by Sam Sloan

In the early 1970s, all chess tournaments held by the Continental Chess Association and directed by William Goichberg took place at the McAlpin Hotel on 34th Street and Broadway in New York City. (That hotel has since closed). Participants at those tournaments noticed that invariably all of the toilets were stopped up and the floors to all of the bathrooms were flooded with water. Most assumed that this was a problem with the hotel.

However, when chess tournaments were not taking place, there was nothing wrong with the toilets at the McAlpin Hotel. Eventually, it became apparent that some chess player, presumably one with a grudge against Bill Goichberg, was deliberately stuffing toilet paper into all of the toilets during the games, thereby stopping them all up.

As a result, Goichberg put a security guards on constant watch on all the toilets, hoping the catch the culprit in the act. When the guards were watching, all of the toilets remained clear. None were stopped up.

However, one of the guards of one of the toilets once took a few minutes break on one occasion, and immediately that toilet was stopped up, obviously by the highly vigilant toilet stuffer.

Eventually, the problem disappeared. Goichberg stated that the toilet stuffer had been caught and that appropriate action had been taken. There have been no further incidents of toilet stuffing at Goichberg tournaments. Goichberg says that he knows who the toilet stuffer was, but refuses to reveal his name.

However, only about two months ago, the toilets at the Manhattan Chess Club all became stopped up with toilet paper while a rapids tournament was taking place. The floors became flooded with water. A certain prominent chess player has been accused of stuffing the toilets. Is he the notorious toilet stuffer-stopper from the early 1970s, or has a different toilet stuffer appeared on the scene?

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