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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.

Image

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:



_ANE8991.jpg
Chris Clegg, Surrey Congress, 2012
_ANE8991.jpg (169.53 KiB) Viewed 4326 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:

http://www.kingstonchess.org.uk/news/ch ... f-the-year

I think this game is by Chris:

http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1555239

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.


Re: Chris Clegg

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


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.


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.