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MACA Chess Horizons Magazine Article
 Obituary Alfred G. Ward, 1938 - 2016
 George Mirijanian
  December 2016

Alfred G. "Al" Ward, one of the most active players in Massachusetts chess history, died in his home in Framingham on Oct. 17, 2016. He was 78. Al was a life member of both the USCF and MACA as well as a longtime member of the Metrowest Chess Club in Natick and its predecessor, the Framingham Chess Club.

In the past 25 years, Al had played in 355 USCF-rated events. While competing mostly in Massachusetts, he had played also in all the other New England states, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, District of Columbia, and Nevada. He was a solid Class A player, gaining the title of 1st Category from the USCF on April 19, 1992. He took part in all of MACA's major tournaments: the Mass. Open, Greater Boston Open and the Harry Nelson Pillsbury Memorial. In addition, he played in numerous New England Opens. His only "timeout" from chess was a 5-year period from late October 2009 until mid-December 2014.

Alfred Giffin Ward was born on Sept. 11, 1938 in Cambridge, the son of Alfred F. and Blanche (Giffin) Ward. He grew up in Watertown and graduated in 1958 from Watertown High School, where he was a standout football player and member of the track & field team. It was there where he developed his love of chess. Besides chess, Al had many diversified interests. He became a pilot and parachuted for sport. He also built his own car from the frame up! He became a skilled machinist at the Watertown Arsenal. In addition, he bought and read the entire Great Books collection.

Ten years out of high school, Al decided to go to college. He enrolled in Tufts University in Medford and graduated from there in 1972. After Tufts and for the rest of his life, Al Ward worked at any job that would sustain his frugal lifestyle and leave him free to pursue his interests, including caring and sheltering any animal in need, especially the many stray cats that came to his door, until his health began to fail two years ago.