The chess tournament was a huge success; it ran perfectly smoothly.

Northwest Cup in Bad Zwischenahn, Germany #badzwischenahnnwc17

I attended the Northwest Cup with my son in Bad Zwischenahn which took place from 25–29 January 2017.

We took the train from Copenhagen on Wednesday and stayed at the Hotel Kopenhagen (where else?).

I bought a camera earlier this year and after respectfully asking the organizers if I could take photos, I was allowed to continue throughout the tournament. Normally in Denmark, you are allowed to take photos the first ten minutes only.

So I seemed to have become the official tournament photographer.

This was a marvellous opportunity to photograph people deep in thought, completely absorbed by their inner world of strategy and the game of kings.

Here are some of my photos:

Axel can only see blurs and outlines and has special equipment to participate in tournaments. I first saw this equipment at the Øbro Christmas tournament in Copenhagen when my son Andreas played against a blind gentleman.

Axel was kind enough to answer some of my questions. He and his girlfriend Christina talked to me during one of the breaks. I was delighted to have a very lively discussion about politics and to gain an insight into a world that is very different from mine.

I met Jonas for the first time many, many years ago on the island of Amager, now a part of Copenhagen metropolitan area.

About eight years ago, my son Emmet was participating in a chess tournament on the Danish island of Amager when he played with a younger boy he hadn’t played before. Emmet had had some success at chess but Jonas beat him Jonas lives in Grönningen in Holland where the standard of chess is extremely high, as Emmet soon learned to his disadvantage. It was a delight to renew our old acquaintaince; I have hardly seen Jonas or his father Anders since. I also remember that tournament particularly well because the parents were invited to play in a parent’s tournament. I played for what seemed like five minutes and suddenly my opponent had stacked up a massive and impenetrable defence. After that it was just a question of time before before I lost.

Bad Zwischenahn is a tourist town, located on the edge of a lake. Many of the old buildings are carefully preserved, like the windmill on the right.

The light was perfect for photographs on the first day of the tournament.

The tournament was very peaceful, with a quiet atmosphere of respectful sportsmanship.
This German gentleman and his daughter very kindly agreed to pose with their wonderful chess t-shirts

The tournament was international with participants from The Netherlands, England, Russia, Armenia, Denmark and even from as far away as Argentina.

Carlos, originally from Argentina.
I welcomed the unique opportunity to observe and record the astonishing intensity of the human character in its bid to “suffer, act and conquer”. Here Boris studies the board. His concentration paid off… he won a first-place trophy, see below.
Despite chess being a male-dominated sport, women were well represented among the prizewinners.
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