Nigel Short is a walking dung-heap. He exceeded his reputation as being vulgar and crude by “dropping his trousers,” and writing a long article about sexual activity among chess players, including the “f” word, which appeared in NEW IN CHESS #7, 2012. But Short didn’t publish that putrid crap; the editor, Jan Timman did. Long known to be “sleazy,” Timman degenerates into being depraved.
– James Schroeder
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Byron White was asked: “Are you ‘Whizzer’ White?” “I once was.” He was the most famous football player in the USA in 1938. I was once “somebody,” the most honored and respected name in chess. 40-50 years ago because of my “Mini-Might Chess Bulletin” I was world famous as one of the best chess writers in the world. Editors and Grandmasters called me a “genius.” My Prison Chess Program elicited great admiration from millions of people who read of it, not to mention the 50,000 Jail Birds who have since written me because I made their lives less miserable. Entering a chess club in Las Vegas, the visitor said: “Hi, I’m Calvin Blocker from Cleveland, Ohio.” “Do you know Jim Schroeder?” Jakov Neishtadt, Editor of “64″, national chess newspaper of Russia, published my obituary because a Cleveland newspaper wrote that a James Schroeder had died. You can’t get more famous than that! But it means that I can’t visit Russia because I’d be arrested as a spy. Thatsa joke, I hope! Book-ended by my winning the Ohio Chess Championship in 1950 and 1985. Entrepreneur extraordinaire! You might think that no one can be that good, and I agree. I modestly submit that I was probably only 75% as good as my reputation.
Due to the great efforts of my friends, who have forgiven my faults, I’m again “somebody” and with their continued aid I will perform even greater deeds! I propose a toast: “Confusion to thy enemies!”
By John W. P. O’Brien; May 31, 1978
Fewer and fewer are the survivors who remember when the fun-loving Calvin dwelt in the White House and serenely prevailed over the era of Coolidge prosperity. It was during this era that Detroit’s leading citizen, Henry Ford, having just abandoned his famous Model “T”, brought out a new model of his Ford car. Not to be outdone, the prominent Prarie Avenue Schroeders brought out a new model of their own. They called this new model, James. No one then believed that this puny little babe would have the stamina to survive or the strength to tear up so many calendars since then. In fact, he survived so long that this year — now that we have the Bicentennial out of the way — we can begin the yearlong celebration of the Schroederian Semi-Centennial. The celebration is for the one who early showed that he possessed a strong personality, one not swayed by majority opinion or social pressures. This was clearly revealed at his christening party when he alone of all those present drank only water, but I’ve heard rumors that he later altered his attitude on this matter. The next year Coolidge moved out of the White House and prosperity moved soon after. I vividly remember this because while the O’Briens were paying $37.00 per month for five rooms, the thrifty Coolidges moved into 7 rooms in a 2-family house, with use of a front porch and a back yard, for only $32.00 per month. Yet the sage of Northampton, Massachusetts, was not regarded as exceptionally parsimonious by his frugal neighbors on Massasoit Street. But such matters hardly concerted James Schroeder. His individuality and originality and the vigor with which he expressed his opinions early involved him in disputes. It must be conceded that Schroeder was no wonderkind. Some even called him a backward child, who wasted his entire childhood, neglecting to learn chess until his late ‘teens. He more than made up for his later start, however, because of his natural intelligence. So, just as the great career of Alexander Alekhin came to a close, the chess career of James Schroeder began. This sort of thing, with one gain and one loss keeps the chessic population constant. A short time later most Americans found the close election of 1948, which returned Harry S. Truman to the White House, very exciting. Schroeder, however, took little interest in this event ‘though it would have an effect on his life. Instead, he was so absorbed in the World Championship Tournament that saw the emergence of Mikhail Botvinnik as the new Champion that he had little time for little else. Little else except the USA Championship won by Herman Steiner, Arthur Bisguier’s triumph in the USA Junior Championship and Weaver Adams victory in the U.S. Open tournament. This was the most important chess year since Schroeder learned the game. The great AVRO 1938 Tournament in the Netherlands occurred before he took an interest in chess. He even followed the Ohio State Championship where Elliott Stearns won First Prize. He was particularly interested in the Ohio event because after the glory departed from Detroit and Coolidge left Washington, Schroeder left Michigan and became a wanderer. Moving southward he criss-crossed Ohio in the footsteps of Johnny Appleseed. Unlike his predecessor, he didn’t plant trees, but he did try to implant in everyone he met a knowledge of chess. While he was engaged in discovering and then preaching the gospel of chess, the successors of Coolidge, Hoover and Roosevelt must have been preoccupied with other matters, because neither of them took any notice of Schroeder. It wasn’t until Truman came to Washington that the situation changed. “Give ‘em Hell Harry” wrote to “Give ‘em Hell Jimmie”. Harry, it seems, was having some problems and needed Jim’s help. Yet nobody had to drag Jimmie kicking and screaming to his new task. No, with uncommon docility he happily hastened to help Harry. So, for many months, Schroeder stalked grimly through the Korean war, with his pocket chess set at the ever ready. Already a chess Master and Ohio Champion, he devoted his spare time to studying chess, returning home with his play much improved. [That's because I played many games of Postal Chess while in the Army in Korea. - JARS] His obsession with chess seems somewhat extreme, though, because he neglects too many other aspects of life. This was evident after his return to Columbus, the capital city of Ohio. He could direct you to the nearest chess club, but if you relied on his guidance to get to the Capital Building, you’d both get lost. And when he was living in Dayton he knew how to reach Troy Street to play at the Dayton Chess Club, but not once did he see the home of the poet, Paul Lawrence Dunbar, or go near the internationally famous Air Force Museum at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, or visit the Wright Brothers Memorial to the two Dayton citizens who launched us into the Air Age, and these attractions lure tourists from all over the world. Then some tell of an incident that occurred during Schroeder’s sojourn on the banks of the Mad River, which flows by the City of Springfield, Ohio. This may be the main cause of the Schroeder phenomenon but we can’t confirm that the story is true, and thus won’t repeat it. It cannot be said, though, that Schroeder had no other interests but chess. In 1957 he took time out from the Royal Game to marry and father a daughter. But Jim couldn’t forget chess, which he learned in 1945. In the 1950′s he studied the game and players extensively and began his career in journalism as Editor of the Columbus “Y” Chess Bulletin and for more than 20 years his articles have featured laudatory tributes to the giants of the past and present and laments over, or furious assaults on, the Epigoni who currently clutter the chessic landscape. While writing about the chess scene he didn’t neglect his play, winning many tournaments and matches. Along the way, he founded the Tru-Test Company, which sells chess books and supplies. Many of the books, of course, are written, or redacted, or annotated by James Schroeder. Schroeder was founder of the “Cleveland Chess Foundation of whose organ, “Mini-Might”, he is the editor. His earlier connection with the “Ohio Chess Bulletin” ended in 1964. The Foundation sponsors the Prison Chess Fund, which buys chess books and supplies for prisoners, and encourages people in the free world to play postal chess with inmates. In addition to editing the “Mini-Might”, he edits “Elite”, published occasionally. Along with the enthusiasm and antipathies previously mentioned, Jim always gave sympathetic treatment to those who, like Philidor and Alekhin, were persecuted and pushed into exile. Among the victims during Schroeder’s time were Pal Benko, who escaped the clutches of the Russian imperialists who had conquered his native Hungary. Later Ludek Pachman fled his home in Czechoslovakia, escaping the same enemy. Still later Viktor Korchnoi, Polish-Ukrainian, went into exile from Russia. Among the idiosyncratic attitudes of Editor Schroeder are his views of Paul Morphy and Robert Fischer, as each was the outstanding player of his time, each had his quota of eccentricities, each retired early from chess competition. Yet Schroeder, a stout defender of Morphy, is extremely hostile to Fischer. [Wrong! Must be poor writing by me because I felt sorry for Fischer, who suffered from severe mental illness. - JARS] Schroeder enthusiastically recommends gambit openings, even though his idol, Emanuel Lasker, adopted an attitude that fell somewhat short of passionate devotion. Much else could be written of Schroeder’s career, but my scurvy memory can recapture no more. A more comprehensive account can be given by whoever is the chronicler of the Schroeder Centennial, 50 years hence, but it can’t be me, because I’m not staying around for that celebration. My plans include moving far away from my present address before then, so someone else must put the words together. The most startling thing I have to record is that on Page 1 of the January-February issue of “Mini-Might”, under the heading, “Fifty years ago in Chess”, Jim writes: “nothing important happened in 1928.” Such extreme modesty almost amounts to a fault, for surely his birth that year was the most tremendously important event in the history of chess. Overwhelmed by such profound humility, comparable to that of St. Francis, I could write no further. # # #
[Thank you but I was born November 30, 1927 - JARS]
From Confidential Chess Lessons © July 2012
The Executive Board of the U.S. Chess Federation: Ruth Haring, Greg Walters, Allen Priest, Mike Nieman, Mitchell Atkins, Jim Berry, Bill Goichberg, have voted to not honor me with an award at the 2012 U.S. Open chess Tournament in Vancouver, Washington. Look in your Funk & Wagnalls for words to express my opinion of them. Invectives, derogatory, vituperative, caustic. Being a gentleman of refined habits, I never employ such language and decline to lower myself into their midden-heap.
Should they change their collective minds, please disregard this compendious missive.
– James Schroeder, “The most honored name in chess”
“Understanding Chess. My System, My Games, My Life” by William Lombardy
© 2011; limp cover; 312 pages; 119 annotated games; 37 games by other players. Hundreds of anecdotes and stories. THE CHESS BOOK OF THE YEAR!
$60.00 post paid
12 Stuyvesant Oval
New York, NY 16009
Highly recommended by James Schroeder, “The Most Trusted Name in Chess.”
Help stamp out ignorance. Send your used books to prison! Send me all kinds of books, not crime stories. I will send them to jail birds. Send chess magazines: “New in Chess”, foreign languages, NOT “Chess Life”.
The rate of recidivism of inmates who played chess in prison is 10%.
The rate of recidivism of inmates who did not play chess is 90%.
3011 E. 9th St.
Vancouver, WA 98661
There were thirty million English who talked of England’s might,
There were twenty broken troopers who lacked a bed for the night.
They had neither food nor money, they had neither service nor trade;
They were only shiftless soldiers, the last of the Light Brigade.
They felt that life was fleeting; they knew not that art was long,
That though they were dying of famine, they lived in deathless song.
They asked for a little money to keep the wolf from the door;
And the thirty million English sent twenty pounds and four !
They laid their heads together that were scarred and lined and grey;
Keen were the Russian sabres, but want was keener than they;
And an old Troop-Sergeant muttered, “Let us go to the man who writes
The things on Balaclava the kiddies at school recites.”
They went without bands or colours, a regiment ten-file strong,
To look for the Master-singer who had crowned them all in his song;
And, waiting his servant’s order, by the garden gate they stayed,
A desolate little cluster, the last of the Light Brigade.
They strove to stand to attention, to straighen the toil-bowed back;
They drilled on an empty stomach, the loose-knit files fell slack;
With stooping of weary shoulders, in garments tattered and frayed,
They shambled into his presence, the last of the Light Brigade.
The old Troop-Sergeant was spokesman, and “Beggin’ your pardon,” he said,
“You wrote o’ the Light Brigade, sir. Here’s all that isn’t dead.
An’ it’s all come true what you wrote, sir, regardin’ the mouth of hell;
For we’re all of us nigh to the workhouse, an’ we thought we’d call an’ tell.
“No, thank you, we don’t want food, sir; but couldn’t you take an’ write
A sort of ‘to be continued’ and ‘see next page’ o’ the fight?
We think that someone has blundered, an’ couldn’t you tell ‘em how?
You wrote we were heroes once, sir. Please, write we are starving now.”
The poor little army departed, limping and lean and forlorn.
And the heart of the Master-singer grew hot with “the scorn of scorn.”
And he wrote for them wonderful verses that swept the land like flame,
Till the fatted souls of the English were scourged with the thing called Shame.
They sent a cheque to the felon that sprang from an Irish bog;
They healed the spavined cab-horse; they housed the homeless dog;
And they sent (you may call me a liar), when felon and beast were paid,
A cheque, for enough to live on, to the last of the Light Brigade.
O thirty million English that babble of England’s might,
Behold there are twenty heroes who lack their food to-night;
Our children’s children are lisping to “honour the charge they made – “
And we leave to the streets and the workhouse the charge of the Light Brigade!
Click HERE for edited version, with comments.
Book review by James Schroeder
The Art of Bisguier Volume Two
One Hundred Selected Games 1961 – 2003
© 2008; 267 pp.; figurine algebraic
The introduction by Berry is atrocious. He is incredibly egotistic and stupid and not qualified to make any comment about master play, much less grandmaster play. He is especially insulting by saying: “Lubosh certainly must have thought …” I hate damn mind-readers. He is a very poor writer: “One possible move” instead of “one legal move”.
There are too many draws, which are dull and uninteresting, as usual.
Why did Bisguier lie? “I won the U.S. Open outright three times (1950, 1956 and 1959).” I said in my review of Vol. One that in 1956 Busguier tied for first with James Sherwin. I sent copies of my review to Bisguier and Berry.
The proof reading is poor and there are many more factual errors, for which the two moronic “Researchers: Allen Becker & David Granik” should be shot.
Art is a poor writer, using insulting childish words: “horse” & “cavalier” instead of knight, “infantryman”, “fortress”, “monarch”, and assorted garbage, “his own king” and the incredibly stupid “three-fold repetition.”
Art makes the asinine mistake of reciting the list of “best players” as compiled by Keene and Divinsky, which is insane crap. He also makes the inane mistake of mentioning analysis by computers, which proves he is lazy and incompetent. “Fritz says Black has the advantage, but I think he’s wrong.” WHO CARES? NO INTELLIGENT PERSON!
“Benko and Robert Byrne tied for first in the 1966 U.S. Open.” With Milan Vukcevich, who beat Bisguier in their game.
“Boris Spassky trained first with Tolush and then Bondarevsky.” WRONG! His first trainer was Vladimir Zak.
“Tony Miles played an entire tournament lying flat on his back.” WRONG! At Tilburg 1985 Miles scored 4-3 while sitting in a chair. Persistent back pain caused him to ask the organizers for help. From round eight on he lay on his stomach while playing and tied for first with 8-1/2 – 5-1/2.
“I collaborated with Soltis on the book American Masters from Morphy to Fischer.” Soltis says Bisguier was so lazy and irresponsible he did not write ONE word of that book, which is an abomination.
1 PK4 PK4; 2 NKB3 NQB3; 3 BN5 NB3; 4 O-O NxP “The Rio de Janeiro Variation.” WRONG! That can come later but Art NEVER played it.
“Two Knights Opening” instead of “Two Knights Defense”.
“David Bronstein’s play is very careful and cautious, hoping that his opponents will become careless or too aggressive.” Bisguier is a damn imbecile. That is exactly the opposite of Bronstein’s style. He was the greatest combinational player of his time with a very risky, daring, creative style.
A serious defect is the lack of lists of Bisguier’s tournament and match results. Volume One ends with Log Cabin 1960. The photo-copy of one of Art’s columns from Chess Review has print so tiny it is worthless.
Why are there so many mistakes in this book? Bisguier is notorious for being indifferent to the truth. Berry is a terrible editor. If ignorance is bliss, he must be ecstatic. The “researchers” are hopelessly ignorant and stupid. Hanon Russell is a selfish ego-mainiac who is ultimately responsible for all errors. He refused to put “Volume Two” as part of the title. That is insulting to Bisguier and to Berry, the publisher of Volume One. Hanon Russell is a jackass.
The quality of play and players is much higher than in Volume One. Art is more creative and his moves are hard to predict and you should NOT try to copy most of his play in openings.
Of great interest is the comments Art makes about the various players.
:”A Los Angeles County doctor, Anthony Saidy is an International Master who won the American Open twice, in 1967 and 1992, a quarter-century apart.” Typically inane writing. TWENTY-FIVE YEARS, which is no where near one hundred years. “Dr. Saidy also authored a couple notable books: The March of Chess Ideas and The World of Chess.” WRONG! The first book is good but The World of Chess is completely worthless garbage. Saidy once won a tournament game from Samuel Reshevsky.
Arthur Bisguier won the 1950 U.S. Open and the 1954 U.S. Championship and became a grandmaster when there were only 40 in the world. He’s an amateur who has been successful in international chess. His style in these games is aggressive and tactical, but with a strong emphasis on positionally safe moves, based upon much experience. An excellent book.
© 2008 James Schroeder
Selected from Confidential Chess Lessons
To get this book, send $30 (post paid) to:
3011 E. 9th St.
Vancouver, WA 98661
Prison Chess Program
In addition to sending $2,000 worth of chess sets to prisons in 2007, I sent boxes of books to: Attica, NY; Amarillo, TX; Abilene, TX; Adeelanto, CA; Auburns, NY; Beeville, TX; Creighton, ND; Crescent, CA; Camp Hill, PA; Corcoran, CA; Central, AR; Coleman, FL; Canton, IL; Coxsackie, NY; Dallas, TX; Dannemora, NY; Delaon, CA; Diboll, TX; Ed Doraco, KS; Estelle, SC; Fairton, NC; Florence, AZ; Green Bay, WI; Huntsville, TX; Houtzdale, TX; Ione, CA; Iona Park, TX; Kenedy, TX; Lawton, OK; La Bell, PA; LaMesa, TX; Lovelock, NY; Malvern AR; Munsining, MI; Michigan City, IN; Newport, AR; Mapanoch, NY; Mt. Stearling, IL, Osining, NY; Pine Knot, KY; Pine City, NY; Portsmouth, VA; Perry, FL; Represa, CA; Reidsville, GA; Spruce Pine, NC; Sioux Falls, SD; Selma, CA; Southport, NY; Stormville, NY; Susanville, NY; Stanley, WI; Somerset, PA; Tivion, GA; Tell City, IN; Woodville, TX; Woudbourne, NY; Wallkill, NY; Youngstown, OH; Morgan, GA; Tallahasee, FL; Simponsville, SC; Perry, SC; Balfair, WA; Cedar Creek, WA; Monroe, WA; Walla Walla, WA; Yacolt, WA; Littlerock, WA. I also send books to hundreds of individual inmates. I spent more than $5,000. Still on the list: Helena, GA; Rusk, TX; San Antonio, TX; San Luis, AZ; Lillington, NC; Navasota, TX; Clermont, FL; San Diego, CA; Waynesburg, PA; Morgan, GA; Marienville, PA; Smyrna, DE; Watertown, NY; Waynesburg, PA; Yuma, AZ; Huntington, PA; Boscobil, WI; Midway, TX; Sayre, OK; Centralia, IL. I need a lot of money. Please publicize and make checks payable to:
3011 E 9th St
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by James Schroeder
My first Brilliancy. Julius Geodman – James Schroeder; Ohio Championship 1949
[Click HERE for game board.]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e3 O-O 5. Qc2? c5 6. dxc5 Nc6 7. Nf3 Bxc5 8. a3 b6 9. Be2 d5 10. O-O dxc4 11. Bxc4 Bb7 12. b4 Bd6 13. Rd1 Qe7 14. Ba2 Ne5 15. Nd4 Ng6 16. Bb2 Bxh2+ 17. Kxh2 Ng4+ 18. Kg1 Qh4 19. e4 Qh2+ 20. Kf1 Nf4 21. Ke1 Nxg2+ 22. Kd2 Qf4+ 23. Kd3 Nxf2+ 24. Ke2 Ng4 25. Qd2 Qf2+ 26. Kd3 Ne5+ 27. Kc2 Ne3+ 28. Kb1 Nxd1 29. Qxd1 Rfd8 — I was disappointed that the Black King got away, but watch what happens. 30. Nce2 Bxe4+ 31. Kc1 Rac8+ 32. Bc3 Rxd4 33. Qxd4 Qxd4 34. Nxd4 Rxc3+ 35. Kb2 Rc8 36. Nb5 Nd3+ 37. Kb3 Bd5+ 38. Ka4 Nb2 checkmate
Al Horowitz published that game in Chess Review and called me Shredder Schroeder, which added a great amount to my results, as my opponents feared me. Actually, I was not a good attacking player, but nobody could miss that one.
Selected from Confidential Chess Lessons — © Copyright 1990 James Schroeder
Click HERE for CCL subscriptions and books for sale from James Schroeder.