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  1. #1
    CC Grandmaster
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    Passing of Malcolm Pyke

    Yesterday morning, a chess friend of mine had a shocking news to share: Malcolm Pyke passed away. At first I thought that he must be confusing Malcolm with someone else as it is only few days back (a week or so) that I was chatting to him on Facebook and everything appeared to be going well (he was about to depart to Europe for traveling). As always, Malcolm tended to be in good spirits. Unfortunately, now that his departure from our dimension has been confirmed - there is nothing I can do but to accept that he is no more.

    As many of us have known him for years (in my case -almost 25 years!) - I am sure we all have many great moments that we had with Malcolm to share stories about. I certainly have mine and will share them in due course.

    RIP Malcolm. My deepest condolences are going out to his partner Jenny Cottrell and the rest of the Pyke family as well as to his many friends (Malcolm was a very friendly person - always supportive and ready to help).
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  2. #2
    CC Candidate Master
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    Very sad news. Malcolm was a very nice person and will be sadly missed.

    Our condolences to Malcolms family. RIP Malcolm.

  3. #3
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Very sad and sudden news; I believe he had just turned was just about to turn only 42. Malcolm was a rare example of a player who became much stronger well into adulthood through sheer hard work, improving from average club strength in his early-mid twenties to c.2200 strength at his peak. His greatest achievement as a player was his win of the 2008 Melbourne Club Championships with 8/9 and a TPR of 2500 (see thread); he had been seeded just 7th for the event. There is a great interview with Malcolm done by Elliott Renzies following this victory here.

    Malcolm was an active poster over a long period on this forum posting 2,222 posts firstly as macavity and then changing his username to Bereaved after the death of his pet cat. Not only was he on the MCC committee for several years but after that he continued informing people who post here through his efficient posting of event pairings and other details.

    Malcolm had a starring role in the well-written (if not entirely accurate and less than complimentary to our sport) "Board Stupid" article published in Inside Sport following the Mt Buller Australian Open. Malcolm was quoted in the piece, mainly from memory about the feeling of watching a player slowly losing over a period of several hours (I may still have a copy of the article somewhere, the old link to it on this site is now down.)

    Malcolm had a fine sense of humour and a lot of time for his fellow players. My condolences also to his partner, family and his many chess friends. RIP.
    Last edited by Kevin Bonham; 13-02-2017 at 01:55 PM.

  4. #4
    CC Grandmaster ER's Avatar
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    I am deeply saddened to read the news about Malcolm Pyke's passing.

    An extremely intelligent man, a very strong chess player, a kind gentle soul with a delightful sense of humour!

    A forgiving, faithful giver in the complete sense of the word.

    Our relationship as friends had its ups and downs but we always made up and continued as if nothing had happened before.

    It was only a bit more than a month ago that (actually it was Sunday, December 18th, 2016) when I saw, talked
    and joked with Malcolm at the Herzl Club at Caulfield where he was the co-arbiter of the 2016 Chess Artists Open.

    Malcolm was trying to fix a slightly squeaking door by "muting" the hinges with pieces of paper. "Do you need an ax Mac?" I inquired
    jokingly "Oh something less noisy please" came Malcolm's response " Have you still got that sledgehammer handy?"

    An MCC as well as Frankston CC icon, Malcolm Pyke will be missed by all and will be remembered as a player, arbiter, friend.

    Here's what I believe must be his last chess related picture taken at the Herzl, during the presentation of prizes to the winners.

    Attachment 3368

    From left, IM James Morris (Malcolm Pyke was one of his staunchest supporters, close friend and mentor) Alex Kaplan, as he is receiving his prize
    from organizer Tom Kalisch and Malcolm Pyke, sitting. Photo: Elliott Renzies

    RIP mate
    Last edited by ER; 22-01-2017 at 02:40 PM.
    ACF 3118316
    FIDE 3201457

  5. #5
    CC Grandmaster road runner's Avatar
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    Rest in Peace macavity
    meep meep

  6. #6
    CC Grandmaster
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    I am shocked and deeply saddened.
    For private coaching (IM, four times VIC champion) call or SMS 0417519733
    Computer tells you what to play. Good coach explains why.

  7. #7
    CC International Master ElevatorEscapee's Avatar
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    Sad news indeed - my condolences to all his friends and family.
    "On my chess set, all the pawns are Hamburglers" ~ Homer Simpson.

  8. #8
    CC Candidate Master
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    Elizabeth Warren (MCC President) has asked me to post the following:

    Around about the time I first joined Melbourne chess club I remember Malcolm chatting one night about his win as MCC champion for that year. He was plainly pleased and proud of that achievement in a way that made him a very well liked MCC member and respected chess player. As time went on I learned about his many years of work on the committee. He will be sadly missed at MCC and condolences to all those he leaves behind.


    Elizabeth Warren
    President Melbourne chess club


    Personally, I too would like to pay my condolences to all of Malcolm's family and friends.

    I would also like to thank everyone who has posted earlier noting Malcolm's contribution to the Melbourne Chess Club and the Victorian chess community in general. Malcolm will be sorely missed.

  9. #9
    CC FIDE Master Metro's Avatar
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    Malcolms family have made a public statement on Facebook.


    Hello to Malcolm’s friends.
    on Friday January 13th our dear son, Malcolm, died tragically in Portugal where he had gone for a holiday, by himself, leaving Melbourne on Tuesday 10 January. His Face Book photos showed him having a great time doing something he has wanted to do for a long time.
    But on the morning of Friday 13th, Local Time, he was found dead in the Lisbon Tagus River.
    We do not know why or how he came to be in the River or how he died. His wallet with his Victorian Driver’s Licence enabled the local Police to positively identify him.
    When the Police have finished their tests and an Autopsy, we expect we will be able to receive a Death Certificate and we will be able to arrange the Repatriation of Malcolm’s Body.
    We will then arrange a Funeral for him at St John’s Catholic Church in Coral Street Frankston. We will place an Announcement in the Herald Sun when a date has been determined. Until then WE WILL NOT make any further Comments or Postings.

    Please try and be respectful of our feelings and we would appreciate that you only pass on this message and please DO NOT try and speculate on the event – we have already heard some upsetting speculations from un-informed sources. Please wait for the Official News.

    Malcolm would have been 42 on 15 January.

    For those of you who believe in Prayer, please Pray for Peace for Malcolm’s Soul and for comfort for his family and dearest friends.

    kindest wishes
    Cilla and Kieth Pyke

  10. #10

  11. #11
    CC Grandmaster Adamski's Avatar
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    Very sad news. Such a friendly man and very talented chessplayer. My prayers are with his family and close friends. RIP Malcolm.
    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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  12. #12
    CC International Master Watto's Avatar
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    I can't quite believe this. What shocking, sad news.

    Malcolm was one of a kind. My thoughts are with his family and closest friends. Rest in peace, Malcolm.

  13. #13
    CC Candidate Master
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    What shocking and sad news. Another body blow to the chess scene, after all the other tragically premature deaths of the past few years.

    Malcom was a lovely, eccentric and interesting person who I had a kind of teasing but very friendly relationship with.

    We played no less than 18 tournament games from which I had 10 wins, 6 draws and 2 losses. After one of the losses I complained to him that it wasn't really fair because God had helped him. Being an atheist myself and Malcolm being a man of faith we had banter along those lines from time to time.

    I admired the enormous amount of study he put in as an adult to propel himself from average club player to master strength over the space of a few years. He became a very dangerous positional player and only his extremely rapid tempo of play prevented him from getting even stronger.

    His dress sense was wonderfully weird and individualistic. I can easily picture him sweeping into the playing hall like a friendly stick insect, with with pale, beaming moon face and outrageous blonde hair to the middle of his back, often with some eccentric accoutrement like purple glasses or beret.

    He was one of a kind and will be sorely missed.

  14. #14
    CC International Master Mischa's Avatar
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    For years my son would call him for advice on opponents. One day he rang my son to get advice from him.
    We loved him, he loved us...He was always there for us and he had my back.
    India and James and I are better people for having been a close part of his life.
    Thank you Malcom.
    I will miss you like, forever.
    Last edited by Mischa; 24-01-2017 at 07:59 PM.
    proud parent

  15. #15
    CC Grandmaster Basil's Avatar
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    I knew Malcolm for some years only through Chess Chat. We sparred. We remained civil (enough!) towards each other.

    Then one day - both away from our home states - we found ourselves in a hotel lobby together (Aus Champs, Parramatta 2008). I introduced myself and we sat and analysed and talked chess for over an hour, like old pals. A thoroughly lovely bloke.

    Vale Malcolm. I hope you're at great peace with your Lord.
    There is no cure for leftism. Its infestation of the host mostly diminishes with age except in the most rabid of specimens.

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