Bob Wade made his mark as a successful chess player — he was twice British chess champion — as an author and as chief chess coach to the British Chess Federation (now the English Chess Federation).
Robert Graham Wade was born in Dunedin, New Zealand, in 1921 and began a career in the scientific civil service. He won the national championship of New Zealand in 1944. A second victory in 1945 led to an invitation as a Commonwealth champion to the British championships of 1946. He had a poor result but felt he could do better with more application and took a break from his job to travel and play chess in international tournaments.
After a brief return to work in New Zealand, winning the New Zealand chess championship for the third time in 1948, he settled in England. In the developing but meagre chess scene of the 1950s and 1960s he was undoubtedly Britain’s most active international player.
He represented his adopted country in no fewer than six Chess Olympiads (Amsterdam 1954, Moscow 1956, Munich 1958, Leipzig 1960, Varna 1962 and Skopje 1972). He also represented New Zealand in the 1970 Chess Olympiad at Siegen in West Germany.
His best results in international chess were fifth prize at Venice in 1950 and again fifth prize a quarter of a century later in the masters’ section of the Capablanca memorial at Cienfuegos, Cuba, in 1975.
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