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  1. #1
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Evelyn Koshnitsky 1915-2014

    I have heard from ACF President Gary Wastell that IA Evelyn Koshnitsky AM BEM passed away peacefully on Friday, aged 99.

    Evelyn made a vast contribution to Australian junior and women's chess administration including the running of the World Junior and Girls in Adelaide in 1988. Her contribution to chess administration in SA and Australia generally was so great that I couldn't begin to do it justice and think I had better quote Denis Jessop on another thread where he said she had "done her bit for Australian chess 100 times over."

    Much of her great work in chess was together with her husband Garry (1907-1999).

    Evelyn was made a Member of the Order of Australia:

    "Koshnitsky AM BEM, Mrs Evelyn (AD1990)

    For service to chess.

    President, since 1978, of the Australian Women's Chess League and was for 10 years editor of the League's magazine. Active also with junior chess since 1951 and has held since 1965 the post of Secretary and Tournament Director of the Junior Chess League. Also the current Secretary/Treasurer of the Australian Junior Chess Championships Organising Committee. Involved with the Bicentennial World Junior Chess Championship held in Adelaide in 1988. Appointed an International Arbiter of the Federation Internationale des Echecs - the ruling body of the game."

    Evelyn was a longstanding honorary life member of the ACF and an honorary member of FIDE. She was also the first recipient of the ACF's Koshnitsky Medal for services to chess administration in 1982. Evelyn remained actively interested in chess and as involved as she could even in the last few years.

    I met Evelyn twice - once when she was running an Australian Junior that I played in in Adelaide in the late 1980s. Of the latter I remember not only that she and Garry and others ran an excellent tournament but also that she found the time to talk to all the players, even run-of-the-mill Reserves like me, and that she cared about the players a great deal. It was a great honour to meet her again a few years ago.

    On behalf of the ACF my condolences to Evelyn's family and many friends.

    An issue of the ACF Newsletter will be sent out in the next few days, and will include a tribute from ACF President Gary Wastell. The issue has been delayed further in order to give people time to send in tributes but please send any you wish to within the next day or two if possible, otherwise I may hold them over to the next edition. Also a link to this thread will be posted.
    Last edited by Kevin Bonham; 05-10-2014 at 08:18 PM.

  2. #2
    CC FIDE Master
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    She was always so friendly.

    HVIL I FRED - REST IN PEACE.

  3. #3
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    My deepest respects and condolences. What an extraordinary life. I'm not sure there has been a figure in Australian chess more loved by all.

  4. #4
    CC Grandmaster Garrett's Avatar
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    I met her at the Adsteam Lidums in Adelaide in 1986/87, and then at the World Juniors in 1988.

    She seemed a very nice lady. She arranged billeting for a lot of the juniors. That was a long time ago and she seemed pretty old even then !

    RIP Evelyn.

  5. #5
    CC Grandmaster
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    I had a pleasure of meeting the Koshnitskys (Evelyn and Gary) in the early 1990's at the Lidums weekenders. I was charmed by their unprecedented friendliness and eagerness to get to know every single player in the tournament.
    RIP
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  6. #6
    CC Grandmaster Adamski's Avatar
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    Very sad news, though 99 is a good innings. May she rest in peace.
    God exists. Short and to the point.

    Secretary of, and regularly arbiter at, Rooty Hill RSL Chess Club. See www.rootyhillchessclub.org.

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  7. #7
    CC FIDE Master
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    Yes, very sad news for Australian Chess. It would have been nice had she made it to 100.

    I've written a few of my memories of Evelyn in my blog which may be found here.

    -Robert Jamieson
    Still searching for Bobby Fischer....
    and fighting against those humourless bureaucrats who are forever lost in the minutiae.

  8. #8
    CC FIDE Master george's Avatar
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    Very sad to hear of Evelyn's passing. A great loss of a great lady. Her tireless devotion to chess was obvious but at this point my heart goes out to family and friends who have lost a wonderfully kind person with a great sense of humour. Rest in peace Evelyn.
    Chess is the greatest game ever !

  9. #9
    CC Grandmaster Capablanca-Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garrett View Post
    I met her at the Adsteam Lidums in Adelaide in 1986/87, and then at the World Juniors in 1988.

    She seemed a very nice lady. She arranged billeting for a lot of the juniors. That was a long time ago and she seemed pretty old even then !

    RIP Evelyn.
    I have a similar experience. I was the NZ invitee for the Aussie Juniors in Jan 1981, and she was the director and arranger of billets, including a change because of a last-minute cancellation by my original host. Firm as DOP but friendly and fair, and as Garrett found, she seemed quite elderly even earlier.
    “The destructive capacity of the individual, however vicious, is small; of the state, however well-intentioned, almost limitless. Expand the state and that destructive capacity necessarily expands, too, pari passu.”—Paul Johnson, Modern Times, 1983.

  10. #10
    CC Grandmaster Capablanca-Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jammo View Post
    Yes, very sad news for Australian Chess. It would have been nice had she made it to 100.

    I've written a few of my memories of Evelyn in my blog which may be found here.

    -Robert Jamieson
    Very good and informative tribute.
    “The destructive capacity of the individual, however vicious, is small; of the state, however well-intentioned, almost limitless. Expand the state and that destructive capacity necessarily expands, too, pari passu.”—Paul Johnson, Modern Times, 1983.

  11. #11
    CC Candidate Master pballard's Avatar
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    Quite simply, THE organising figure in junior chess (and women's chess) in SA when I was a young player (late 70s, early 80s). Hard-working organiser of every junior event, always friendly, and seemed to know everyone.

    Her son Peter was very involved in lacrosse, as was my wife. One time Peter brought Evelyn to a lacrosse function. (So strange to type "Evelyn", to all of us juniors she was "Mrs. K"). Of course she knew me, but to my surprise she also knew of my (then) girlfriend. So it seems her encyclopaedic knowledge of people wasn't limited to chess.

    Condolences to Peter and the rest of her family.
    Last edited by pballard; 09-10-2014 at 01:59 PM.
    http://www.peterballard.org

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