Jim Wiseman an appreciation
It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that I have to report that my good friend Jim Wiseman passed away today the 28th April.
Jim’s body had fought off Cancer a couple of years ago but alas the beast returned and despite his best hopes and various treatments he succumbed to the second wave today.
People do not fight Cancer, no more than people fight a broken leg. It is an illness that sometimes your body with the help of medicine and science can overcome. If it were an act of pure will then hardly anyone would die of it. Sometimes the disease just takes you.
Jim knew this and bore the second wave with epic Stoicism and good humour right to the bitter end.
In these comments I won’t go into his many good qualities and deeds but in terms of Chess I will say this…
He loved chess, in fact he was obsessed with it and that passion was infectious. Indeed, his last game was on the Monday night before he died, less than 36 hours before his demise
I won’t embarrass folk by naming them but most of Atticus Chess Club have learnt or been inspired by Jim’s play and attacking ideas on chess.
Over the board he had built up a great wealth of theory and would often bang out the opening at a shocking rate. He was always clever if not downright devious with his moves and his chess imagination was, stunning. Some of the combinations he came out with, over the board, were just works of beauty. His skill with rooks and knights were always something to behold. In later years I even began to develop a feel for a ‘Jimbo’ position. There would be a majority of bits for Jim around/have access to the opponents King, locked centre and ideally his opponent was just about to launch their own attack. You just knew something was about to happen and then bang one sacrifice followed by a minimum of one or two later sacrifices and the opposition were once again in tatters. Fantastic to witness
He loved playing the Kings Gambit with White and sometimes he even played it as Black, the Latvian. It just showed his style, a complete contempt for counting material advantage, ‘Just give me the attack. Let me demolish them’
Over the board you always knew you were in for a game. Jim’s style was always fearless., If he saw the right path he had to take it regardless of his opponents grade, status or supposed superiority. I guess that’s why he took so many scalps, he always played the board as he saw it.
At the end of the game Jim, with a pint [or four] in hand, win or lose would always be decent, funny and self- effacing…even though you might just see that little twingle in his eye when he demonstrated a little marvel or novelty
As for chess achievements well, we could list the tournaments he won, the teams he led to glory in cup and leagues championships and promotions but I just think his legacy will be his eternal enthusiasm for the game and his supportive and sympathetic approach to players just starting out or going through a fall in form. If you spoke with Jim about chess, you always left energised
Jim leaves his lovely wife Sue, many friends and the world a poorer place
To my lifelong brother for all that shared joy much thanks, happy memories and warm reminisces.
You were simply the best friend anyone could ever have had
28th April 2021