SPRAGGETT ON CHESS
In keeping with the policy of this blog to show the real face of our chess community
NOTORIOUS SEX OFFENDER CAPTURED!
One of America’s most wanted has been caught in Belize. His name is Robert Snyder and he is a convicted child molester who draws in children by acting as a Chess Instructor and that’s just what he was doing in Belize – teaching chess under the name Augustin Rios. Details are scarce but we have learned that he was apprehended by Belizean authorities today after he was featured on the Saturday November 28th edition of America’s Most Wanted.
We have learned also that acting under his new name Snyder had re-married in Belize, reportedly to a police-woman. Snyder who is a chess master, instructor and an author of books about chess was also teaching chess at a number of primary schools in Belize. We don’t know how many schools he taught at as the information is late-breaking.
According to the America’s Most Wanted website – Snyder was a well-known chess instructor in the United States, mainly teaching children, but police say he also worked for actors like Will Smith and Nicholas Cage. And while he was a highly regarded instructor, especially to children, America’s Most Wanted quoted police as saying that Snyder was, in reality, a child molester, drawn to assaulting his students.
He was arrested in Colorado in 2005, reached a plea agreement with prosecutors and pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor counts of Unlawful Sexual Conduct, and agreed to a two-year term. He began serving his sentence in January of 2007. In August of 2008, Snyder was released from jail, and was supposed to register as a sex offender and meet with his probation officer. He did neither, and has been on the run ever since.
According to our information, he appeared in Belize one month later in September of 2008 where he immediately started working as a chess instructor. It’s a very worrying situation because as we said, we don’t know the extent of his activities in Belize, but according to parents of children who he abused, Snyder was slick.
“He was very good at building confidence, he was very good at building trust, was always very professional. With us he was very engaging, very personable as far as that goes. With the other kids, the other kids seemed to like him and respond to him in a very positive way as far as that goes and so did the parents. It was a month or two before he molested our son because that is when little things started coming out about he looked like he pulled out a picture and said he looks like my son. When he was married, his stepson and they looked almost identical at that time and just little things. There were little remarks in hindsight that you look back on now. How did we miss that. At that point we thought it was just confidence building and he was being very complimentary, those types of things.”
Again, Snyder was in Belize for at least 14 or 15 months working as a chess instructor under the assumed name Augustin Rios. He was just apprehended by Belize police today and we’ll have more about this disturbing case on Monday’s newscast.
Escaped inmate Manson Brown
on America’s Most Wanted
Wanted for rape and murder, Brown is an enthusiastic chess player
Police continue search for escaped convict
Police say Manson Brown may actually be wearing glasses.
By Globe Staff
State police and Department of Corrections officers continue to search today for a 51-year-old convict who escaped from a state prison in Bridgewater on Friday, authorities said. Investigators have followed leads in Massachusetts and other states in the search for Manson Brown, state police said in a statement.
Authorities said today they had developed new information about Brown, who has been described as black, about 5-foot-8, and weighing 145 pounds. While they had previously released a picture of him without glasses, they said today he often wears them.
They also noted that he plays chess, works out frequently, and is extremely physically fit. More information is posted on the America’s Most Wanted website.
State police asked anyone who sees Brown not to approach him, but to call 911 immediately. Anyone with information about his whereabouts should call the state police at (508) 820-2121, authorities said.……………………………………………………………………….
AND CLOSER TO HOME: CFC FINALLY STARTING TO CLEAN HOUSE?
BARRY THORVARDSON: YOU’RE OUT!
NO LONGER ON BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF CANADIAN CHESS FOUNDATION
Barry Thorvardsson (right); his hand never far from the money
Yesterday it was announced to the Canadian chess community (www.chesscanada.info/forum) that controversial Ontario chess organizer Barry Thorvardsson was no longer on the Canadian Chess Foundation. This past summer CFC President Eric Van Dusen was mandated at the AGM to study the removal of Mr. Thorvardsson from the Foundation. However,in recent months growing concerns about the CFC’s inaction for Mr. Thorvardsson’s removal from any and all positions of responsibility within the CFC ,and in Canadian chess in general, have left the CFC leadership in an increasingly embarrassing position. Rumours of conflict of interest on the CFC Executive’s part began to spread.
Mr. Thorvardsson had been elected for a 4 year period , to end in 2011. News of his replacement was met with approval from all quarters of the community.
Gary Gladstone, professional fundraiser and once a key supporter in helping Mr. Thorvardsson secure 110,000 dollars with a grant from Trillium Foundation, had this to say:
”This is wonderful news and renews my confidence in the Chess Foundation.”
Just what became of that Trillium grant is a matter of speculation, since Mr. Thorvardsson and the OCA (Ontario Chess Association) left no detailed accounting or financial records. Trillium held an emergency meeting with Mr. Thorvardsson and Mr. Hal Bond once rumours of gross mismanagement and worse of the fate of this money began to circulate. Immediately after the meeting Trillium cut all contact and support with the OCA.
Neither Mr. Bond nor Mr. Thorvardsson officially reported to the chess community what transpired at the meeting. In the time since, Mr. Thorvardsson has been removed as governor of the OCA and is the subject of an investigative report by the CFC, that up to now has not been made public.Mr. Bond (right), VP during the years of Mr. Thorvardsson’s gross mismanagement of Trillium money, continues to be an active member of the chess community and is currently on the CFC executive.
The most remarkable aspect of the unaccounted for 110,000 dollars (over a two year period) is that AGM minutes and OCA records indicate that not a single serious question was ever raised about the Trillium money and what it was spent on…was the OCA Executive sleeping? (and with whom?)
BRING IN THE CLOWNS!
According to published 2003 agm minutes of OCA, Kerpel and Bond nominated Thorvardsson for OCA President. Bond next moved that Thorvardsson be put in charge of every aspect of Trillium undertaking. In future years, no serious questions asked at OCA agms about what happened to the money once Trillium accepted.
Eric van Dusen, current CFC president
Long time politico of the OCA, has yet to make a public statement