Stuart Wagman (1919-2007)
FM Stuart Wagman passed away on Saturday, 24 November 2007. He was an American, who lived for the last 51 years in Livorno, Italy, with his wife, Sylvia, both in photo. For many years Stuart and the late Oscar Shapiro of Washington, DC, traveled Europe and the United States to play chess. One of his favorite chess tournaments was on the Island of Elba, where Napoleon had been exiled in 1814. Stuart, who was a friend to many chess players, encouraged me to come to Italy and stay at his home before and after the 15th World Senior Open Chess Championship in 2005 at Lignano Sabbiadoro. The Wagmans made my stay in Italy very memorable.
Stuart Wagman, who was born in NYC on 14 May 1919, was the oldest player in the tournament at 86 years old. He graduated Townsend Harris HS in 1934, and entered CCNY that year. He took no degree for a variety of reasons. He worked several years for a public accounting firm in Washington, DC, where his family had moved. He entered Government service in 1941, working briefly as an accountant for the US Army Corps of Engineers (CE) before going into the Army in 1942 during World War II. He proudly displayed a sticker on the windshield of his BMW, which said that he was a veteran of the Battle of the Bulge. He was discharged in 1945, and he rejoined the CE in 1947, working mostly in Europe. His final assignment was 20 years in Italy, where he retired in 1976 at the age of 57, but he continued to live in Livorno.
In 1947 Stuart scored 7-1 in the New England Championship, which was only good enough for second place, as Yale freshman, Robert Byrne, had 7.5 - 0.5. Stuart did not play in another tournament for 17 years until he received an invitation to play at Reggio Emilia in 1965, thanks to the efforts of a Pisa master, Dr. Pier Luigi Beggi, who persuaded the organizer, Dr. Enrico Paoli, to invite him. Stuart scored 5.5-5.5 at Reggio Emilia and has been playing tournament chess since 1965. Many of his games can be found in the chess databases. He had a reputation for his knowledge of the Black side of the Dragon Variation and was not afraid to compete against famous players.
Stuart Wagman is survived by his wife, Sylvia, his son, Robert, by his first wife, Nadia, and his sister, Lynn Wagman, who lives in Washington, DC.
Dragoljub Minic - Stuart Wagman
Stuart Wagman - Mark Taimanov
Stuart Wagman - Andrea Drei
Stuart Wagman - may you Rest In Peace.
This obituary was provided by LM Denis F. Strenzwilk