I’ve been playing chess since I was a child. My father, a good club player himself, taught me the rules of game when I was five years old. At youth tournaments I quickly became stronger than my peers and several national youth titels were conquered.
Since then, chess has always played a major role in my life. At high school, school holidays were invariably spent at chess tournaments, in Belgium and abroad. My chess progress was improving rapidly, reaching a peak by winning the Belgian championship as a 17-year-old, in the highest category among adults that is!
Once I started college, I decided to put my chess on hold. A correct decision, as studying engineering and playing chess at a high level are very difficult to combine.
After graduating, and at the start of my PhD research, I (re)opened the quest for the coveted title of grandmaster. With ups and downs, I participated at tournaments in Western Europe and beyond. My PhD research and my quest for the grandmaster title started together and would end together: two days before the public defence of my PhD, I scored my last grandmaster norm needed for the title!
Also after becoming grandmaster, I kept participating at international tournaments, such as the prestigious Tata Steel Challengers. Later, I decided to focus more on the Belgian and Dutch team competitions. With succes: I became top scorer in both Belgium and the Netherlands and in the beginning of 2020, I reached my highest international ranking ever!
After a chess career of 30 years (10 years as a youth player, 10 years as an international master and 10 years as a grandmaster), I decided to retire from competitive chess. High-level chess demands a lot of effort and it became difficult to put the required time and energy into it. It has been a good run!

Photo by Harry Gielen

My wikipedia page (Dutch) gives a good overview of my most important chess achievements. These are the highlights:

  • Obtaining the grandmaster title, the first one ever from Flanders (2013)
    Read my quest for the third grandmaster norm (Dutch)
  • Belgian champion (2004, 2011)
  • Top scorer Belgian team competition (2017-2018) and Dutch team competition (2013-2014)
  • Open Dutch champion rapid (2012)
  • Open Dutch youth champion U14 (1997)
  • Participant at the Tata Steel Challengers in Wijk aan Zee (2015)

My international ranking and official results can be found on my FIDE rating profile.