Persons celebrating an Anniversary in July 2006

So far our Danish member Stellan Persson hasn’t appeared in this column, for the simple reason that it’s not so long ago that we know about his date of birth. But the native Swede can offer a real anniversary now, as on July 1st he completed seven decades when he simultaneously looked back on a good "60 years in the service of Caïssa"– to use his own words. Making a start on chess already at the age of 9, he joined a chess club (Malmö AS) at 12 and was district champion of Skåne at 19. He joined the national Master class at 24 but stopped playing at 36 to become a professional chess merchant: he took over the Copenhagen Skakhuset in 1973, a chess shop founded by Alberth Neess in 1947 which he (Stellan) ran till 1998.
Moreover Stellan Persson was a chairman and a member of the National Federation board (1964-67) and a chess journalist on the Arbetet, one of the largest (former) daily papers in Sweden. As a publisher he initiated the printing of about 15 books and pamphlets in English and Danish, let’s only mention here the first book worldwide on a certain Garry Kasparov (1980) or Bent Larsen – The Fighter (1978), both by Eric Brøndum.

Meanwhile Stellan shuttles every six months between his Gothenburg domicile and his second adopted country, the Isle of Mallorca – the photo opposite was taken on the occasion of the chess olympiad 2004 at Calvià. He will also work now on a book from his own pen, it will cover the Swedish Champion Inge Valfrid Johansson (8.10.1916 – 20.09.1966) from Malmö who is largely forgotten nowadays – he had his most successful years in the fifties and died a fortnight before his 50th birthday. Surely this work will only be published in Swedish.

Eveline E. Dirksen is for the first time in our section too, she celebrated her special day only one day later. She is very committed to her work as a museum and PR coordinator in the Amsterdam Max Euwe Centrum where we could already enjoy several times her obliging and kind hospitality, such was the case on the occasion of various board meetings and particularly during our last year’s general meeting. We wish our charming hostess many healthy years to come in the service of the Dutch chess art and culture!

We met our US member David Shenk even two years ago, on July 11, 2006 the number of years to be celebrated ended in a zero - he was then 40 years young. We are pleased that he has made very good use of the past time and that his original book project on chess (from the point of view of a non-chess player or casual player) he tackled that time has meanwhile made good progress, a preprint of his work has already come in and the final product is supposed to be on sale from September 5th. Conceived for a wide readership (also of beginners or non-chess players) it will hopefully help to broaden and sharpen the people’s awareness of chess culture. The signs are not bad for that – if a bestseller author picks up the subject "chess" you should expect increased attention. Naturally we will present the book in our member’s area after its publication – look forward to a remarkable chess book!

An "old friend" of most chess addicts is certainly Manfred Mädler in Dresden who celebrated his "72nd" on July 15th. It is also well-known that Manfred is the oldest active chess merchant in Germany, and it looks as if he is entitled to this honour for still many years to come. In the meantime also the reprint of the wonderful Vidmar classic "Goldene Schachzeiten" – we announced it already last year – has been published by "Edition Mädler im Beyer Verlag".
You will find a photo (of more recent date) of Manfred in the ChessBase photo report on the Berlin team championship (of April 30, 2006) where he was photographed together with his wife Monika (as usual scroll down a little!); a further one of Manfred relaxing in the Travemünde wicker beach chair with a hood which once landed in the garden of his old Blasewitz villa.
Funny anecdotes and occurrences of and with Manfred Mädler are also willingly circulated by Helmut Pfleger in the "Deutsches Ärzteblatt" some time (or other), here two samples:
Unerklärliche Schönheit (Inexplicable Beauty) and Will denn keiner den Ladenhüter? (Is there nobody who wants the non-seller?) - in German only!


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