Goodbye Derek: Club member dies suddenly aged 74

Battersea Chess Club is very sad to announce the death of team captain and valued member Derek Harvey.

Derek died on Friday night, according to his family.

His daughter Simone sent the club the following message on behalf of her family: “Our dear dad Derek Harvey aged 74 passed away yesterday afternoon, 5th November 2021, very suddenly… we are utterly heart-broken and still trying to process the shock but wanted to let people know.

Derek Harvey 2

“Dad, we still can’t believe you’re gone… we love you so very much. We take comfort knowing that it happened so quickly, you wouldn’t even have been aware and that you were with your youngest daughter Simone when it happened.

“We would like to thank the paramedics for their amazing effort for close to an hour trying to resuscitate him and the police for going above and beyond, blue lighting me to be with Simone to say goodbye.

“We would like to thank everyone for their love and support at this incredibly sad time. Sonja, Jasmine and Simone xxx.”

Derek joined Battersea having played briefly for Streatham & Brixton and his hometown Hastings & St Leonard’s Chess Club before that.

He was an experienced player who had a peak ECF grade of 154 (converted to 1885 under the new Elo system). Derek also captained Battersea’s third team in the Central London League before lockdown.

He was enthusiastic about organising team matches on for Battersea teams against sides around the world, including his former club Hastings.

Derek had said he didn’t want to play chess indoors following covid but was last at the club on the night of the Battersea FIDE Blitz. He also attended Chess on the Common meetings over the summer.

In 2019, Derek appeared on the Channel 4 show Countdown – which he enjoyed telling us about.

Derek will be greatly missed at Battersea Chess Club and we pass on our condolences to his family.