Published on April 24, 2020

Lost Boys 1999

Ljubojevic Reinderman

In 1999, suddenly a chess tournament fell into the lap of the city of Amsterdam. The Lost Boys Tournament, which had been the high point of Belgian chess life for years, decided to move somewhere else. This was actually quite logical, since the Lost Boys headquarters were located at an Amsterdam canal. In Antwerp, the tournament had been held from 1993 in the Zuiderpershuis, a stylish industrial monument at the south side of the centre. In Amsterdam, the tournament continued in 2000 in Galerie De Appel, after which two editions followed in sports centre De Pijp.
In the final year of the twentieth century, the tournament opted for a transition ritual. The Zuiderpershuis was packed one more time with more than 500 participants. Shortly afterwards, eight players played a closed tournament in the Amsterdam Vondel Church, also under the name Lost Boys. This tournament had a strong Dutch accent, with the Dutch top players Jan Timman, Jeroen Piket, Paul van der Sterren and Dimitri Reinderman, the war refugees Predrag Nikolic and Ivan Sokolov who had emigrated to the Netherlands, and only two foreigners: the Israeli Boris Avrukh and the Serb Ljubomir Ljubojevic.
Ljubojevic, here seen against Reinderman, was (and still is) a colourful character. On the chessboard he often attracted attention with daring play. He managed to beat every world top player with it at least once, including Karpov and Kasparov. At the peak of his career he was third in the world rankings, and in 1985 he won the famous tournament in the Spanish city of Linares together with Robert Hübner. But actually Ljubojevic was even more in his element in ‘après-chess’. With his clear and powerful voice, he was in the habit of disturbing other players’ analyses and providing them with commentary. ‘Why don’t you play this? Show me! Show me!!’
Ljubojevic was a regular guest in the Netherlands for years, and played in the Dutch league for HSG, the club that was sponsored by Joop van Oosterom. He was also invited to many tournaments, and whether things were going well with him or not, Ljubojevic always livened up the event. (MbdW)