Born in Indonesia, 1938.08.20. Died in Indonesia, 2010. IM 1963. Dutch National Champion 1961.
|25th Hoogovens, Beverwijk 1963|
Beverwijk . 1963.01.07-27. Round Robin 17 rounds. 18 players. IM title completed.
Tan Hoan Liong, aka Tan Hiong Liong, has a special place in Indonesian chess history. He was the first Indonesian to hold International Master title, or any international title awarded by FIDE in that matter.
Tan came to the Netherlands in the late fifties during his final year of high school. After finishing high school Tan went to study Insurance Mathematics. He lived in Amsterdam neighborhood. People barely noticed him when Tan joined a local chess club, VAS. It didn’t take long before the other club members realized: their club suddenly found a very strong chess player in this newcomer.
Tan entered the Dutch chess scene in a humble way. He played in one of Botvinnik’s simultaneous games in 1958. Tan lost in 31 moves. In 1959 Tan was a team member of his club to play in a team tournament in Warsaw, Poland. He also played in the infamous annual tournament Hoogovens at Beverwijk. Tan only made mediocre achievements in those events.
Tan began his impressive résumé in the World Team Championship U26 in Leningrad, July 1960. He scored massive 10 points out of 13 games. Three months later in the Leipzig Olympiad he scored 16.5 out of 20 and won the gold medal of the 4th board. For Indonesia, that was.
Tan took part in the Dutch National championship only once, in 1961. Top-flight Dutch players like Euwe, Van Scheltinga, Prince, Cortlever, and Kramer were not present but the defending champion Jan Hein Donner, and young Kick Langeweg and Frits Roessel were there. Tan was the champion with 7.5 out of 10, which was one and half more than the shared runner-ups Donner, Roessel, and Carel van den Berg. Tan defeated Donner, the towering favorite. Tan proved later that year in the 1st IBM tournament in Amsterdam that it was no fluke. Tan finished with 6 out of 11 in 4th but he earned his back-to-back victory to Donner and the tournament winner, Langeweg.
All indicated that Tan was certainly one of the strongest players in the Netherlands at that time.
In 1962 Tan co-championed IBM Tournament at Amsterdam with Israeli IM, Moshe Czerniak. People might wonder how this young man would fare in 1962 Olympiad at Varna, Bulgaria. The first board of Indonesian team surely had waited for him. Out of the blue the then Indonesian Minister of Sport, Maladi, cancelled the team for the disappointments of Tan and his ardent fans. This incident didn’t halt Tan though. In the following year, 1963, Tan made his breakthrough in Hoogovens Tournament. Tan placed himself in the middle of the table scoring 7.5 out of 17 games. It wasn’t spectacular but was good enough for him to earn International Master title. Famous GMs such as Yuri Averbakh, Karl Robatsch, and Vasja Pirc were among Tan’s victims in this tournament.
Nobody would have thought that the Hoogovens 1963 was Tan’s swan song. Not long after the tournament his contemporaries got shocking news. Tan was hospitalized for alcohol addiction. This was a harsh fact for those who knew Tan as a likeable, educated, and multi-talented young man (Tan also held the Dan title in Go). One of his friends, Lex Jongsma, wrote in a magazine, “Tan hovered in months between recovery and complete collapse. He finally overcame his addiction, returned to Indonesia, but has never been found in the chess arena whatsoever.”
Tan Hoan Liong’s chess career lasted only about 5 years. During such a short time he has put his beloved country, Indonesia, on the world map almost single handedly.
Selected Games (viewer © ChessTempo)
Tan Hoan Liong
Yuri Lvovich Averbakh
Beverwijk 1963.??.?? Round 4
1-0 E11 Bogo-Indian
Tan Hoan Liong
World Team Championship U26
Leningrad 1960.07.15 Round 6 Netherlands-Yugoslavia
1-0 C76 Ruy Lopez: Deferred Steinitz 5.c3 Bd7 6.d4 g6
- Bask Chess
- Dutch Championships
- Hiong Liong Tan
- Open Chess Diary 201-210
- Sejarah Catur Indonesia 1986 (Ds FKN Harahap)
- Tjong-I-Kwee kwam, zag, won en ging