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Dutchmen Jan Groenendijk (18) and Roel Boomstra (23) are competing for the World Title Draughts.
2016 is a special year for the draughts sport. For the first time since Harm Wiersma became World Champion in 1984, The Netherlands will get a new title holder. The young Dutch grandmasters Jan Groenendijk (Wageningen, 18 years) and Roel Boomstra (Groningen, 23 years old) will compete for the coveted title. From 3 to 18 December they’re playing a total of twelve matches on different locations in Groningen, Wageningen and The Hague.

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Jan Groenendijk (18) is the youngest professional draughts talent in The Netherlands. Initially Jan wanted to be a professional football player, but from the moment he discovered his talent for draughts during school tournaments, he opted entirely for the draughts sport. In the category youth he became three times World Champion and seven times European Champion. In 2015 he made his debut in the World Cup, where he at the age of 17 took second place only behind the Russian Alexander Georgiev. Quote: "If your hair looks good, you look good!"

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Roel Boomstra (23) is a Dutch draughts player who lives and studies in Groningen. When Roel was eight years old, he started to play draughts and chess, and ultimately chose draughts because of "the unprecedented depth of the game." Roel has now been a professional draughts player for five years, but he also studies physics. He became Champion of The Netherlands in 2012 and 2015 and Champion of Europe in 2014. He also won the bronze medals at the World Cups of 2013 and 2015, just after debutant Jan. Quote: "I declare that I want to be the best!"