Fred Horn

Brief biography Fred Horn


Fred Horn was born in Amsterdam on January 13th 1945. At the age of four, his family moved to the Hague, and during his lifetime Fred moved back and forth between the two cities. He worked as Organisation-Advisor and Housing-Expert at the University of Amsterdam (1969-1980); the City of Amsterdam (1980-1985) and at the Dutch Ministry of Public Housing, Milieu and Environment (from 1985 to 2000, after which he got pre-pension). He is now retired and currently lives in the Hague with his wife, Saskia Horn-Kruijer. But ever active, he is working for instance as a volunteer for the "Wijkbus Groot-Scheveningen", a charity transport service for the elderly and disabled people in the area.


Fred has always had a great interest in Jazz music. He plays all wind- and brass instruments, did lead the Limehouse Jazzband for over twenty-five years and was a member of this famous Dutch band for more than 33 years. He recorded various records (LP's and CD's) with this band and with many others .He still plays cornet and saxes with "De Champions"; his brother's Big Band "Swingin' Crash"; and an accompanying-combo "Caroline's Choice" to singer Caroline Idema. Besides that he is now-a-days chairman of the board of the Dutch Pianola Society (Nederlandse Pianola Vereniging) and volunteers at the Dutch Jazz Archive.


During his childhood Fred played a lot of games with friends and family, and at the age of 8 he invented his first game called CARDO. In his high school days he also started collecting games, mostly abstract and strategic games. Later he became more broadly interested in games that were especially manufactured, invented, or sold in the Netherlands. His collection grew larger and larger throughout the years up to a total of approximately 10.000 items . In 2007, his Stichting SP&L(Spellen, Puzzels & Ludotheek/ Games,Puzzles and Games-Library) was founded to manage his collection, and it was through this foundation in 2009 that Fred donated his entire games-collection to the Flemish Games Archive (Vlaams Spellenarchief) in Brugge, Belgium. At the moment, the whole collection is being sorted out and documented. In the forthcoming years this documentation will be made available for the interested public to be the basis for research and questioning, but also to give information via the internet.


After CARDO, Fred continued to invent more games. At the moment, nearly thirty of his game-ideas have been published, and over 100 ideas are 'waiting on the shelves' for the right time to be made public.Besides inventing and collecting, Fred is active in the game world in various ways. He is a member of the SAZ (Spiele Autoren Zunft) and its Dutch companion-organisation the SAN (Spel Auteurs Nederland). He is doing research on Dutch Games and their Inventors and published articles on the subject in journals like "SPEL!", the magazine of the Ducosim organization. And since 2011 Fred is also Jury Chairman of the yearly Dutch Game Award ('Nederlandse Spellen Prijs') for the best adult game, sponsored by that organization. Over the years he was temporarily involved in the organization of the yearly Board Game Studies Conference, and gave several lectures about the results of his research. In 2021 he deserved the Oevre Prize from Ducosim for his achievements for the board game world. Click on the link and start from 28:12 minutes to see a video of the annoucement. 

Fred Horn playing Kwintie, published as Blocks by Steffen Spiele. Foto: Engel Lameijer