John Moore RIP

It is my sad duty to inform chess players in Cumbria that John Moore a long standing member of Barrow Chess Club, died on the 25th December 2009; he was 76 years old.

John was well respected and loved universally in chess circles for his humility, compassion, honesty, humanity and sense of humour.

He played for Barrow and Cumbria from the 1960’s into the 2000’s and talked of his best result in an Isle of Man tournament where he drew 6 games against master opposition and had one loss. John related this tale years later and was still kicking himself over this one loss as he said it was the only game he was clearly winning!

However, John was at his best when consoling opponents when he had beaten them. I remember my first game against John in the1984 Barrow Club Championship; I was trounced! But a long post-mortem on the game made me feel a whole lot better as John explained how his moves could have been countered and how fortunate he was that I had not played this move or that move; at the end John was almost apologetic in winning and gave me encouragement that my game was not that bad after all!

John first joined Barrow Chess Club in 1956 and was Major Champion of Barrow 5 times in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. Although John also won the club’s Lightning Championship once in 1977, he always made the point of saying that he had never won the KO Cup in all his years of trying. It must have been a great day for John then, when he finally won it in 2001; the only time he held the trophy.

John was also a member of the successful Barrow sides that won the Cumbria 1st Division trophy in 1968 (see photo of winning team – John is seated on the far right) and then again in 1985.

Members of the successful 1968 Barrow team; winners of the Cumberland, Westmorland and Furness Chess League.

The 1968 write up in the local newspaper stated that a tense match against reigning Champions Carlisle looked to be heading for a 3-3 draw and that John was struggling a pawn down. After a while John Moore ‘surprised his opponent by mating him with queen and rook to give Barrow victory’.

John held a number of posts in the Barrow club over the years and was also Auditor for The Cumbria Chess Association and the NCCU (Northern Counties Chess Union).

John was first elected to the Barrow Club Committee in 1964 and won his first honour in the 1965/66 season where he lifted the Handicap Trophy.

From 1966-1971 John was Honorary Secretary of Barrow Chess Club, Chairman from1972-1989 and Club President from 1976-1979.

John was a popular and enthusiastic person and will always be remembered in playing chess circles for his wry grin, his lighting up a cigarette mid game and ruminating with a philosophical air on his game and on life.

Dave Cole

Chairman, Barrow Chess Club