Published 18 September 2021


Nick Harris 1937-2021

Loss of a champion

Nick Harris
Nick Harris in 1991



Nick was educated at Brighton Grammar School and studied history at University College Oxford. He then went for teacher training and taught for a few years in Further Education before becoming an editor for Thames & Hudson, publishers. Nick turned freelance as a writer in the 1960s.

Nick had one son, Max, by his first marriage in Cumbria but, he separated from his wife. After a whirlwind romance in Kendal, he married Rosie and they had a second son, Joe, while Max was still living with them.

Nick’s early work was editing part-works about artists, history, writers and musicians. Later, publishing under his name, Nathaniel, he wrote a large number of books about fine arts, history, politics, writers and musicians. I remember talking about being a writer and the precarious nature of that profession while I was travelling with Nick to a match at Kidderminster. He told me it meant that writers often had to turn their hand to what was offered, but “he drew the line at knitting”! If you look on Amazon you will find over fifty works some of which have been translated into German and Spanish. Nick also authored a series of short books about government and current affairs for secondary school children.


Nick was always a strong chess player and played for Windermere Club in Cumbria before moving to Worcester in 1986. When Nick was in the North West he won the Windermere club’s knock out cup and the All-play-all competition five times during the period 1979 to 1985.

He joined Worcester City Club and played a couple of seasons for City in the late 1980s and early 1990s. During this time he was a member of the Worcester City team that were Worcestershire League champions in the 1990/91 season. Nick later transferred to Worcester St John’s Club, where he met players like him who were keen to play more than once a week. He decided to play for Stourbridge in the Birmingham League with Greg Dyett and Steve James. With Nick in the St John's team, they were Worcestershire League champions in 1998-9 and 2004-5 and also in the Droitwich & St John's team in 2006-7. After the demise of the Worcester St John’s club, Nick returned to Worcester City and was again a member of a league championship-winning team in the 2010/11 season.

According to my records, Nick and I played 32 competitive games against each other, many with tight finishes, but he usually ended as the winner. It took me 20 games before I first scored a full point. I also searched the City club’s records and found that he was first in nine tournaments held by Worcester City Chess Club: Knock-out (1986/87); Lightning (1986/87); All-play-all three times (2010/11, 2012/13, and 2013/14); Rapidplay championship (2013/14 and 2017/18), club championship (2016/17 and 2018/19). With no competitions completed in 2019/20, he was officially the club champion at the time of his death.

Ray Collett