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|Sep-01-09|| ||Phony Benoni: Oh, Whitaker would murder Bloodgood. Can't you find him some real competition?|
|Sep-01-09|| ||Jim Bartle: Murder? Most foul?|
|Sep-01-09|| ||HeMateMe: I hear OJ has a copy of Dvoretsky's 'Endgame Manual'. He is 'booking up.'|
|Sep-01-09|| ||TheFocus: The photo of Whitaker is from the 1956 Eastern States Open. The boy facing him is Sam Sloan, and the other is Creighton Sloan. Bobby Fischer tied for second in that tournament (hey, another jailbird!).|
|Dec-23-09|| ||jerseybob: Focus: If you think the U.S. State Dept., which has turned its back on so much evil down through the years but chose to demonize Bobby Fischer for simply plying his trade, is right in what it did, then go ahead and call him "jailbird". I've obviously got a different take on that.|
|Dec-23-09|| ||Petrosianic: What <is> your take, exactly? That any crime less serious than... something you don't specify, should be ignored in the sake of fairness?|
I think you're remembering it wrong. The State Department didn't go after poor innocent Bobby, who was just minding his own business. He went after them. He specifically played in Yugoslavia rather than any of the other places willing to put up a huge purse, to break the sanctions and stick it to the US for ruling against him in his lawsuit with Brad Darrach years earlier. He picked the fight, he just didn't realize until too late that he didn't want to pay for the privilige.
5 years earlier he had been talking about playing a match with Quinteros in South Africa, to thumb his nose at FIDE's anti-apartheid rules. He <should> have played that one. Not only an easier opponent, but he'd have gotten in less trouble. The worst that would have happened would be that FIDE would have banned him from play for a few years (which is what happened to Quinteros when he went and played simuls there without Bobby). A playing ban would have been less than meaningless to Fischer.
|Dec-23-09|| ||jerseybob: My object was not to defend the legality of what Fischer did; it was rather to point out how the authorities ignore scads of bigger, more harmful bad guys but chose to hound a smaller less harmful one. I'll concede in advance all the harmful things he said and did throughout his life; I was very offended by his 9/11 remarks. The man was clearly not well(and that was true when he was young and handsome, not just when he was old and ugly). But the sight of him getting the treatment he got in Japan didn't leave me feeling that justice had finally been done but rather, sickened me. And still does.|
|Dec-23-09|| ||TheFocus: <jerseybob> <But the sight of him getting the treatment he got in Japan didn't leave me feeling that justice had finally been done but rather, sickened me. And still does.>|
I called Fischer a "jailbird"as a joke, but I agree with your quote. They should have left Bobby alone. They didn't go after Spassky, or any of the several known US companies that continued to deal business with Yugoslavia. I think it was a personal vendetta by Dubya and is a shameful act by the State Department and the US government. Like Bobby said, "when the US government was finished using me in the Cold War, they had no further use for me.". (Not an exact quote, but you get the idea.)
|Dec-24-09|| ||Petrosianic: <They didn't go after Spassky, or any of the several known US companies that continued to deal business with Yugoslavia.>|
How could they go after Spassky? He's not subject to US law.
<I think it was a personal vendetta by Dubya>
I see no evidence that Dubya even knows who Fischer is. And he certainly never seemed to care what anybody said about him, even people who might actually harm him, like Michael Moore. He just ignored them all and went on his merry way. The vendetta theory is wishful thinking.
|Dec-24-09|| ||Petrosianic: <My object was not to defend the legality of what Fischer did; it was rather to point out how the authorities ignore scads of bigger, more harmful bad guys but chose to hound a smaller less harmful one.>|
Oh, you're right there. It's certainly hit and miss stuff. For proof of that, look at Fischer himself again. He not only didn't pay his taxes for 20 years, but in 1977 he TOLD a judge *to his face* that he wasn't going to pay any more until he got satisfaction against Darrach. Nobody noticed. Either the judge didn't pass the comment on to the IRS, or he did but they didn't notice. But when they <DO> notice, they're brutal. It's a crummy system, but ignoring everybody isn't a good alternative.
<I'll concede in advance all the harmful things he said and did throughout his life; I was very offended by his 9/11 remarks.>
Those remarks didn't get him in trouble <directly>. They weren't illegal, but they may have got him in trouble indirectly. After 1992, they seemed to forget about him again. He even got his passport renewed at a US embassy in the mid 90's without anyone knowing or caring that he was a wanted criminal. But possibly the 911 remarks got him onto some kind of list of people to watch more closely as possible security risks.
Fischer certainly had both the inclination and the money to fund terrorism if he had chosen to do so. And he had already tried to have a man killed by giving out his name and address over the radio and asking a sympathetic listener to go do the guy in. Even if we say that Fischer himself was all talk and no action (which I believe), we can't guarantee the same of those he might incite to violence. Sort of like the crazy lady who threatened Michelle Obama. It's probably all talk, but they can't take that chance, and we don't want them to. We just ignored clear warning signs with Major Hasan and look where it got us. Imagine how much angrier people would be if Hasan had been a wanted criminal that the government simply hadn't bothered trying to arrest.
I'm sorry it as far as it did, but Fischer created all his own problems. That he probably wasn't in his right mind and may not have been responsible is a terrible tragedy, but blaming others for it doesn't help things. But I do agree, that Fischer should not have been expelled from the USCF for his 911 comments. As a private organization they had the right to do it, but they shouldn't have. Actual convicted murderers are allowed to join the USCF, so why not Fischer?
Now Whitaker, who this page is supposed to be about, was just a crook, pure and simple. And, as a mere IM, not a strong enough player for people to make excuses for.
|Dec-27-09|| ||jerseybob: Yes, back on Whitaker: Not to paint with too broad a brush, but, what is it about getting a legal education that seemingly emboldens some people to think they can break the law, rather than UPHOLD it, as officers of the court should do?|
|Dec-27-09|| ||Ron: < jerseybob: Yes, back on Whitaker: Not to paint with too broad a brush, but, what is it about getting a legal education that seemingly emboldens some people to think they can break the law, rather than UPHOLD it, as officers of the court should do? >|
Those with legal education are human beings like anyone else. To be sure, there are examples of them breaking the law, but do you have any stats showing that the percentage of them breaking the law is higher than the general population?
On a related note, the number of aldermen in my hometown of Chicago being convicted must set some sort of record.
|Dec-27-09|| ||HeMateMe: burn, baby, Byrne.|
|Dec-28-09|| ||jerseybob: Ron: You come from Chicago (and this last 11 months I feel like I do too), so you don't need me to tell you about corruption, although as a New Jerseyan I could if I had to.|
|Dec-28-09|| ||HeMateMe: Jersey has corrupt Rabbis! I saw it on the evening news.|
|Dec-28-09|| ||jerseybob: Yep, we got 'em (and corrupt ministers and priests too, to be totally fair).|
|Dec-28-09|| ||HeMateMe: ...there it was on the evening news, the orthodox from Williamsburg, Brooklyn, being led away in handcuffs. Thats why I like this country--equal opportunity arresting.|
|Apr-09-10|| ||wordfunph: Norman Whitaker once beat Lasker in a simul and almost beat Capablanca.|
|Apr-09-10|| ||miguelito: his perfomance rating in the first US rated tournament ( american chess congress 1921 ) was 2398 + 227 = 2625 . i have a question , why the first US tournament was rated at 2398 .|
|Jul-31-10|| ||GrahamClayton: This newsletter has an interesting article on the "Whitaker Trap" in the Ruy Lopez Exchange variation:|
|Dec-12-10|| ||wordfunph: lifted from Chess Life & Review August 1975 by James E. Gates:|
On IM Norman Whitaker: One of the stories about him concerned a U.S. Correspondence Championship before World War II. A friend of his, who was competing in the tournament suddenly died. His widow needed money, and this gave Norman the idea of finishing his friend's games without letting anyone know. Whitaker wound up winning the tournament --- the first, won by a dead man!
|Dec-12-10|| ||perfidious: <wordfunph> An interesting pendant to the late Alex Kevitz conducting correspondence games under the pseudonym Palmer Phar so as not to give away anything.|
|Apr-05-11|| ||Caissanist: <HeMateMe: That book is expensive. $45,hard to believe, just an obscure hustler. No used copies around.>|
Wow, less than two years later, it's selling for $115 used. Forget stocks, I'm going to invest in obscure chess books.
|Apr-05-11|| ||HeMateMe: Ya never know what to save, till its too late.......|
|Jul-21-11|| ||Phony Benoni: Another extraordinary incident from the life of Norman Tweed Whitaker, from a report on the Western Championship in the November 1921 "American Chess Bulletin". The narrator is tournament referee Hermann Helms:|
<"The time limit, which was that in vogue at most of the leading clubs, namely 20 moves an hour straight, was found, every now and then, to be a bit too fast for some of the competitors and, on a number of occasions, the referee was busy watching the final seconds of the hour being ticked off by the clock. There was a number of very narrow escapes and notably that of Hahlbohm in his game with Whitaker in the second round. This was one of the most interesting incidents of the tournament. Very much like a runner making for the plate in a baseball game, Hahlbohm was declared "safe" at the end of the first hour. Whitaker, under the impression that the hour had been exceeded, demurred, but his claim was diallowed.
"Undismayed by the adverse decision, however, he induced his opponent the following day to consent to a replay of the game from the 21st move--somewhat unusual, to say the least, but agreed to by the officials only after the unanimous consent of all the players had been obtained in the interests of harmony. The ending was played a second time at the first opportunity with the result that Hahlbohm, extricating himself cleverly from what appeared to be dangerous complications, won even more quickly.
After this, Whitaker had no reason to dispute that he had been doubly and fairly beaten, and this he acknowledged manfully. In view of the fact that he thus scored losses in the first two rounds, his feat of finishing in fourth place must be regarded as one of the best performances of the congress.">
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