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70 years of organized chess in Aruba

Organized Chess on Aruba started back in 1946. On the 3rd of November 1946, the official Chess Association "Schaakvereniging Aruba” has been founded for the duration of 29 years and 1 month.
In a General Assembly held on  November 27th 1975, a change was accepted to make the duration of the association indefinitely. This change was ratified accepted on 10 December 1976.
The association “Schaakvereniging Aruba” is now valid indefinitely.
During a short period another chess club was active on Aruba. Because of the small scale, they decided to join our club so together we can become a stronger club. At this moment we have only one chess club. Board members of the chess club are the same as board members of the Federation.

Chess in Aruba has known several ups and downs. Before “status aparte” we were part of the Netherlands Antilles. Netherlands Antilles was member of FIDE as country Netherlands Antilles under federation NASB. Aruba has participated on various Olympiads as part of the Netherlands Antilles.
As per January 1st 1986, Aruba has got its status aparte. We apply to become member of the International Federation of Chess (FIDE) in 1998 as country Aruba.
This request was rewarded in 1999.

In the years 1993, 1995 and 1997, Aruba participated at the so called “Mini Olympiads” in Monaco. The Mini Olympiad was organised by Joop van Oosterom. Every two years, 10 small countries were invited. Invited countries were Aruba, Netherlands Antilles, Lichtenstein, Andorra, Guernsey-Jersey, Cyprus, Malta, Monaco, Sechelle, San Marino.
This tournament is not taking place any more, because Joop van Oosterom stop with the sponsoring. As Aruba was not yet member of the World Chess Federation, the first local players who got an official FIDE-rating, Rigoberto Tromp and Octavio Croes got their FIDE rating as players of the Dutch Federation KNSB. Later we transfer them to our Aruba Chess Federation.

In June 1997, we organize our first international tournament. We called this tournament “One Cool Summer Open Chess Tournament”. We had participation from Curacao, Venezuela, Barbados and Colombia. This tournament was organized in one weekend with 6 rounds.

In the year 1999, Aruba became member of the International Federation of Chess (FIDE). The first activity of the Aruba Chess Federation on a FIDE event was in September 1999.
Aruba participated in the sub-zonal 2.3.5 tournament in San Felipe, Venezuela. Aruba was represented by Octavio Croes. The sub-zonal is the first tournament in a serie to the World Chess Championship. The winner of the sub-zonal is qualified to participate at the zonal of the regio. Aruba did not qualify for the next step.

Our first participation of Aruba as a country at a FIDE Olympiad was in 2002. The Chess Olympiad is held every 2 years in a different county. This event took place in 2002 in Bled, Slovenia. In 2004, this was in Calvia, Mallorca. In 2006 in Turin, Italy. In 2008 in Dresden, Germany and in 2010 in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia. Since 2002, Aruba has participated as a country at all Chess Olympiads.

In August 2005, Aruba has participated at the “Central American and Caribbean Junior/Girls U-20” or better know as the CAC U-20. This event took place in Barbados. Aruba was represented by Cristian Soto, Juste Lopez, Dyami Bernabela, Andre Arends and Stacey Caton. Other countries who also participated at this tournament are Mexico, Cuba, Jamaica, Trinidad&Tobago, Suriname and Barbados.
Chess events where Aruba has participated
- In the years 1972 – 1990 Aruba was always present at the yearly weekend tournament “Amstel Weekend Toernooi” in Curacao. This event was always hold in the weekend near 30 April (Queens day).
- 1990 – 1994: Businessman Joop van Oosterom has organized varios tournaments here on Aruba. Great Players like Judith Polgar and her sisters Susan and Sofia, Lev Polugaevsky, Victor Korchnoi, Jeroen Piket came to Aruba on invitation of Joop on Aruba. The biggest one, was the Tumba Chess tournament where the great old world chessplayers played with a strong female team of the world at that time.
- Curacao Chess Festival started back in 2001. This is an international chess tournament where many grandmasters from the regio, but also from Europe is participating. Aruba was every year present with one or more players. In the youth section, Aruba ended first place overall since 2007.
- In August 2005, Aruba participated for the first time to a Central American and Caribbean Junior/Girls U-20 (CAC U-20) in Barbados.
- Cristian Soto participated in Pan American end of 2005.
- In 2006, Aruba started with his yearly “Aruba Chess Challenge” in first weekend of November. This date has been chosen as the 3rd of November is also the date organized chess started in Aruba. This is our first international rated chess tournament. Last year we got participation from Curacao, Bonaire, Suriname, Trinidad and Barbados.
-Aruba was represented in 2011 in the “Continental Absolute America 2011” in Mexico by Jasel Lopez and Octavio Croes. This event took place from 19 – 24 April.
-From 5 – 12 June 2011, Aruba is represented in Ecuador at the CAC U-20 by Zaily Arbona and Juan Pablo de Mey.

FIDE and the Aruba Chess Federation
Aruba become member of FIDE in 1999. At this moment Aruba has 44 players with a FIDE ID, 12 players with a FIDE-rating and 6 players with the Candicate Master (CM) title. We do not have at this moment any player with a higher title than the CM-title.
The first player who obtained the CM-title was Raymundo Dijkhoff for his performance during the olympiad in Torino, Italy in 2006. Later FIDE rewarded post mortem our deceased player Leonardo Carter for his performance during the Olympiad in 2004. During the olympiad 2008 in Dresden, two youth players obtained their CM-titles. Claudia Carrero and Juste Lopez.
Aruba participated for the second time at a subzonal 2.3 in June 2010. This was in Bahamas. Here Jasel (Osh) Lopez and Octavio Croes obtained their CM-titles.
And the last player (up to now) that obtained his CM-title is Ahmid Juddan. Ahmid obtained the CM-title during the last olympiad in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia (in 2010).
So 5 from the 7 CM-titles were obtained during a chess olympiad and 2 during a subzonal in our regio.

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