produced online lectures for Chess24.com, written articles for chess.com, and worked as a freelance writer for New In Chess, one of the most widely published chess magazines.
May 2014 - Present
Producing video series for a major up-and-coming chess company in Europe.
November 2013 - Present
Second youngest player to ever play for The Netherlands at an Olympiad.
July 2011 - Present
Became the youngest ever Dutch-born Grandmaster at the age of 16 years, 8 months, and 17 days.
2011 - 2014
Helped one of the top players in the world prepare for his games in two major tournaments as well regular work throughout this time.
From 2006 to 2009, Robin won the Dutch Championship in each age category from Under-12 to Under-20. Before becoming a Grandmaster in 2011, Robin won the Groningen Open in 2010. His more recent tournament successes are listed below:
My take on the Grand Finale of the most important tournament of 2016: The Candidates tournamentAnalysis
Sample video of my openings series on the King's Indian DefenseTeaching
From the 2014 Tromso Olympiad, a video featuring me and my friend, GM Erwin L'Ami, after defeating team USA.Playing, Public Speaking
Watch me play blitz against all-comers.Playing
I am available for private lessons, lectures, commentary, or other chess-related engagements.
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