Nagy was born Ivan Halmos in Budapest, Hungary, during World War II, surviving the Holocaust with his mother while most of his family perished. After the failed 1956 Hungarian Revolution he fled with his uncle, spending almost a year in an Austrian refugee camp before his IRC-sponsored immigration to Canada. He changed his name to the nondescript Nagy as a child in Hungary, and to the less-Russian Peter en route to Canada.
Valedictorian of Montreal’s Westmount High School in 1961, Nagy had remarkably spoken no English or French upon his immigration three and a half years earlier. Placing ninth in the Canadian national matriculation exams, he was awarded a full scholarship to Princeton University where he majored in economics.
Nagy’s love of bridge began at Princeton, and subsequently flourished in Montreal under his beloved mentor, Sam Gold. Although he went on to win more than 50 regional tournaments, his favorite was the first one with Gold, making him a Life Master, in 1969.
Nagy’s decade-long partnership with Eric Kokish yielded success, fame and honors. Their team, with Eric Murray, Sami Kehela, George Mittelman and Allan Graves, won two Canadian National Championships. At NABCs, Nagy-Kokish won the 1978 Men’s B-A-M Teams. They also had second-place finishes in the 1980 Vanderbilt, 1982 Spingold and 1984 Vanderbilt. The Nagy-Kokish partnership garnered three world medals representing Canada (1978 World Open Pairs silver, 1981 Maccabiah Games bronze, and 1982 Rosenblum Teams bronze) as well as three international awards (1977 IPBA best-bid hand, 1978 Rosenkranz Romex best-bid World Championship hand, and 1980 Bols Brilliancy best-defended World Olympiad hand). Nagy was inducted into the Canadian Bridge Federation Hall of Fame in 2012.
After moving to Chicago for love and options, Nagy won the 1991 Grand National Teams, the 1993 Vanderbilt, and the 1995 North American Swiss Teams playing with many top U.S. players. Representing the U.S., he won a second silver medal in the World Open Pairs with Ralph Katz in 1990.
Nagy is survived by his son, David, and his wife, Donna Hay.