About the museum

Ridder Dijkshoorn

Ridder Dijkshoorn

The Chessmen Museum was opened on the first of May 2006. The museum includes the private collection of founder Ridder Dijkshoorn, plus a collection owned by Mister M.J. Glotzbach. Temporary exhibitions are held on a regular basis.

The permanent collection on display has expanded throughout the years. There is something for everyone: antique chess pieces and popular cartoon characters, as well as true folkloric and abstract works of art. An overview of the different chess games can be found in the Chessmens’ Gallery.

In the spotlight

Monthly the museum highlights a different chess set on the Collection Highlight page. Historian Marjolein Overmeer talks about the history of these chess games or what they represent. An overview of these essays can be found on the Overview articles page. Do you have comments or want more information? Please let us know by email: schaakstukkenmuseum@hotmail.com.


Award ceremony Chess Game Design Competition 2017

Ridder Dijkshoorn and first price winner Yanna Pelser

It is becoming quite the tradition: on January 1, 2018 ,the award ceremony of the annual Chess Game Design Competition took place. On New Year´s day, Ridder Dijkshoorn once again succeeded in building up the suspense before announcing the winner: Yanna Pelser managed to preserve last year´s title and won first prize again, this time with her Lifeguard design. Read more here .

Rademaker collection added to museum´s collection

The Chessmen Museum reopened its doors on November 25, 2017, after a makeover. This makeover saw the addition of the collection of mother and daughter Rademaker, which was now revealed in a festive get-together, after weeks of unpacking and sorting out lots of boxes.

English chess set, Rademaker Collection

“It was very special for me to see our collection on display here at the museum”, says daughter Miranda. “A lot of memories came back to me; of the first ever chess game we bought together, and also of all kinds of funny situations from later years. It was nice to be able to share these stories with the museum´s visitors.”

I am a violin-player, so I alternated my stories with music, which I performed together with two of my violin students: Myrthe Andriessen and Kim Nieuwland. We had selected the musical pieces so that they really fitted the stories of the chess games and their origins. This made for a truly unique afternoon for all those present. If heaven does exist, I´m sure my mother was looking down on us from up there, with a smile on her face!”

Tata Steel Chess returns to Rotterdam in 2017

On January 19, 2017, the Tata Steel Chess Tournament (the former Hoogovens Chess Tournament) will return to Rotterdam. This year, the tournament will take place in the De Kuip stadium. Spectators won´t be bored in between games: for the duration of the tournament, the Big Rotterdam Chess Game will also be there at the stadium.
As a pre-announcement of the Tata Steel Chess Tournament, the Big Rotterdam Chess Game will be at Central Station on January 11. All passers-by who love chess will be challenged to a game of XL-chess right then and there.

Winner award ceremony Design Competition 2016

balcony-playersThe Chessmen Museum rang in 2017 in a particularly festive manner announcing the winners of the annual Chess Game Design Competition. Suspense lasted right up to the last minute because visitors of the museum could vote for their favourite until moments before the ceremony.

It was Yanna Pelser who ended up winning first prize this year with her Puzzle Chess design. Read more about the creation of this design and the ranking of the other participants. All in all, it was an exciting and fun afternoon with a musical touch provided by Ilse and Paul of the Balcony Players.

Tata Chess Tournament in Rotterdam 2015


The announcement of the Tata Steel Chess Tournament, including the Big Rotterdam Chess Game, during the annual Sports Awards Gala Rotterdam-Rijnmond at the New Luxor Theatre on December 14, 2014.

The Chessmen Museum and Tata Steel announced the Tata Steel Chess Tournament on Tour during the Sports Awards Gala Rotterdam-Rijnmond on December 14. On January 15, 2015, the big day had finally arrived. It was an exhilarating day, during which world champion Magnus Carlsen and future (?) world champion Anish Giri defeated their respective opponents at ´De Rotterdam´. The table top edition of the Rotterdam Chess Game has been offered to the world champions in Women´s and Men´s Chess.

Around-the-clock chess playing during  24 hours of culture

This year, the Chessmen Museum once again organised plenty of activities during 24 hours of culture, the opening festival of the city of Rotterdam´s cultural year. The Big Rotterdam Chess Game (designed by Harry Hoek) was placed in the hall of Rotterdam Central Station. The audience really liked the chess pieces, shaped like the buildings of Rotterdam, and enthusiastic passers-by attempted a game. We managed to get hold of multiple winner of the evening, Eugène Marcelissen, for a short interview.

At the Chessmen Museum, participants could join in a 24-hour simultaneous chess competition. Three chess players beat simultaneous player Kiki and received a signed copy of Anish Giri´s biography. The winners may also participate in the simultaneous match against the famous grandmaster himself. This competition will be held in the spring of 2015.

Chess competition during ZigZagCity

On June 7, the Chessmen Museum organised the ZigZag Chess Competition during the ZigZagCity architectural festival. The competition could have done with some more participants, but was a lot of fun anyway. The participants got to play with special pieces from the museum´s collection instead of the standard Staunton design. After an exciting final game, Mr H.G.M. Elgershuizen was proclaimed the winner; he got to take home a copy of the Rotterdam Chess Game. Second place went to Mr J. Molenaar, who celebrated his birthday on this day and was offered another beautiful chess game.

The Big Rotterdam Chess Game goes to Murmansk

The Chessmen Museum has recently donated two Big Rotterdam Chess Games. One to the Rotterdam based Nieuwe Pauluskerk, the New Church of Saint Paul, on the occasion of the opening of the latest and finest newly constructed building near Rotterdam Central Station.

An Extra Large chess set also exchanged hands on the SS Rotterdam, the beautiful ‘classic’ cruise ship permanently moored at a Rotterdam dock, and now functioning as a hotel, a convention and meeting center and a tourist attraction.  On the first and second of June of this year, this wonderful ship accommodated the BASAMRO chess tournament on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Rotterdam Shipping Company.

Napoleon versus Russians

Napoleon versus Russia

A team from the Russian port town of Murmansk was also invited to this youth chess tournament. The Russian people are still the masters of chess, which was evidenced by the fact that they won the competition. This year is the year of Russia and to reinforce the relationship with Murmansk, the city was offered the Extra Large version of the Rotterdam Chess Game. The chess set was accepted gratefully by the Russians.

They also paid a visit to the Chessmen Museum, where they showed a great interest in the ‘Napoleon versus Russia’ chess set. Ridder Dijkshoorn was interviewed by the Russia State Television, and skillfully evaded the presenter’s question: Does France always lose to the Russians in this game? Dijkhoorn’s answer was that Rotterdam is the birth place of Erasmus and that this great scholar and diplomat is quoted in big neon signs on the walls of the Central Library of Rotterdam: ‘the whole world is your fatherland’.

The Rotterdam Chess game

Rotterdams schaakspel
In 2010 the Rotterdam Chess Game, designed by Harry Hoek, was added to the collection, in its original size as well as the Extra Large version. Harry Hoek, who has entered in a previous chess game design competition, did not win any prizes with his reproductions of the buildings of Rotterdam. His new and abstract version of his chess set is a big success though. It is on display at the museum as well as outside of it, in an Extra Large sized version.  (Read more about the development of the game.)

Both versions of the Rotterdam Chess Game are for sale at the museum and the Extra Large version is also available for hiring. Are you interested in the Rotterdam Chess Game? Please send us an email: schaakstukkenmuseum@hotmail.com.

Group offers

If you would like to participate in a fun activity with the members of your (chess) club or association then think about visiting the Chessmen Museum: a true paradise for fans of the chess game. Book your visit now and your club will receive a 50% discount on the admission fee (you will pay 1 Euro per visitor instead of 2 Euro per visitor) and you will also get the essay collection to guide you through the museum’s collection for free. Please register by email: schaakstukkenmuseum@hotmail.com, putting ‘Group action’ in the subject line.