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Dermot O'Doherty Obituary

In Memory of Dermot O'Doherty, first published in the UCU Yearbook 1989-90.

Dermot O’Doherty


When Dermot died suddenly in 1989 Ulster & Irish chess suffered a terrible loss. At a local level we recall Dermot the chess player and Dermot the organiser. As a player he was, as he would readily admit, an average club player but he always played each game with great enthusiasm, sportsmanship and infectious bravado that would put many a better player to shame. He delighted in his triumphs, cursed his blunders, but was always willing and eager to play, watch and talk about chess with anyone around him, expectantly awaiting his next contest.

It is as a chess organiser/controller that Dermot will best be remembered. He was for several years secretary of the Ulster Chess Union and later served as a committee member, during which time he also controlled innumerable chess tournaments, arranged sponsorship/donations for many chess events and somehow during all this he was able to find the time to set up two chess clubs - Omagh and Civil Service. All committee meetings are notorious for a lot of talk but little action, however Dermot was different, he was always first to volunteer, willing to devote much time and energy to any Chess project. Many players will recall the period last year when coffee and food was available at local tournaments, Dermot was responsible for its concept and organisation, often providing at his own expense coffee, sandwiches and biscuits to help provide much needed funds for the UCU. Then, in 1988, when elected to represent Ulster at ICU level, he put the same energy into that as well.

In the brief time I knew Dermot he gave more to chess and gained more from it than any other player I have ever met. His tragic death was a blow to us all, he is irreplaceable as a colleague and friend.

My deepest sympathy to his wife, Bridie, and family from all his many friends in the chess fraternity.


Dermot played his last game for Civil Service A against Fisherwick A in Division 1 of the Belfast Leagues.

Adams,G - O'Doherty,D

Belfast & District League - Division 1


1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Bg5 c6 6.Bc4 Qb6 7.Rb1 0-0 8.0-0 Bg4 9.h3 Bxf3 10.Qxf3 h6 11.Be3 Nbd7 12.Rfe1 Qc7 13.Qe2 a6 14.d5 c5 15.a4 Rfe8 16.Qd2 Kh7 17.Bd3 Ne5 18.b3 Nfd7 19.Ne2 Nxd3 20.cxd3 a5 21.Rec1 Rac8 22.Nd4 cxd4 23.Rxc7 Rxc7 24.Bf4 Rc3 25.Qe2 Rec8 26.Bd2 Rc2 27.Qd1 Ne5 28.Bxa5 g5 29.Bb6 Ng6 30.g3 Be5 31.Qf3 f6 32.Qg4 R8c3 33.Qd1 Ra2 34.Ra1 Rb2 ½-½

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