STOP PRESS JIM BURNETT WINS MEMORIAL TOURNEY WITH 11/11 BUT PERHAPS MOST IMPORTANTLY WE HAD A FITTING TRIBUTE TO JOHN. COMPETITIVE CHESS NO QUARTER ASKED OR GIVEN LOTS OF DECISIVE GAMES. BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY.........
£70 RAISED FOR CHARITY
The following is an acknowledgemnet of out donation. I submitted it as from me on the basis that it would raise an extra 20% by gift aid
Dear Mr Beckett
Thank you very much for
your kind donation of 76.69 in memory of John Smith (Worksop chess club).
Your gift helps us to continue our groundbreaking work to discover new
ways to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer so that many more people will
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John Smith A tribute
Geoff Frost contributes the following tribute to John
I knew John Smith over many years, but for a few of us he will be remembered for 1 season, 1 match, 1 game. I first met John when he arrived at Sheffield YMCA to play for Doncaster against Sheffield in the Woodhouse Cup, Probably about 1972. From memory Brian (B D) Smith John's brother was on 4, Mike Smith (our President) no relation, was on 7, John was on 8. I think that there was another Smith, another brother on 10 but I could be wrong. Doncaster had quite a strong team at that time, and in later years John would talk about the old players of that era. He was in awe of his brother Brian, and often spoke with himself on the edge of the good players. Contact was on an annual basis until John moved away to Scarborough and Brian died, I think relatively young. In the late 1990's John came to Rotherham with his good friend Jim Burnett and said to me " I would like to offer my services....if you want me" Humble and unassuming. We had a strong team but another solid player at 5 or 6 in an 8 board team is not to be turned down. He still played for Doncaster in the Woodhouse Cup but one season he elected to play for Rotherham. THE season was (I think) 2002. First match away at Calderdale. We had a very small squad and were missing a few players. John had said that he had done quite well in Summer congresses, most of us had not played since the end of the previous season, so I played him at 4 or 5 (10 man teams then) John won, the team won and the roller coaster started. We scraped 3 more wins up to Christmas but had not played Hull, York and Sheffield the best teams. Our best team had four 160s and four 150s which was a joke compared with the "good" teams. John played board 6 and held his own. I made a point of showing our grades to the opposition just to wind them up. We blew away Hull and York in succession and reached 7/7 more importantly 3 points clear of Sheffield who would definitely beat us. The fateful match was against Bradford. Same team Ross, Woolley, Latham, Johnson all 160s, Williams, Smith, Ballard, Frost all 150s Mann, Swanson or Willey played 9/10. Incredible wins at 3 and 4, not so good near the bottom. Still 5-4 and John playing a pawn up and probably won. A slight inaccuracy and he lost. We were all silent. No mass of hands showing other moves, nothing. John was devastated, we all were. John had had an excellent campaign and did not deserve that. I knew that the point lost would mean that Sheffield could beat us and with the league which they did. The following season for many things, including loss of venue the team folded.
I next saw John when he was playing for Barnby Dun possibly 2005 or 2006. Over 30 years after first meeting we actally played for the first time. I was playing well at the time and won. We met twice after that, once last season Nomads v Worksop. 2 draws in which I was very lucky.
John and I never spoke about the Bradford game afterwards. Some friends even now say to me "Do you remember the year we should have won the Woodhouse Cup...." Sadly John loss is recalled, not those who lost earlier in the day.
Phill says he was a hard player to beat. He gave excellent service to Rotherham, as I will testify
It was with a sense of shock that I heard of the death of John Smith after a long battle against cancer (although he did not make it common knowledge). I had met John over the board several times and always found him a doughty and resourceful player. The last time I played him in serious game was when Worksop met Barnby Dunn in the first division. We managed to share our encounters about 50-50 and hence he was a player I always looked forward to playing knowing it was going to be tough and as a consequence I always felt that the opposition were in for a real battle when we lined up in a team together. To say he will be missed is a shallow reflection of the hole he will leave in Worksop (and the Doncaster team).
THE FUNERAL WAS HELD ON WEDNESDAY 12/1/11 WE WERE REPRESENTED BY JIM DAVIS NEIL LOWTHER AND JIM BURNETT.