Joop van Oosterom

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Joop van Oosterom
Full name Joop van Oosterom
Country  Netherlands
Born (1937-12-12)December 12, 1937
Hilversum, North Holland, Netherlands
Died 22 October 2016 (age 78)[1]
World Champion World Correspondence Chess Champion, 2005 and 2008
FIDE rating 2260 (at time of death)[2]
Peak rating 2260

Joop van Oosterom (12 December 1937 – 22 October 2016) was a Dutch billionaire, chess and billiards sponsor, and twice correspondence chess world champion. He made his money with the Volmac Software Group.[3]

From 1992 to 2011 he staged the annual Melody Amber chess tournament in Monaco, where world-class Grandmasters played rapid and blindfold games. It is named after his first daughter Melody Amber. His other daughter was the eponym to the Crystal Kelly Cup, an invitational tournament for three-cushion carom billiards, which has been held between 1994 and 2011 mostly in Monte Carlo and Nice.[4]

Van Oosterom was a strong correspondence chess player, but suffered a severe brain haemorrhage in 1993. Nevertheless, he concluded the world correspondence chess championship successfully and became the 18th World Champion in Correspondence Chess in 2005. This achievement, however, has been criticized, as at the time of the championship van Oosterom had hired the strong grandmaster Jeroen Piket as his personal secretary. Earlier, van Oosterom had had two Dutch International Masters on his payroll whose job was to analyse his correspondence games. Chess author Tim Krabbé wrote: "The Turk was operated by William Schlumberger, Mephisto was operated by Isidore Gunsberg, Ajeeb was operated by Harry Pillsbury and Joop van Oosterom is operated by Jeroen Piket."[5] Van Oosterom also won the 21st World Championship Final in Correspondence Chess in 2008.

In February 2017 it was announced that van Oosterom had died in October 2016. No cause of death was announced and it is not clear why it was kept secret.[6]


  1. ^ Johan Hut, 19 Febr. 2017
  2. ^
  3. ^ Pein, Malcolm (18 February 2005). "Van Oosterom unbeaten".
  4. ^ Frits Bakker (2011-06-20). "Crystal Kelly Cup: Farewell to a phenomenon". Archived from the original on 2012-10-09. Retrieved 2012-10-09.
  5. ^ Wereldkampioen delegeren, by Tim Krabbé, originally published in the Algemeen Dagblad, April 2, 2005.
  6. ^
Preceded by
Norway Ivar Bern
World Correspondence Chess Champion
Succeeded by
France Christophe Léotard
Preceded by
Finland Pertti Lehikoinen
World Correspondence Chess Champion
Succeeded by
Russia Aleksandr Surenovich Dronov