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Adrian Dawson

Posted: Thu Mar 26, 2020 4:23 pm
by Andrew Zigmond
It was with great sadness that I learnt yesterday of the death of Adrian Dawson last week. He had announced on social media last year that he was terminally ill. Adrian was a stalwart of Calderdale chess club and previously held officer roles within the YCA and NCCU although this was before my time so I can't say in what capacity he served. He was an honorary life member of the YCA.

I first met Adrian at a Yorkshire League match in 1999 when he was collecting signatures for a petition to have chess recognised as a sport, something he remained passionate about. I gained a nodding acquaintance with him at matches and congresses over the years that followed (he defeated me in our one over the board encounter in 2006) but it was through facebook in later years that I came to know him best. He was a forceful personality and a man of strong convictions; he was not a supporter of the ECF (which I disagreed on) but he wrote with passion about subjects such as violence against women and the human rights abuses in Palestine while always forcefully condemning all forms of racism.

His loss will be felt, not just in Calderdale but also across Yorkshire where the chess community is poorer for his passing.

Re: Adrian Dawson

Posted: Fri Mar 27, 2020 12:43 pm
by Jon Mahony
Very sad indeed to hear this news - I played Adrian several times (I'm pretty sure he smashed me up in every game) and had some interesting conversations with him over a pint at various congresses in the Yorkshire area.

I'm not a user of social media and so I had no idea about his illness (plus we haven't bumped into each other in quite some time) but that is a bit of a shock, he wasn't that old (I'd guess mid 50's maybe?).

RIP.

Re: Adrian Dawson

Posted: Fri Mar 27, 2020 8:22 pm
by Keith Arkell
My personal memory was of giving a Simultaneous Chess Exhibition at Ranby Prison, Sheffield, against Category 1 prisoners - organised by...Adrian Dawson, of course!

RIP Adrian, a moral guy, one of the good guys - it was a privilege to know you

Re: Adrian Dawson

Posted: Fri Mar 27, 2020 9:07 pm
by Andrew Zigmond
Keith Arkell wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 8:22 pm
My personal memory was of giving a Simultaneous Chess Exhibition at Ranby Prison, Sheffield, against Category 1 prisoners - organised by...Adrian Dawson, of course!

RIP Adrian, a moral guy, one of the good guys - it was a privilege to know you
Steve Mann has drawn up an obituary for the YCA website; he sent me a draft earlier but I'm not sure if it has been posted yet. Steve mentions Adrian's role in prisons chess which was a national role, probably the forerunner of the current Manager of Prisons Chess role although this would have been in the BCF era. This was something I wasn't previously aware of.

Re: Adrian Dawson

Posted: Mon Mar 30, 2020 9:56 am
by Ihor Lewyk
I got to know Adrian well when I first took the role of President of the Yorkshire Chess Association in the early 90s. He was the Correspondence Chess Controller as well as delegate for NCCU and BCF. He wrote a regular column in the Halifax Courier and kept this going for nearly a decade.

I always respected his opinion, even if they differed from my own, and he always made a good argument for his standpoint. He was very much an idealist, he believed in the need for a strong national body in chess but felt the BCF didn’t always deliver for the grass roots and things were slow to impossible to change. However, he always felt that it was better to encourage change from within the organisation rather than gripe from the sidelines.

It was pleasing to see he had found love in his later years with a lady in the Philippines, Aurora. He loved her and he loved the Philippines but sadly his illness didn’t allow him to carry out his plans for their future together.

Adrian was a loyal supporter of Yorkshire chess, a principled man, a good friend and I will miss him.