Persons celebrating an Anniversary in August 2009

We start our birthday quartet with Geurt Gijssen who could look back on full 75 years on August 15th. The high priest of chess rules as he is frequently called has had a regular place in our column for the last 5 years (since 2004) – the interested reader may leaf back through our pages (>> August, 2008). In the last year too the activities of the certainly most sought-after chess arbiter worldwide were undiminished, including his monthly online column: here once more the link to ChessCafe Archives with all his contributions in more than 11 years: An Arbiter's Notebook (from April 1998).

Only three days later Peter Holmgren, our Swedish representative for the Nordic countries, celebrated his 55th birthday. For the last years he obviously has still been very busy in his job, nevertheless he won the first price in the 9th Annual ChessCafe Holiday Quiz 2005/2006 thus achieving his greatest success in that contest where he had already finished several times among the top solvers. Together with his compatriot Calle Erlandsson he has also been working (since 2004) on a book about the chess olympiad Stockholm 1937, we wish good luck with this project!

Jón Adólf Pálsson whom we already introduced last year (see 2008) as a new Icelandic member celebrated his special day on August 20th, he turned 79. So the KWA honorary membership is nearly within reach for him …

Our Belgian member Hans Secelle from Schelderode makes his debut in our column, he joined our association in May this year – on August 26th half a century had gone by since the event of his birth. In his job he works for the Belgian Ministry of Finance, in his hobby he not only restricts himself to chess but he is also a real expert in other games and furthermore very well-versed in computers: So together with the Belgian Albrecht Heffer he has programmed the chess engine Bionic (a cloned variant of Crafty), and only recently he functioned as the arbiter of the 5th Livingston Chess960 Computer World Chess Championship at the Mainz Chess Classics where he was also repeatedly captured in photos:; und (scroll down each page). Apart from his "normal" chess activities – he is a fairly strong OTB player of 2100 Elo and a collector of chess books – he has become famous above all in Shogi (Japanese chess): according to himself, he was the first ever European Shogi champion (1985, with a 7-0 score), former European "longest winning streak" record-holder (11 consecutive wins against Dan-players), multiple Belgian champion as well as former FESA president (FESA = Federation of European Shogi Associations). Moreover Hans Secelle has an extensive collection of bridge books and is currently writing a book on the history of bridge.


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