It is with extreme sadness that I have to report that Bob Wade, International Master, arbiter, journalist, coach, organiser, writer, chess archivist, friend to chess and friend to me, died 29th November 2008 at 3am from pneumonia, he had been in the Elisabeth Hospital in Woolwich for three days for complications from a common cold.
Robert Graham Wade was born April 10th 1921 in Dunedin, New Zealand and died in London, England Saturday 29th November 2008.
Bob’s influence on the game covered every area imaginable, and made him a true giant of the game. His kindness and generosity will stay with all those who knew him.
His playing career was that of a solid middle ranking professional. He was three time New Zealand Champion, twice British Champion, played in seven Olympiads and one Interzonal (see his Wikipedia entry http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Wade_(chess_player)) he also played in a lot of tournaments against the world’s best, especially in Eastern Europe and Cuba (playing in a number of Capablanca Memorial tournaments). He regarded himself lucky to do so and bemoaned the fact that the top players don’t play against a wider range of opponents. His last major event was the Staunton Memorial in London in July where he was really set up to lose, even a single draw would have left him with a higher rating, he fought gamely it has to be said. A far better result was achieved in 2006 in the Queenstown Chess Classic where he scored 6/10 including a draw against the winner Murray Chandler. He played a final game for the Athenium Chess Club in recent weeks.
It is not really in his playing results however that his influence lies. He used to have the reputation of playing maverick openings. He lived to see a number of these “Wade Variations” make it to use and respectability at the very highest level.