May 282012

Chess may have a somewhat staid image at the moment, but nothing could really be further from the truth. At it’s core Chess is a strategic war game and while it has attracted many fine and upstanding citizens to the joys of the board – there are quite a few notable players that you wouldn’t want to spend too much time around.

Charles Manson – Serial Killer

Charles is not a nice man at all, he is perhaps the world’s famous serial killer. He was the leader of a group of grisly murders that shocked the world. If you do find yourself having a quiet game with him – we suggest you let him win.

Claude Bloodgood – Matricide

While Charles was an enthusiast, Claude was the real deal – for nearly 20 years he was one of the best chess players in the US. Sadly, he had to play these games by correspondence from his prison cell as he’d been jailed for life for killing his own mother. He was so good, that the guards got carried away and actually let him out to play in chess tournaments at times. Despite the trust placed in him, he escaped at a tournament in 1974 (though was eventually re-arrested). Claude was also renowned for carrying a folding wooden chess set. It’s not a good idea to say; “Nice game, son.” if you meet him in the afterlife.

Rev. Harold Davidson – Stalker

Even Harold’s son disliked him his list of un-admirable qualities included sneaking around, self-importance, no sense of humour and religious bigotry. He also had the nasty habit of forcing his way backstage at theatre performance to see if he could catch actresses in a state of undress.

Al Capone – Mobster

They didn’t get much nastier than this American mobster. His reign of terror which included murder, prostitution, gambling, bootlegging and more was finally brought to an end – because he didn’t pay his taxes.

Robert Stroud – The Birdman of Alcatraz

Burt Lancaster starred as Robert in the movie which portrayed him as a sensitive soul who researched canaries in prison. Sadly, as with many things Hollywood the truth is that Robert killed a bartender to end up in prison and would later stab a prison guard to death in front of more than 1,000 witnesses.

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