Arthur D Wang
By Phillip R Smith   
December 19, 2011

Arthur D Wang 1942-2011

Art Wang passed away on Monday, December 12, 2011. The cause of death was esophageal cancer. Art was a chess master when chess masters were few and far between.

He was born in Chung-king, China in June of 1942. He came to the United States in 1946 with his mother and older brother, Harvey. His father stayed behind as head of security for Chiang Kai-shek. His father did not survive the year. Things were difficult for Mrs. Wang, who had lost everything but a small inheritance. They ended up in Berkeley, Ca., where Art grew up.

Art learned to play chess at a Koltanowski chess festival in Sonoma. Koltanowski was an extremely active chess promoter, and there was always someplace to play chess in Northern California when Art was a kid. He became a regular at the Berkeley YMCA, and later at the Mechanics' Institute of San Francisco.

Art participated in the 1957 US Junior, which was won by Bobby Fischer. Art later won the California Junior Championship in 1960. Art considered a 1960 Mechanics' tournament to be his best ever. He tied for 1st with Bill Addison, who later became one of the leading players in the United States.

Art enlisted in the Army in 1962, got married and started a family. He returned to chess as a member of the famous Castle Club in the late 1960s. Members would take turns hosting events in their homes, and Art recalled those days fondly. Those were good memories, in part, because he won or was co-champion of the club nine times.

Art's other main hobby was golf. He was not very good at golf (one mutual friend said it was more like watching polo) but he was very good at betting. Whenever he was behind, he would offer a new bet, and more often than not would figure out a way to break even, if not come out ahead.

The following game was played against another promising junior player at the time. The two players remained friends to the very end. 

[Event "Oakland 'YMCA' Inv"]
[Site "Oakland"]
[Date "1960.??.??"]
[Round "11"]
[White "Wang, Arthur D"]
[Black "Sutherland, Don C"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D30"]
[PlyCount "77"]
[EventDate "1960.??.??"]
[EventType "tourn"]
[EventRounds "14"]
[EventCountry "USA"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2008.11.26"]

1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. e3 c6 5. Nbd2 Nbd7 6. Bd3 dxc4 7. Nxc4 b5 8. Nce5 Bb7 9. O-O Bd6 10. a3 O-O 11. e4 Qc7 12. Nxd7 Nxd7 13. e5 Be7 14. Ng5 g6 15. b4 a5 16. Rb1 axb4 17. axb4 Nb6 18. Qg4 Nd5 19. Ne4 Rfd8 20. Bg5 Ra4 21. Qh4 Rda8 22. Bc2 R4a7 23. Bb3 Bxg5 24. Nxg5 h5 25. Bxd5 cxd5 26. Qf4 Qe7 27. g4 hxg4 28. f3 g3 29. Qxg3 Kg7 30. h4 Ra2 31. h5 Rh8 32. hxg6 Rhh2 33. f4 fxg6 34. Rfc1 Ba8 35. Rc5 Bb7 36. Rbc1 Rag2+ 37. Qxg2 Rxg2+ 38. Kxg2 Kg8 39. Rh1 1-0

Obituary by Jim Meade

Arthur D Wang may you rest in peace.