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Steve Sawaryn
Tragically I must pass on news of the death of Steve Sawaryn.  After his family, chess was one of Steve’s main passions. He could often be seen in action on the East coast congress circuit, plus trips to the Oban tournaments to indulge in the Royal Game. His quiet and impeccable conduct during a game, win, lose or draw, was respected by all his opponents. In recent years he took over the Presidency of the North East Junior Chess Association (NEJCA) and continued furtherance of the love of chess in local juniors. He was also responsible for organising the Scottish Girls event at Lathallan castle on behalf of Chess Scotland. He was also a key member of the Junior Home Board. He was an excellent organiser and presented an open and honest approach to everything he did  and this inspired both respect and loyalty from his support team. He was unflappable and never once raised his voice. A rock in what could sometimes be the maelstrom of junior chess! He was always ready to assist people struggling with difficulties in life and become a trusted confidante.
At 66 he had many years of active life before him, alternating between Aberdeenshire and Mallorca, where he and Maria had bought a second home a few years ago. Unfortunately, he was recently diagnosed with angina, following some struggles during hillwalking, and he died at home of heart failure.
Steve’s departure leaves a large hole in many lives, especially for Maria and his three children. There is also the loss to the Scottish chess community. His character  was described by one of his chess colleagues as kind, capable, diplomatic and enthusiastic. Not many of us would deserve such a fulsome epitaph, but he did!
This is a true loss to chess. I only met him a few times but his enthusiasm for chess came across to myself. The last time I met him was to return a trophy facilitated by a meeting in a car park in Stirling. He had just driven two and a half hours down and was looking forward to another two and a half hours back home, in other words a five hour round trip for a trophy.I know he will be sorely missed.
Really sad to hear this.
True gentleman who devoted a lot of time to organising NEJCA chess events and was just generally a really decent guy.

I will miss talking to him at chess events, I was looking forward to finding out if he had managed to get his academic paper published (something to do with applying topology in the oil industry...) as he was still active in this as a hobby - a very smart guy in addition to all the other admirable qualities mentioned already.
Mel Sawaryn (Steve’s daughter) has just confirmed the funeral arrangements.  

"We will be sending out more details soon (probably from my mum’s email address) but for now I can confirm that we will be holding his funeral next Friday (10th September) at 2:30pm, at the Baldarroch Crematorium near Crathes. There will be a reception with refreshments afterwards at the Falls of Feugh restaurant just down the road.

We would also like to extend the invite to his friends at the chess club (by this I believe she means the chess community). As you know them best, if we could ask you to let them know the plan that would be hugely appreciated. A rough indication of numbers may be helpful for planning the refreshments.”

Just had an update from Steve's wife, Maria, about the arrangements and a celebratory web page. There will also be a web link for the funeral for those who cannot attend but wish to follow the service. Details can be found in the link below.

"As promised, sending you further details of Steve’s funeral. We have created a memorial tribute page here: In Loving Memory of Steven James Sawaryn, 1955 - 2021 ( It also includes more information about arrangements for the day. The page is private and will request your name and email for access - we’ll do our best to get this access to you as quickly as possible after you submit the details. Please feel free to share.
If you would like to speak and share any memories of Steve, there will opportunity to do this at the reception.
With love,
Maria and family"

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