I heard the sad news yesterday evening that Tony Goddard has been found dead in his flat. Tony played several games of chess for Nomads in 2013. He was a well-known Sheffield character, a highly intelligent man and a complex individual. Tony was an extremely strong Go (Wei Qi) player who had played many times at an international level. In 2008 he represented Great Britain at the Beijing World Mind Sports Games.
Although I’d known Tony well since 2003, it was upon his return from Beijing that he and I began to regularly play Xiang Qi (Chinese Chess). Tony even wrote a computer program that played Xiang Qi which he demonstrated to the public at Access Space, Sheffield.
Tony was a mathematician, something of an historian and a linguist. His view of the world was thoughtful and often nuanced. His dry wit was legendary, as was his inability to suffer fools gladly.
As a younger man he had worked as a computer programmer in many countries, including the USA, Saudi Arabia and Thailand. He had travelled in Iran and Afghanistan in the 1970s. He was something of a raconteur and had a wealth of stories with which he delighted audiences. To the dismay of his employers and other ex-pats Tony said he always seemed to prefer the company of the locals whilst abroad, often going native. The adventure he recalled to me of his time in a Washington ghetto was always my favourite.
Tony ate with chopsticks and loved cats. He enjoyed a good smoke and an occasional glass of wine. A man with a good heart, and a fine mind, he will be missed by those who knew him.