Nina Hoekman 1964 - 2014
In 2014 sadly Nina Hoekman-Jankovskaja passed away at the age of 49, after a long fight against cancer. In the eighties my draughts club in Vorden had strong connections with draughts players in Kiev. Due to this in 1990 Nina visited The Netherlands and played in the "Eight castle draughts tournament" in Vorden. There she met Henk Hoekman, who she would marry later. She moved to The Netherlands, and started playing for Vorden.
Nina has had a very successful career in draughts. In 2010 in Ufa she barely missed the world title. During the whole tournament she had been leading, but in the last round Zoja Golubeva managed to catch up with her after defeating Tansykkuzhina. The barrage went with 4-2 to Golubeva. Besides this Nina has been a much appreciated trainer of the Dutch women for a very long time.
What I remember most about Nina is her fighting spirit. She had a very strong will, and I believe that this has been a big factor behind her many successes in draughts. After she was diagnosed with cancer, another major battle started for her. Several times her situation looked utterly hopeless, but more than once she miraculously managed to escape. She kept fighting until the very end, until her body was fully exhausted. In the spring of 2014, when she was no longer able to move the pieces on the board by herself, she still won the Dutch championship in Zoutelande.