A man who wrote chess books (we have three in the John G. White chess collection). A man imprisoned for burglary and forgery. A man who killed his mother (or step-mother, depending on whom you believe). A man who played thousands of games of correspondence chess while in prison, and then escaped one day while on furlough to play in a chess tournament (he was recaptured after a few days). And his name is Bloodgood??
All of these statements are true. Cleveland Public Library houses the archives of Claude Bloodgood in nine boxes. Included in these papers are over 1000 games of correspondence chess he played while in prison, documents relating to numerous protests and lawsuits he was involved in, many relating to prisoners’ rights to participate in chess tournaments, and drafts for more books on chess which were never published. It certainly seems that Mr. Bloodgood is part of the club of brilliant but troubled chess players (Bobby Fischer and Paul Morphy come to mind), but his enigmatic life remains to be studied and explained.