Tuesday, August 13, 2013

RIP Peter Parr

Just heard the terribly sad news that Peter Parr has passed away.

I don't personally have any further details about Peter's passing, except to say that his usual Monday column in the SMH was apparently missing from yesterday's issue and that caused the alarm.

Well, where do you even begin in summarising the life of a man who was no doubt one of the biggest and most influential personalities in Australian chess? He was captain of the Australian men's Olympiad team 6 times, an administrator in various capacities - including as organiser, arbiter (notably, the Doeberl Cup on twenty occasions), president of the NSWCA - as well as a TV personality!

He also founded and ran Chess Discount Sales, one of the most successful chess businesses in Australia. By my count that business continued for over 40 years! He was a publisher of a chess magazine and, for many years, the chess columnist of the Sydney Morning Herald.

While he was himself a decent player, Peter never managed to earn the usual master titles. But in 1997, he was awarded the OAM or the Order of Australia Medal for services to chess.

Just a little under three years ago, I did a 3-part interview with Peter Parr. In that interview we get to learn just a wee bit more about the man's story. You can read part 1, part 2 and part 3.

I will miss Peter. He was a friend and, in some ways, a mentor particularly in the politics and history of Australian chess.

Farewell, Pete!


Anonymous said...

Thanks Amiel. Peter was a generous and intelligent friend; he had flair, a devilish edge to his sense of humour, and dedicated the last 40 years of his life to chess in Australia.

He was a friend and a mentor to me, he gave me work, lent me money, offered advice, and discounted or loaned me chess products.

Pete talked about retirement for the last 10 years, and I would ask "what would you do with you time?" and he would inevitably conclude he should stay involved in chess in some capacity.

I last saw him two weeks ago - I dropped into the shop in Surry Hills to say hello. He was content, his alert baby blue eyes belying his otherwise heavy features, and holding down conversations simultaneously with me and woman looking for a set for her son.

I offered a couple of recommendations and Pete laughed and asked me if I wanted a job.

Peter not being with us now is like a slow burn that will take much time to subside. Miss you mate.

Jason Lyons
FIDE Arbiter

Peter Cotton said...

So long Peter