Jeroen Piket was born on 27 January 1969 in Leiden, the Netherlands, into a family where chess played a prominent role. His father, Joop Piket, played in the Dutch top league, the ‘Hoofdklasse’, and his older brother, Marcel Piket, became an International Master before he decided to pursue a legal career. Jeroen was a prodigious talent and almost inevitably embarked on a successful chess career, winning the Dutch Championship four times and winning first prize in some 20 international tournaments worldwide. In 2001 Piket announced the end of his chess career and in 2003 moved to Monaco, where he worked as head of the family office of Dutch businessman Joop van Oosterom. This role he fulfilled till September 2018. Today Piket lives in Amsterdam, where he runs his company JP Vermogensregie, offering wealth management services. When he ended his chess career, Piket had a FIDE rating of 2659 and was the highest rated Dutchman in the world rankings at that point, ahead of Jan Timman and Loek van Wely.
Piket in 2005
|Full name||Jeroen Piket|
|Born||27 January 1969|
|FIDE rating||2624 (February 2020)|
|Peak rating||2670 (January 1995)|
Jeroen Piket has been married to Jersica Rodriguez for 25 years. They have two sons, Sander and Daniël.
Piket started collecting national titles at an early age. Between 1979 and 1981, he three times won the U-12/13 Dutch championship. In 1982 and 1983 he was U-16 Dutch champion and in 1984, at the age of 15, he became U-20 champion. This was the last time he took part in the junior championships, as it was clear there were no challenges anymore. At the European U-20 Championship in 1986 in Groningen, he came second, behind Vassily Ivanchuk. However, with only a few rounds to go, Ivanchuk had been trailing Piket and had lost his direct encounter with the Dutchman. But Ivanchuk prevailed with a strong final shot. In the four Junior World Championships that Piket took part in, probably his second place, shared with Vishy Anand, at the 1984 U-16 Championship, behind Dreev was his best result. In the penultimate round, when he was in the lead, he dramatically lost a drawn knight ending against the representative from Mongolia. The last time he took part in the U-20 Junior World Championship was in 1988 in Adelaide, where he lost a crucial game against Grigory Serper in the final round. Thanks to this win, Serper finished in shared first place, but the title was won by Joel Lautier. At the championship in Adelaide, Genna Sosonko was Piket's trainer. In that same year, Sosonko also accompanied him to Moscow for a training session with Mikhail Botvinnik at the Central Chess Club, together with 15-year-old Alexey Shirov and his trainer Vladimir Bagirov.
Titles and teamsEdit
Piket became an International Master in 1986 and was awarded the title of International Grandmaster in 1989. He won the Dutch Championship in 1990, 1991, 1992 and 1994. In those editions the country's number one, Jan Timman, did not take part as he was concentrating on the World Championship cycle. Piket made his debut in the Dutch ‘Hoofdklasse’ at the age of 12, on the team of Philidor Leiden. In his first match he won his game against Volmac Rotterdam, for many years the strongest club team in the Netherlands. The next year he joined Volmac Rotterdam and won several national titles with them. Years later, in 1999, playing for ‘Bosna’ from Sarajevo he won the European Club Cup. His debut on the Dutch Olympiad team he made in 1988, in Thessaloniki. The team won the bronze medals, and in addition, Piket won an individual bronze medal on Board 4. He would play six more Olympiads, either on Board 2 or Board 3. His last appearance on the Dutch team was in Leon, in 2001, at the European Team Championship, where the team became champions and Piket won a silver medal on Board 2.
In his career Piket won around 20 international tournaments. Among his most notable victories are Dortmund 1994, Amsterdam (Donner Memorial) 1994, Tilburg 1996 (shared with Boris Gelfand) and Biel 1999. In the Netherlands he won all the main tournaments at least once, with the exception of Wijk aan Zee, where in 1997 he seemed to go straight for victory. He had an explosive start, scoring 5 out of 6, but following six draws, a loss in the final round cruelly threw him back to second place.
A sweet memory from a tournament that he didn't win, was his victory in 1995 at the VSB tournament in Amsterdam against reigning World Champion Garry Kasparov, who was beautifully outplayed in a Grünfeld Defence. That same Kasparov was his victim again in the first major Internet tournament in 2000, a sensational novelty on the Kasparov.com website with a $52,000 prize-fund. After he had knocked out Yasser Seirawan, Alexander Morozevich and Peter Svidler along the way, Piket beat Kasparov in the final to claim the $20,000 first prize.
Joop van OosteromEdit
Although Piket joined Volmac Rotterdam, who were sponsored by Joop van Oosterom, at a young age, he only got to know the wealthy chess lover on a personal level when he started to play in the legendary Amber tournaments in Monaco. Piket was invited to the inaugural rapid tournament in 1992 and also took part in the Blindfold and Rapid tournaments from 1993 to 2002, playing his last ‘Amber’ when essentially he had already retired from professional chess. His overall score at these elite gatherings was 105½ points from 231 games. Van Oosterom further expressed his sympathy and respect for the Dutch grandmaster by sponsoring a total of ten training matches for him. In the first one, in 1993 in Nijmegen, he was routed 2-6 by Viktor Kortchnoi, but Piket did better in 1994 in Aruba against Lev Polugaevsky (4½-3½) and that same year in Monaco against Ljubomir Ljubojevic (6-2). The next four matches he lost: in 1995 in Aruba against Judit Polgar (2-6) and Alexey Shirov (2½-5½), in Amsterdam against Jan Timman (4-6) and in 1996 in Monaco against Alexey Dreev (3-5). The final three matches were all drawn, 4-4: in 1996 in Monaco against Joel Lautier, in 1997 in Monaco against Loek van Wely, and in 1999, again in Monaco, against Anatoly Karpov. Piket won the Vlissingen and Lisbon Opens in 2001, but retired from chess in April 2002 to become the Family Officer of Van Oosterom. To prepare for his new job he retrained extensively, attending seminars both privately and at banks and trusts. In 2003 he started his new career in Monaco. In 2005, Van Oosterom won the Correspondence chess World Championship, causing Tim Krabbé to write: "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." A tempting conclusion to draw, but one merely based on speculation. Although it has been revealed that Van Oosterom had a team of expert chess advisors at his disposal, Piket was never a member of that team and was never involved in his correspondence games, ‘if only because he was way too busy with the work he had been hired for’. (source: New In Chess 2017/3, p. 22)
Joop van Oosterom died at the end of 2016. Piket continued to manage the Van Oosterom family office till September 2018 when he completed his contract. After 15 years in Monaco he felt the time had come for new challenges and moved to Amsterdam to start his company JP Vermogensregie, offering wealth management services. (source: jpvermogensregie.com/en/home/)