L John Cannon

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Anthony Higgs
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L John Cannon

Post by Anthony Higgs » Tue Jan 05, 2021 6:30 pm

I am very sad to report that John Cannon passed away at home on Sunday night with his family following a period of illness. John's contribution to the club was absolutely enormous and the club owes him a great debt. I was pleased to speak of him shortly before Christmas and there was no doubting the great pride he had in Horsham Chess Club and the great joy it had brought him over the years. He will be very sorely missed.

John played very actively at school showing early promise by winning the King’s School, Macclesfield championship at only 11. He was Stockport and District Boys Champion in 1947/8. Durham University offered more testing opportunities and he captained the university and his college and played in three British University Championships. The inaugural one, which was held at Cambridge University in 1950, was organised by B.H.Wood, who published John’s loss against Leonard Barden (joint winner with Oliver Penrose) in the Illustrated London News, describing it as an example of the frightening knowledge of our younger players. John also played at Oxford in 1951 and came joint second at Leeds in 1953. He also had the opportunity to play at a variety of congresses including Bolton, Bognor and the BCF British Championships at Chester 1952 and Nottingham 1954. It was at Chester that Barden tied with Alan Phillips and uniquely shared the title, following ten play-off games!

John joined Horsham Chess Club in 1958 and was club champion ten times. John had been very active in running our club ever since. He was Secretary (1967 to 2005), Match Secretary (1967 to 2003) and first team captain (1966 to 2006). He became Chairman in 2005, continuing remarkable decades of service to our club.

John was very active in Sussex chess too. As a strong player peaking with a grading of 195 in 1965. He was runner-up in the Sussex Individual Championship three times, in 1962, 1964 and 1968. His county match record is unparalleled playing a total of 515 county games, which is a national record that received national attention in the magazine Chess. John played for all five Sussex teams: Open, U180, U160,U140, Minor Counties and Sussex SCCU Jamboree. As well as captaining Jamboree and U160 teams he also tasted victory in teams that won two National U175 titles (and runner up once) and four National Minor Counties titles.

Ian Comley
Hon Chairman
http://www.horshamchessclub.org.uk/
http://www.horshamchessclub.org.uk - ECF Club of the Year 2010

Kevin Thurlow
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Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2008 12:28 pm

Re: L John Cannon

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Tue Jan 05, 2021 11:09 pm

Sad news. John and I only played once (in 1979), but Redhill used to have an annual end of season friendly match with Horsham. We were opposing captains for some time, and we exchanged friendly greetings for many years. I was aware even early on that he was well established at Horsham, but to be a member for over 60 years and do so much work for the club (more than 50 years and frequently more than one post!) is really impressive. His total of county matches is just stunning.

David Sedgwick
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Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2007 5:56 pm
Location: Croydon

Re: L John Cannon

Post by David Sedgwick » Wed Jan 06, 2021 11:51 am

This is sad news indeed. I shall miss seeing him at Surrey v Sussex county matches when OTB chess eventually resumes.

Nick Grey
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Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2011 12:16 am

Re: L John Cannon

Post by Nick Grey » Wed Jan 06, 2021 11:47 pm

Sad news. His total of county matches is a record. Surrey v Sussex county matches will not be the same without John.

Tim Spanton
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Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:35 am

Re: L John Cannon

Post by Tim Spanton » Thu Jan 07, 2021 12:53 am

Nice guy, and very much a county-chess stalwart - would turn up to Sussex matches even when not playing.

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