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A break from daily chess -instead, a day for reflection

April 25, 2016

Blank board

No puzzle today.

Instead, time for reflection. I hope my readers spend some time today, instead, reflecting on their loved ones, as I will be doing throughout a very difficult day.

My dear father died on 11th April, and today is his funeral. So, in advance of today {I always write my blog days or weeks in advance of publication- I am not up blogging religiously and posting at 7am UK},  I have written this posting. And I have timed its publication not for 7am but for when his funeral starts.

Dad didn’t play chess, didn’t to my knowledge know any of the moves. His interests were more physical- playing rugby as a child, and in the army; P.E., including the self defence art of ju-jitsu, and later watching sport, particularly rugby and soccer.

But when I was a child he took me to countless chess events. He must have driven numerous times the 20 miles each way from home to school to pick me up (after his work) after chess matches, and suffered the despondency of his child when I lost, or pleasure when I won. I wonder if I always said thank you? I suspect I often did, but sometimes didn’t. Before then he took me once a week to Golborne chess club where I first met a boy three years younger than me, Nigel Short. Dad would wait whilst Nigel and I played each other, little knowing until later that although beginners we were immediately stronger than the adults at that club.

Of course, in 2006 when I was non-playing Captain for the England men’s team, I gave him my Olympiad participants medal. When I visited his empty home the day after he died, there it was, on his side-board. I doubt I had seen it these last 10 years.

Thank you, Dad, for all you did for me, in life, in supporting my education which was the basis for whatever success I have in my career, and, in chess.

So today, pieces put away in their box, no moves, time to reflect.

Please join me in thinking about and celebrating the loved ones in your life.

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