Two awards were made this year –
Ihor Lewyk from the Bradford Chess Club
For many years he has organised chess for adults and juniors. He is the President of Yorkshire Chess Association and has introduced a new website. Ihor is a county captain of the Open team and Captain of Bradford. On a wider front he competes in Congresses and has introduced juniors to the 4NCL. He is captain of White Rose teams and assists with both. He is always conscientious and very hard working. An active member of the ECF, he believes in fair dealing and is knowledgeable on many topics.
Tony Paish joined the Insurance Chess Club in 1955/56 while with the Prudential (“Ibis”) and played for Ibis until he joined the British Insurance Association (“BIA”) in 1966. He became one of the Club’s Assistant Secretaries in 1967/68, running the Tournaments, and was elected Secretary in 1983/84.
He was elected a Vice-President in 1985 when the BIA merged with five other insurance company trade associations to become the Association of British Insurers (“ABI”). Tony then became the Office Representative for the ABI which subsequently combined forces with Zurich to form the “Combined Team”, ABI/Zurich.
Following the decline of the Inter-Office Competition and the subsequent merger with the London Banks Chess League to form the Combined Banks & Insurance Chess League, Tony became the Secretary of the Combined League. He holds that position to this day.
Tony has always supported the Club’s playing activities through the Inter-Office Competition, the match programme, the Club Championship, the Nurse Lightning Championship and the Ratcliff Blitz Championship, and has consistently been listed among the Club’s strongest players. He has played regularly in the Club Championship ever since he joined the Club, although he has missed a few in recent years through force majeure. Tony has won the Championship nine times, until recently a record.
More prodigious even than his playing record, has been Tony’s contribution to the administrative life of the Club. He was elected Secretary in 1983. Prior to that time there had been two Committee Meetings annually, but in subsequent years the introduction of a new constitutional structure necessitated the convening of up to half a dozen Executive Meetings, in addition to the two meetings of the full Committee. This period also involved a heavy administrative workload, with Sub-Committees reviewing the Rules, considering the Club’s Future Activities and, most importantly, preparing for the Club’s Centenary in 1993.
To mark his fifty years of continuous membership, Tony was elected as a Life Member of the Club in 2006. He has twice been awarded the Rodney James Award for Services to the Club He retired as Secretary at the AGM 2010 and was presented with an engraved salver marking his twenty-seven year term in that office.
Those of us who have worked with Tony appreciate the depth of intellect that he brought to an apparently mundane position. Apart from performing the administrative aspects of the Secretaryship superlatively well, Tony has also applied himself to thinking through and managing the various tests and challenges the Club has faced. Not the least of these has been the various changes of venue during his time: Lloyd’s Training Centre, the Chartered Insurance Institute at Aldermanbury, the Bishopsgate Institute, 11 Belgrave Road Victoria, and now the Carpenters Arms at Marble Arch. Throw in the shrinking of the Inter-Office League and the advent of the Combined League, numerous Sub-Committees and the Centenary year, and you begin to get an idea of the prodigious workload Tony has shouldered. All of this has been minuted meticulously, to the extent that Tony’s complete set of meeting minutes could well serve as a Club History in itself.