Phil Haley 1924-2017 R.I.P.

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Phil Haley 1924-2017 R.I.P.

    We mourn the passing of one of the truly great men of Canadian (and international) chess.
    Excellent long obituary in Saturday's Globe and Mail.

  • #2
    Re: Phil Haley 1924-2017 R.I.P.

    Phil Haley 1924-2017 R.I.P.

    October 14, 2017

    From The Globe and Mail Obituary:


    Philip Gamblin Haley (Phil) 1924 - 2017

    Philip Haley was born in St. Stephen, New Brunswick, May 29, 1924. He graduated from Acadia University with an honours degree in science in 1945 and graduated from McGill University with a degree in chemical engineering in 1947.

    He was employed for 37 years with Imperial Oil and retired from an executive position with that company in 1983. He was known for his expertise in catalytic cracking and heavy oil upgrading and apart from a variety of technical positions, he held a number of managerial positions including manager of engineering design and manager of refining technology. Following his retirement he acted as a consultant on a number of major heavy oil upgrading projects.

    Apart from his engineering career, Mr. Haley was well known both nationally and internationally in the world of chess.

    In Canada, Mr. Haley was Secretary of the Chess Federation of Canada from 1953-1954, developer of the first Canadian rating list and Rating Commissioner from 1953-1955, Vice-president of the Chess Federation of Canada from 1955-1956, Chairman of the Chess Foundation of Canada from 1959-1967, President of the Chess Federation of Canada from 1971-1973 and FIDE (the world chess federation) Zonal President and FIDE representative for Canada from 1994-1999.

    Phil was very active in FIDE. He made a detailed presentation to FIDE's Central Committee in Venice in 1967 on the subject of conducting Chess Olympiads using the controlled pairing Swiss system. He led discussions on this subject in subsequent years until his idea was accepted for the 1976 Olympiad in Haifa, Israel and used in all subsequent Chess Olympiads.

    Apart from being a member of the Rules Committee he was chairman of the Pairings Committee for Chess Olympiads in Israel, Argentina, Malta and Switzerland. He took part in FIDE meetings in Italy, Malta, Switzerland, Brazil, France, the Netherlands, Russia, Armenia, Moldova, Qatar and Turkey. At the 1995 meeting of the FIDE Central Committee in Paris, Phil introduced a motion of non-confidence in President Campomanes and his team. This was seconded by Fan Adams of the US and was defeated by a controversial vote that was deemed to have been tied. At the FIDE Congress in Yerevan in 1996 Phil introduced a motion that all FIDE executive positions should be filled by individual votes rather than by voting for teams. This motion received strong support but was narrowly defeated. In 1999 Phil was a member of the three man Appeals Committee for the World Championship in Las Vegas.

    In 1971, in cooperation with Mayor Drapeau of Montreal, Mr. Haley developed and submitted a detailed proposal to FIDE for holding the World chess Championship (Fischer-Spassky match) in Montreal.

    In 1972 Mr. Haley co-authored with Kenneth Harkness of the US a report for FIDE entitled 'Application of the Swiss System to FIDE tournaments.'

    Mr. Haley was the originator of the accelerated pairing Swiss system that proved to be highly successful in tournaments with a high ratio of number of players to number of rounds. He was the tournament director and arbiter for four Canadian Open chess championships in Winnipeg, Kingston, Vancouver and St. John's as well as for the Canadian Closed championship in Pointe Claire, P.Q. in 1969.

    Although better known as a tournament director and Chess Federation official, Phil was an active player as well. He took part in many Canadian Opens starting with the first Canadian Open in Montreal in 1956 as well as Canadian Opens in Toronto, Ottawa, Kitchener, London, Windsor, Sackville, Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver. He represented New Brunswick in the 1945 Canadian Closed championship in Saskatoon and won the Alberta chess championship in 1959.

    Phil was also active in the US and participated in US Open championship tournaments in Tampa, Milwaukee, Cleveland and San Juan as well as having been a member of the US Chess Federation Rules Committee and the USCF FIDE Advisory Committee. He received the 'Special Friend of the USCF' award in 2006.

    Mr. Haley was awarded a medal in 1977 from the Governor General of Canada on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the accession of Queen Elizabeth... for contributions in the field of chess. Phil was one of the original members of the Canadian Chess Hall of Fame.

    Mr. Haley is survived by his wife Betty-June, daughter Nancie and her husband David, granddaughter Melissa and sister Margaret.

    Donations may be made in Phil's memory to the Scarborough Chess Club or the CNIB.


    • #3
      Re: Phil Haley 1924-2017 R.I.P.

      His amazing international chess organizing is mentioned: ratings system, making the Olympiad a Swiss, accelerated pairings. Phil was always smiling and friendly, warming up the room. It was always nice to see him playing in an event.

      Donations to the Scarborough Chess Club.


      • #4
        Re: Phil Haley 1924-2017 R.I.P.

        Very sad news indeed. Phil was a giant of Canadian Chess.
        He will be missed.


        • #5
          Re: Phil Haley 1924-2017 R.I.P.

          Originally posted by Bob Gillanders View Post
          Very sad news indeed. Phil was a giant of Canadian Chess.
          He will be missed.
          I am very saddened to hear about the passing of this wonderful man. I had the pleasure of meeting him over the board in a tournament nearly 40 years ago.
          Last edited by Sid Belzberg; Saturday, 14th October, 2017, 03:50 PM.


          • #6
            Re: Phil Haley 1924-2017 R.I.P.

            So sad. I managed one draw in 2 games. He was one of my many influences. Phil was recognized by the Arbiters' Commission a few years ago and was made an Honorary Member of FIDE just last year.


            • #7
              Re: Phil Haley 1924-2017 R.I.P.

              Sad loss indeed. The first time I heard of Mr. Haley was when he was featured on the cover of En Passant ...I asked, who's he?

              Glad I asked.


              • #8
                Re: Phil Haley 1924-2017 R.I.P.

                Phil was one of the true giants of Canadian chess, with manifold important contributions covering more than 70 years.

                The superb obituary and posters have covered his great range of achievements. I want to add one more: he was a pretty strong player as well! I believe he competed in a Canadian Closed Championship in the 1940s with a decent score; perhaps this could be verified in detail.

                When rated about 1900, about the same as now, I faced him once, in a Toronto event in the late 1980s, and he won a nice game from the White side of a Colle System. Afterwards, we had a coffee and some analysis, and straightaway struck up a very good rapport, as we both had technical education and careers, in addition to chess interests. Then, this truly classy gentleman encouraged me to pursue my interests to become a tournament director, organizer, and arbiter. Over the next three decades, I have done so, and am glad for it, with so many wonderful experiences (and a couple of ugly ones) I would not have had by remaining only a player.

                Phil's passing is a deep loss for Canadian chess, but we still have his enormous contributions, and amazing memories from those who knew him. His death marks the end of an era.

                Rest In Peace, Phil; there are some very interesting opponents awaiting you in Heaven!! :)

                Frank Dixon
                NTD, Kingston


                • #9
                  Re: Phil Haley 1924-2017 R.I.P.

                  Phil Haley 1924-2017 R.I.P.

                  October 14, 2017


                  says that Phil played in the Canadian Chess Championship of 1945.


                  gives the cross-table:

                  47th Canadian Championship, Saskatoon, 5-12 June 1945

                  1. Yanofsky, Abe 10.5
                  2. Yerhoff, Frank 10.5
                  3. Divinsky, Nathan 9.5
                  4. Belson, Harry 9.5
                  5. Duval, Leo 7.5
                  6. Holowach, Walter 6.5
                  7. Helman, Abe 6.0
                  8. Rauch, Joseph 5.5
                  9. Taylor, Jack 4.0
                  10. Neatby, L. 3.5
                  11. Haley, Phil 2.5
                  12. Hall, Leonard 1.5
                  13. Hegler, H. 1.0


                  • #10
                    Re: Phil Haley 1924-2017 R.I.P.

                    Very sad to hear of Phil's passing. He was a true gentleman and contributed to chess greatly for his pioneering of automated pairing systems and accelerated pairings. He was very well respected in International Chess as Canada's Fide Representative. His contributions were too many to mention. My condolences go out to his family.


                    • #11
                      Re: Phil Haley 1924-2017 R.I.P.

                      Group photo


                      • #12
                        Phil Haley's games vs Canada's Best

                        As several people have noted, Phil was not only a big contributor to Canadian chess, but an enthusiastic life-long player.

                        I found six games Phil played against six of the best Canadian chess players:
                        1945 - Abe Yanofsky
                        1953 - Frank Anderson
                        1962 - Lawrence Day
                        1988 - Bryon Nickoloff
                        1999 - Kevin Spraggett
                        2005 - Dimitri Tyomkin

                        That's a full 60 years (!) of games against Canada's best.

                        You can find them annotated on the CFC Newsfeed:



                        • #13
                          Re: Phil Haley 1924-2017 R.I.P.

                          He also beat Leo Williams (rated 2305 at the time) in 1986 - as well as John Upper in 1984. :-)


                          • #14
                            Re: Phil Haley 1924-2017 R.I.P.

                            We were good friends from the summer of 1965. I am saddened.

                            As many have of the nicest people I've ever been so fortunate as to call a friend.

                            Bob A


                            • #15
                              Re: Phil Haley 1924-2017 R.I.P.