Although it was commented in the chess circles already for some time,the news that probably the biggest chess mecenas of the 20th century Joop van Oosterom had passed away at the end of 2016 became official only now.
It is difficult to express how much this man meant for the chess world only with a few words.He sponsored a countless number of chess events The Melody Amber Rapid and Blindfold Chess Tournament as the most famous one.Van Oosterom also helped the local chess club in Monte Carlo,the small nations,the Volmac chess club,ladies,veterans and young players,always providing fantastic playing conditions for everyone.Practically all the big names in the chess world took part at least once in those events in Monaco,Nice,Amsterdam,Aruba or other cities.Joop van Osteroom was a stong player himself and even took part in a World Youth Chess Championship in 1955.He also became 2 times a World Correspondence Champion in 2005 and 2008.
Veselin Topalov was present at 13 editions of the Melody Amber Chess Tournament named after the eldest daughter of Joop and Muriel van Oosterom.Starting in 1997 he missed only 2 times(2007 and 2010)until the last 20th edition of the Tournament in 2011.Topalov won in 2001 and the Trophy still ocuppies an important place in his collection.
Veselin Topalov expresses his sincere condolences to the widow of Joop van Oosterom Muriel,as well as to his daughters Melody and Crystal.
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