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Jan Hein Donner
J H Donner 

Number of games in database: 1,579
Years covered: 1943 to 1982
Highest rating achieved in database: 2500
Overall record: +472 -385 =716 (52.8%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 6 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Nimzo Indian (209) 
    E41 E54 E53 E55 E59
 King's Indian (172) 
    E60 E62 E92 E64 E67
 Modern Benoni (71) 
    A56 A79 A57 A77 A61
 Grunfeld (56) 
    D72 D79 D86 D80 D71
 Queen's Gambit Declined (43) 
    D35 D31 D30 D37 D38
 Queen's Gambit Accepted (26) 
    D22 D25 D27 D26 D28
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (88) 
    B99 B92 B52 B93 B90
 Pirc (81) 
    B09 B07 B08
 King's Indian (71) 
    E88 E94 E92 E63 E67
 Ruy Lopez (62) 
    C97 C77 C86 C89 C69
 Caro-Kann (62) 
    B17 B14 B16 B15 B10
 Nimzo Indian (55) 
    E41 E25 E52 E48 E54
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Smyslov vs J H Donner, 1967 0-1
   A Matanovic vs J H Donner, 1965 0-1
   J H Donner vs Portisch, 1968 1-0
   J H Donner vs W Balcerowski, 1962 1-0
   Fischer vs J H Donner, 1962 0-1
   Szabo vs J H Donner, 1968 0-1
   Fischer vs J H Donner, 1966 1/2-1/2
   Timman vs J H Donner, 1969 0-1
   J H Donner vs Larsen, 1970 1-0
   Botvinnik vs J H Donner, 1970 1/2-1/2

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Munich Olympiad qual-1 (1958)
   Dutch Championship (1957)
   Dutch Championship (1958)
   Hoogovens (1963)
   Venice (1967)
   Amsterdam IBM (1961)
   Munich Zonal (1954)
   Madrid Zonal (1960)
   Dutch Championship (1977)
   Wageningen Zonal (1957)
   The Hague Zonal (1966)
   Havana (1965)
   Club Argentino (1955)
   Capablanca Memorial (1964)
   Halle Zonal (1963)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Wijk aan Zee Hoogovens 1974 by suenteus po 147
   1965 Beverwijk Hoogovens by jww

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Jan Hein Donner
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(born Jul-06-1927, died Nov-27-1988, 61 years old) Netherlands
[what is this?]

Johannes Hendrikus Donner was born in The Hague. He was a three-time Dutch Champion (1954, 1957, and 1958). FIDE awarded him the Grandmaster title in 1959. He first gained international notice by winning at Hoogovens (1950), a point ahead of Max Euwe and Nicolas Rossolimo. He also scored triumphs at Hoogovens (1963) Venice 1967, where he scored 11-2 and finished ahead of then-World Champion Tigran V Petrosian ; and the Amsterdam IBM tournament in 1965. At Oegstgeest (1970) he placed second behind only Boris Spassky, and ahead of Mikhail Botvinnik and Bent Larsen. A prolific chess writer in his own country, he produced a huge body of work with his essays, bulletins, and newspaper columns. Much of his work is collected in the book "The King."

On August 24, 1983, Donner suffered a stroke, after which he was confined to a nursing home. He died on November 27, 1988.

Wikipedia article: Jan Hein Donner

Last updated: 2023-04-16 19:00:36

 page 1 of 64; games 1-25 of 1,579  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. J H Donner vs Euwe 0-1401943casualD17 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
2. F Henneberke vs J H Donner  1-0331945AmsterdamD02 Queen's Pawn Game
3. C Groeneveld vs J H Donner 1-0191947EnschedeD85 Grunfeld
4. J H Donner vs H Bouwmeester  1-0221947EnschedeD28 Queen's Gambit Accepted, Classical
5. J H Donner vs H Bouwmeester 0-1101948AmsterdamB59 Sicilian, Boleslavsky Variation, 7.Nb3
6. J H Donner vs V Soultanbeieff  ½-½521950HoogovensD45 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
7. F van Seters vs J H Donner  0-1531950HoogovensE48 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3 O-O 5.Bd3 d5
8. J H Donner vs F Henneberke  1-0311950HoogovensD37 Queen's Gambit Declined
9. C Hugot vs J H Donner  0-1401950HoogovensE49 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3, Botvinnik System
10. J H Donner vs H Kramer  1-0421950HoogovensE00 Queen's Pawn Game
11. T van Scheltinga vs J H Donner  0-1481950HoogovensD56 Queen's Gambit Declined
12. J H Donner vs Rossolimo ½-½321950HoogovensA84 Dutch
13. N Cortlever vs J H Donner ½-½621950HoogovensC12 French, McCutcheon
14. J H Donner vs Euwe  ½-½201950HoogovensD50 Queen's Gambit Declined
15. Euwe vs J H Donner  ½-½211950MatchE22 Nimzo-Indian, Spielmann Variation
16. J H Donner vs Euwe 0-1731950MatchC65 Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense
17. Euwe vs J H Donner  ½-½251950MatchC07 French, Tarrasch
18. J H Donner vs Euwe  ½-½301950MatchD50 Queen's Gambit Declined
19. J H Donner vs W J Muhring  1-0301950Dutch ChampionshipE64 King's Indian, Fianchetto, Yugoslav System
20. L Stumpers vs J H Donner  0-1301950Dutch ChampionshipA08 King's Indian Attack
21. J H Donner vs N Cortlever  ½-½221950Dutch ChampionshipD96 Grunfeld, Russian Variation
22. J T Barendregt vs J H Donner  1-0421950Dutch ChampionshipC50 Giuoco Piano
23. J H Donner vs C van den Berg  0-1331950Dutch ChampionshipD22 Queen's Gambit Accepted
24. H Kramer vs J H Donner  ½-½311950Dutch ChampionshipC02 French, Advance
25. J H Donner vs T van Scheltinga  ½-½491950Dutch ChampionshipE22 Nimzo-Indian, Spielmann Variation
 page 1 of 64; games 1-25 of 1,579  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Donner wins | Donner loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Quote of the Day

" The passed pawn has a soul, desires, and fears. "

-J.H. Donner

Mar-05-14  Volmac: Quote from Donner in "The King (English 2nd ed 2008) - article "Fifty": - My case happens to be less harrowing than it would have been if I had been totally dependent on the Dutch chess World, but not everyone gets the chance of marrying a rich woman. ...
I am curious, do you know if this statement was true? Was Donner financially independent? Or is this just another example of Donner's self-irony?
Mar-05-14  Gryz: Donner is from a rich family himself.

He was the uncle of Piet Hein Donner, who is a 5-time minister in recent Dutch cabinets.

I believe the Donner family has produced a number of judges and politicians. Piet Hein (the minister) always seemed like a huge dick to me. So I bet the whole family is old-style old-money nose-in-the-air us-knows-us.

So I always assumed that Donner indeed was married to a rich woman.

Jul-02-14  sneaky pete: Donner talking about his favourite subject, the blunder, during the Oegstgeest 1970 quadrangular (starts around minute 8, after Larsen in pyjama doing a Walter Browne imitation)

Jul-02-14  Gryz: Thanks for that link. Very interesting and entertaining. Surprise to hear Larsen speak Dutch. He is almost fluent, he only has a little accent.

The whole episode is in Dutch. Not interesting for anyone who doesn't understand Dutch at all.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Stonehenge: Well, Bent Larsen in pajamas, doing a Browne in time trouble imitation (around 6:20), is quite funny.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Having sat across the board from Browne in his time trouble, it is not at all difficult to picture Larsen's parody.
Jul-02-14  zanzibar: <The Youth Council of salsa dancing poured out of place>

Watching that clip with CC Dutch->English is quite hilarious:

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: R.I.P. GM Jan Donner.
Nov-04-14  Osbourne Cox: An excerpt from Sosonkos "Smart chip from St. Petersburg" (p.162): "When he was small his family called him Heini , and
when he grew older , Hein. He would get very angry if you called him anything else. ' Remember , ' he always said, ' my name is Donner , and to my few friends - Hein ; no one ever calls me ]an or ]an Hein , and I don ' t want anyone to call me that . '"
Nov-04-14  Osbourne Cox: He must have had a sense of foreboding, because he joked and laughed about it (another excerpt from p.188): "Ah,there's only one of me, and when I die, there won't be another. You know all the great men in history were known by just their first name - Rembrandt, Leonardo, Michelangelo. When I die, they'll call me Hein, just Hein, and everyone will know who they mean,' and, craning his neck, he imitated laughter, 'ha, ha, ha...'".

At least the "Hein-Donner-Bridge" in Amsterdam is not named "Jan-Hein-Donner-Bridge" ...

Nov-04-14  kellmano: <You know all the great men in history were known by just their first name - Rembrandt, Leonardo, Michelangelo>. To name but three. I could go on of course, but there is really no need. Actually, I can think of one more - Napoleon.
Nov-04-14  john barleycorn: And some just had one name. Sokrates etc.
Nov-04-14  kellmano: Don't know about Socrates, but Plato was a nickname of sorts. I remember reading a book that said it was unclear whether this was chosen because he had broad shoulders (he was a wrestler) or a flat head, but it was probably the former.

I elect to believe the latter.

Dec-25-14  TheFocus: <You cannot compare chess with anything. A lot of things can be compared with chess, but chess is just chess.> — Jan Hein Donner (1959.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: I really liked this one, Donner talking about the magic of the <touch piece> rule:

<"In the split second you touch the piece, you’ll see more than you saw in the past 30 minutes you spent studying the position.">

That's pretty funny.

May-11-15  TheFocus: <This sacrifice of a pawn nowadays is only played for drawing purposes. Especially against the very strongest masters it has proved to be quite useful to this end> - 1966 on the Marshall - Jan Hein Donner.
May-13-15  TheFocus: <I love all positions. Give me a difficult positional game, I will play it. But totally won positions, I cannot stand them> - Jan Hein Donner.
May-19-15  TheFocus: <He was a figure one would least expect to encounter at a chess tournament. Much more likely one could see him as presiding judge of a court, or delivering a philosophy lecture, or in Parliament, depending on the garment he would be wearing> - (on Donner) - Grigor Piatigorsky.
May-25-15  TheFocus: <Everything that he said was exceptionally interesting , but it was all untrue!> - Bent Larsen on Jan Hein Donner.
Jan-27-18  Osbourne Cox: From Wikipedia:
"My name is J. H. Donner, 'Hein' for friends. 'Jan-Hein' was an unseemly joke of malicious sport journalists, but that's not my name, it never was and it never will be." Dutch: "Jan-Hein" was een misplaatste grap van kwaadwillende sportsjournalisten, maar zo heet ik niet, heb ik nooit geheten... Donner, Van Vroeger, Bakker, 1989 ISBN 9789035105898, p. 152.
Jul-13-18  Retireborn: NiC are selling the paperback version of The King for a knockdown price (10 eu) if anybody's interested.
Mar-11-19  Retireborn: I had a dream in which I was talking to Hein, and I asked him very politely, "why did you dislike Prins so much?"

I woke up before he could answer.

Oct-28-23  Scuvy: Answering Retireborn (4 years later):

My recollection from reading The King (I no longer have the book) was that Donner had several reasons for his extreme dislike of Prins.

First, Donner simply considered him a bad player and once offered to play a match and spot Prins 4 points: "he cannot tell a Knight from a Bishop."

Second, there is an essay in the book where a Dutch championship was scheduled in 1965 precisely when Donner was playing in the Capablanca Memorial in Havana (the one Fischer played by teletype). This annoyed Donner because he stated he had been contracted to play at Havana a year ahead of time and the inference is the Dutch chess bureaucrats (most of whom did not like Donner) knew this. Several other strong players were not invited, according to Donner, and Prins tied for first, then won the playoff. Donner was horrified and challenged Prins to a match via one of his newspaper columns. Prins would not accept and this upset Donner even more.

"We now have a champion who will not play chess."

And third, a possible reason for Donner's dislike was that Prins did something Donner could never do: he beat Max Euwe in a serious game. L Prins vs Euwe, 1946

Oct-29-23  Caissanist: I have the book as well, and it just seems to me that Donner enjoyed trolling people. Prins was perhaps his favorite target, since he had a self-important streak that invites that kind of skewering, and Donner was able to annotate some of Prins's sixties games in a way that showed him in a bad light. Mostly, though, Prins was just one of many targets of the lightweight screeds that were Donner's primary journalistic stock in trade, especially in his later years.
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