Sheffield & District Chess Association

Established 1883







David Greensmith

December 1952 – 22 July 2020


From Mike Smith:


On holiday in Cyprus, he fell on the stairs of the hotel, was taken by ambulance to Hospital but did not regain consciousness. Autopsy results awaited. [not a covid statistic] He is survived by Sandra, his wife of more than 40 years.

David was a keen hiker so when I heard he had died of a fall that was my first thought, but fate is not like that. I understand he has left a bequest in his will to provide a bench on Stanage Edge, something I hope to visit in due course.

David originated from Leeds, moved to Sheffield in 1971 and spent 3 years at Sheffield University reading History. He played initially for the University C team, then later also for the A team.

Post University David’s chess improved and he played for the Sheffield Woodhouse Cup team for many years. He suffered a traumatic experience in a match Sheffield v Wakefield, David was substantial material to the good when his opponent suddenly dropped dead at the board. Of another occasion he oft related “I will never forget strolling along to a Sheffield Woodhouse Cup game, expecting to arrive ten minutes late as usual, when Roger Hoole spotted me and offered a lift, ruining my game plan!”

David leaves us the legacy of the Nomads Chess Club. He was the prime motivator for setting up the Nomads, he had identified that Sheffield no longer had a ‘central chess club’. He personally visited a very large number of potential venues and his enthusiasm drew others to the project. That led directly to the formation of the Nomads club which won Division 4 and the Richardson Cup in its first season, a unique achievement in the annals of Sheffield Chess. The Richardson campaign included defeating the current league champions (Aughton) in the semi-final followed by defeating the champions elect in the Final. Here is the details of that 4-2 Final victory against Ecclesall:

C. Shephard


D. M. Adams

M. D. Smith


P. W. Hempson

D. Greensmith


T. Fernley

K. Dewhurst


C. J. Marley

I. Mortimer


A. J. Trafford

P. Hulse


M. Grimsley

David also leaves us the legacy of the current format of the Sheffield Championship. Historically the Sheffield Championship (and its minor tournaments) were played as separate knock-out competitions. David formulated and put the proposal to the AGM for the format we still use today. He was the Tournament Controller for several years until work commitments took him away from Sheffield.

Initially he went to Derby where he captained the Derbyshire County first team for several years. After that he moved to the North East and then to Scotland. Many year later he returned to the Sheffield area and played for Barnsley.

His chess claims to fame include the Hope Valley tournament in which he was runner-up to frequent winner Chris Shephard, both Nomads at the time, with another Nomad one of the losing semi-finalists. In tournament chess he achieved a long and hard fought draw with GM Mark Hebden, something few achieved in those days.

In a visit to the local area, David featured prominently (hijacked it) in the Sheffield Star review of an Indian Restaurant in Totley that alluded to ‘the tousle haired businessman belching and burping his way through his curry’.

In autumn 2018 I received a photo (attached), taken at a cręperie in Lyon. Unusually the photo does not show him with his signature pint of lager (Stella if available) but instead has the explanatory caption "Encore une bouteille de cidre, s'il vous plait !!"

David will be remembered for his flamboyant attire, those bright red or alternately bright green trousers at a time when others were sombrely dressed.