G WADE, OBE, (Order of the British Empire)
Bob, the name which he was invariably called, was born in Dunedin, New Zealand 10 April 1921 and died Saturday 29 November 2008 in hospital in London.
He was a chess life-force which flowed like a river for 60 years.
He lived in England since the early 1950s, living part of the time initially in Hastings. He reminisced that he spent one Christmas Day playing Kriegspiel at Hastings Club, still the only one in England with their own premises.
He played in Hastings 1953 when the event generated huge media interest. It was the first time Soviet players had played in England at almost any sport. C H O’Donnell Alexander won a 120 move game against the late, great David Bronstein. Such rare marathons with multiple adjournments often used to stir considerable interest. Bob played Hugh in the last round and, had the Englishman won, he would have won the Premier outright. Bob felt it incumbent on him to try his hardest to show the fix wasn’t in and the game ended up in a draw.
Of course Bob was much more than just a player and he was sometimes an arbiter at the congress. He was always very conscious of what a great tradition Hastings has in chess. After all, there were some years when it was the only international chess event.
Bob’s enjoyment of chess in all its aspects never flagged. He was always approachable and was never pompous. Chess was his life – and it was a life well spent.
Stewart Reuben December 2008