Jim Macrae 22/05/1936 - 25/05/2020

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Alex McFarlane
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Jim Macrae 22/05/1936 - 25/05/2020

Post by Alex McFarlane » Thu Jun 18, 2020 1:21 pm

It is with regret that I inform you of the death of Jim Macrae.

For many years Jim was a regular at the British Championships playing in the Over 65 section in recent years.

He was also a regular at Hastings, Scarborough and Blackpool.


Reg Clucas
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Re: Jim Macrae 22/05/1936 - 25/05/2020

Post by Reg Clucas » Thu Jun 18, 2020 1:44 pm

The correct link is https://www.heraldscotland.com/announce ... h_Mac_Rae/.

Sorry to hear this, I played him at the British a few years ago.

Richard Bates
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Re: Jim Macrae 22/05/1936 - 25/05/2020

Post by Richard Bates » Thu Jun 18, 2020 8:44 pm

That’s sad. A regular fixture at the big British events throughout my international playing career from Hastings and (I think) Lloyd’s Bank in the early 90s. Until noticeable by his absence the last few years at Hastings. Of course to me he looked 80 when I was 13 and 80 when I was 38! (when you start as a young junior, chess players never seem to age - except that one imagines that their current age seems to be the age they always were!)

And ever optimistic that his Kingside hack in the Open Sicilian would finally bring home a point (it never seemed to but often came close!)

Mike Gunn
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Re: Jim Macrae 22/05/1936 - 25/05/2020

Post by Mike Gunn » Fri Jun 19, 2020 11:58 am

The first year I played over the New Year at Hastings was 96/97 when Jim and I stayed in the same hotel (The Grand). The Grand had an eccentric owner/ proprietor who placed the four chess players staying there at the same table complete with those little paper national flags on sticks that you used to see at international tournaments. The breakfast room featured a large collection of those Xmas novelty toys which play music/ do a little dance when you clap or make another large noise near them. In fact the Grand was not so grand: it was the first hotel to feature on the TV series: "The Hotel Inspector".

The last time I saw Jim was at 2016/7 Hastings when we both played in the Masters. Jim scored 2.5 out of 9 with wins against Ray Kearsley and myself (the other half point was a bye).

Brendan O'Gorman
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Re: Jim Macrae 22/05/1936 - 25/05/2020

Post by Brendan O'Gorman » Fri Jun 19, 2020 6:21 pm

I played Jim a couple of times. He and his also sadly departed friend, Hugh Flockhart, used to play in a morning section at the British followed by a round of golf in the afternoon which struck me as an excellent mix of activities.
James Macrae.jpeg
James Macrae.jpeg (218.79 KiB) Viewed 1379 times

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: Jim Macrae 22/05/1936 - 25/05/2020

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Fri Jun 19, 2020 11:24 pm

Thanks for the photo - I don't think I met him, but he does look familiar. I find the position of his king and queen disturbing though.

It's sad to lose someone who was obviously a great enthusiast.

Ian Thompson
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Re: Jim Macrae 22/05/1936 - 25/05/2020

Post by Ian Thompson » Sat Jun 20, 2020 12:00 am

Kevin Thurlow wrote:
Fri Jun 19, 2020 11:24 pm
I find the position of his king and queen disturbing though.
I thought that as well. As his opponent's name is visible in the photo, it's easy to find the game.

I think the photo was taken after White's 19th move.

Simon Rogers
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Re: Jim Macrae 22/05/1936 - 25/05/2020

Post by Simon Rogers » Wed Jun 24, 2020 4:35 pm

I regularly saw Jim at the Blackpool and Scarborough Chess Congresses.
I only played him a couple of times, the games were lengthy and tough battles, but very enjoyable.
I very pleasant guy.

Alistair Campbell
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Re: Jim Macrae 22/05/1936 - 25/05/2020

Post by Alistair Campbell » Fri Oct 16, 2020 2:53 pm

I was also sorry to have heard of this. I played as a team-mate of Jim’s for several years, but didn’t know him well. He never lost his Barra accent but I’ve no idea how long he spent there – it was a surprise to find he had been born elsewhere.

He was a keen player and I suspect one who prioritised enjoyment over results. Perhaps the time controls of evening chess were a little fast for him so it was no surprise that he seemed to prefer social side of tournament chess and possibly the slower pace of week-long events. In that respect he was something of latter-day pioneer in regularly making the trip to Hastings along with Hugh Flockhart. I only played him once – a hard-fought Tchigorin Defence on a Friday night when I grovelled a draw.

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