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.