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Gawain Jones: 'I Am Overwhelmed By All The Love And Support'
GM Gawain Jones with his late wife Sue Maroroa Jones and their daughter Samaria. Photo: Gawain Jones.

Gawain Jones: 'I Am Overwhelmed By All The Love And Support'

Leon_Watson
| 10 | Chess.com News

GM Gawain Jones, the husband of WIM Sue Maroroa Jones, who died in tragic circumstances this month, has thanked the chess community as an appeal to support his family soared above $64,000.

The two-time British champion told Chess.com: "I am overwhelmed by all the love, support, and wonderful memories from these incredible communities. It’s touching to see how much Sue impacted so many lives. Thank you."

GM Gawain Jones at the 2017 World Cup. Photo: Maria Emelianova.

The fundraiser was launched by friends of the family to help support the couple's children, Samaria and baby Daniel, after the death of their 32-year-old mother in Sheffield, England, on May 10.

Sue, an exciting, attacking player who represented her native New Zealand and England, died shortly after giving birth to her second child. The family is awaiting a coroner's report to establish the cause of death.

Gawain's friend from Hammersmith Chess Club, Chris Skulte, said: "So many people wanted to do so much to help, and there are so many communities (chess, rugby, mothers) that wanted to give to someone who has done so much for them."

Since then the response has been astonishing. Donations have rolled in from a wide variety of people and organizations around the world, particularly New Zealand.

One generous anonymous donor gave £10,000 ($12,400), while both Chessable and the English Chess Federation donated £1,000 ($1,240).

Words of support left on the GoFundMe.com page range from elite players such as GM Levon Aronian to a list that reads like a who's who of the English chess scene that includes IM Harriet Hunt, WFM Sarah Longson, IM Tom Rendle, IM Malcolm Pein, and GM Daniel Fernandez.

But it's not just the chess community. Sue played rugby for Sheffield Ladies RUFC before the birth of her first child, Samaria, and there have also been many donations from people who knew her through her passion for that game as well as friends from back home in New Zealand.

At the time of writing, the fund is at $65,368 having been set up just five days ago. The original aim was £10,000 ($12,400) but now friends and family are hoping it will push on to the chess-themed number of £64,000 ($79,000).

Sue represented New Zealand in five Olympiads (2002-2012) and England once, in 2014. She grew up in South Auckland.

Sue and Gawain met at the 2008 Dresden Olympiad, where Sue was representing New Zealand, and Gawain was representing England.

The pair married in 2012 before she moved to the United Kingdom, and they set up a home in Sheffield, South Yorkshire.

Click here to read Chess.com's obituary to Sue.

Leon_Watson
Leon Watson

Leon is an award-winning former national newspaper journalist now working for Chess.com, having previously been chess24 and Chessable. His main mission is to spread the word about chess, but he is also a keen league player and secretary of Battersea Chess Club in London. In his previous career as a reporter/editor, Leon worked for The Telegraph, The Daily Mail, and The Sun, breaking many chess stories as well as writing general news and features. As an ex-hack, Leon is still always on the hunt for a good chess tale.


Contact him at leon.watson@chess.com.

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