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Richard A Collins 1944-2020

Posted: Wed Apr 15, 2020 9:14 am
by Mick Norris
We have been sadly informed that another long standing member of the Manchester Manticores, Richard Collins has sadly passed away last Tuesday. Our sincere condolences to his family & friends for their loss,he will be sadly missed. His last outing for us was when he stepped at short notice for the 1st team at the end of February. Richard played for Lancaster & Morecambe.

Re: Richard A Collins 1944-2020

Posted: Wed Apr 15, 2020 10:46 am
by Michael Farthing
This comes as a very sad shock. At first I didn't even recognise who was being talked about because in our league we always think of him as 'Dick' even in our team listings. A kind and gentle man whom I have played many times - usualy losing. As recently as late March he was still ready to play for our team in the Blackpool & Fylde League cup final - provided he did not have to drive. That match was cancelled due to Covid. For many years he was the Morecambe and Lancaster league grader, stepping down about a year ago. His other great love in life was orienteering.

Re: Richard A Collins 1944-2020

Posted: Wed Apr 15, 2020 11:22 am
by Mick Norris
Very sad news about Dick Collins, who died recently following a suspected heart attack. He had had heart-related medical problems for some time but even so his passing away was quite unexpected.

I myself in fact knew Dick on two counts, because as well as being a chess player he was also a colleague of my father's (along with the late Walter Fairbairn) as a lecturer in Lancaster University's physics department. Dick had been a very active chess player going right back to the 1960s. I recall that he played for Middlesex in his early days, if I remember rightly including a match of 40-odd boards in the café of the John Lewis store in Oxford Street, London (at a time when the store wasn't open on Sundays). In the 1980s, he largely dropped out of chess for some years to concentrate on his other main pastime, orienteering (a combination of running and direction finding). But once he retired as a full-time lecturer, he returned to chess with great enthusiasm, while continuing his orienteering and part-time university work.

Mark Whitehead notes that Dick's last games for 4NCL were on 29th February/1st March for the Manticores first team. For my part, I had been looking forward to a new career of my own - Dick's openings coach. We were next to each other on the Saturday at 4NCL and he saw me play the Hungarian Defence (1 e4 e5, 2 Nf3 Nc6, 3 Bc4 Be7), which he'd not seen before, and although I eventually lost that game the opening was reasonably successful. It obviously made an impression on Dick and so on the Sunday, on the spur of the moment, Dick played the opening himself in his own game. A gritty, solid manoeuvring game ensued which was eventually drawn. A very creditable contribution for his final Manticores game and a very pleasant memory for me of the last time I saw him.

Dick Collins, 1944 - 2020, RIP

John Lyth
Chairman, Morecambe Chess Club
15th April 2020

Re: Richard A Collins 1944-2020

Posted: Wed Apr 15, 2020 11:24 am
by Mick Norris

Re: Richard A Collins 1944-2020

Posted: Wed Apr 15, 2020 1:15 pm
by Matt Mackenzie
Ah, great shame :(

When I started playing serious chess at Lancaster - nearly 40 years ago now! - he was the strongest player there with a grade in the 190s (he had actually been over 200 at his peak) Largely retired from the game for a while come the mid 80s, but of course he returned.

Back in those days he played the Latvian Gambit, which became one of my bad chess habits for a while ;)

Didn't know until reading the above that Walter Fairbairn also passed away recently (though he had reached 90, so a good innings)

Re: Richard A Collins 1944-2020

Posted: Thu Apr 30, 2020 8:32 pm
by Simon Rogers
A terrible shock and sad loss to Morecambe Chess Club and the Blackpool and Fylde Chess League.
Dick Collins was a very decent guy and good egg. He was a keen supporter of junior chess in the Lancaster and Morecambe area.
I remember each time he came to play at Poulton-le-Fylde Chess Club how complimentary he was about our club. He said Poulton was very welcoming because we supplied free tea and coffee and a vast supply of various entry forms.
I will miss him.