Persons celebrating an Anniversary in January 2008

Rolf Littorin
Rolf Littorin

Right at the beginning of the new year, on 3 January a special anniversary was due among our Swedish collector friends: At that time Rolf Littorin could look back on 85 whole years. He is well-known to most people only for being one of the greatest private chess collectors worldwide, but he is regarded as a very well-read man of diverse interests and broad general knowledge. He has been a lawyer by profession, in addition he has been especially active in creating crossword puzzles and he is also well-versed in different languages (Swedish, German, English, Russian).

Apart from his collecting activities he has rendered outstanding services to chess particularly by his extensive work as a functionary, in this connection he has been active at a local, national and international level: Since 1952 he has been a member of Stockholm Schacksällskap (SSS), the oldest still existing Swedish chess club (founded 1866) and he was its president for many years. Moreover he was the president of the Stockholm Chess Union as well as the vice president of the Swedish Chess Union, both for many years likewise. Nearly for 30 years (from 1972) he was the FIDE delegate for Sweden and for a shorter period – 1985-87 – president of the (1985 in Graz) newly founded European Chess Union (ECU). No wonder that he became both a honorary member of the FIDE and (1988) of the Swedish Chess Union.

Rolf Littorin’s huge chess collection, housed in his Stockholm flat of 280 square metres, includes about 30,000 volumes (400-500 running metres) and numerous chess memorabilia. Apart from that there is still a lot of non-chess literature.

His birthday party didn't take place until 15 days later (on 18 January) at Peter Holmgren’s home, Rolf and Peter appear in the opposite picture together with Calle Erlandsson and the president of the Stockholm Chess Union – Sven-Gunnar Samuelsson (at the bottom left).

Calle has also assured us that Rolf Littorin is (mentally and physically) still very active in view of his age. We wish him that this may last for many years to come!

Pictures and information courtesy of Calle Erlandsson.

Our Swiss member François Zutter comes from Founex, a village not far from Geneva, on 19 January he could look back on half a century of his life. He is exclusively known to us as a collector, but we remind of his attendance at La Tour-de-Peilz which we would like to verify once more on this occasion by the then shot group photo.

Only one day later Tony Gillam was next in line, he celebrated his special day for the 65th time. It was 4 years ago when we introduced him for the first time in this column, since then he has been not only a continuous support of our association as a country’s representative but he has also actively contributed several times to our events. In the meantime he has also been able to secure his political future for the next years (we remind of the Nottingham election in May 2007) which in turn gave him some space for chess activities. After he had a bigger hit in 2005 with his tournament book on Ostende 1906 he could again intensify his efforts of writing during the last year – we recently reported in our Announcements. Last but not least we may already indicate that his contribution to the Lasker biography (which is expected to come out in 2009) gives a fine impression as well.

Our Dutch friend Hans Engberts from Utrecht could celebrate a real anniversary too, on 28 January he had covered five decades of his life. After his withdrawal from board work things seem to have quietened down around him, there was still a meeting in a small circle in last year’s July taking place in his antiquarian bookshop Hinderickx & Winderickx - here is the link to the short photo report.

Long ago of course he found his way into the Publications of our Members, a small but endearing publication by his own house shows the opposite picture, the chess poem "Manlief Schaakt" [Hubby Playing Chess] has been translated here into 4 other languages (English, German, French and Russian) and was printed 2004 in an edition of 2 x 64 copies.


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