Folke Rogard, President of FIDE - the lawyer who organised chess in the shadow of the Cold War

Henri Lindberg

Here is the presentation given by Mr Henrik Lindberg (Sweden) at the CH&LS association's general meeting in Belfort.

Extract from the presentation at the AGM on Saturday 2 September: Annual Meeting of the CH&LS in Belfort
In German on the ChessBase website, by Herbert Bastian: Jahrestreffen der CH&LS in Belfort

Henrik Lindberg, assistant professor for economic history in Stockholm, reported in an extremely interesting lecture on the life story of the Swede Folke Røgard (*1899-†1973), lawyer and FIDE President from 1949-1970. Those who are interested in chess history during the Cold War can already look forward to the hopefully imminent publication of Henrik's book, as the title of the lecture reveals: Folke Røgard: organiser of modern world chess in the shadow of the cold war. Røgard was a well-known personality and made headlines, among other things, as the lawyer of the famous Swedish actress Ingrid Bergman (*1915-†1982), who was seen in the 1942 film Casablanca alongside Humphrey Bogart (*1899-†1957), incidentally also a chess enthusiast. Røgard got the FIDE World Championship cycle off the ground when the first interzonal tournament went to Saltsjöbaden in Sweden (1948). Through his good contacts on both sides, he also repeatedly succeeded in bringing the Soviet Union and the USA together, for example by preparing the bilateral match of 1955.

This is where Folke starts his career as an organizer, who is then still called Folke Rosengren. He begins to organize chess at the University. He starts a club called Stockholm University Chess Association and it is soon looking for membership in the Stockholm Chess Federation. Trains to become a lawyer and excels in organizing lawyers and gets to represent the university's student union in Turku and Uppsala among other places.

What to say about Rogard's relationship with Fischer? Well, to begin with, we can state that Rogard gets in touch with Fischer very early. Already in early 1957, he receives reports from Herman Helms and other American chess friends about the star of the United States. Then Mama Regina shows up.

Henrik Lindberg: Folke Rogard, President of FIDE

The presentation as PDF file:

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