R.I.F. Honorable Presidents

RIF President 1988-2001

Tommy Maltell has been a very important person spreading renju in Europe and helping European renju to unite with Japan renju. He was the founder of Renju Club in Jonkoping, Sweden, in November 10, 1980. His dedication to renju and continuous efforts allowed the club activity to keep going and it attracted more players to join, such as Peter Jonsson and others.

In 1982, the renju club made a big step forward and it hosted the first Swedish Open International Championship. Japanese players joined this competition.     
In 1983, Tommy Maltell visited Japan. That was probably one important step that prepared the ground for future RIF. In 1988, in Sweden, Tommy Maltell made the greatest effort - he was the host of the meeting that was the beginning of Renju International Federation which consisted of three member countries who were present in that meeting - Japan, Sweden, USSR.

Tommy Maltell was chosen to be the President of RIF. He was surely an experienced leader, a good communicator, and true fan of renju with good faith in its future. Everybody respected him a lot. With his leadership, the renju started to spread well and became more popular.

Tommy Maltell, being one of the pioneers in Internet field, he opened the RIF Website in early days of Internet era, in 1994, while many people could not imagine the potential of Internet and its importance in spreading renju all over the world. But Tommy knew it. He put a deep focus on Internet related issues, such as Website, newsletter by email, supported the birth of the Internet version of Renju World Magazine, etc. Only today we can fully understand how right he was and we must be so thankful to him for his work! Without Tommy Maltell, it is very likely that renju would not have grown to be a popular game outside Asia.

Tommy Maltell was the great renju pioneer of renju for two decades. He retired from the post of RIF President in 2001 by his own will. After 20 years of biggest work for renju, he made a step back to take a rest from his wonderful work. He is not active in renju area these days, but the whole world admires him, and talks about him, and remembers the good old times about him, and most importantly - everybody is waiting Tommy Maltell to return to the world of Renju again. Great people will never be forgotten!! Thank You, Tommy!

RIF Vice-President 1988-2001

Yoshimi Hayakawa is a living legend of Renju, a father of today's Renju. He has spent the last 40 years spreading renju in Japan, uniting Japan renju communities, and bringing Japan out to the world, to join the RIF. He has done so many things for renju, but most of us know only a little about it, because of the little information that we receive from Japan.

He has been running the Renju Association, Club, School for Children, School for Senior Citizens, and many other renju activities and events. His activities in International field started with the visit to Sweden in 1982.

The Renju Association in Japan has honoured him with 9 dan title for his life-time work for renju. This is the highest title in renju. A few people in the world ever reach that far. Besides, Yoshimi Hayakawa is a great renju player as well. His excellent skills have proven that he is truly 9 dan level as a player as well! He has got many good results in Japanese tournaments, and being successful in the tournaments outside Japan as well. He has also participated in the World Championship finals, and beat the World Champion there. Unfortunately, being a co-ordinator of renju, manager, leader, teacher - he must share his energy among all these things, and thus may not always have time to enjoy the glory as player.

Hayakawa is the man who can bear lots of pressure and can handle the leadership well. The World Championships of 1989 and 2001 in Kyoto, they were all on his shoulders. He made a wonderful arrangement for the World Championship 2001, he dedicated the whole of his time and energy into this. And not only that, he was also the one who donated the largest sum of money into the World Championship fund, making this tournament be possible and successful. Only a few people know about it outside Japan, therefore it is very fair that we mention it here, letting people respect and admire him for that! He has been a very important person for RIF, too. Not telling much during the RIF meetings, but when he says something, people always agree with him and respect his words. It speaks of the very powerful and great man. He was, he is, and he will remain the key person in the world of Renju. All the big changes that renju may go through, will always be led by him, by his initiative. Many people may talk a lot, but he talks a few, but does a lot! This kind of man earns everybody's respect.

He retired from the post of RIF Vice-President in 2001, by his own will. Had he decided to continue in his post, he would have gotten 100% support by all RIF members. Now, as he is not active in RIF now as a Vice-President, he has more free time to support Japanese renju and help about its popularity. On the other hand, he will always be connected to RIF, as the representative of RIF Founder Member country - Japan. If anyone has a chance to meet Hayakawa, you can find out a lot about renju, its history, and its legends! Thank You, Yoshimi Hayakawa, for bringing renju to us!

NA WEI    
RIF Vice-President 2011-2015

Na Wei is from P.R.C (China) and is a pioneer of Renju in China, and sometimes people calling the founding father of Renju in China.

In the past he has been a Vice President of Renju International Federation (RIF), Chairman of the Asian Commission and he is also the president of the NaWei Renju Club, and has been given an honorable 9 dan.

In August 2017 he was elected Honorable President of R.I.F. for his contribution to Renju in China. His career within the Renju can be summarized as below:

From 1996 to 2001 he lectured about Renju in CCTV. There were nearly three hundred million people watching and there were nearly twenty million fans nationwide. He has greatly promoted the rise of modern Chinese Renju and made a positive contribution to the popularization and development of Renju in China.

RIF President 2001-2015

Peter Jonsson started to play renju in 1981. He was the President of the Renju International Federation from 2001 until 2015 and is currently the chairman of the Swedish Renju and Gomoku Federation.

Peter Jonsson has done increadible efforts for Renju and youth over the years. Among many things he organized the 2011 World Championship of Renju and Gomoku in his hometown Huskvarna in Sweden.

Among other successes Peter has won the Swedish Championships of Gomoku in 2004.

On April 9, 2022 he was elected Honorable President of R.I.F. for life in recognition of his increadible contributions to the Renju Community.

RIF President 2015-2022, RIF Vice-President 2003-2015

Anders Henningsson is originally from Huskvarna in Sweden. He has lived in Asia for more than 18 years and now lives in Jönköping (Sweden). He has played Gomoku since 1987 and Renju since 1988. He is especially skillful in blitz games of Renju.

His best international results include a 4:th place in the World Championships of Gomoku in Moscow 1991 and he got the 1:st place in the open Gomoku tournament at the World Championships in Sweden 1993 (At this WC there was no A-tournament). He has got the 3:rd place in Swedish Championships in Renju in 1992 and 1994 and has won the Swedish Championships of Gomoku and Blitz Renju several times. The last time he participated in an official tournament was in February 2014 when he got 3:rd place in the Swedish Championships of Blitz Renju. Before that he had not participated in any official tournament since 2001 when he played the B-tournament of Renju at the World Championships in Kyoto. In July 2012 his teenage Renju dream came true as he got the chance to play against Mr. Shigeru Nakamura in a local tournament in Tokyo. The game ended a draw.

He has done a lot in supporting the Renju development in P.R.China and Korea. In 1999 he spent one month in P.R.China helping to organize the 6:th World Championships in Beijing and training the Chinese players before the tournament. Anders also trained the Republic of Korea national team for almost a year in Seoul before the World Championships in Kyoto 2001. In 2005, he was one of the organizers of a team game in Beijing between the national teams of P.R.China and the Republic of Korea and in 2006 he helped to organize the Asian Championship in Seoul, Republic of Korea. In 2016 he helped to organize a team game between Shanghai and Seoul.

Anders served as a Vice President of the Renju International Federation from August 2003 until August 2015, when he was elected President. Anders Henningsson resigned as President of R.I.F. on March 6, 2022 and on April 9, 2022 he was elected Honorable President of R.I.F. for life in recognition of his contributions to the Renju Community. Anders is also an honorable member of the Korean as well as the Japanese Renju Federation.