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Qbert
28-04-2011, 05:52 AM
New Zealand Master & Life Member of the Otago Chess Club, Graham Haase passed away on 26 April. He caused a major upset in winning the NZ Championship in Wellington 1961/62, ahead of Sarapu, Phillips, Feneridis, Sutton & Court. This was the first time anyone had finished ahead of Sarapu in a NZ Championship. He didn't manage to repeat the result in a total of 13 championships, the next best being equal third in 1967/68. He also won the South Island championship in 1961 and was Otago champion 10 times.

Always an engaging character who displayed great sportsmanship at the board.

Capablanca-Fan
28-04-2011, 06:07 AM
New Zealand Master & Life Member of the Otago Chess Club, Graham Haase paases away on 26 April. He caused a major upset in winning the NZ Championship in Wellington 1961/62, ahead of Sarapu, Phillips, Feneridis, Sutton & Court. This was the first time anyone had finished ahead of Sarapu in a NZ Championship. He didn't manage to repeat the result in a total of 13 championships, the next best being equal third in 1967/68. He also won the South Island championship in 1961 and was Otago champion 8 times.

Always an engaging character who displayed great sportsmanship at the board.
Sorry to hear that. From my own meetings with him, he was a real gentleman and good DOP, as well as being one of NZ's leading players before my time. I think Dr Dowden would be able to tell us much more.

CivicChessMan
28-04-2011, 08:20 AM
Both Graham Haase and George Trundle were Vice-Patrons of NZCF.

Tony Dowden
28-04-2011, 08:13 PM
Graham George Haase (1930-2011) was one of my favourite opponents in my formative years at the Otago Chess Club in Dunedin, in fact it was Graham who first introduced me to the Club in 1971. Despite living in the south of NZ with little serious opposition, Graham managed to maintain his strength at or near 2000 for several decades. We must have played at least 30 times. Although the results in our matches gradually tipped in my favour in the 1980s, he always played an honest game and, on principle, nearly always played the lines he felt were objectively best. I never met anyone else who gained as much satisfaction when sometimes coming off second best against my dubious experiments in the King's Gambit or Modern Benoni. As such, Graham was inordinately fond of saying that chess was the winner on any given occasion.

Graham hailed from Invercargill before studying at Otago University and commencing a long career as a high school mathematics teacher in Dunedin. At both Kings High School and Kaikorai Valley High school he was known for his interest in sport and chess - as well as for peculiarites such as carefully lining everything up on his teacher's desk with millimetre accuracy.

Graham was an interesting character with a quirky, if ocasionally unsettling, sense of humour. For example, he had a particular weakness for a sagging front door step at the Club which, in his later years, would cause general mirth when - arriving after match games had commenced and all was quiet in the clbrooms - he would emit a loud cry while stepping across the threshold. Graham also had an intense interest in certain hobbies and sports. Apart from chess these included hockey, squash, singing (esp. Gilbert & Sullivan - thanks Adamski), collecting chess memorabilia and anything to do with trams. He built a working model of a North Invercargill tramline - including two tramcars in traditional livery - in his study and it was genrally safe to assume he was a leading force behind various unsuccessful campaigns to return trams to Dunedin - presumably contributing to an early nickname of 'Tramcar' Haase.

In the last decade of his life Graham suffered from declining health, yet he still kept his links with chess for as long as possible. Graham was a trustee of Friends of Chess for many years. He was also a Vice-Patron and Councillor of the NZCF. And, as Otago Chess Club President from 2001-2005, I can personally vouch that he was quite possibly the most active Past-President the Club ever had. About 18 months ago Graham suffered a serious stroke from which he failed to substantially recover.

My sincere condolences to his wife Vivien and family. RIP

Adamski
28-04-2011, 08:36 PM
I am very sad to hear that Graham has oassed away. He was not only a regular ipponent at the OCC but also a good friend. Even in his bad health he kept in email contact. Graham and I also shared alove for performing in Gilbert and Sullivan shows. I saw him as a chorus member in,several shows at Dunedin's Savoy theatre.
Needless to say he won most of our chess games. He was also a teacher at my high school Kings High in,Dunedin before moving on to Kaikorai Valley. He ciached my brother in,the Kings,first, eleven hockey and,at Senior club level played,for then coached Kings High Schiol Old Boys. My father Geoff was also his good friend. We will miss him greatly. May a true gentleman rest in peace.

Max Illingworth
28-04-2011, 09:53 PM
Rest In Peace Graham.

braindied
28-04-2011, 11:05 PM
Like Tony Dowden and others, I grew up learning to study chess during the 1972-1980 period in Dunedin at the Otago Chess Club.

Graham was one of the strongest players at the club at that time, along with Phil Paris and Malcolm Foord. A group of youngsters of all the same age - Tony Dowden, Tony Love, Roger Perry and myself strived to reach the standard of these senior players, who were happy to teach us lessons along the way. We must have all learnt well as all four ended up playing in Olympiads.

I well remember learning all the white theory of the Latvian Gambit, one of Graham's favourites, whilst Tony, as he has mentioned took up the Kings Gambit to vary even earlier! Graham welcomed these challenges and was prepared to play his favourite lines knowing we had "booked-up" for him. I credit him for my path in becoming a bit of a theoretician.

His logical organisational skills at that time held the OCC together in maintaining the club's traditions. He was a real gentleman.

He always showed an interest in our careers and achievements as we moved on, and was always welcoming when visiting Dunedin again.

The OCC has lost a true friend.


Michael Freeman
Injinoo, QLD

For information, Graham was President of the NZ Chess Assocation in 1965 and became a NZ Chess Master in 1985.

Graham won one NZ Ch’p (1961/62) and one SI ch’p (1961) outright. He finished 3rd= in the 1967/68 NZ Ch’p and had no fewer than six 2nd places (sole or shared) in SI Ch’ps, the last of those in 1989.

Qbert
29-04-2011, 06:59 AM
Graham was an interesting character with a quirky, if ocasionally unsettling, sense of humour. For example, he had a particular weakness for a squeaky front door step at the Club which, in his later years, would cause general mirth when he habitually arrived after match games had commenced. It was ruefully observed by current club president Terry Duffield, when the club finally repaired this step last year that it was a shame that Graham was unlikely to experience its new-found firmness.:)

Tony Dowden
29-04-2011, 07:55 AM
It was ruefully observed by current club president Terry Duffield, when the club finally repaired this step last year that it was a shame that Graham was unlikely to experience its new-found firmness.:)

Yes, it was more a 'sagging' step. Have fixed my post ;)

Qbert
29-04-2011, 02:04 PM
It turns out that Graham was NZ Chess Association President c.1965 while the NZCA operated from Dunedin. It was mentioned in Sarapu's book '25 years of NZ Chess Championships' and confirmed by Peter Stuart and Bob Glass.

http://otagochess.wikispaces.com/file/view/GGHaase.JPG/223982514/GGHaase.JPGhttp://otagochess.wikispaces.com/file/view/GGHaase2.JPG/223982566/GGHaase2.JPG

Tony Dowden
29-04-2011, 11:06 PM
The photo on the right may have been a Bledisloe Cup match (Otago vs Auckland) when Graham beat IM Ortvin Sarapu on Board 1.