Ben De Cat (Delcatto)

Ben was known to all of us as a joyful and social chess player. His joie de vivre was appreciated by anyone who had the pleasure of playing a chess game or with whom he simply stopped for a friendly chat.

He did not shy away from playing unusual openings like Sokolsky (b4) and Grob's Attack (g4) with white.

As a black player, he sometimes took his opponent to unknown territory with unconventional continuations such as the St. George Defence (a6) or the Borg Defence (g5).

His most memorable match was probably during the NATO Chess Championship 2001, in which he raised his opponent's eyebrows with the Barnes Defence (f6).

designed by Ben De Cat
Recordholder with a total of 28 participations


  • 1986: First participation at the NATO Chess Tournament (Nørresundby - Denmark)
  • 1991: Belgian Military Chess Vice-Champion
  • 1995: Belgian Military Chess Champion
  • 1996: Best performance at the NATO Chess Championship
    (4th place with 5 out of 7)
  • 1999: Belgian Military Chess Vice-Champion
  • 2001: Belgian Military Chess Vice-Champion
  • 2002: Belgian Military Chess Champion
  • 2004: Belgian Military Chess Vice-Champion
  • 2009: Belgian Military Chess Vice-Champion
  • 2011: Belgian Military Chess Champion
  • 2019: Last participation at the NATO Chess Championship (Berlin - Germany)

Remembering Ben De Cat - and his irregular openings
by Jan Cheung, December 6th 2020

Click on the photo to consult the article.

In "De Torrewachter" (Volume 35, Nr 2), the club magazine of Koninklijke Roeselaarse Schaakclub De Torrewachters, Yves Surmont paid a nice tribute to Ben "Delcatto" De Cat.
The Dutch article can be consulted by clicking on the logo of "Koninklijke Roeselaarse Schaakclub De Torrewachters".