Interview with GM Jan Werle

Jan has just won the very strong 2007 Lodi Open

Q: Can you tell us what has got you attracted to chess?

A: From my 5th year I saw my father playing chess with a friend. I was so excited by this game that I insisted on learning the rules. Actually I fell in love with the game and that hasn’t changed for 18 years.

Q: Tell us something about your latest competition – 4NCL and Lodi Open. What are your impressions? How did your team perform?

A: My team didn’t perform very well in the 4ncl. I played for Bristol on board 1 and made 3 draws out of 3 games. Nothing special, but solid. Bristol unfortunately relegated. 2 years ago I also played for Bristol and couldn’t also prevent relegation for the team. My general impression of the 4NCL is very positive. Kind people and a very soft atmosphere. I always like it very much to play the English competition.

In Lodi (Italy) I just won my second (after Hoogeveen 2006) international tournament and ended in front of strong players like Delchev, Fedorchuk, Palac, Zelcic, Malakhatkov. To be honest I must admit that my pairings were pretty lucky by not getting the strongest opponents. But ok, it’s never easy to get 4,5 points out of 5 games. We played outside and it was a nice experience except one round when the sun was shining on us and we really needed suncream for protection! No, but Lodi was a very nice place and tournament and can recommend it!

Werle 1

Pricegiving in Lodi

Q: We understand you’re at the University, yet you get your share of tournaments. How do you manage to focus on both things at the same time?

A: Next to my chess, I study law at the Groningen University. I find it pretty hard to combine, because chess is a burden on your mental condition. Even tougher: chess is much more fun!! A physical sport must be much easier to combine with your study.

Q: How do you spend your spare time?

A: The time which is still left I spend with friends going out and I like to sport very much. Football, tennis and rowing especially. Sometimes fitness and jogging. I also love to read when I find my rest, especially about history.

Werle 3

Market in Lodi

Q: How would you best define your chess style?

A: I would define my chess style as positional, but I can be killing if I have to… so be careful! :) My fighting spirit is ok but my openings are terrible.

Q: How do you see the current situation in chess world?

A: The chess future doesn’t give me a positive feeling. It’s more and more hard working on openings. I prefer the old ‘architects’ and gentlemen like Botvinnik and Petrosian, with their beautiful original styles. But I understand that we can’t change this new tendency since the computer interfered in the professional chess scene.

Werle 4

Jan Werle in Dutch team competition

Q: Which learning method would you suggest to young aspiring players?

A: The best learning method is hard to say. There should be different ones. But maybe a good one is to start when you’re young with tactical exercises. Later on endings and when you’re even older focus on the positional side of the game. Why? Because you can in 1 move win with a trick even when you’re worse. And winning positional games takes like ‘thousand’ moves.

Q: What are your plans in the near future?

A: The following years I am planning still to improve with chess, but have not the illusion to become very, very strong. When I would get 2600 rating I’d be satisfied. I know it’s possible on skills, though the skill to work very hard as all my ‘colleagues’ do, has not been given to me. No, I also don’t like to play only chess, it must stay a hobby for me. I am planning to be lawyer in civil law. Just a ‘boring’ house, garden and kitchen life…

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