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  1. #1
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Janice Martin 1933-2015

    Tasmanian chessplayer Janice Martin passed away last Wednesday on the day after her 82nd birthday. A notice in today's paper said "funeral notice later".

    Janice was a regular player on the Tasmanian chess scene from about the mid-1990s until cutting back to sporadic social play because of declining health about four years ago. She continued to show up at the club now and then and we last saw her I think late last year. She was a long-term member of the Burnie club and then moved to Hobart's northern suburbs to share a house with and support her good friend Persa Divkovic after Persa's husband Lazar (a much-loved HICC founding member) died in the early 2000s.

    Janice said she only started playing chess seriously from about age sixty. She quickly reached club standard and was generally rated somewhere in the 1200s-1500s range. She was a big fan of Joseph Henry Blackburne. While inconsistent from game to game, Janice at her best was a very tenacious and resourceful opponent. In 2008 I noted that she was winning more lost endgames than anyone else in Tasmanian chess at that time.

    Within a few years of becoming a tournament player, Janice recorded her chess career highlight, outright second in the 1998 Tasmanian Open at Jutland Village with a score of 4.5/6. She had been seeded just 15th out of 23 in this very strong (by local standards) field that included six past, present or future Tasmanian champions. She was utterly elated with this result, saying that if she never achieved anything else in the game she could always look back on that tournament and be happy.

    Janice's scoresheets were famously illegible (primarily because of arthritis, though she never asked for any allowances for it) and most of her best games including her last-round win in the above event (a very sharp tactical game vs David Ferris) were lost forever, especially if her opponents were in time trouble. Fortunately I am able to appear in the role of victim and post below Janice's sole rated win against me, achieved with a gallant fightback from a poor opening position on her 75th birthday. Note especially 38.Bd2!! a great, computer-like tactic in an otherwise lost position many players would have just folded in, and seen by Janice in just a couple of minutes.

    Janice was officially Tasmanian Womens Champion 2007 but was the unofficially strongest female player in Tasmanian chess from 1995, the title not being formally restored until being included in the 2007 state championships. Had the title been awarded in the interim she would have won it several times.

    Janice was a great character at tournaments, with her strong Scottish accent, frequent disappearances to smoke during games and her exuberantly eccentric sense of humour (which often extended to theatrical mock complaints about the conditions the tournament was being run under, especially where money was involved!) As with her frequent competitor the late Graham Richards, she often greatly prized winning ratings prizes in tournaments. One failure to do so (caused by her overperforming and being unjustly leapfrogged in the final round) apparently resulted in a complete reinvention of the Swiss system though I never learnt the details of the proposed alternative.

    I don't know that much about Janice's work background from before she became interested in chess.

    We had a c. one minute silence for Janice at the start of play at HICC this week though I did wonder if a one-minute noisy analysis of a just-completed game ("Aaah wasn't thinking!") would have been more appropriate.

    On behalf of the HICC my condolences to Janice's non-chess friends and family, and to her friends in other clubs.

    I will post funeral details when known.
    Last edited by Kevin Bonham; 03-01-2018 at 10:14 AM.
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  2. #2
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Janice Martin - KB 19.5.2008

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  3. #3
    CC Grandmaster Capablanca-Fan's Avatar
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    Sorry for Tassie Chess' loss. That game was analysed on this page.
    “The history of the 20th century is full of examples of countries that set out to redistribute wealth and ended up redistributing poverty.”
    “There’s no point blaming the tragedies of socialism on the flaws or corruption of particular leaders. Any system which allows some people to exercise unbridled power over others is an open invitation to abuse, whether that system is called slavery or socialism or something else.”—Thomas Sowell

  4. #4
    CC Grandmaster antichrist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Capablanca-Fan View Post
    Sorry for Tassie Chess' loss. That game was analysed on this page.
    I thought KB made a few weak moves in that game that was below his standard.
    Zionism is racism as defined by the UN, Israel by every dirty means available steals land and water, kill Palestinian freedom fighters and civilians, and operates an apartheid system to drive more Palestinians off their land

  5. #5
    CC Grandmaster Capablanca-Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by antichrist View Post
    I thought KB made a few weak moves in that game that was below his standard.
    Definitely, but the main thing was that Janice started the game like a 900 player and finished like a 2400.
    “The history of the 20th century is full of examples of countries that set out to redistribute wealth and ended up redistributing poverty.”
    “There’s no point blaming the tragedies of socialism on the flaws or corruption of particular leaders. Any system which allows some people to exercise unbridled power over others is an open invitation to abuse, whether that system is called slavery or socialism or something else.”—Thomas Sowell

  6. #6
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by antichrist View Post
    I thought KB made a few weak moves in that game that was below his standard.
    I think I play that badly quite a lot of the time but usually get away with it when I do.
    Last edited by Kevin Bonham; 28-05-2015 at 01:00 AM.
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  7. #7
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    MARTIN. Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend the funeral service for Janice Martin to be held at our Funeral Centre and Crematorium, 25 McIntyre Street, Mornington, on Friday (May 29, 2015) at 1.00 pm.

    (Notice from Millingtons Fuglsang Family funerals.)
    Last edited by Kevin Bonham; 28-05-2015 at 01:01 AM.
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  8. #8
    CC Grandmaster Capablanca-Fan's Avatar
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    Must be one of the few chessplayers to reach peak strength aged mid-70s. Encouraging for all of us over the usual peak age for chess players of mid-30s.
    “The history of the 20th century is full of examples of countries that set out to redistribute wealth and ended up redistributing poverty.”
    “There’s no point blaming the tragedies of socialism on the flaws or corruption of particular leaders. Any system which allows some people to exercise unbridled power over others is an open invitation to abuse, whether that system is called slavery or socialism or something else.”—Thomas Sowell

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