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Claude Frizzel Bloodgood
C Bloodgood 
Number of games in database: 65
Years covered: 1955 to 1997
Highest rating achieved in database: 2250
Overall record: +54 -5 =6 (87.7%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games.

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A00 Uncommon Opening (58 games)
A45 Queen's Pawn Game (3 games)

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(born Jul-14-1937, died Aug-04-2001, 64 years old) United States of America

[what is this?]
Claude Frizzel Bloodgood (born Klaus Frizzel Bluttgutt III) was born in La Paz, Mexico on July 14, 1937 (some sources say he was born in 1924). He was the author of The Tactical Grob, Blackburne-Hartlaub Gambit (1.d4 e5 2.dxe5 d6), and Nimzovich Attack: The Norfolk Gambits. In the late 1950's, he was editor of the Virginia Chess News Roundup and the rating statistician for the Virginia State Chess Association. In 1958, he started the All Service Postal Chess Club (ASPCC). In 1970 he was sentenced to death for strangling his mother to death in 1969, apparently in a fight about an inheritance and bad-check charges. While on death row, he played over 2,000 postal games simultaneously. The postage was paid by the State of Virginia. He was scheduled for execution 6 times, but received a reprieve each time. Then in 1972, the Supreme Court suspended capital punishment in the United States, and Bloodgood's death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment. That same year, the state stopped paying postage for correspondence chess. He was allowed to play in chess tournaments outside the prison, accompanied by a guard. In 1974, Bloodgood escaped after he and another chess player (Lewis Capleaner, a murderer inmate) overpowered a guard (George Winslow) who was escorting them to a chess tournament. When Bloodgood was recaptured after several weeks, his correspondence privilege was taken away from him. His escape led to the resignation of Virginia's director of prisons, and the Virginia Penitentiary Chess program was dismantled.

In 1996 he was the 2nd highest USCF ranked player in the country (2702), just behind Gata Kamsky. His actual strength was almost certainly much less, as he is believed to have exploited the rating system by organizing chess tournaments and matches in prison against opponents who could easily be bribed, manipulated, and were at any rate far from top-level competition. From 1993 to 1999, he played 3,174 rated chess games, winning over 91 percent of them.

He participated in the 15th U.S. Correspondence Championship, which began in June, 2000, scoring 3 wins and 9 losses (he died before finishing his last game). He passed away in the hospital of the Powhatan Correctional Center near Richmond, Virginia on August 4, 2001.

Wikipedia article: Claude Bloodgood

 page 1 of 3; games 1-25 of 65  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. NN vs C Bloodgood 0-1211955CasualA45 Queen's Pawn Game
2. C Bloodgood vs R W Christy 1-0131957Norfolk OpenA00 Uncommon Opening
3. C Bloodgood vs E Winterfield 1-0181957NorfolkA00 Uncommon Opening
4. C Bloodgood vs A Acevedo Villalba 1-0211958Virginia Open, NorfolkA00 Uncommon Opening
5. C Bloodgood vs G Trefzer 1-0321958VA OpenA00 Uncommon Opening
6. C Bloodgood vs R Halley 1-0351958Washington D.C.A00 Uncommon Opening
7. C Bloodgood vs A Hall ½-½261959Norfolk USO Invitational,A00 Uncommon Opening
8. C Bloodgood vs S Branson 1-0461959Norfolk USO InvitationalA00 Uncommon Opening
9. C Bloodgood vs K Amirjahed 1-0251959Norfolk Chess Team - DePaul, Board #1A00 Uncommon Opening
10. C Bloodgood vs R McSorely 1-0231959Norfolk USO Inv.A00 Uncommon Opening
11. C Bloodgood vs R Porter 1-0211959Peninsula Open, Newport News, VAA00 Uncommon Opening
12. C Bloodgood vs A Cacalano 1-0191959Eastern Virginia Chess League, NorfolkA00 Uncommon Opening
13. P Sternberg vs C Bloodgood 0-1211959NorfolkC82 Ruy Lopez, Open
14. C Bloodgood vs W R Waymire 1-0101960USAA00 Uncommon Opening
15. C Bloodgood vs W R Waymire 1-0181960Norfolk USO Monthly InvitationalsA00 Uncommon Opening
16. C Bloodgood vs K Stevens 1-0301960Eastern Virginia Chess League, NorfolkA00 Uncommon Opening
17. C Bloodgood vs D Casteen 1-0371960Norfolk USO InvitationalA00 Uncommon Opening
18. C Bloodgood vs B Evans 1-0211961Norfolk USO Inv.A00 Uncommon Opening
19. C Bloodgood vs A Cacalano 1-0211961Eastern VA Chess LeagueA00 Uncommon Opening
20. C Bloodgood vs J McKay 1-0221961Norfolk USO InvitationalA00 Uncommon Opening
21. C Bloodgood vs R Lewis 1-0391961NorfolkA00 Uncommon Opening
22. C Bloodgood vs L Bostic 1-0421964New Castel, Delaware InvitationalA00 Uncommon Opening
23. C Bloodgood vs E Meyerhofer 0-1341967New Castle, DelawareA00 Uncommon Opening
24. C Bloodgood vs L Lundy 1-0311968New Castle, DelawareA00 Uncommon Opening
25. C Bloodgood vs B Brown 1-0181969RichmondA00 Uncommon Opening
 page 1 of 3; games 1-25 of 65  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Bloodgood wins | Bloodgood loses  

a real life chess murder mystery

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 11 OF 11 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jul-29-15  zanzibar: RE: Acers

<andrewjsacks> I'd have to learn much more about the details before I'd feel comfortable drawing that conclusion.

You might be right, that he was deliberately exploiting the rating system.

But, my understanding is that he really was a very strong player (> 2289 in his prime presumably), and that he just played local, match games.

So, was he deliberately milking the system, or was he just playing his "style" of chess?

And if he was deliberately running up his rating, was he doing so to expose the problem, or to exploit it?

I guess I think, ultimately, the USCF rating system needed modifying, either way.

So in the end, it was a positive.

Jul-29-15  john barleycorn: <Howard> and according to that article the key weakness in the USCF rating system was that (other than in the FIDE rating) your rating would increase always if you would beat the same weak players a hundred times and more.
Jul-29-15  andrewjsacks: <Zanzibar> RE Acers

Well, not much I can say to your response, extremely generous as it is to him. I do suggest you attempt to research it, for example an article, easy to access, by Sam Sloan. There are others too. Anyway, you are a gentleman to attempt to exonerate Mr. Acers. We can respectfully disagree on the point.

Jul-30-15  zanzibar: <andrewjsacks> Yes, I readily admit to an initial presumption of innocent generally. And especially when I don't know the full story.

I also readily admit that you might be completely correct in your considered statements on the matter.

I'll try to do a little more research in the matter at some point in the future. And possibly report back - but maybe in Acers' forum instead of this one.

Thanks for your comments in the exchange.

Premium Chessgames Member
  diceman: <tpstar:

Bloodgood wins the Creepiest Picture hands down.>

...he has that Uncle Fester charm.

Jul-30-15  andrewjsacks: <zanzibar> Good man. This is the type of professional, polite, and gentlemanly exchange--despite differences of opinion--that should be the rule here, not the exception.
Jul-31-15  sakredkow: I hope I can remember never to click on this guy's name again.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: <andrewjsacks> This is a good page for your Frankenstein's-Monster avatar.

They go together: Bloodgood fire bad.

Aug-01-15  andrewjsacks: <offramp> Good one!
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: I hadn't realized that Bloodgood died at age 64, like Fischer, Staunton, Steinitz, Planinc, Mednis, Maximilian Ujtelky, and Octavio Troianescu.
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: He only escaped because he wanted to play some OTB games.
Oct-31-17  Count Wedgemore: <offramp> Outside The Bastille.
Oct-31-17  Cibator: <FSR>: The Irish/British player Conel Hugh O'Donel Alexander (awarded the IM title in 1950) is another who could be added to the roll of the "64 Club".
Premium Chessgames Member
  Bubo bubo: Never heard of this guy before! With that eerie name clearly a suitable <POTD> for Halloween, although Thomas Luther could have been an alternative in view of today being the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther's posting of his 95 theses to that churchdoor at Wittenberg...
Oct-31-17  Howard: Ya never heard of Bloodgood before ?! He was actually one of the top-20 players in the U.S. according to the USCF rating list back in 1996...

....but HOW he got that high is a story in itself! Inside Chess magazine ran an interesting article about this fluky occurrence back in '96.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: He must have had quite some ability at chess all the same, and he was enthusiastic for sure. Terrible that he killed his own mother if that is what happened. A strange, eerie and tragic tale for him and his mother and others.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: What a name to have?! Incredible... Did someone make this whole thing up?
Nov-09-17  zanzibar: The bio above, while plausible (if not even likely), is inaccurate if not including the alternative explanation of his high rating - i.e. closed pool effects.

From wiki:

<This is all a matter of considerable controversy even today. Bloodgood himself vehemently denied these accusations, and said that he played chess in the only competitions available to him, prison tournaments, and won almost every game because he was the strongest player in the prison system. As his rating rose, he wrote the USCF to warn them that its system was prone to "closed pool" ratings inflation. But nothing was done until Bloodgood's rating skyrocketed. Virtue of his high rating, Bloodgood would have qualified for entry into the U.S. Chess Championship, a prestigious invitation-only event intended for the best 16 players in the country. This caused an investigation by the USCF, which debated extensively what to do about the situation. In the end, Bloodgood wasn't invited to the event (which he could not have attended anyway), and the USCF changed its ratings system rules to attempt to prevent "closed pool" ratings inflation.>

Look, the guy supposedly wrote a letter to the USCF to warn of the effect, before his peak rating was obtained. That should be noted (and possibly verified). Regardless, it appears that the USCF itself was uncertain what to do - and didn't outright ban him.


Nov-10-17  zanzibar: <Tab> I think it's valuable to keep posts for documentation (and for showing all steps in a research, even some of the false ones).

Still, I wish there was a way for biographers to select/promote those forum comments deemed especially valuable for reference purposes.

An idea I've broached previously.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: I was up at Gerry Rafferty's Baker Street yesterday and I bought Claude Frizzel Bloodgood 's book "The Tactical Grob".

It is the only book I own that was written by a murderer. That was why I bought it. I'm never going to play the Grob.

It cost me one british pound sterling, which equates to roughly one euro or, in your earth credits, one american dollar.

One british pound. one hundred NEW pence (not the old ones). That is ARGENT daddy-O. ARGENT!!

The money will be subject to UK tax and the residue sent to the USA and divided among Mr Claude Frizzel Bloodgood 's victims.

Jan-07-18  zanzibar: <Gerry Rafferty's Baker Street>

The sax player only received a one-time check for £27 for his iconic sax.

<Ravenscroft's fee was, reportedly, a cheque for £27, which he said bounced anyway and was framed and hung on his solicitor's wall. He received no further payment for his session-playing, adding: "If I had received pots of money, I wouldn't have known what to do. It might have destroyed me.">

On the other hand, Lisa covered his solo, which is a tribute far beyond anything money can buy.

Jun-04-19  Nosnibor: Looking at all the games Bloodgood played it would appear he was " whiter than white".
Premium Chessgames Member
  saffuna: <The sax player only received a one-time check for £27 for his iconic sax.

<Ravenscroft's fee was, reportedly, a cheque for £27, which he said bounced anyway and was framed and hung on his solicitor's wall. He received no further payment for his session-playing, adding: "If I had received pots of money, I wouldn't have known what to do. It might have destroyed me.">>

And now there are events with a dozen or more saxophonists playing that solo.

Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: VAPEN stands for Virginia Penitentiary Chess Programme, which was established by Bloodgood in 1972. It was disbanded when Bloodgood escaped from prison on the pretext of organising a match between the VAPEN team and an outside chess club.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Korora: Seems Gilbert and Sullivan were spot on here.

"When a felon's not engaged in his employment,
"(His employment)
"Or maturing his felonious little plans,
"(Little plans)
"His capacity for innocent enjoyment
"('cent enjoyment)
"Is just as great as any honest man's!
"(Honest man's)"

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