Saturday, November 29, 2008

Bob Wade 1921-2008

News came through earlier today of the death of Bob Wade at the age of 87. Bob was many things to many different people: an International Master, author, coach, Olympiad stalwart, librarian extraordinaire, voluble lefty, Athenaeum regular and Bobby Fischer's chief truffle hound.

(Copyright Bob Miller/Barry Martin)

He was also an arbiter of note and was regularly master of ceremonies at the annual London Metropolitan Congress. My first meeting with Bob came in 2006 at the 16th such event, where I scored a measly 3/5 in the u130 section. Two of my victories came against gentlemen considerably older than myself, a fact which our mischievous arbiter was quick to pick up on. As I handed Bob my final round result (a victory against somebody only slightly older than myself) he looked up with a wry grin.

'Didn't fancy beating up any more pensioners then?'

'What? Oh, er...'

'You didn't want a hat-trick of geriatrics?'

'Erm, yes, I mean, no...'

A witty reply eluded me then, as it still does now. Please use our comments box to recall any similarly sweet, baffling interactions you may have had with the Grand Old Man of British chess. RIP.


Anonymous said...

I did have one training weekend (Middlesex juniors) and one training day (Pinner juniors)with him. My Dad organised the Pinner day and took him to Wimpy for lunch where Bob had an egg burger.

Tom Chivers said...

I vividly remember Bob waving his stick around at the Staunton Memorial. I'm not sure why, I think it was something to do with the Dutch boys, or maybe the crossword clues. But I definitely plan to do the same kind of thing if I'm fortunate enough to live to the age he did.

Martin S. said...

London Boys under-16's circa 1963: I'd lost to some young fellow in the same line, for the second time to boot (misplaced optimism of youth, flying in the face of blindingly obvious experience), and Bob consoles me - keep on trying, don't give up, you'll win eventually! Good advice Bob. Thanks.

Jonathan B said...

I arrived unusually for one round at the Staunton Memorial earlier this year and Bob was already there. In fact whatever time I got there he was always there.

On this particular day he wandered over to the spectator's area and asked me about the book I had with me.

ejh said...

(I have taken down the piece published this morning, for a few hours, to allow this obituary to stay at the top for a while, longer.)

ejh said...

librarian extraordinaire

Have you seen that shelving?

Anonymous said...

you dont need a witty reply
'at trick of geri at trics'
sounds more than witty enough, especcially for an 87 year old.