Shady Side: The Life and Crimes of Norman Tweed Whitaker, Chess Master

Shady Side: The Life and Crimes of Norman Tweed Whitaker, Chess Master

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Author: Hilbert, John S

Year: 2000

Publisher: Caissa Editions

Place: Yorklin, DE


vi+481 pages with illustrations, figures, appendixes and indexes. Royal octavo (9 1/4" x 6 1/4") issued in red cloth with gilt lettering to spine. 1st edition.

Norman Tweed Whitaker, born to a good family, esteemed by teachers, fellow chess players and almost everyone who knew him as a young man, simply could not walk a straight line through life. And the crooked line he did walk is admirably brought to life for the first time by John S Hilbert's biography, Shady Side. Whitaker lived a long and tortured life, moving from his parent's home in Philadelphia, where he was born in 1890, through a series of successes and damnations that would have tried the should of many a less talented mortal. Along the way he encountered the likes of Charles Linbergh, J Edgar Hoover, Barbara Hutton, Major General Lucius D Clay and many others, not to mention Cuban world chess champion Jose Raul Capablanca as well as young Bobby Fischer, with whom Whitaker toured - playing first board during team chess matches ahead of Fischer' second! And far from the warmth of his childhood home, Whitaker learned lessons the hard way, at Leavenworth, Alcatraz and a host of other federal and state penitentiaries. Calling upon a treasure trove of thousands of personal letters, court papers and chess scores discovered after Whitaker's death in 1975, Hilbert has meticulously pieced together the saga of this off-again, on-again chess champion seducer, con artist, husband and criminal. A man of strong emotions, Whitaker in life could be the best of friends or the worst of enemies. In death he has become the subject of a compelling tale of that winds its way throughout the world, a tale composed of love, hate, greed, deception and creative struggle, all intertwined, all brought back to life here.


Fine in like jacket.