In memoriam: Alan Bliss

Alan Bliss, a long standing member of Shrewsbury Chess Club, died recently.  At his funeral, Fred Harris gave the following address:

“We at Shrewsbury Chess Club would like to say a few words about Alan Bliss who for a few years was our President. I knew him over a period of about twenty five years. Not only was he a very good chess player but he was also committed to the club which he demonstrated by serving, both as Secretary and as President.

On a personal level, Alan had a quiet, thoughtful demeanour. I never saw him lose his composure. His actions always seemed reasonable and it was obvious to everyone that he was both astute and clever.

Away from the club, I knew little about him. He was born in Australia (I remember trying to place his accent when I first met him – Mark Smith). I met his wife once and on one occasion visited his home. He worked in power distribution as an electrical engineer.

I would also like to mention an attribute which Alan had, which I think we should all practice more: that is, the art of apology! Alan had this quality in abundance. A personal example: some years ago we had a mildly heated discussion and Alan accused me of not knowing what I was talking about:nothing new there!

Two days later I received a handwritten letter from Alan, apologising profusely for his outburst. This is a measure of the man: thoughtful and polite, as well as a lesson for us all. A good legacy for Alan to be remembered by.

May he rest in peace. Thank you.”

Fred Harris

Mark Smith, club Secretary, adds the following.  “Off my own bat and with my secretarial hat on, I would also like to give thanks for all Alan did for the club over the years. On a personal level he was terrifically kind to me when I first joined the club, more years ago than I care to remember. I shall also remember our many battles in the Caro Kann, Alan’s favourite opening. He would never give an inch!”

 

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