The Harold Winston I Knew

By Jim Eade

Many people in and out of chess circles are mourning the passing of Harold Winston.  I will tell you about the Harold Winston I knew, but here is a link to his obituary: https://www.legacy.com/us/obituaries/chicagotribune/name/harold-winston-obituary?pid=197770661

Al Lawrence also sent me the following link: https://chicagojewishfunerals.com/funeral-detail-page/?case=E385B9DC-16AB-4CB0-9C79-077AB4B701CE

Those links will get you the facts about Harold’s life, but in this article, I want to concentrate on the man I knew.  I got involved in USCF delegate’s meeting in 1994.  Harold was already a USCF past-President by then.  I got to know him as the Chairman of the bylaws committee, first as a delegate watching him address the floor with the votes from the committee, and then as a committee member.

When I ran for the Executive Board, Harold backed my opponent.  This was natural, because he had a long relationship with my opponent, and really didn’t know me all that well.  Harold also supported the President of the board, while I served when I had many serious disagreements with him.  So, our relationship did not get off to the best of starts.

Nevertheless, I could always see that Harold wanted what was best for the organization.  His dedication and lack of self interest was apparent from the start.  He did his best to be fair and give a voice to the minority opinion in any meeting he chaired.  This was a man I could respect.

Our relationship deepened when I became a Trustee of the US Chess Trust in 2000.  Harold was President at that time and later became Chairman.  I became the Trust’s Treasurer in 2005 and its President in 2010.  Harold and I worked together for many years and my respect for him simply deepened.

Harold loved everything about the USCF and the Trust and gave both organizations everything he had to give.  His service and dedication were inspiring.  His attention to detail was simply amazing to someone like me.

Harold also loved inducting new members into the US Chess Hall of Fame.  I had to stand in for him once due to his illness, and he was only slightly miffed.  Not at me, but at the fact that his unbroken string of inductions had to begin all over again.  I am certain that whoever gets that honor next will remember Harold.  The man was a mensch.

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