Wednesday, 11 December 2019

Graham Lightfoot - RIP

Very sad news. On Wednesday 4th December 2019, past Secretary of Rugby Chess Club Graham Lightfoot died. Graham was club secretary from about 1968 to 1999 and made a big impression in taking forward competitive chess in this club during that time. His most remarkable achievement was to steer the club to a win against Cambridge and then Oxford Universities in 1982 making RCC national club champions.

The team included two young men who went on to become chess grandmasters (Mark Hebden and Keith Arkell) and also included current Club President Bob Wildig. Graham accompanied the team when they went to the USSR to represent English chess the following year. Ben Gaff (Leamington League Chair) writing about the 100 year history of the Coventry & District Chess League recently (Dec 2019, Chess magazine) described this as perhaps the most stunning achievement in the league's history.

This was at a time when soviet chess was a very serious business and the match against Moscow Chess Club was a huge event. Graham is pictured at this event (seated right) with a decidedly serious expression.

Graham's family have extended an invitation to his funeral and wake - an opportunity to celebrate Graham's life. This will be on Monday 23rd December at 2pm at Rainsbrook Cemetery (Avon Room) & Crematorium and afterwards at The Railway Club (which was where RCC used to meet). 

Family flowers only please. Donations in memory of Graham for the Alzheimer's Society may be sent to Walton & Taylor Funeral Directors,
16 Railway Terrace Rugby, CV21 3EW, telephone 01788 543008.

Please email the club if you need directions or further information.  (Obituary in Rugby Advertiser where you can leave online comments is here).