James Schroeder, born on November 30, 1927, in Detroit, Michigan, died on July 8, 2017 in Vancouver, Washington.
He was the mentor of the Isolanis Chess Club, for which we will always be grateful.
CLICK HERE to read the obituary by IM John Donaldson, published on the USCF website.
In my early teens, my father took me to the Cleveland Chess Club, which was on an upper floor of the Masonic Temple. That was where I first saw Jim Schroeder. He seemed to be in his element there, active, energetic and enjoying life.
Years later, Jim ran a chess and ping-pong club on Lee Road near Mayfield. He played a good game of ping-pong and, of course, gave advice. To me, it was like his chess advice: attack directly, hit through the ball.
In the latter years of the Cleveland Chess Association club league, I played for the Isolanis Chess Club. Some of the players in that band took nick-names. Mine was “The Butcher,” which I liked to picture as one who used his bishops like meat cleavers to slice through his opponent’s position. But that’s not what it meant when I got the name. Playing a five-minute game at the Parma Chess Club (or maybe it was at Cleveland State), I had connected passed pawns on the sixth rank and botched it up. Jim Schroeder, watching the game, could only say, “What a butcher!”
I have not put much time towards chess in the last several years, and have let my USCF membership lapse. But I have always kept my subscription to Schroeder’s “Confidential Chess Lessons.”