Bob Wade memorial

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Jonathan Rogers
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Bob Wade memorial

Post by Jonathan Rogers » Tue Aug 18, 2009 12:10 pm

As some of you know (though I myself found out only by lucky chance on Sunday night) there was a memorial for Bob Wade at Simpson's last night. All the top English players and a number of forum members were there.

For those who missed it - it was a well organised 45 minutes, with wine for all attendees. I'm afraid that I forgot (if i was ever told) the name of the pastor who presided, but he did know Bob well and had even played chess with him.

The first guest speaker was Nigel Short, who spoke rather off the cuff, but did get off to a good start by saying "well, now. It can be rather dangerous to ask me to speak about the recently departed" (!)

Next was the match captain (or President?) of Athenaeum. I am afraid that I don't know his name either. But he told us that last year, when someone else had died just a couple of days before a match had started, he had a conversation with Bob about death and chess which had been meant to be jovial and hypothetical, along the lines of "should we cancel a match if you were to die shortly beforehand?" And Bob got very tetchy! No! If chess has been organised - then play!

But of course it is was speaker number three who stole the show: Victor Korchnoi

He spoke excellent English (without notes), I thought - I understood virtually everything, despite the thick accent. Apparently this was because Bob had taught him a lot in the 1960s. He spoke of his loss to Bob and their second game which he should also have lost, but during which Bob fell asleep first in the Cuban heat! But more importantly he both started and finished by saying that Bob was England's first professional, and so much of his later achievements were owed to his various activities.

Of course we knew that, but it was still special to hear it from Korchnoi.

And, this being Simpsons, proceedings concluded with a violin performance from one Simon Hewitt Jones. I know that, because his name appeared on a leaflet!

Writing this made me take another quick look at Korchnoi's "Chess is my life" which I won as a junior. Of course, I found that it was signed by Bob Wade!

John Philpott

Re: Bob Wade memorial

Post by John Philpott » Tue Aug 18, 2009 12:30 pm

Jonathan Rogers wrote
Next was the match captain (or President?) of Athenaeum. I am afraid that I don't know his name either.
The second speaker was Steven Walsh, who I believe is the current Athenaum President ( a position Bob had held for many years). The room was packed, which must be my excuse for not realising that you were there, Jonathan!

Paul McKeown
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Re: Bob Wade memorial

Post by Paul McKeown » Tue Aug 18, 2009 12:46 pm

The pastor was the Reverend Bill Raines (Church of Holy Innocents, Fallowfield, Manchester), an Athenaeum Chess Club player and organiser from the late 1960's and early 1970's.

I think it was also very fitting that he gave mention to Alan Phillips recently having passed away; Alan and Bob were great friends and both were British Champions. Alan helped Bob materially in a very significant way, as is well known to friends of both. It was nice that Mike Phillips was there.

I loved the photograph on display that was taken by Barry Martin of Bob surrounded by his books in his flat in Blackheath and it was fascinating to look at the photo displays made by Tony Gkountitas and Katerina, who did more than anyone to look after Bob in his advanced years. Malena Griffiths's photograph collection was also fascinating.
"Liberty without equality is of noble sound but squalid meaning" - LT Hobhouse

Jonathan Rogers
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Re: Bob Wade memorial

Post by Jonathan Rogers » Tue Aug 18, 2009 12:50 pm

Yes, it was a packed room, I didn't see you either John!

I just saw a type on my earlier post. Of course, Korchnoi said that "so much of our later achievements were owed to his various activities".

Paul McKeown
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Re: Bob Wade memorial

Post by Paul McKeown » Tue Aug 18, 2009 12:53 pm

Just Google Bill Raines, you'll find him. Good photo here: South Manchester Reporter
"Liberty without equality is of noble sound but squalid meaning" - LT Hobhouse

Paul McKeown
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Re: Bob Wade memorial

Post by Paul McKeown » Tue Aug 18, 2009 1:01 pm

I think it also fair to congratulate Ray Keene for organising this; he was also a good friend of Bob's.
"Liberty without equality is of noble sound but squalid meaning" - LT Hobhouse

Paul McKeown
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Re: Bob Wade memorial

Post by Paul McKeown » Tue Aug 18, 2009 1:16 pm

It was fun counting the present and former Athenaeum members. My list came to:
Bob Wade (in spirit), Les Blackstock, Malena Griffiths, Bill Raines, Tony Gkountitas, Steven Walsh, Colin Russ, Mike Rose, Simon Spivack, Jim Stevenson, Mark Johnstone, Jonathan Kay, Maria Sant, myself. I'm sure I have forgotten some!
"Liberty without equality is of noble sound but squalid meaning" - LT Hobhouse

Simon Spivack
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Re: Bob Wade memorial

Post by Simon Spivack » Tue Aug 18, 2009 2:53 pm

Jonathan Rogers wrote:I myself found out only by lucky chance on Sunday night) there was a memorial for Bob Wade at Simpson's last night.
There was a certain coyness about notification. There was an email sent out on 12 August to selected individuals. I first learnt of the service from a Chessbase article. One would have thought that the donors would have been among the first to have been told, rather than by chance, if at all. The ECF's own website carried the announcement at the end of last week. I have been told that the service was mentioned in The Times.
John Philpott wrote:The second speaker was Steven Walsh, who I believe is the current Athenaeum President ( a position Bob had held for many years).
Bob resigned as president in the early to mid nineties. What he told me was that he was trying to abandon as many of these positions as possible. I'm not certain that Mushrooms allowed Bob to resign as their president. :-)
John Philpott wrote:The room was packed
I should say there were about sixty people present.
Paul McKeown wrote:Tony Gkountitas and Katerina, who did more than anyone to look after Bob in his advanced years.
I enjoyed reminiscing with Tony Gkountintas and Katerina after the service. There were a couple of things they mentioned that I did not know, they also clarified a certain mystery.
Paul McKeown wrote:I think it also fair to congratulate Ray Keene for organising this;
There was no mention of Keene's involvement when donations were being sought. I presume he was brought in late to the proceedings.
Paul McKeown wrote:he was also a good friend of Bob's.
Bob never had a bad word to say about Keene. Not to me anyway.

Paul McKeown
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Re: Bob Wade memorial

Post by Paul McKeown » Tue Aug 18, 2009 3:02 pm

Simon Spivack wrote:I should say there were about sixty people present.
I would say definitely more: I could name sixty that I recognised, never mind the one's that I didn't!
"Liberty without equality is of noble sound but squalid meaning" - LT Hobhouse

Simon Brown
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Re: Bob Wade memorial

Post by Simon Brown » Tue Aug 18, 2009 4:49 pm

I knew nothing about this. Since Bob was the one who "spotted" me (in 1968) and I saw him at a Kent event a few weeks before he died, I would love to have attended.

There is mention on the thread of donations - can anyone enlighten me further?

Simon

James Pratt
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Re: Bob Wade memorial

Post by James Pratt » Tue Aug 18, 2009 5:49 pm

WG Raines collaborated with Alan Cromleholme and Ray Keene on a book on Bath 1973. Still a favourite of mine! He was also second to Huebner at Biel 1976.

There was a concert in memory of Alan Phillips at the Great Hall at Dartington College in Devon on Saturday 25th July. An appreciation by John Lill, a one-time musical prodigy, spoke of him knowing AP for 45 years and the fun they shared in the Amadeus Quartet, as much otb as musically. Pieces were played by Haydn, Schumann, Prokofiev, Brahams and Beethoven.

Alan's co-champion was of course Mr LW Barden, eighty years young this Thursday, I think.

Simon Spivack
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Re: Bob Wade memorial

Post by Simon Spivack » Tue Aug 18, 2009 5:54 pm

Simon Brown wrote:I knew nothing about this. Since Bob was the one who "spotted" me (in 1968) and I saw him at a Kent event a few weeks before he died, I would love to have attended.
It should have been better advertised. I rang a few people. I presume others did the same. But that was no substitute for a timely message on the Internet.
Simon Brown wrote:There is mention on the thread of donations - can anyone enlighten me further?
Just before the funeral last year a fund was established to pay for a memorial service. Any surplus was intended to further junior chess. No official statement has been made, however, it seems implausible that there is another memorial service planned.

I presume there is no further need of funds for something that has just passed. Perhaps, even, Simpsons saw the service as part of the Staunton Memorial Tournament. Publicly available audited accounts would help clear up any confusion.

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: Bob Wade memorial

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Wed Aug 19, 2009 7:59 am

Peter Wilson writes...

"Sadly I was not able to attend. I have a foot injury which is causing me a lot of pain. I don't know what has caused it. In the circumstances it was better not to travel.

Mushrooms were formed in January 1961 ... Bob accepted the Hon Life Presidency of Mushrooms a couple of hours after the formation of the club.

He remained Mushrooms Hon Life President until his death. At the Mushrooms AGM on 25th July, 2009 (incidentally my 66th Birthday) I was nominated for the Mushrooms Hon. Life Presidency by David Sedgwick and was elected to that position by the Members present. I regard it as a very great honour to be asked to follow Bob in that position. Bob last played for Mushrooms in the Eastman Cup Final (Athenaeum hadn't entered that year) a couple of years ago ... Mushrooms won the match (against Insurance Chess Club). The match was interesting in that David Sedgwick and I were eligible to play for either team ... we were both Vice-Presidents of Insurance Chess Club and Members of Mushrooms. David elected to play for Insurance and I played for Mushrooms ... we both lost !! It was the first Mushrooms match Bob had played in when he was not on board 1 - I think he played board 4 in the Eastman Final - all his games for Mushrooms many years before had
been on board 1. It was also the first (and only) time Bob had played under any Mushrooms Captain other than myself ... Bill Linton has been Club captain since 1973. Bob drew his game but didn't stop for the end of the match. He rang me the following morning saying that he was concerned as he had missed a win earlier in his game and hoped that didn't mean we had failed to win the match !! He was delighted to hear that we had beaten Insurance Chess Club.

The last time I saw Bob was during the 2008 Staunton Memorial ... we chatted for quite a while ... he was just as he had been at our very first meeting in 1961. I shall miss him.

Peter J. B. Wilson"
"Kevin was the arbiter and was very patient. " Nick Grey

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