The Man Who Once was “Somebody”

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!”

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