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Peter Greenwood

Peter Greenwood was one of my best friends, although he was much older than me and not a strong player. We played at Dover Chess Club of course, but also telephone correspondence chess to while away our shifts (I was mostly at the Eastern Docks, he at the Western). Perhaps he was a better poet. He was a Chief Immigration Officer and more sympathetic to would-be immigrants than the rest of his colleagues; I remember one of his poems called 'A Song To Singh' contained the line - referring to Asian immigrants - 'in green woods shade they dance and sing.' His other interests were languages: ancient Greek and Russian. He was a gentle man and I often think of him. He played the piano, but I never heard him. I do remember that we shared a love of Chopin; he pointed out to me the similarity between Chopin's Preludes and Etudes and, of all things, Ragtime.

Back to chess: Peter's favourite openings were the Modern Defence and Santasiere's Folly. He underestimated the importance of the centre and of dynamics. I can't bring myself to honour his memory by playing either opening; my beloved ...g6 Sicilian is the closest I get to his style.

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