FIDE is deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Jorge Vega Fernandez. Honorary Member of FIDE, he was a key figure for chess in Americas, being the President of Confederation of Chess for Americas (CCA) for nearly 20 years.
Jorge Vega was born in Cuba in 1935 and lived a long and eventful life. He took part in the Cuban Revolution, which overthrew the Baptista regime in 1959. Legendary Che Guevara ordered him to carry a pocket chess set so that they could play chess between battles with government troops. The hero of Cuban revolution was the best man at Jorge’s wedding.
Jorge Vega was a Cuban delegate since 1977, Zonal President since 1974, Central committee member since 1974 and FIDE Bureau member since 1979.
Because of his international links through chess, he was imprisoned by the Cuban authorities and spent a long time in solitary confinement. After strong diplomatic pressure from the Canadian Government organized by John Prentice, Jorge was released and allowed to leave Cuba. He then moved to Mexico.
In 2002, he was elected President of Confederacion de Adjedres para America (CCA) and held this position for the next 20 years. He unified what had been a very divided body until then, and it became a very influential part of the FIDE family.
His friends in chess will never forget him and cherish plenty of sweet moments.
Nigel Freeman, President of the Bermuda Chess Federation and former FIDE Executive Director and FIDE Treasurer, shared one of them.
When Jorge was 80, he had a medical checkup, and the doctors asked him how he managed to have the constitution of someone more than 20 years younger, and he replied: “I drink a lot, I smoke a lot and never eat green vegetables.”
FIDE extends its sincere condolences to Jorge Vega Fernandez family, friends, and loved ones.
Photo: Anastasia Karlovich