Käty van der Mije-Nicolau

Last updated

Käty van der Mije-Nicolau
Full nameAlexandra Nicolau
Country Romania, Netherlands
Born(1940-07-22)22 July 1940
Bucharest, Romania
Died14 October 2013(2013-10-14) (aged 73)
Haarlem, Netherlands
Title Woman Grandmaster (1976)
Peak rating 2340 (July 1971)
Peak ranking400

Käty van der Mije-Nicolau (22 July 1940 – 14 October 2013), born Alexandra Ekatarina Nicolau, was a Dutch-Romanian chess player and Woman Grandmaster. She was the Romanian national champion six times before moving to the Netherlands in 1974. In the Netherlands she was the national champion in 1974 and the years 1976 to 1979. Her best worldwide rank among women was fifth. [1]


Early life

Nicolau was born in Bucharest as the daughter of Ștefan S. Nicolau, a Romanian virology expert. She would herself study the Chinese language. [2] She was introduced to chess at the age of six by one of her brothers, who taught her how to play. [3]

Chess career

Nicolau won the Romanian Women's Chess Championship six times: 1960, 1961, 1963, 1964, 1965 and 1973. For Romania, Nicolau also participated in the Chess Olympiad. At the 17th Chess Olympiad (1966) and 20th Chess Olympiad (1972), she was a member of the women's team which won the silver medal. As an individual, she won silver at the Olympiads in 1963 and 1966 at the first board, and won bronze in 1972 at the second board. [2]

In 1974 she started playing for the Netherlands, after staying in the country following her participation in the Hoogovenstoernooi the same year. She was awarded permanent residency and later Dutch nationality when she married Kees van der Mije. [1] Nicolau had earlier resided for several months in the Netherlands after a tournament; she lacked permission from the Romanian government to do so. In 1969 she wished to study at Leiden University; however, while completing formalities in Romania, she was not allowed to return to the Netherlands and was banned from playing international chess tournaments. Her ban was removed after pressure from FIDE president Max Euwe. However, she was forced to promise members of the Securitate secret police that she would return after playing international tournaments until 1974. The Hoogovenstournooi was the first tournament for which Nicolau did not have to promise to return, and she immediately chose to remain in the Netherlands. [4]

She won the Dutch Women's Chess Championship in 1974 and again from 1976 to 1979. She also competed at the Olympiads for the Netherlands, first on the women's team at the 22nd Chess Olympiad (1976), winning the bronze medal. In 1980 she quit playing professional chess. Her final appearance at the Olympiad was at the 28th Chess Olympiad (1988). [2]

At her peak, Van der Mije-Nicolau was the fifth-ranked woman player in the world, but was never able to show great results at the Women's World Chess Championship due to her nerves. After her third-place finish at the Interzonal tournament in Roosendaal in 1976, she was awarded the title of Woman Grandmaster. [4]

Personal life

Van der Mije has said she was not fanatical enough to only spend her time on chess, as she also liked to read detective stories and visit museums. [4] After her retirement, she was a weekly member of the Het Spaarne chess club in Haarlem, where she was club champion in 2007. [3] She died from cardiac arrest on 14 October 2013 at the age of 73. [1]

Related Research Articles

Irina Krush American chess player

Irina Krush is an American chess player. She was awarded the title of Grandmaster by FIDE in 2013. Krush is an eight-time U.S. women's champion.

Maia Chiburdanidze Georgian chess player

Maia Chiburdanidze is a Georgian chess player. She is the sixth Women's World Chess Champion, a title she held from 1978 to 1991, and was the youngest one until 2010, when this record was broken by Hou Yifan. Chiburdanidze has won nine Women's Chess Olympiads.

Alexandra Kosteniuk Russian chess player

Alexandra Konstantinovna Kosteniuk is a Russian chess grandmaster and Women's World Chess Champion from 2008 to 2010. She was European women's champion in 2004 and a two time Russian Women's Chess Champion. Kosteniuk won the team gold medal playing for Russia at the Women's Chess Olympiads of 2010, 2012 and 2014, the Women's World Team Chess Championship of 2017, and the Women's European Team Chess Championships of 2007, 2009, 2011, 2015 and 2017.

Antoaneta Stefanova Bulgarian chess player

Antoaneta Stefanova is a Bulgarian chess grandmaster and Women's World Champion from 2004 to 2006. She has represented Bulgaria in the Chess Olympiad in 2000 and the Women's Chess Olympiad since 1992.

Nona Gaprindashvili

Nona Gaprindashvili is a Georgian chess player and the first woman to be awarded the FIDE title Grandmaster. She was the fifth women's world chess champion (1962–1978).

Zhu Chen

Zhu Chen is a Qatari chess Grandmaster. In 2001, she became China's second women's world chess champion after Xie Jun, and China's 13th Grandmaster. In 2006, she obtained Qatari citizenship and since then plays for Qatar.

Anna Muzychuk Ukrainian chess player

Anna Olehivna Muzychuk is a Ukrainian chess grandmaster. From 2004 to 2014 she played for Slovenia. She is the fourth woman, after Judit Polgar, Humpy Koneru and Hou Yifan, to cross the 2600 Elo rating mark, having achieved a rating of 2606 in July 2012.

Hou Yifan Chinese chess player

Hou Yifan is a Chinese chess grandmaster and four-time Women's World Chess Champion. A chess prodigy, she is the youngest female player ever to qualify for the title of grandmaster and the youngest ever to win the Women's World Chess Championship.

Peng Zhaoqin Chinese-born Dutch chess player

Peng Zhaoqin is a Chinese-born Dutch chess player, who has the FIDE title of Grandmaster, which was awarded in October 2004.

Ju Wenjun Chinese chess player

Ju Wenjun is a Chinese chess grandmaster. She is the current Women's World Chess Champion and became the fifth woman to cross the 2600 barrier in March 2017. Ju Wenjun won 3 consecutive Women's World Chess Championships held between 2018 and 2020.

Margareta Teodorescu was a Romanian chess player who was awarded the FIDE title of Woman Grandmaster (WGM) in 1985.

The 1978 Women's World Chess Championship was won by Maia Chiburdanidze, who defeated the incumbent champion Nona Gaprindashvili At only 17 years of age, Chiburdanidze became the sixth and youngest Women's World Champion.

While the World Chess Championship title, contested officially since 1886 and unofficially long before that, is in theory open to all players, it was for many years contested solely by men. In 1927, FIDE therefore established a Women's World Chess Championship exclusively for female players. Like the "open" title, the format for the women's championship has undergone several changes since then, the most important of which are described here.

Aleksandra Goryachkina Russian chess player

Aleksandra Yuryevna Goryachkina is a Russian chess player who holds the title of Grandmaster (GM). She is the No. 2 ranked woman in the world by FIDE rating behind only Hou Yifan. With a peak rating of 2592, she is also the sixth-highest rated woman in chess history, and the highest-ever rated Russian woman. Goryachkina was the challenger in the 2020 Women's World Championship match, which she lost in rapid tiebreaks to Ju Wenjun. She is also a two-time Russian Women's Chess Champion, which she achieved in 2015 and 2017.

Daniela Nuțu-Gajić

Daniela Nuțu-Gajić is a Romanian-Australian chess Woman Grandmaster (WGM) and chess trainer. She represented Romania in seven Chess Olympiads, winning five medals, including two individual gold medals. She won the Romanian Women's Chess Championship three times in 1978, 1979 and 1980, the Yugoslav Women's Chess Championship in 1989, and the Australian Women's Chess Championship in 1995.

Anne Haast Dutch chess player

Anne Haast is a Dutch chess player who holds the title of Woman Grandmaster. She is a four-time Dutch Women's Chess Champion.

Maria Albuleț Romanian chess player

Maria Albuleț, also Maria Pogorevici and Maria Albuleț-Pogorevici, was a Romanian doctor and chess player who held the title of Woman Grandmaster. She was a three-time winner of the Romanian Women's Chess Championship.

Corry Vreeken

Maria Cornelia Vreeken, née Corry Bouwman, also Corry Vreeken-Bouwman, is a Dutch chess player who holds the title of Woman Grandmaster. She is a five-time winner of the Dutch Women's Chess Championship.

Erika Belle (chess player) Dutch chess player

Erika Belle is a Dutch chess player who holds the FIDE title of Woman International Master (1982). She was a three-time winner of the Dutch Women's Chess Championship.

Erika Sziva Dutch chess player

Erika Sziva is a Hungary born a Dutch Woman Grandmaster. She was a winner of the Hungarian Women's Chess Championship (1988) and a five-time winner of the Dutch Women's Chess Championship.


  1. 1 2 3 "Schaakkampioene Käty van der Mije overleden" (in Dutch). De Gelderlander. 17 October 2013. Archived from the original on 17 October 2013. Retrieved 12 November 2013.
  2. 1 2 3 "Obituary – WGM Alexandra Van der Mije". FIDE. 24 October 2013. Retrieved 12 November 2013.
  3. 1 2 Hut, Johan (17 October 2013). "Alexandra Ekaterina van der Mije-Nicolau". News About Chess. Archived from the original on 13 December 2013. Retrieved 4 December 2013.
  4. 1 2 3 Tom Bottema (16 October 2013). "Käty van der Mije-Nicolau (73) overleden" (in Dutch). Koninklijke Nederlandse Schaakbond. Retrieved 12 November 2013.