Bob Wade

Historical knowledge and information regarding our great game.
Richard James
Posts: 938
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2007 7:34 pm
Location: Twickenham
Contact:

Re: Bob Wade

Post by Richard James » Fri Jan 02, 2009 5:54 pm

Paul

I have a copy of Chess Pieces, a Anthology in Prose and Verse Compiled with Commentary by Norman Knight With a Foreward by Sir George Thomas, Bart, Decorations by the (wonderfully named) Glades Gibberd, published by Sampson Low (whose descendant and namesake was a member of Richmond Juniors many years ago) in 1949.

Can I look anything up for you?

Paul McKeown
Posts: 3198
Joined: Thu Apr 12, 2007 3:01 pm
Location: Hayes (Middx)
Contact:

Re: Bob Wade

Post by Paul McKeown » Mon Jan 05, 2009 8:51 pm

Justin,

About the connection between Bob Wade and G Norman Knight ("Gilfred", as you were able to inform me). Well, working with Bob on the book, several times he would give me lists (long lists...) of people that he would like to acknowledge for having helped him in his life or with whom he had collaborated or against whom he had played. I would diligently work through the lists, but usually I would get defeated by the list and (for me) the obscurity or I would simply forget what he told me (I would scribble notes at an enormous rate, but eventually I would get lost). One of the people on one of Bob's list was said Norman Knight.

Going back to November 6, 1947, Bob returned to New Zealand from his first world tour. Quoting from that part of the book which is already written and received Bob's personal blessing:
Bob took a berth on the Matson Line’s S.S. Marine Phoenix from San Francisco’s Pier 32 on October 21st, walking down the gang-plank at Auckland in his native New Zealand on November 6th. McSherry, in his newly launched New Zealand ChessPlayer, observed: He looked remarkably well, much better than when he went away, and if he continues in good health, we believe he will soon show that his overseas tour was not wasted.(66)

He discovered that his previous position had been filled in his absence and found the Public Service Commission in Wellington rather unsympathetic. In an interview half a century later with Sarah Hurst, he explained: it wasn’t usual to go on three-month leave for 15 months.(67) He was offered a less congenial post in the National Library Service, opposite the Parliament buildings. One positive outcome was that he was able to play hockey for the Library Service, in his familiar left full-back position.
Bob's previous posts had been as a land tax assessor with the Department of Land of Tax from June 1938 - July 1941, then as a stores clerk, responsible for inventory and purchasing, at the new Dominion Physical Laboratory at Lower Hutt, a specialised metrology laboratory that played an important role in the war in the South Pacific, with engineering and physics research involving nuclear radiation - important enough to be visited by Eleanor Roosevelt on her tour of the Pacific [the tour, including photos and newspaper clippings of ER's visit to the DPL is available on the web, q.v.]. Bob remembered well the ironic task of having to source materials (including scientific papers) from the enemy, Germany, via neutral Sweden. [Thinking about that, perhaps, I should squeeze that story into the book; it isn't there at the moment.]

He found this new post as a librarian much less interesting and - worse - the management were much less sympathetic to giving him time to devote to chess, even as Dominion champion. Nevertheless, he took to the task with his usual energy, and within a few months had learned a great deal of the librarian's art.

Zooming forward to 1952, by which stage Bob was resident in London, he met a keen amateur chess player by the name of Norman Knight. Norman Knight was at the time a senior civil servant, with a particular interest in the librarian's art of indexing. He wrote several influential papers on the subject - which I understand are still referred to librarians today - which is why I asked you if you knew anything about him, you previously having been a librarian. But you having supplied the missing name, "Gilbert", seems to have done the trick and unlocked some useful references on the web. Anyway, long story short, Bob wrote a review of one of Norman Knight's paper's and sent it to his former employer, the NZ National Library Service, who, I understand began to apply some of Norman Knight's wisdom in their work.

Norman Knight wrote the indexes for BH Wood's Chess for several years during the 1960's - and excellent indexes they were too! He also wrote several caissic cornucopia.

Anyway, I think I now have enough information to distil Bob's wish to remember this person into a useful short paragraph, without unnecessarily boring the bulk of the books' readers, who will no doubt be more interested in Bob's conversations with Stalin, Fidel Castro, Che Guevara or Idi Amin, or how Kotov took Bob to watch Dinamo play Spartak (3-1).

Richard,

Perhaps I could drop by, when Richmond C are playing a home match some time, and skim through Norman Knight's "Chess Pieces"? If so, could you suggest when that might be convenient?

Best Regards,
Paul M.

Paul McKeown
Posts: 3198
Joined: Thu Apr 12, 2007 3:01 pm
Location: Hayes (Middx)
Contact:

Re: Bob Wade

Post by Paul McKeown » Tue Jan 06, 2009 1:21 am

Does anyone have a copy of Leonard Barden's, How to play the End Game in Chess, first published by MacMillan in 1975?

I remember this book from when I was first learning to play chess and I think it is probably the reason that I kept playing chess into adulthood, after all the nonsense that I had absorbed from Reinfeld, Horowitz, etc. ("How to Think Ahead in Chess" - anyone remember that horror? :shock: ) I certainly learnt from it that delivering mate by Greek gift on h7 wasn't the only way to win a game of chess...

That aside, the reason I'm asking, is that I think that he wrote a section on adjudications in that book - he suggested that "window dressing" for the benefit of the adjudicator was something to bear in mind as one neared the end of the playing session.

[When I first read it as a teenager, I didn't know what on Earth he was writing about - Ireland North and South had only play to the finish; I was to learn of the horrors of adjournment and adjudication only when I came to quaint old England... :shock: - and they talk about the land of the bogs and the fairies :wink: ]

To the point, however, I believe that he dealt with one particular adjudication, Galvenius - Stone, BCF Counties Championship final, November 1952. I was reminded of this when reading Barden writing, many years later, about the final of the BCF Counties Championship of 1978-79:
Leonard Barden, The Guardian, 11th August 1979 wrote:When Oxfordshire beat them [i.e. Middlesex] in the 1952 final, victory was achieved by a mixture of GM and IM class immigrants, low gamesmanship, and adjudication (see the chapter on adjudication techniques in “How to Play the Endgame in Chess”).
And why is that relevant to a biography of Bob Wade?

Bob was the poor bloody adjudicator; the match was an adjudicator's nightmare. Two of the games, in particular, involved intricate endgames. And Oxfordshire was determined to win - at all costs. It had delayed the final match of the 1951-52 season up to November 1952 to ensure that all the university star players were available ... Yanofsky, Tylor, Barden, Persitz, ... (of the top of my memory, 12 of the 16 were students, the remaining 4 dons). And the match came down to 4 adjudications. And of course Oxfordshire appealed against the adjudications, with powerful analysis by Yanofsky (who perhaps also had other reasons, but that is another story). Middlesex appealed when verdicts went against it after Oxfordshire's initial appeal. BH Wood’s Chess was bombarded with correspondence regarding the matter for several further months; writing of the affair, his sarcastic headline was Next Appeal: To the House of Lords? He wrote of the play over the board
Chess, Vol. 18, No. 209, February 1953, p. 85 wrote:which some might think the main part of the play, but which seems to have had a purely incidental connection with the final result.
I asked Bob about this once; he winked in that way of his and said that he didn't mind, as he just got paid more (at the time, the BCF's rule was that adjudications appeals be dealt with by a panel of three, including the original adjudicator).

But, if anyone has this book by Barden, I would dearly love to hear what he wrote of this affair in it...

Anyone, please?

Paul McKeown
Posts: 3198
Joined: Thu Apr 12, 2007 3:01 pm
Location: Hayes (Middx)
Contact:

Re: Bob Wade

Post by Paul McKeown » Tue Jan 06, 2009 1:49 am

And on the subject of Bob Wade and county chess, I have a complete record of his first 123 games for Middlesex from the 1948-49 to the 1988-89 seasons (from the Middlesex match books), and have a complete record of his last 9 games in the 1999-2000 and 2000-01 seasons (from the SCCU website). [Incidentally his first ever county game was in 1946, playing for Hertfordshire! He was staying at St. Albans with Norman Lavers, having played in the British Championship...]

But there is a gap from 1989-90 up to and including 1998-99. During that time, I believe that Middlesex had three captains, Adrian Lawrence, Robin Pearce and then John McVicar and then there was a gap of two or three seasons. What I know for certain is that under Robin Pearce, Middlesex won the Minor Counties championship in the 1993-94 season, the BCM reporting:
BCM Vol. 114, No. 8, August 1994, p.430 wrote:Middlesex 10½ - Surrey 5½, something of a surprise to see such ‘heavyweights’ in the second section.
And then in 1994-95, Middlesex lost the open championship final to Cambridgeshire on board count.

But what I don't know is:
a) did RGW play for Middlesex in those years?
b) if so, who did he play, when, where, against which county, what result?
c) what years did which of those three captain the county?
d) how did Middlesex do in those years?

I'm unable to approach the captains, as two are no longer with us, and one is no longer involved with chess.

But, I am sure the answer to these questions can be found in either of two places:
1) BCF Yearbooks for the years concerned
2) SCCU Bulletins for the years concerned

Can anyone help, please?

Thanks, I knew you would! :D

Paul McKeown
Posts: 3198
Joined: Thu Apr 12, 2007 3:01 pm
Location: Hayes (Middx)
Contact:

Re: Bob Wade

Post by Paul McKeown » Tue Jan 06, 2009 2:13 am

1.

Does anyone have a copy of the BCF Yearbook for 1961-62?

Could you tell me who the Middlesex match captain was for that season, please?

2.

And I believe the Middlesex match captain for 1962-63 was Eileen Tranmer. Am I right?

[That was the year that Middlesex made a clean sweep, Shannon Trophy for the SCCU counties championship, Amboyna Trophy for the SCCU competition over 50 boards, Ebony Trophy for the SCCU competition over 80 boards and, finally, the BCF Counties Championship, too.... The county juniors won their union, national and correspondence championships too. Happy days, oh mighty Middlesex!]

3.

Also can anyone tell me about a specific Norfolk player. The Middlesex match books give him as "WJ Hartwell" on board 1 in the 1957-58 season and as "WJ Hartnell" on board 2 in the 1961-62 season. Which spelling is correct? [Needless to say, he was mowed down by Bob on both occasions...]

4.

And, here is a difficult one, does anyone have a grading list for the 1978-79 season, which seems to have suffered from interimitis? If so, what grade applied to the following players, who were Bob's opponents in the 1978-79 season: PV Byway (Herts.), JB Howson (Essex), R Moss (Berks.), NE Povah (Surrey), ME Binks (Gloucs.), B Eley (Yorks.), J Horner (Lancs.)?

Thanks!

James Coleman
Posts: 375
Joined: Fri Nov 21, 2008 7:11 pm

Re: Bob Wade

Post by James Coleman » Tue Jan 06, 2009 2:24 am

Hi Paul

Is this the right list ?

http://www.bcmchess.co.uk/news/bcm1979-11p554.pdf

If its one season two late I think it has the previous seasons grades in brackets...

Richard James
Posts: 938
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2007 7:34 pm
Location: Twickenham
Contact:

Re: Bob Wade

Post by Richard James » Tue Jan 06, 2009 10:23 am

Paul

I think I have the Barden endgame book somewhere - will look this evening.

I have the relevant Kingpins and a complete run of grading lists from the mid 70s.

My BCF yearbooks don't go back to the 1960s though.


Richard

Roger de Coverly
Posts: 17256
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:51 pm

Re: Bob Wade

Post by Roger de Coverly » Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:27 am

Does anyone have a copy of Leonard Barden's, How to play the End Game in Chess, first published by MacMillan in 1975?
The reference is on page 114 and Barden describes what could be regarded as interference with the game in progress. To paraphrase, the top board Yanofsky noticed that the Oxford player's hand was hovering over a piece which it would be a serious error to move. Barden as match captain therefore announced that adjudication was due in five minutes. The Oxford player didn't move and a complex winning idea was eventually found by the Oxford top boards. There's no direct mention of an appeal against the initial result. The complex winning ending was rook against three pawns but Barden doesn't say whether the rook won or the pawns.

In his foreword, Barden suggests that you don't actually need to play the Endgame, merely learn how to reach one that was better/winning. Fortunately by the time Barden's book was published, weekend congresses had just embraced the quickplay finish and rapidplay events were on the horizon. In my opinion both novelties did much to improve practical endgame play amongst British players.

I don't (and won't) play in leagues with adjudications so I have no current knowledge of the Barden method. Up to 10 years ago, there were still leagues where even young players had been trained to reach the time control and then sit tight even with half an hour of the session remaining.

John Upham
Posts: 4130
Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2007 10:29 am
Location: Cove, Hampshire, England.
Contact:

Re: Bob Wade

Post by John Upham » Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:37 am

Roger de Coverly wrote: I don't (and won't) play in leagues with adjudications so I have no current knowledge of the Barden method. Up to 10 years ago, there were still leagues where even young players had been trained to reach the time control and then sit tight even with half an hour of the session remaining.
I totally agree with RDC as I recall that as a Junior I was advised to reach a winning position and let the adjudicators win it on my behalf.

I was advised it was worth saccing time on the clock and not to play further moves. This is terrible advice for young players.

I am appalled that adjudication still exists in some leagues : WHY ON EARTH CANNOT PEOPLE SEE THIS IS A BAD THING? :twisted:

For this reason, I failed to study endings properly and, more importantly, did not practise them enough.

My approach was horribly unbalanced and focused on opening theory much to my regret. I knew the nuances in the latest lines of the Botvinnik Slav but not how to play basic R&P endings! I have since attempted to address this!

Paul McKeown
Posts: 3198
Joined: Thu Apr 12, 2007 3:01 pm
Location: Hayes (Middx)
Contact:

Re: Bob Wade

Post by Paul McKeown » Tue Jan 06, 2009 12:46 pm

The reference is on page 114 and Barden describes what could be regarded as interference with the game in progress. To paraphrase, the top board Yanofsky noticed that the Oxford player's hand was hovering over a piece which it would be a serious error to move. Barden as match captain therefore announced that adjudication was due in five minutes. The Oxford player didn't move and a complex winning idea was eventually found by the Oxford top boards. There's no direct mention of an appeal against the initial result. The complex winning ending was rook against three pawns but Barden doesn't say whether the rook won or the pawns.
Could you quote the relevant paragraph to me, and provide bibliographic details (ISBN, that sort of stuff)

Thanks!

P.

And by the way, would you please stop pummelling my King's Gambit? Please? :)

User avatar
John Saunders
Posts: 1178
Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2007 3:10 pm
Location: Kingston-upon-Thames
Contact:

Re: Bob Wade

Post by John Saunders » Tue Jan 06, 2009 1:34 pm

Paul

Eileen Tranmer was indeed the 1962/63 Middlesex captain (source: 1962/63 BCF Yearbook, p146). It doesn't say who was 1961/62 captain in the results for that year. PJ Holt wrote the report in the Middlesex CA section but that might have been because he was Hon.Sec. rather than outgoing captain. PJH mentions Eileen Tranmer as the new captain so she didn't do 1961/62.

It is W Hartwell and not W Hartnell (who sounds rather more like the original Doctor Who). I failed to find a middle initial.
Personal Twitter @johnchess / Personal Website http://www.saund.co.uk / Britbase http://www.britbase.co.uk

Paul McKeown
Posts: 3198
Joined: Thu Apr 12, 2007 3:01 pm
Location: Hayes (Middx)
Contact:

Re: Bob Wade

Post by Paul McKeown » Tue Jan 06, 2009 2:50 pm

John - Thank you for this! I take it, then, that you don't have the 1961-62 YB, then?

Paul McKeown
Posts: 3198
Joined: Thu Apr 12, 2007 3:01 pm
Location: Hayes (Middx)
Contact:

Re: Bob Wade

Post by Paul McKeown » Tue Jan 06, 2009 3:01 pm

Paul McKeown wrote:Could you quote the relevant paragraph to me, and provide bibliographic details (ISBN, that sort of stuff)
Roger,
Thank you for faxing this stuff to me!
P.

Justin,
I remember that I have an old fax modem, which I have not connected for years. RdC asked to fax something, which prompted my memory. If you PM me, I can give you my number and I will connect the thing up as and when you need.
Thanks.

Richard Haddrell

Re: Bob Wade

Post by Richard Haddrell » Tue Jan 06, 2009 3:07 pm

Paul McKeown wrote:There is a gap from 1989-90 up to and including 1998-99. What I don't know is:
a) did RGW play for Middlesex in those years?
b) if so, who did he play, when, where, against which county, what result?
c) what years did which of those three captain the county?
d) how did Middlesex do in those years?

I am sure the answer to these questions can be found in either of two places:
1) BCF Yearbooks for the years concerned
2) SCCU Bulletins for the years concerned

Can anyone help, please?
I have both 1) and 2). They should contain all or nearly all of that information. I'll have a look.

Richard Haddrell

Paul McKeown
Posts: 3198
Joined: Thu Apr 12, 2007 3:01 pm
Location: Hayes (Middx)
Contact:

Re: Bob Wade

Post by Paul McKeown » Tue Jan 06, 2009 4:36 pm

Paul McKeown wrote:I have both 1) and 2). They should contain all or nearly all of that information. I'll have a look.
Thanks Richard, much appreciated!

Best Regards,
Paul M.

Post Reply