John Brooke

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Andrew Zigmond
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John Brooke

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Mon Aug 17, 2020 1:38 pm

I learnt today that John Brooke passed away recently.

John represented several clubs within Yorkshire over the years; Bradford, Rose Forgrove, Ilkley, Calderdale and Harrogate (my club). He was also a regular on the congress circuit and had many interests within chess. He was captain of the Yorkshire Open team for a few years.

It's probably fair to say that John was a strong personality and did not always react to situations in the right way. On more than one occasion he crossed the line and not everybody will have cause to remember him fondly. However I personally have no axe to grind with him. If he could be difficult he could also be genial and loyal and also very gracious and generous. When he joined a team or a club he would get very passionate and give his all for the best result. He loved chess and the game was his life. His playing ability was erratic - his grade was normally around the 130 mark but he could lose to a 110 one day and then turn over a 170 the next.

I don't know much about John's background but I have reason to believe that his early life was equally interesting and he spent some years in America working for NASA.

The John Brooke I will remember was a flawed but fundamentally good man who I will miss.
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David Sedgwick
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Re: John Brooke

Post by David Sedgwick » Mon Aug 17, 2020 1:59 pm

Andrew Zigmond wrote:
Mon Aug 17, 2020 1:38 pm

It's probably fair to say that John was a strong personality and did not always react to situations in the right way. On more than one occasion he crossed the line and not everybody will have cause to remember him fondly. However I personally have no axe to grind with him. If he could be difficult he could also be genial and loyal and also very gracious and generous.

....

The John Brooke I will remember was a flawed but fundamentally good man who I will miss.
Speaking as someone whose main interaction with him was when I was an arbiter, I think that's a pretty fair description of him. I hadn't seen him for years, but I am sorry that he is no longer with us.

RIP. John.

Neil Graham
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Re: John Brooke

Post by Neil Graham » Mon Aug 17, 2020 4:02 pm

Can I echo David's comments? I crossed swords with John on a couple of occasions whilst Tournament Director/Arbiter of events - I'm sure many people in the arbiting community will have had similar experiences and tales. I played John a couple of years ago at the Harrogate 4NCL Congress and noted how poorly he looked compared to previously. Chess has many colourful characters and it's always sad to see yet another appearing in these obituary columns.

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IM Jack Rudd
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Re: John Brooke

Post by IM Jack Rudd » Mon Aug 17, 2020 4:09 pm

Last time I saw him was just under a year ago; he was playing in the Minor section at Paignton.

Andrew Wainwright
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Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2009 2:05 pm

Re: John Brooke

Post by Andrew Wainwright » Mon Aug 17, 2020 6:57 pm

Andrew Zigmond wrote:
Mon Aug 17, 2020 1:38 pm
I learnt today that John Brooke passed away recently.

John represented several clubs within Yorkshire over the years; Bradford, Rose Forgrove, Ilkley, Calderdale and Harrogate (my club). He was also a regular on the congress circuit and had many interests within chess. He was captain of the Yorkshire Open team for a few years.

It's probably fair to say that John was a strong personality and did not always react to situations in the right way. On more than one occasion he crossed the line and not everybody will have cause to remember him fondly. However I personally have no axe to grind with him. If he could be difficult he could also be genial and loyal and also very gracious and generous. When he joined a team or a club he would get very passionate and give his all for the best result. He loved chess and the game was his life. His playing ability was erratic - his grade was normally around the 130 mark but he could lose to a 110 one day and then turn over a 170 the next.

I don't know much about John's background but I have reason to believe that his early life was equally interesting and he spent some years in America working for NASA.

The John Brooke I will remember was a flawed but fundamentally good man who I will miss.
Well said Andrew, I think that you have hit the nail squarely on the head. John will be missed on the Bradford chess scene for both his brilliance and his "other" behaviour. We have lost another stalwart character from our ranks!

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Jon Mahony
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Re: John Brooke

Post by Jon Mahony » Mon Aug 24, 2020 12:54 pm

Now that one is a shocker! John was looking a little frailer in recent years, but it always seemed like he would go on forever.

I knew well what John was like from observing his interactions with others (not least the year he had received his ban from the Bradford congress and turned up to do a one-man picket - which involved him getting ailed up and showing anyone who would look the letter his "solicitor" had written to the congress organisers :roll:) but I never had a cross word with him personally, indeed whenever we ran into each other at a league match or congress he would always have a kind word or pleasantry for me, I always found him quite a nice (if a little eccentric!) bloke.

Ian Strickland tells an amusing story when John was playing for West Leeds in a Yorkshire league match - West Leeds had lost their venue and at very short notice were able to sweet talk a landlord into letting them use their upstairs room at the last minute so the match could be played - only for John to start threatening to sue the venue, due to the inadequate lighting :lol: that was him all over.

RIP.
"When you see a good move, look for a better one!" - Lasker

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