Sadly, due to unforeseen circumstances, the Northumbria Masters will not now be going ahead on its scheduled dates of February 16-20, 2019. It is planned to organize the event in the same format later in the year.
My mother, Margaret, pictured above, passed away suddenly just before Christmas, leaving our family and friends in a profound state of shock. While some people in Forest Hall Chess Club and the wider chess community may not have known Margaret personally, those who did knew she was a tower of strength to my Dad, John; to me and my sister, Rachel and my brother, Simon; to Sevil, Johnny and Jessica; and to all our extended family. She devoted her life to teaching young children and to the Methodist Church, and we will all miss her deeply.
While she occasionally expressed wholly justified scepticism about the wisdom and common sense of chess players (myself, primarily), my Mum has always been fantastically supportive of the three generations of players in our family, whether we were studying chess at home or off playing in some chess event or other. Many chess-playing guests to our family home (from as far afield as Russia, Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan), have enjoyed her amazing hospitality and kindness, just as she was always happy to help anyone in need from around the world. Margaret’s work in collecting for Christian Aid for over 60 years recently saw her receive an award for long service, and a feature on the local TV news.
I hope my chess friends will understand if I do not feel able to organise the Northumbria Masters so soon after her loss. I can only promise that the tournament will go ahead later in the year, as previously planned.
I will be in touch with everyone as soon as I can to confirm the rescheduled dates for the tournament.
If any of our chess friends would like to attend the service of thanksgiving for Margaret, they are very welcome to join our family and friends on Friday January 4th at Cullercoats Methodist Church, Broadway, North Shields NE30 3LJ. The service begins at 2pm. In accordance with Margaret’s wishes, we would request that instead of flowers, our friends donate to Christian Aid, the cause that was so dear to her heart.
Dear Mum, we will miss you more than any words can say. Rest in peace and tranquillity. You are always in our thoughts.