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Robin van Kampen

Full name Robin van Kampen
Country Netherlands
Born November 14, 1994
Title Grandmaster
Peak rating 2641 (Oct 2014)

Robin van Kampen (born November 14, 1994) is a Dutch chess grandmaster and prodigy.

At the age of 14, Van Kampen won the National Dutch Championship U20. He achieved his grandmaster (GM) title at the early age of 16 years, 8 months and 17 days. Van Kampen represented the Netherlands in the 2014 Chess Olympiad.

Chess career

Robin van Kampen was born in the Netherlands in the city of Bussum. He began playing chess at the age of seven and competing in club chess at the age of 8.

Dutch Youth Chess Championships

In youth play at the Dutch Chess Championships, van Kampen was Dutch Champion for four consecutive years starting in 2006 in the under 12 division, Dutch Champion in 2007 (under 14 division), Dutch Champion 2008 (under 16 division), and Dutch Champion 2009 (under 20 division). This year-after-year domination of all Dutch players in his division class was punctuated with his 2009 victory matching Jan Timman's 1966 record for youngest ever Dutch Champion in the under 20 section. He was coached by Pascal Losekoot from 8 to 11 years of age.

Rising to Grandmaster title

During this period, van Kampen's FIDE ratings trajectory and satisfaction of key norms led him to be awarded FIDE Master (FM) in 2008. In 2009, he achieved his first International Master (IM) norm at the Batavia Chess Championships, a closed event. Van Kampen earned his third and last IM norm at the Atlantis Chess Closed Tournament in 2009. In October 2009, FIDE officially awarded him the IM title, thus becoming the youngest Dutch IM in history, a distinction he still holds.

At the end of 2009 at the Groningen Chess Festival in Groningen, Netherlands, the newly-minted IM played a four game match with Timman, losing the match 2.5-1.5 after a last round defeat and exchanging wins in the first two rounds.

On 31 July, 2011 at the Helmut-Kohls Tournament in Dortmund, Germany (a closed GM tournament), van Kampen earned his final GM norm with a draw with the white pieces against Arnd Lauber in a Caro-Kann (B12). Van Kampen won the tournament with 6.5 points. FIDE awarded van Kampen the GM title at the early age of 16 years, 8 months and 17 days, thus becoming the youngest Dutch-born chess player to be awarded the GM title. Van Kampen reached his highest ever FIDE Elo rating in October 2014, peaking at 2641.

Several Notable Tournament Finishes

Van Kampen has continued to be very active in professional chess tournament play, with several notable performances throughout his teenage years and now into his early twenties. In 2010, he made his debut at the traditional Wijk aan Zee Tata-Steel/Corus closed tournament in the Grandmaster groups, placing third with the notable distinction of best performing Dutch competitor in the C-group. In 2012, he triumphed with a first place win at the London Chess Classic Open Division.

In 2013, he placed second, coming in one-half point behind Li Chao.; but van Kampen also clinched two other titles that year with first place finishes at both the Basel Open and Riga Open. He also contributed to Guildford's Four Nations Chess League win, scoring 8/9. The next year van Kampen made his Chess Olympiad debut at Tromso, scoring 5/8 as reserve.

Most recently, van Kampen placed 4th in the B group of the 77th Tata Steel Masters 2015 tournament in Wijk aan Zee, Netherlands behind GM Wei Yi, David Navara and Sam Shankland