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From Iain Fraser, President of the Ayrshire Chess Association , regarding our Prestwick team mate Arthur

It is with a great sadness that I report the passing of our friend and club mate Arthur McCurley on Wednesday 2nd February.
Arthur enjoyed his chess. He was still playing for Prestwick last season, along with participating in the Ayrshire Championship.  He had a great love of the game and enjoyed sharing his knowledge with the junior players, showing them old games’ that Fisher played.  He bought Chess sets and boards and would donate them to local schools to encourage more young players, hoping that they would evolve a love for the game too.
Arthur was a great friend and team-mate.
He will be sadly missed by all.
Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this sad time.
RIP Arthur
From Iain Fraser
Arthur enjoyed playing chess. It was a hobby that took him all over Scotland and as far afield as Spain and Slovakia. He played in the Scottish National League and represented Ayrshire at County level.
In the mid 80’s Arthur won many chess tournament’s. The highlight of these was becoming Scottish Major Champion at St Andrews. This was a fine achievement.
He was Captain of his local club helping guide Kilwinning to the Ayrshire League Division 1 title. Arthur moved to Prestwick in the 90’s, joining the local club, and later helping to inspire Prestwick to win the league title for the first time. He became Prestwick Club Champion defeating his good friend Bobby O’Brien in a fantastic final which involved lots of combination play.
It was another Bobby, Bobby Fisher, who was his favourite player. He loved going over his old games and I can still remember him showing the juniors Fisher v Byrne from 1956. Fisher the 13-year old future world champion, defeated the formidable Byrne in a masterpiece considered the game of the century.
His knowledge of the game was vast helping prepare his colleagues for our next league fixture. I know that I would talk to him for hours about different openings and what did he think about playing against the Benko or the Kings Indian defence.
In the last twelve years Arthur had been helping run Preswick Junior Chess Club. He was an inspiring coach and helped develop our young players to international level. He was always very proud of the juniors and when Jake Sanger was picked to represent Scotland, he was absolutely delighted. This meant more to him than all the league titles he had won. He would enjoy watching Jake’s games live online and catching up with the results from the Junior World Championship.
Arthur worked at the grass roots level and could see the difference chess made to young peoples lives. He kindly donated a large trophy, which is probably about half the size of some of the children, to be awarded to the player that demonstrates the best sportsmanship.
He donated chess sets and boards to many local schools, encouraging more young people into the game, always with the hope that they too would develop his love for the game. Indeed many of the young players at Prestwick Chess Club started playing chess at their local schools on sets that Arthur had purchased. A fine legacy.
Arthur particularly enjoyed it when Prestwick Juniors defeated Prestwick Academy; this saw seven-year-old players defeating seventeen-year olds. This helped in deciding that Prestwick would enter a team mostly comprising of juniors into the Ayrshire League Division 3. Arthur played at board 1 and helped his side win the Division 3 Championship. I know he was over the moon with this and delighted and very proud of the juniors in the way they went about winning the league.
He was still playing for Prestwick last season, as well as participating in the Ayrshire Championship. His games in the latter event can still be viewed on online.
Arthur was also the Prestwick Club Treasurer and he was always willing to help with the running of the club.
Arthur was a true gentleman and enjoyed the social aspect of chess, meeting old friends and new and greeting them with his big smile. He was a great friend and team-mate and was much loved by all.
He will be sadly missed.

Iain Fraser
Ayrshire Chess Association