Gerry Wilson of Glasgow Polytechnic died on July 20, 2001 at the age of 49, after a short illness.Scotsman August 4: Scotland's chess community has lost several of its leading organisers this year through death. The loss of Walter Munn, David Wallace and Jim King was followed last month by the death after a short illness of Gerry Wilson, at just 49.
Gerry had succeeded in several different spheres of chess activity - at club, league and national level. He was the current President of the Glasgow Chess League. He was well known as an arbiter and was an active member of the Scottish Chess Association's Arbiters' Committee.
He did extensive research on the history of the Richardson and Spens Cups and the Glasgow League, much of which now appears on the SCA website, scottishchess.com.
His untiring enthusiasm for the history of chess in Scotland and his attention to detail has helped created many archives which will now exist and remain of interest for future generations of Scottish players seeking to understand their heritage.
One of his contributions nationally was to edit the SCA's magazine, Scottish Chess, and I can do nothing better than quote from his successor Alex McFarlane's first editorial in 1982: "Without any disrespect to Gerry's predecessors (Percy Davies, John Glendinning, Peter Watson and, in a temporary capacity, Walter Munn), he has established the magazine as an integral part of the Scottish chess scene. In his seven years as Editor from June 1975 to April 1982, he has taken the publication from an ink duplicated magazine of irregular production into the more professional printed bi monthly of today."
He had a fun approach to life, which came through in his chess activity - including his game annotations. The following appeared in Scottish Chess February 1978, with notes abbreviated from Gerry's.
White: M P Roberts, Black; G Wilson
1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bb5 a6 4 Ba4 Nf6 5 0-0 b5 6 Bb3 Be7 7 Re1 0-0 8 a4 (Thought now seems to be required contrary to Black's natural state of mind) Bb7 9 axb5 axb5 10 Rxa8 Qxa8 11 d3 d6 12 c3 Na5 13 Bc2 c5 14 Nbd2 Nc6 (The last four moves appear to be theory but were played by ear [which is excruciatingly awkward]) 15 h3 d5 16 exd5 Nxd5 17 Nxe5 Nxe5 18 Rxe5 Bd6 19 Re1 Nf4 (Now 20 Ne4 seems to solve white's problems but he manages to find something much worse) 20 f3? f5! (Should have been played a move earlier but there's nothing like locking the stable door before the horse gets a second chance to bolt!) 21 Nf1? (Even worse. The g-pawn is overworked and the knight needs to stay on d2 to cover f3 but white now has a bad game anyway - spot the useless bishops) Nxh3+! 22 gxh3 Bxf3 23 Qd2 Rf6 24 Ne3 Rg6+ 25 Kf1 Bh5 (There is no real defence to the mate which white fails to see anyway) (bold) 26 Bd1 Qh1+ 27 Kf2 Bg3 ++ JOHN GLENDINNING
John Glendinning, SCA President