Kindred’s Special: A Western New York Chess Star Remembered

This morning I opened up the Democrat and Chronicle newspaper, section 5B, and found the obit for a good and old comrade in arms.  Dr. Rawle Farley and I knew each other for many years from his first entry into the Western New York Tournament Cycles. For, indeed, he participated whenever possible in our many events despite his own busy schedule and responsibilities at SUNY Brockport where he spearheaded development of an economics program and taught for many years, 1966 – 1995.  He was very much involved in numerous international aid projects and often was sought out to provide expertise in specific working areas of economic writings and programs. His great ambition was to encourage education. To this he wrote, “a large majority of the poor in America and overseas will continue to be poor unless the right kind of education is aggressively developed.”

His life began in Guyana, South America, his travels took him to London, England where he earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees at the University of London. While there, he told me he won the London chess championship. We often spoke about chess and its relationship to life and how it proved a stimulus of thought as well as provided relaxation and enjoyment in leisure hours. He once suggested I should consider going to college if at all possible.  Over the years, we crossed swords in many duels and resetting up the pieces to study the previous play and our joint thoughts and to try out some alternate ideas.

Dr. Farley and his wife, Ena, had four children–all who graduated from Harvard.

For several years now his devoted and beautiful wife Ena accompanied Dr. Farley to his chess matches at the Rochester Chess Center where the Community Chess of Rochester meets every Wednesday evening and on rare occasions on weekend tournaments.  Age creeps up on each of us and during his eighth decade of life began to slow physically but never mentally.

He lived a productive and kindly life as those who met him found him to be both a gentle and kind gentleman to all he met.  He was 88 years old this year. The chess community will miss you, our friend and chess devotee.


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