|Posted on December 14, 2020 at 8:45 PM|
A number of current members and ex-members of the chess club have got in touch with the club to express their sadness at Andrew's death. Andrew had being the club secretary since 1995, for 25 years.
David Blower the club chairman said:
"No chess club, however good its players are, can function without a club secretary. I know Brewood Chess Circle is a very good chess club to go to, but only because we had a very good club secretary. Andrew will be very sadly missed.
On a personal note, I would like to thank him for all the help he has given me since I have been at the club, especially when I became the chairman of the chess club. He had given me lots of help especially regarding children at the chess club, the benefit of which the current children at the chess club are still receiving today.
Andrew made me feel welcome to Brewood when I first joined the club, and that was the case whenever a new member or potential new member joined the club. I always knew he was only ever a phone call away if I wanted some help or advice on the running of Brewood Chess Circle.
One of Andrew's great strengths was that he believed chess was for everyone, regardless of their existing skill level, and set about with that at Brewood. If a child he was helping was finding something too difficult, it was not a problem, he would just move on to something a bit easier for them.
Andrew would produce a monthly club newsletter at Brewood, many copies of which I have still got. Often there would be a chess puzzle, either from something he had found on the internet, or sometimes club members would send him in positions from games that had occurred whilst playing for Brewood.
I knew that he was a qualified chess arbiter. One of the things he used to do was to go to arbiter's meetings, pretending he did not know much about chess, just to see the look on people's faces when he asked how the horse moves!
I also knew that he had started to learn the Welsh and Irish languages.
I would also like to thank Traci Whitfield for all that she is doing, behind the scenes. For those that do not know Traci is the secretary of junior chess for the Staffordshire Chess Association. She and Andrew had worked together on many things for the benefit of Staffordshire Juniors including organising for many years the Staffordshire Junior Chess Congress.
As Andrew would say Good Chess everyone."
Paul Wright club committee member said:
"Very, very sad news. Andrew was one of the nicest people that I have met, and he will be missed.
Despite it being difficult/impossible for him to attend the club over the past year or so, he was a very kind, hard-working and patient club secretary, as well as a good chess player. I never saw him lose his temper at anyone either. These qualities were why he was so good at his role, despite his health. He is a great role model for future club secretaries (and a great role model in general) in my eyes."
Mark Binfield, the club treasurer added:
"I drove Andrew to chess events on many occasions and spent quite a lot of time chatting to him.
A person I had much admiration for, he will be sadly missed."
Paul Guest said:
"Very sad news indeed.
Andrew will be greatly missed by all. He was the heart and soul of the club.
Rest in peace Andrew."
Mike Jarocki commented: "How sad. Andrew was a stalwart for the cause of chess. A nice person as well. He will be sadly missed."
Trevor Pitchford said:
"That is very sad news, will you please send mine and Rose’s deepest sympathy to his family.
Andrew was the first person I spoke with at the church hall when I joined the club.
However it was not just Brewood Chess Circle members that had got in touch with the club.
Nathanael Paul (Newport Chess Club, Shropshire) said: "Really sorry to hear this news David, please pass on my dad's and my condolences. Andrew was a lovely man and will be a loss to the chess community."
Nathanael Paul will not know this but as a side note here, whenever Brewood Chess Circle had an away match in Shropshire to play, it became a running joke within the club that we might get lost, and that we might end up in Newport in Wales. If we started seeing Welsh language signs, turn back round, we have gone too far!
Peter Evans - County Captain, Staffordshire Under 120 team from Stafford Chess Club said:
"Andrew was a great help to me in my tenure. He was the one player I could ring on the evening prior to a match to fill a vacancy and he would always play unless he was fulfilling another chess commitment. RIP."
Traci Whitfield - Secretary of Junior Chess for Staffordshire, reacted to my comments: "I found what you said about pretending he did not know much about chess very funny, but that was him.
He decided to become an arbiter after he saw me get Matt Carr started as an arbiter - I persuaded him (Andrew) to do the course. He really loved arbiting once he started. He would often explain his decisions to me and tell me how he felt about his role as an arbiter."
Details of Andrew's funeral will be communicated when known.
Categories: Other news