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Chris Clegg

Posted: Sat Jan 10, 2015 4:34 pm
by John Foley
C.R.A. ("Chris") Clegg, a stalwart of Kingston Chess Club for over 50 years, has passed away at his home in Kingston at the age of 66. He was playing chess until the last week of his life at the ECF grading of 150 which he had consistently maintained throughout the last 20 years. The club became aware that not all was well when he failed to attend a match earlier in the week. Chris was Kingston player of the year in 2009. He was captain of the Thames Valley team and invariably of one of the Surrey League teams. He was an enthusiastic weekend competition player and would often be found at Coulsdon, Richmond, Golders Green and others.

Chris was an invaluable member of the club who was always the first to arrive at a fixture to set things up and be amongst the last to leave having put everything away. His dedication saw the club through some difficult times as membership levels declined. He never complained about anything. Chess was a vital part of Chris's life and he trusted other members of the club to take their responsibilities seriously. Chris could remember the results of all his chess games and also the games of all who played in his teams. He also memorised people's gradings. This made him the ideal person to fulfil captaincy duties.

Chris had attended Tiffin School in the 1960s, the alma mater of many Kingston players. In his professional life he had been a lawyer. He was a keen bird watcher and had travelled abroad in pursuit of this interest. He could often be seen taking a walk along the Thames during a summer afternoon on Kingston riverside and would always be able to update one on which birds he had seen.

He had been deeply affected by the death of his mother some years ago with whom he lived. In recent years, Chris had shown signs of self-neglect yet declined offers of help from club members and external agencies. Chris was a private man of few words and several club members failed to engage him in a non-chess conversation try as they might. Chris did not use a mobile phone or the internet and he was becoming more isolated as society passed him by. Chess kept Chris going, and Chris kept Kingston Chess Club going. We will all miss him.


Chris Clegg (left) with Bill Waterton.

[Edited 11/1/15]

Re: Chris Clegg

Posted: Sat Jan 10, 2015 5:50 pm
by John Upham
Here are a couple of snaps of Chris from the 2012 Surrey Congress:

Chris Clegg, Surrey Congress, 2012
_ANE8991.jpg (169.53 KiB) Viewed 4268 times

Re: Chris Clegg

Posted: Sat Jan 10, 2015 7:42 pm
by Martin Crichton
Shocked to be honest... 67 is a still very young in this day and age to die. I thought Chris had many more years left in him... I remember playing Chris in rapid plays in 1988 when I first came to London and I think I played him in my last ever county match for Middlesex 2-3 years ago and he played a solid draw.

Re: Chris Clegg

Posted: Sat Jan 10, 2015 8:01 pm
by Richard James
Sorry to hear this very sad news. I always enjoyed our games in Richmond v Kingston Thames Valley League matches. My condolences to all his friends at Kingston Chess Club and elsewhere.

Chris's date of birth was 1 April 1948, so he was 66 years old.

Re: Chris Clegg

Posted: Sat Jan 10, 2015 8:20 pm
by Brendan O'Gorman
Chris at Golders Green, December 2010.

Re: Chris Clegg

Posted: Sat Jan 10, 2015 9:29 pm
by Christopher Kreuzer
Very sad to hear this news as well. I was told by Nick Grey when I arrived at the 4NCL this afternoon, so reading about it on the forum wasn't the shock it would have been, but it was still difficult to take in. It is a sad loss, to Kingston Chess Club and all who knew him.

I had known him mainly in his role as Thames Valley League captain for Kingston when playing against them in that league, but this season (having joined Kingston Chess Club) I was getting to know him as a player in the Kingston 2 team he was captaining in the Surrey League. We would talk at times on the bus back into Kingston from the Roehampton ASDA, though as John says above it was not always easy to engage him in conversation.

Here is a link to the Kingston Chess Club player of the year award John mentioned: ... f-the-year

I think this game is by Chris:

It is a loss to Raymond Keene from the 1962 London U-14 Championships. The date fits the DOB given by Richard. Does anyone know when Chris started playing chess? It must have been around that time or earlier.

EDIT: Thanks, Brendan, for finding and posting a win. Very nice tactic there.

Re: Chris Clegg

Posted: Sat Jan 10, 2015 9:47 pm
by Brendan O'Gorman
Here's a win by Chris. Black's manoeuvre starting at move 29 is quite pleasing.

[Event "Civil Service Major"]
[Site "Birkbeck College (London)"]
[Date "2005.??.??"]
[Round "4"]
[White "Jain, Akash"]
[Black "Clegg, Chris RA"]
[Result "0-1"]
[BlackElo "1768"]
[ECO "C02"]
[WhiteElo "1520"]

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 c5 4.Qg4 cxd4 5.Nf3 Nc6 6.Bd3 Nge7 7.O-O Ng6 8.Re1 Qc7 9.Qg3 Bb4 10.Nbd2 O-O 11.a3 Be7 12.b4 f6 13.Bxg6 hxg6 14.Qxg6 Nxe5 15.Nxe5 fxe5 16.Nf3 Bf6 17.Bb2 Bd7 18.Rac1 Rac8 19.Qg3 e4 20.Qxc7 Rxc7 21.Nxd4 Rc4 22.c3 Rfc8 23.Rcd1 Kf7 24.h3 Bxd4 25.Rxd4 Rxd4 26.cxd4 Rc2 27.Bc1 Bb5 28.g4 Rc3 29.Kg2 Rd3 30.Bb2 Rd2 31.Bc3 Rc2 32.Re3 Bd3 33.Ba1 Ra2 34.Re1 e3 35.Rxe3 Be4+ 36.Kg3 Rxa1 37.Rc3 g5 38.f3 Bg6 39.Rc7+ Kf6 40.Rxb7 Rxa3 41.Kf2 a6 42.Ra7 Bd3 0-1

Re: Chris Clegg

Posted: Sat Jan 10, 2015 11:22 pm
by Richard James
An entertaining draw from a few years ago:

[Event "Richmond A v Kingston A"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2009.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "James, R."]
[Black "Clegg, CRA."]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "E12"]
[PlyCount "94"]

1. d4 e6 2. c4 Nf6 3. Nf3 b6 4. a3 Bb7 5. Nc3 d5 6. cxd5 Nxd5 7. Qc2 Nxc3 8.
bxc3 c5 9. Bf4 Nc6 10. e3 Be7 11. Bd3 h6 12. O-O O-O 13. Rfd1 cxd4 14. cxd4 Rc8
15. Qe2 Kh8 16. Bb1 Qe8 17. Qd3 f5 18. e4 Qg6 19. exf5 exf5 20. d5 Rcd8 21. Qe2
Bf6 22. dxc6 Ba6 23. Rxd8 Rxd8 24. Qc2 Bxa1 25. c7 Rc8 26. Nh4 Qe6 27. Bd2 Qe2
28. h3 Qf1+ 29. Kh2 Be5+ 30. f4 Bxf4+ 31. Bxf4 Qxf4+ 32. g3 Qe4 33. Ng6+ Kh7
34. Qa2 Qe2+ 35. Qxe2 Bxe2 36. Bxf5 Rxc7 37. Nf4+ g6 38. Bxg6+ Kg7 39. Ne6+
Kxg6 40. Nxc7 a5 41. Nd5 Kf7 42. Nxb6 Ke6 43. Kg2 Bb5 44. Kf3 Kd6 45. Ke4 Bf1
46. h4 Kc6 47. Nc8 Kd7 1/2-1/2

Re: Chris Clegg

Posted: Sun Jan 11, 2015 1:10 am
by David Sedgwick
John (Foley), thank you for passing on the sad news and for your excellent obituary.

My condolences to Chris's friends in Kingston Chess Club and elsewhere.

Re: Chris Clegg

Posted: Sun Jan 11, 2015 12:54 pm
by David Shepherd
Very sad news and difficult to accept that after seeing Chris at both matches and tournaments for so many years he will no longer be around.

Re: Chris Clegg

Posted: Sun Jan 11, 2015 6:23 pm
by Jonathan Bryant
David Shepherd wrote:Very sad news and difficult to accept that after seeing Chris at both matches and tournaments for so many years he will no longer be around.

As for others, shock was my reaction too. Wherever I went to play chess he seemed to be there. I don’t claim that we were friends, but he was one of those fixtures on the circuit. We played several times over the years. Most recently at a Golders Green rapidplay tournament a couple of years ago. It must have been around ten years ago we played our first game.

Re: Chris Clegg

Posted: Mon Jan 12, 2015 8:30 am
by Kevin Thurlow
Very sorry to hear the news. He was always a tough opponent with good ideas, and interesting to play. As mentioned earlier, Chris was not exactly the life and soul of the party, but he always behaved impeccably.

Re: Chris Clegg

Posted: Mon Jan 12, 2015 2:18 pm
by Adam Raoof
Very sad news indeed - my last conversation with Chris was on the 2nd January when he rang to apologise for not being able to make the Golders Green Rapidplay the next day as he had intended. He will be missed.

Re: Chris Clegg

Posted: Mon Jan 12, 2015 7:55 pm
by Lee Bullock
I remember playing Chris when I first starting playing Chess 4 years ago regular. He was the first player I ever played who had a grade over 150. He beat me just 2 days before this game but then I managed to get a draw. He happily agreed to go over the game with me and had to walk up the dodgy Coulsdon stairs which I really appreciated. He said I was way better than my grade and said he was impressed. This was my very first good result in Chess and think I got lucky in this game.

Rip Chris.

[Event "CCF Jessie Gilbert C"]
[Site "Coulsdon"]
[Date "25/8/11"]
[Round "1 D"]
[White "Lee Bullock (79E)"]
[Black "Chris Clegg (152A)"]
[WhiteElo "79E"]
[BlackElo "152A"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]

1. f4 {0s} d5 {book 0s} 2. b3 Nf6 3. Bb2 c5 4. e3 Nc6
5. Nf3 g6 6. Be2 Bg7 7. O-O O-O 8. Qe1 a6 9. Ne5 Qc7 10. a3
Nd7 11. Nxc6 Qxc6 12. Bxg7 Kxg7 13. Qh4 (13. Nc3) 13... Qf6
14. Qxf6+ Nxf6 15. d3 Re8 16. Nc3 e5 17. fxe5 Rxe5 18. Bf3
Be6 19. e4 d4 20. Ne2 g5 21. g3 Bg4 22. b4 Rd8 23. Rab1 Rd7
24. Kg2 Bxf3+ 25. Rxf3 Ng4 26. c3 Ne3+ 27. Kf2 Nc2 28. cxd4
Nxd4 29. Nxd4 cxd4 30. Rc1 f6 31. Rf5 Ree7 32. Rd5 b5

Re: Chris Clegg

Posted: Tue Jan 13, 2015 9:27 am
by John Foley
There was a one minute silence for Chris Clegg before last night's London League match between Drunken Knights 2 and Wimbledon. Chris used to play for the Wimbledon second team in the London League. Russell Granat made a short speech of appreciation and made the point that Chris is the sort of person who keeps evening league chess going.