FIDE100 celebrations start with lecture on Folke Rogard at Rilton Cup

by Press release
1/2/2024 – In 2024, the International Chess Federation will celebrate its 100th anniversary. As part of the celebrations throughout the year 2024, FIDE, chess organisers and national federations are planning numerous activities, including chess festivals, exhibitions, tournaments, and others under the umbrella of #FIDE100. One of the first was the lecture about the former FIDE president Folke Rogard, which took place at the Rilton Cup 2023-24 at Scandic Continental on December 30. | Photo: FIDE

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FIDE Press release

Almost 30 spectators – in addition to some attending on Zoom – listened to Henrik Malm Lindberg and Arne Johansson, who spoke about the life and achievements of Folke Rogard.

Rogard (1899-1973) was a celebrity lawyer who took on several high-profile legal cases and often appeared on the front pages of Swedish newspapers. In addition to his professional activities, chess was a passion which he pursued, especially in his student years. After a break from chess during the early years of his career, he made his return in connection with the 1937 Chess Olympiad in Stockholm. Folke Rogard was asked to be responsible for the players' and leaders' accommodation and activities outside the tournament. He did this so brilliantly that FIDE wanted to give him international assignments.

After World War II, the tension between the US and Soviet superpowers was high, both in the real and chess world, and FIDE realised that it needed a president from a neutral country with diplomatic qualities. The choice fell on Folke Rogard. During the difficult years 1949 - 1970, the so-called "Cold War", he led the organisation. 

During the lecture, Malm Lindberg gave a detailed account of all the difficult situations Rogard faced trying to reconcile two superpowers. For the audience, it was like an intricate thriller as they learnt about all the situations Rogard had to deal with.

He put a lot of time and effort into getting China in, and perhaps he realised the potential in the country. After two unsuccessful attempts, including an elephant incursion by the Belgian Pierre Dierman, he succeeded in getting the People's Republic of China to join in the summer of 1966. But around this time, the Cultural Revolution began in China, which had devastating consequences for sports and cultural exchange with the outside world. China became an extremely passive member, and three years later, in 1960, the China Chess Association announced that China was withdrawing from the International Chess Federation. Then, it took six years before China rejoined after the Cultural Revolution was over.

FIDE encourages all the organisers and federations to plan their events under the umbrella of #FIDE100. To have your activities included in the program of the FIDE 100-year celebration and to get the #FIDE100 logo kit, please send a brief information about your event (title, place, dates, format, expected number of participants, organiser, draft regulations, and other relevant information) to fide100@fide.com.

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