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Friday, November 10, 2006

Wilt Chamberlain, Bobby Fischer and Dick Schaap

Wilt Chamberlain, Bobby Fischer and Dick Schaap walk into a room. That may sound like the start of a joke--but it really almost happened. Dick Schaap was a frequent houseguest of Chamberlain's and Schaap mentioned in his autobiography Flashing Before my Eyes that on one occasion Chamberlain called up Fischer and asked him to join them. Schaap had known Fischer for many years and had even taken the young chess champion to some Knicks games, introducing him to Dave DeBusschere. Fischer once said, "I'd compare chess to basketball. Basketball players pass the ball around until they get an opening. Like chess, like the mating attack."

Schaap said that Fischer considered coming to Chamberlain's house but then told Schaap that he wasn't seeing people at the time. What if Fischer had accepted the invitation? I thought about that--and wrote this story:

Wilt and Bobby: Not a Random Encounter

posted by David Friedman @ 6:51 PM


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At Sunday, June 03, 2007 2:17:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"First of all, I'll make a tour of the whole world, giving exhibitions. I'll charge unprecedented prices. I'll set new standards. I'll make them pay thousands. Then I'll come home on a luxury liner. First-class. I'll have a tuxedo made for me in England to wear to dinner. When I come home I'll write a couple chess books and start to reorganize the whole game. I'll have my own club. The Bobby Fischer ... uh, the Robert J. Fischer Chess Club. It'll be class. Tournaments in full dress. No bums in there. You're gonna have to be over eighteen to get in, unless like you have special permission because you have like special talent. It'll be in a part of the city that's still decent, like the Upper East Side. And I'll hold big international tournaments in my club with big cash prizes. And I'm going to kick all the millionaires out of chess unless they kick in more money. Then I'll buy a car so I don't have to take the subway any more. That subway makes me sick. It'll be a Mercedes-Benz. Better, a Rolls Royce, one of those fifty-thousand-dollar custom jobs, made to my own measure. Maybe I'll buy one of those jets they advertise for businessmen. And a yacht. Flynn had a yacht. Then I'll have some more suits made. I'd like to be one of the Ten Best-dressed Men. That would really be something. I read that Duke Snyder made the list. Then I'll build me a house. I don't know where but it won't be in Greenwich Village. They're all dirty, filthy animals down there - lower than cats and dogs. Maybe I'll build it in Hong Kong. Everybody who's been there says it's great. Art Linkletter said so on the radio. And they've got suits there, beauties, for only twenty dollars. Or maybe I'll build it in Beverly Hills. The people there are sort of square, but like the climate is nice and it's close to Vegas, Mexico, Hawaii, and those places. I got strong ideas about my house. I'm going to hire the best architect and have him build it in the shape of a rook. Yeah, that's for me. Class. Spiral staircases, parapets, everything. I want to live the rest of my life in a house built exactly like a rook"(Bobby Fischer)...read more


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