Since Norman worked at Perkins with me (Chris Russell) I have known him since I first joined the Perkins chess club, back in 1981, I think. He was the chairman of our club even then, having been a Perkins member since the 1960's.
We were then part of the Hunts and Peterborough Chess Association (H&PCA).
I did not realise that there were links to county and national chess until I started attending our annual Jamboree, which was always hosted by the Perkins Sports Association social club. At that time, the evening was basically an end of season prize-giving ceremony for H&PCA trophies and started with a lecture by a British Chess Federation (BCF) chess IM or GM, followed by trophy presentation and a single rapid-play game to end the evening. The guest speaker was introduced by the H&PCA chairman (then Phil England), but it was not long before Norman replaced him in this task.
Sadly the guest speaker role eventually died once the BCF started charging a fee, rather than just expenses, but I learnt more about what Norman did for the association as I was progressively asked to help represent Perkins club at H&PCA AGMs and ECMs, where I watched him controlling the meetings with quiet skill. The majority of young people give up their extra-curricular activities as they become older, start a family and take on more responsibility at work. But Norman never did. Even when he wanted to take a back seat running the Perkins club, he was ever-present at the H&PCA meetings, and helped run both of the H&PCA and of the Cambridgeshire association (following our merger with South Cambridgeshire) in a number of capacities, most notably as chairman for the past 34 years and therefore also chairman of our disputes committee. Given the fractiousness with which chess players argue the rules, the fact that no one has tried to unseat him in all that time is testament to a great diplomatic ability, which will be hard to replace. Have a good retirement, Norman. We will miss you.


Norman receiving his presentation from Paul Hanks at the recent Jamboree.



A stalwart of the Cambridgeshire County matches Patrick has served the association admirably.  He enjoyed a number of successes with the U-150 & U-160 teams winning in 2004 and runners up in 2006 & 2012.


Patrick receiving his presentation from Paul Hanks at the recent Jamboree.



Marcus was a long standing and core member of the Warboys Chess Club where he had been a member since his teen age years. In recent years he also represented Ely Chess club. In that time he must have played hundreds of games for club and county and was well known in the chess world throughout the East of England. He loved the game of chess, was always willing to turn out and play and won the seasons Grand Prix trophy on more than one occasion. Marcus brought his individual style and sense of humour to the club and will be sorely missed not just for his ability at the board but also as one of the characters of the game. Warboys Chess club will miss their first team board 1 as a player, but also as a team captain, club secretary and organiser.

As well as his contributions at club level Marcus also took on roles at a wider level for chess in Cambridgeshire and East Anglia. He was Vice Chairman of the East Anglian Chess Union, Secretary of the Cambridgeshire Chess Association and the Cambridgeshire representative to the English Chess Federation.

Pete Wells
Warboys Chess Club

Marcus was the Vice Chairman of the EACU for many years as he held that position under John Shaw. He was responsible for running the EACU Grand Prix from its introduction and was instrumental in its success. Despite his illness he was dealing with emails on this only a couple of weeks ago.
He was an effective ECF delegate for Cambridgeshire. I have attended several Council meetings where Marcus was also in attendance. He was good at questioning on the major issues. I travelled with him on a few occasions and with his wife and two sons briefly. Both sons are very young and much too young to lose a father.

John Wickham
Chairman, EACU

I am a similar age to Marcus and can remember playing chess with him 32 years ago at Warboys chess Club. The late Jack Taylor used to take us to the EACU meetings as Hunts and Peterborough Reps. Marcus also gave us lifts to ECF meetings.He was Team Captain of Hunts and Peterborough and Cambridgeshire, Team Captain for Warboys Chess Club and he was Cambridgeshire Secretary.
Sadly Missed
Francis Bowers
Peterborough Chess Club

A great friend of chess and always a pleasure to play. We had many games over the years and it is sad to think this will not happen again. A real character who was always enthusiastic in his support of chess and the Association.

Phil Turp
New England Chess Club

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Patrick Ribbands, who died suddenly at the end of January 2021, was a stalwart of Cambridgeshire chess for as long as anyone can remember. He played and captained teams for Linton in the Bury League for the past decade, and played a similar role for Royston in the Cambs and Herts Leagues. Before that he played for Cambridge City and was club president. He was a regular at local Congresses and also in the supporting events at the British Championships. It will be as an indefatigable administrator that he will be best remembered and most missed. Among many other roles he captained the Cambridgeshire county second team for 30 years and was grading officer for 22 years. For the East Anglian Chess Union he was County Match Controller for 22 years and grading officer for 15 years. He initiated and ran the East Anglian Club Championship from 2008. At the time of his death he had just completed this season’s event online and had planned an East Anglian online League for this spring. He had been Match Secretary in the Bury League. Patrick was a kindly and gentle soul, who always made sure that there were plenty of opportunities for the lower-graded and junior players in events that he organised. He had a long history of coaching juniors, who have themselves paid tribute to the influence he had on them when they were starting out. He was always full of ideas, as evidenced by the Ribbands pairing system which he devised as an alternative to Swiss pairings, organising rapidplay tournaments to try it out! He will be greatly missed: as a club member always willing to fill a gap in the team sheet, as an organiser prepared to take most things on, and as a friend.

Paul Kemp


A stalwart for many years of the Peterborough Chess Club Marcus sadly died recently.

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