Persons celebrating an Anniversary in January 2009

At the beginning of the new year the first greetings go to Stockholm where our member Rolf Littorin celebrated his 86th birthday already. In the meantime he belongs – together with eight other "80+" members – to the select circle of our honorary members. There have been no news from him in the last time, but he was still "mentioned" in more detail one year ago (see the January 2008 column).

Bragi Kristjánsson makes his debut in our column as a new member, he has reached the – for chess players magical – number "64", we hope that he could appropriately celebrate his special day in Reykjavik. Being a strong player he played in the Icelandic national team some time ago and competed in two Chess Olympiads: Tel Aviv 1964 and Lugano 1968. At the moment he is still listed as a FIDE Master (Rating 2279), moreover he has the IM title in correspondence chess.

The nordic chess legend Friðrik Ólafsson – from Reykjavik as well – turned exactly 10 years older on January 26th. As the first Icelandic chess grandmaster and FIDE president (1978-82) he has set off an amazing chess boom on "his" island which has obviously not faded yet – Iceland still has the highest number of chess grandmasters per capita. (To give some impressions we offer here a ChessBase photo report by Dejan Bojkov about Iceland and the Icelandic team championship in 2007.)
Friðrik Olafsson has always remained active as a chess player, you may remember for example his match against Bent Larsen in November 2003 won by him 5:3 in Reykjavik – a "new edition" of the 1956 match after 47 years. Or his participation in the Euwe Stimulans tournament in Arnhem (August 2007) - Dennis Monokroussos has gone on about the game played there by Ólafsson against the Dutch junior champion Vincent Rothuis: Friðrik Olafsson: the creative genius of a septuagenarian, but also Hans Ree has done so in his Dutch Treat column.
It was only recently that Friðrik Olafsson supported the "old-timers" in the competition "snowdrops" against "old hands" at Mariánské Lázně (29/11 – 6/12/2008) – and it is known that this time the veteran players could overcome the "snowdrops": Veteranen schlagen zurück ("Veterans strike back", in German only); an excerpt Ein bemerkenswertes Match - Berühmte Veteranen traten gegen ein Großmeisterinnen-Quartett an (SCHACH MAGAZIN 64, 1/2009, in German only) as well as Lassies and Old Timers - Czech Coal Chess Match 2008.

In these parts Friðrik Olafsson is less known as a chess author, certainly because his works have been published in Icelandic only. We have included now a game collection from his pen in the Publications of our Members.

Naturally a lot of information about Friðrik Olafsson is circulating in the internet, we give two further links here:


PS: You will find all previous birthday greetings in our archives!