Year Book 2019-20 Contents
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Bradford-based chess-player and coach, Winston Williams, died last week, aged 62.
He was born on 20/021958, in London, of Anglo-Asian parentage. He spent time teaching maths and English in far off places such as West Africa and Korea. After returning to England, his first chess club was Bingley Chess Club, which he joined in 2004. After that he was moved round clubs, and was one of those who played in a number of different leagues at once. In 2019-20 he played in the Bradford, Calderdale, Leeds and Yorkshire Leagues, though not playing a lot of games in total.
His ECF grade was 185 back in 2011, in which year he was awarded the Candidate Master title by FIDE, who regard his national federation as that of Singapore! Perhaps that was where his mother originally came from. (Tim Wall has since researched the Singapore connection (see here on ECF website). †His ECF grade peaked in January 2017 at 192, but slipped away thereafter, and was down to 167 in the January 2020 list.
Besides being a player, he also did some coaching, and in connection with Chess in Schools and Communities he was associated with Ebor Gardens Primary School, Five Lanes Primary School, Shakespeare Primary School, and Fearnville Primary School.
Back in 2018 he ran the Rothay Manor Chess Holiday Tournament, held at Rothay Manor Hotel, Rothay Bridge, Ambleside, in the Lake District. This was a 5-night chess holiday combining a tournament with coaching. This followed on from a previous such event run at the same venue in 2016 by Peter Cloudsdale (a native of Cumbria).
Ihor Lewyk adds the following from a closer Bradford perspective:
The Chesstival in the Park was the brainchild of Winston and he put forward the suggestion to the Bradford & District chess committee. He continued to be one of the main organisers to make the event such a success. The event attracted lots of interest and the Bradford league gained new members and organisers as a result. (There is a photo of Winston on the Telegraph and Argus website in an article written about the Chesstival event held in Bradford in 2013 at https://www.thetelegraphandargus.co.uk/news/10659068.making-the-right-move-with-chesstival-event/.)
Winston continued to play in various local leagues and also became involved in the Chess in Schools programme. He was a strong player and would always create an interesting game. Winston was always willing to go over games with opponents and often had clever insights and thoughts. He was always a tricky player and I always felt he could have had better results if he didnít play quite as many quirky openings as he did.
A thoroughly lovely chap who had a passion for chess; his enthusiasm was contagious. He was very well loved in the league and he will be greatly missed.
Dan Staples adds the following from a Chess in Schools perspective:
Winston taught chess for Chess and Schools and Communities (CSC). †He started with CSC in 2011. †CSC aims to introduce children to chess with a focus on schools in more deprived areas. †He taught in many schools across Leeds/Bradford and was our Yorkshire Coordinator before me. †He was a wonderful teacher and enthusiastic about the game and passed that on to the children he taught.
For those unfamiliar with CSC's work, Winston taught our 30 week curriculum over the school year. †Winston would teach how the pawns move, all the way to basic openings, so that at the end of the year all children could play a reasonable game. †Winston used mini-games like Capture The Flag so the children could enjoy and learn through play before knowing all the rules of chess.
A few years ago Winston saw a report in the Yorkshire Evening Press of a Head opening his school in the holidays to feed the families of pupils. †I approached the Head and he was very keen to have chess taught, which Winston did successfully.
Dan Staples - CSC Yorkshire Coordinator