Krabbé was born in Amsterdam. His writing has appeared in most major periodicals in the Netherlands. He is known to Dutch readers for his novel De Renner (The Rider), first published in 1978 and translated into English in 2002, of which The Guardian's Matt Seaton wrote: "Nothing better is ever likely to be written on the subjective experience of cycle-racing". English readers know him primarily for The Vanishing, the translation of his 1984 novel Het Gouden Ei (The Golden Egg), which was made into an acclaimed 1988 Dutch film for which Krabbé co-wrote a script. A poorly received American remake was made in 1993. In 1997 he published 'De grot', translated as 'The Cave' and published in the U.S.in 2000. In 2009, he wrote the "Boekenweekgeschenk", called Een Tafel vol Vlinders.
Also a former championship chess player, Krabbé is renowned for his writings on the subject and maintains a chess website. Krabbé once authored a chess puzzle which featured a rook castling vertically (see joke chess problem), before this move was specifically disallowed. His FIDE rating is 2274..
His father was the painter Maarten Krabbé (1908–2005) and his mother the Jewish film translator Margreet Reiss. He is the brother of actor Jeroen Krabbé and the multimedia artist/designer Mirko Krabbé, and the uncle of Martijn Krabbé, a Dutch media personality.
- Seaton, Matt (30 June 2005). "Matt Seaton's top 10 books about cycling". The Guardian. Retrieved 30 December 2012.
- Tim Krabbé's website (Dutch)
- Chess Curiosities, the part of his website devoted to chess. Open Chess Diary updated only occasionally after April 2009, many other sections last updated much earlier.
- FIDE rating card for Tim Krabbé
- Tim Krabbé player profile and games at Chessgames.com
- Krabbé's random word Article on the random word that is invented in The Rider: Battoowoo Greekgreek
- Chessville - Interviews - 20 Questions - with Tim Krabbé
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