You are here: Home Archives Player Biographies Des Forson Des Forson 1964-2013

Des Forson 1964-2013

Des Forson, longtime member of the Ulster Chess Union, died in a Whiteabbey hospice in the middle of November. David Houston, friend and contemporary, remembers Des - on and off the chess board.
Des Forson 1964-2013

Des at the 2008 Ulster Championship

It is with great sadness that I have to write about the untimely death of long time UCU member and friend Des Forson. I was expecting a visit from Des to discuss the Carlsen - Anand World Championship match only to be shocked that he had passed away on the 13th November in Whiteabbey Hospice from prostate cancer at the age of 49. Despite having recently bumped into Des he never mentioned his illness but all he did talk about was his latest trip to the far east.

Des Forson's Benko GambitI first came across Des as a fresh faced teenager with spikey, dyed blond hair playing for Carrick Chess club. Des was a good solid player with a deep understanding and background knowledge of chess. We later played together on the same team for Queen's University and enjoyed many adventures on journeys to chess tournaments. We had many a deep conversation over a pint or 2 into the idea that playing 1.d4 (Des's favourite opening) actually made you a boring player.  Over the years we had many tough struggles in the Benko Gambit as Des researched the latest lines and nuances. In particular I remember

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.d5 b5 4.cxb5 a6 5.bxa6 Bxa6 
6.f4 g6 7.Nc3 Bg7 8.Nf3 O-O 9.e4 Bxf1 10.Rxf1 d6

and tip-toeing down the a-file. Lines we battled over many times.

Des Forson shaking hands with Ray Keene; Belfast City Hall 1991Des was always an avid reader and had a very large collection of chess books which he had stored in many boxes sorted by opening, best games and instructional. In his later life he stopped competing in tournaments but still came to the AGM and Ulster Championships. At these UCU events he indulged in his latest hobby of photography which, Des being Des, he had researched extensively into which lens and film was best for photographing chess. One of our last conversations was about "super foods" as Des was munching away on avocados and pistachio nuts for lunch at the 2013 Ulster Championships.

Des's life outside chess was often very private so It was very typical that he never mentioned his illness to his chess playing friends. At least I know that he would be happy that Carlsen bored Anand with d4 into winning the World Championships. He will be sorely missed.

Bangor Blitz 13th Feb 2020 Bangor continues to be more than just a chess club - regularly inviting players to talks and competitions. It held a FID... Feb 24, 2020
Greenisland buzzes with speed chess extravaganza Tournament report by Brendan Jamison, National Arbiter 33 players gathered at Greenisland Baptist Church on Saturday 22... Feb 24, 2020
Breaking news: Strand 2 win Division 2 Strand were chasing Belfast South in what looked like an impossible mission.... but.... Feb 22, 2020
Top Ulster Youngsters playing Chess at Methodist College On Saturday 8th February 2020 a brilliant chess afternoon took place at Methodist College. Part of the Monthly series of... Feb 15, 2020
BREAKING NEWS: Strand Chess Club wins Silver King league Champions 2020 The Strand Club wins the Silver King, the coveted Division 1 trophy awarded to Champions of the Belfast & District Chess... Feb 09, 2020
More news…
« February 2020 »
Upcoming Events
BANGOR FEBRUARY MINI BLITZ + OPENING TALK ON SICILIAN SVESHNIKOV BY DANNY ROBERTS Enjoy some games and a brilliant talk by top Ulster player Danny Roberts at Bangor Chess Club. Feb 27, 2020 07:30 PM - 10:00 PM — Bangor Chess Club, Groomsport Parish Hall, 30 Main Street, Groomsport, County Down, BT19 6JR
Childrens Chess - fun tournament - 14th March 2020 The Childrens Chess afternoon tournaments continues its monthly series on 14th March at Methodist College. All welcome. ... Mar 14, 2020 12:30 PM - 05:00 PM — Methodist College, 1 Malone Rd, Belfast BT9 6BY
Irish Junior Chess Championships 2020 The Irish Chess Union [ICU] in association with the Ulster Chess Union [UCU] present the IRISH JUNIOR CHESS CHAMPIONSHI... Apr 03, 2020 - Apr 05, 2020
The UCU AGM/Annual prize-giving will take place on Saturday 23 May 2020 at 6:30pm to 7:30pm. The UCU AGM/Annual prize-giving will take place at Maynard Sinclair Pavilion (East Belfast) on Saturday 23 May 2020 at 6... May 23, 2020 06:30 PM - 07:30 PM — NICS,Maynard Sinclair Pavilion, Stormont, Upper Newtownards Road, Belfast, BT4 3TA
Upcoming events…