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Stuart Wagman (1919-2007)

Stuart Wagman

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
B70 Reggio Emilia 1980
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 g6 6. Be2 Bg7 7. O-O O-O 8. Bg5 Nc6 9. Nb3 a5 10. a4 Be6 11. f4 Rc8 12. Kh1 Nb4 13. Nd4 Bc4 14. Ndb5 Bxe2 15. Qxe2 Qb6 16. Rad1 Qc5 17. Rd2 Rfe8 18. Qf3 h6 19. Bh4 Qh5 20. Qg3 Rc4 21. Qe1 Qc5 22. Na3 Rxc3 23. bxc3 Qxc3 24. Nb5 Qc4 25. e5 dxe5 26. fxe5 Nfd5 27. Bg3 Nxc2 28. Qc1 Rc8 29. e6 1/2-1/2

Stuart Wagman - Mark Taimanov
B49 Eu-ch Seniors 2002
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nc6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be2 Qc7 7. O-O Nf6 8. Be3 Bb4 9. Na4 Be7 10. Nxc6 bxc6 11. Nb6 Rb8 12. Nxc8 Qxc8 13. e5 Nd5 14. Bc1 Bc5 15. Qd3 O-O 16. c4 Ne7 17. b3 Ng6 18. Bb2 Qc7 19. Qe4 a5 20. Rad1 a4 21. Rd3 axb3 22. axb3 d5 23. exd6 Bxd6 24. Rh3 Rfd8 25. Bd1 Be5 26. Bxe5 Qxe5 27. Qxe5 Nxe5 28. Bc2 g6 29. Re3 Rd2 30. Rxe5 Rxc2 31. Rc5 Rxb3 32. Rxc6 Rbc3 33. h4 Rxc4 34. Rxc4 Rxc4 35. g3 h6 36. Kg2 g5 37. hxg5 hxg5 38. Ra1 g4 39. Ra5 Kg7 40. Ra7 Kg6 41. Ra6 Kf5 42. Ra7 f6 43. Ra8 Rd4 44. Re8 Ke5 45. Rg8 f5 46. Rf8 Ke4 47. Re8 e5 48. Re7 Rd5 49. Re8 Kd3 50. Rf8 e4 51. Ra8 Ke2 52. Ra2+ Rd2 53. Ra5 Ke1 54. Ra1+ Rd1 55. Ra5 e3 56. fxe3 Rd2+ 57. Kg1 Ke2 58. Rxf5 Kxe3 59. Rf4 Rd4 60. Rf8 Rd1+ 61. Kg2 Rd2+ 62. Kg1 1/2-1/2

Stuart Wagman - Andrea Drei
B47 Forli open 1988
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nc6 5. Nc3 Qc7 6. g3 a6 7. Bg2 Nf6 8. O-O Be7 9. Re1 Nxd4 10. e5 Nb5 11. exf6 gxf6 12. Qg4 Nxc3 13. Qg7 Rf8 14. bxc3 Qxc3 15. Bh6 Qxc2 16. Be4 Qb2 17. Rac1 Qb6 18. Qxh7 Qd8 19. Bf3 Ba3 20. Bh5 Ke7 21. Bxf8+ Qxf8 22. Rc4 f5 23. Qxf5 b5 24. Rf4 Bb7 25. Qd3 Bc5 26. Qh7 Kd6 27. Rxf7 Qe8 28. Rd1+ Bd5 29. Bf3 Qg8 30. Qh5 Qh8 31. Rxd5+ 1-0

Stuart Wagman - may you Rest In Peace.

This obituary was provided by LM Denis F. Strenzwilk