25 years of EDC


My memories of the beginnings of EDC

[po Polsku]

Informal discussions about club competitions or youth tournaments had been going on for quite a long time. Some dreamed of a series of well-sponsored events, others thought of club competitions, someone else was concerned about the scarce opportunities for youth competition. There were also those (as it later turned out) for whom the only goal was to create an organisation that would be in opposition to the FMJD.

On 22 October 1997, during the women’s World Championships in Minsk Mazowiecki, I organised the first formal meeting (see list of participants).

All these ideas were warmly supported by Harm Wiersma, which undoubtedly gave me confidence.


Towards the end of the tournament, Wouter van Beek, the FMJD President at the time, also came to Minsk. He was very sympathetic to the whole issue.

It was time to take action. I knew one thing – such a move required winning over the KNDB. The two aforementioned gentlemen gave me strong support in organisational efforts. Walter sent letters to all the European federations (only a few were using e-mail and mobile phones at the time) with an invitation to Standskanaal, Harm supported me on site in organisational matters.




And so it came to another important meeting on Thursday the 18th of December in Standskanaal, where the ‘Challenge Mondial’ was underway at the time. I came with my ideas written down on paper and a desire to act.




Funnily enough, at the time the idea of young people competing in categories up to 10 and 13 years old was being looked upon with surprise.

Eventually, we reached a compromise to limit it to the under-13 category only.

My constant supporter Wouter van Beek was a major positive factor in all of this. He also prepared a document after the meeting.


Tallinn 1998

Youth Olympiad and FMJD General Assembly

The conclusion of these proceedings took place at the Olympic Pirita Hotel (built to cater for the sailing competitions of the Moscow-1980 Olympics). The relentless Heinar Jahu organised the Youth Olympics there.

The day before the FMJD Congress, again on Thursday(!), on the evening of 13 August, the founding congress of the EDC was held.

Here is the attendance list and the manuscript of the protocol.



and here is the final protocol




Joining me on the Board were Janis Lelis from Latvia and Rima Danileviciene from Lithuania. I was very concerned about not creating overly extensive and multi-person structures. The Polish proverb “Gdzie kucharek sześć tam nie ma co jeść” (Too many cooks spoil the broth) applies well in practice. It is necessary to talk in a large group, but the responsibility must rest with a small group of people with a defined scope of tasks. This worked very well for us!

One day later, the FMJD congress elected me as vice-president for Europe. This was necessary because, in the FMJD structure at the time, it was the congress that elected the vice-presidents representing each continent.

FMJD Executive Council – Tallinn 1998


In October of the same year we had our first EDC board meeting in Vilnius, and in November the website was launched. A little later, we organised a competition for a logo (which was chosen in a federation vote), and with our next meeting in December in Szczecin, our first calendar of events was created.


In June 1999, the first official EDC tournament – the Confederations Cup – was held in Vilnius – a tournament for clubs excluding national champions, at the beginning of August the first European Youth Championships in Poland and a few weeks later our Champions Cup, which was held for two consecutive years at the Bilderberg Hotel in Velp near Arnhem. Without the commitment of the federations that took on these, after all brand new, tournaments, nothing would have been possible.


The following years have brought new EDC events. Resistance to the competitions for the youngest has diminished and since 2001 (Tuchola) European Championship under the age of 10 has been in place. Since 2000 (Zaporozhye) we have had the women’s European Championship, since 2001 (Mlawa) the veterans’ European Championship, since 2005 (Prague) the European Blitz Championship, since 2012 (Tallinn) the European Rapid Championship. Moreover since 2001 we have also had the  European Championship under the age of 10. The only thing I regret is the club events. What I am sure everyone enjoys is the stability of the Youth  European Championships. After more than two decades, we can safely conclude that the biggest stars are born there. Among the total of 1,739 participants in this event, there are four who have won the World Championships and there are 22 with grandmaster titles.

At the end of my memories, I would like to emphasize once again the huge positive role played by Wouter van Beek in this process. Without his kindness and active support, I would not have been able to overcome the resistance of the skeptics.

Abidjan 1996