Persons celebrating an Anniversary in June 2008

Our Polish founding member Tomasz Lissowski celebrated his 55th birthday directly on the first (Sun)day of this month. Since our first tribute 4 years ago (June 2004) he has made the most of his time to go down in literature as a "writing chess historian": 2005 the book on Najdorf: Life and Games came out where he had made a major contribution as coauthor, and last year the biography of Jurek Lewi which was also a team effort with two Polish "colleagues", we have presented this book in detail in our Announcements. For our Lasker biography as well which will probably be published in 2009 he has worked on a contribution (about Lasker’s forefathers, family and childhood) together with Wolfgang Kamm (the well-known Tarrasch biographer). Naturally Tomasz took part in the International von der Lasa Conference 2007 and gave a lecture there – we may shortly recall here this excellent event in Kórnik.

Only two days later Roger Klittich was next, he already attained "72". At least among European collectors his Brunswick antiquarian bookshop is well-known and popular with everyone, otherwise I would like to refer once more to the brief eulogy on the occasion of his "70th" from June 2006 as well as to my short look back in November 2006. Just last weekend (21 June) the 53rd auction in the house Klittich-Pfankuch was finished, we hope that these chess auctions which have become an institution for a long time will still enjoy the collectors’ community for many years to come.

For the first time in this column is our new member Gunnar Finnlaugsson who celebrated his birthday on June 3rd too – he turned 61. For a long time he has been living in the Swedish town of Lund (and is therefore a fellow citizen of Calle Erlandsson) though he is of Icelandic nationality, born in Selfoss (about 60 km from Reykjavik) – this town has recently become famous in the chess world as the final resting place of Bobby Fischer. The Nordic Fischer Chess Festival – under the fine-sounding name "The Milky Way" – had already been announced by us, it will be prepared and organized by Gunnar and apart from a cultural part it will among other things offer three different rapid tournaments: a) The main group of the 64 highest rated players; b) Senior ladies’ (>34) and senior gentlemen’s (>49) group; c) Open group. [b) and c) will be merged if the number of participants is insufficient.] Main sponsor is MS Iceland Dairies who has already supported former Selfoss Milk [GM] Tournaments.

Gunnar is a strong chess player (FIDE rating >2100) and a dairy engineer by profession. I found a photo of our member in the following chess blog:, and you can also make him out on the photo of the last Manhem auction [detail above; standing next to Poul Bang Nielsen (sitting on the left].

Postscript (20-10-2008):
Gunnar has informed us that he is (contrary to the above statement) not a strong chess player >2100, but he added that he had been two times a member of the team which had won the Swedish team championship in 1977 and 1983. Moreover he has been the chairman of the Malmö chess club from 1989 to 1995.
Unfortunately the breakdown of Icelandic economy forced our Nordic friends to cancel the planned events in Selfoss.

We can offer now a real anniversary: Leonard Raymond Reitstein – still for us the personification of South African chess – could look back on whole 80 years on June 6th. We already introduced him in detail in the last two years (June 2006 und 2007), according to the latest news we have to hand there is still something very pleasing to be expected from him: a bibliography of South African chess from his pen which is intended to be distributed to our members – we wish and hope that this announcement will come true still this year.

Carmen Romeo is one of the few ladies in our association, she makes her entrance here as a new member and on the occasion of her special day on June 11th. Quite frequently she has appeared as an author of chess historical articles and as a lecturer at conferences (of CCI, IGK and ELG), likewise at last year’s symposium in Kórnik (mentioned above). A few of her nice articles are online available at (as pdf- or html-files). As we may take from the web site of the Spanish Chess Federation FEDA she is also committed there as the president of the committee of chess history.

The same day Lothar F. Heider from Leonberg celebrated an anniversary, he completed just 6 decades. The collector with the main emphases chess history and particularly chess sets (CCI member) conducts a driving school by profession, on its homepage you will also find the complete team of driving instructors including the managing director as photo gallery.


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