Year Book 2019-20 Contents
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Maurice J Kent
Former YCA President Maurice Kent, of Doncaster, died in Sheffield Northern General Hospital on Monday 27/01/2020, aged 58, following attempts at a valve replacement operation which followed years of ill health, in the last two years of which he had been housebound.
Maurice’s parents were Arthur Kent (born 17/11/1901, Rotherham) and the much younger Bertha Mildred Goldstraw (born 03/03/1922, Manchester), who got married in Manchester in 1942. The couple’s first child was David A Kent, born in Manchester in early 1947. Unfortunately, David died soon after birth, within a matter of months. Thus Maurice, when he came along, was for practical purposes an only child.
The Kents evidently moved to Doncaster, as that is where Maurice J Kent was born in 1961.
Maurice was only 19 years of age when his mother died in Doncaster in 1980, at the age of 58, which was also Maurice’s age at his own death. Due to the age-difference of his parents, father Arthur Kent was at this stage 78 or 79 years old, so Maurice took on the job of looking after his aged father.
Roughly half a mile to the south of Doncaster town centre is a group of blocks of flats named after various coalmines, and it was here, more specifically at 8 Wentworth House, St James Street, that Maurice and his father lived, and where Maurice continued to live after his father’s death in 1986.
By occupation Maurice was at this stage a lecturer in accountancy. Whether he had earlier worked as an accountant is unclear.
In 1992 or 1993 Maurice became President of the Yorkshire Chess Association, stepping down at the end of 1993-94. His grade varied, but was very roughly in the 150/160s:
He gave up playing around 2003.
A humorous incident relating to Maurice’s chess-playing activity relates to his participation in a chess congress. Present YCA President Jim Burnett was looking round the congress hall and noticed Maurice in action at one of the boards, and went to the wall-charts to see how his fellow Doncaster player was faring, but Maurice was not named in the charts. Further research revealed that Maurice was playing under an assumed named. Perhaps he wished to try out some opening ideas without risking damaging his grade if things went wrong! That remains a mystery.
Physically, Maurice was of stocky proportions, and his doctor would doubtless have said he was significantly overweight. This, combined with a “junk” diet, contributed to major health problems, and, when it got to the stage of the need to go into hospital for surgery, he made a will, appointing a fellow Doncaster chess-player as executor. At this stage he believed he had not long to live.
However, Maurice was a graduate of the same school of cantankerous obstinacy as the late Alan Burkett of York. Neither yielded readily to their life-threatening conditions, and as the years passed by, Maurice’s prophecy of his impending demise lost its credibility. Nevertheless, it recently came to the point where Maurice was admitted to Sheffield’s Northern General Hospital for heart-valve replacement surgery, which did not turn out very well, and Maurice died in hospital on Monday 27th January 2020.
One is reminded of the epitaph Spike Milligan chose for himself: “I told you I was ill.”
Alright Maurice; we believe you now.