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Benjamin Payne 1933-2005

Ben sadly passed away on Monday 12th September 2005. Those who knew him would have been aware that he had been fighting illness for some time.

For many years he had been a member of Walsall Kipping Chess Club although in recent years he had joined Aldridge which was much nearer to his home. Ben was a very active member of Walsall and at the heart of its affairs for many years. During 1980-82 he was publicity officer. then he became secretary for five years 1982-87 before switching to being treasurer for the next 10 years. At the same time he served for 12 years as captain of various club teams in both the Birmingham and Wolverhampton leagues. From 1982-99 he was an active member of the grading committee of the Birmingham League.

In 1990 along with the late Bill Withnall he initiated and organised a rapidplay congress under the clubs banner. Its success led to it becoming an annual event, which continues to this day. Later from 1993-96 Ben took on the role of week to week organiser of the junior chess training scheme set up by David Anderton at the Joseph Leckie School in Walsall which included grading of results.

Ben was a first rate club member. He was always willing to put ideas forward and take on responsibilities. Even more importantly he carried out those tasks vigorously, efficiently, and with unstoppable enthusiasm. When Ben moved to Aldridge Walsall lost a stalwart.

M.J.Groombridge Secretary Walsall Kipping Chess Club