Chess in the news
SPRAGGETT ON CHESS
IN KEEPING WITH THE POLICY OF THIS BLOG TO SHOW THE REAL—AND OFTEN UGLY—FACE OF OUR COLLECTIVE CHESS COMMUNITY
CHESS TEACHER TO BE JAILED FOR LIFE!
Fugitive Sex Offender on $1.5 million bail
To be sentenced March 30
Not in Belize! No refuge for fugitives
Film-maker John WalshJohn Walsh and the America’s Most Wanted crew are currently shooting in Belize for an episode that will highlight the global reach of the AMW manhunt.
Robert Snyder, a child predator who went on the run from Fort Collins, Colo., after failing to register as a sex offender, thought he could hide in Belize, a nation where everyone speaks English and the U.S. dollar is accepted as currency.
But some avid AMW viewers in Belize proved him wrong. Snyder had no idea that America’s Most Wanted is broadcast in Belize and is a very popular show here.
When AMW profiled Snyder last year November 28th., 12-year-old Cree Stuart recognized him as the chess teacher at her Belize City school. Her mother Sheena Stuart sent in the tip — and U.S. authorities teamed up with police in Belize to take Snyder down.
Robert Snyder, a convicted child molester had married a policewoman and changed his name to Augustin Rios.
Snyder was a successful author of chess books for children
Walsh shot an episode about Snyder’s capture with the help of Assistant Commissioner of Police Miguel Segura at the Racoon Street Police station parking lot last Tuesday February 2.
Day two of AMW’s shoot in Belize brought John Walsh and the America’s Most Wanted team to San Pedro, a resort town on the island of Ambergris Caye. It’s a tropical paradise, where visitors from around the world come to dive Belize’s incredibly beautiful barrier reef.Unfortunately, as John learned, Belize also attracts another kind of person looking for an escape – literally. In San Pedr, John met with Rob Kelty, the Regional Security Officer of the State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service. In an interview to be aired in AMW’s February 27th broadcast, Rob explained why Belize is so attractive to American fugitives, and described howU.S. authorities are working with police in Belize to track them down and send them back to face justice. Walsh was approached by Fox Television in 1987 to host the first reality show in America,, five years after his 6-year-old son was kidnapped and murdered. He said “it’s has been a very gratifying experience to see how many of these horrible people get caught because of the partnership between the public, the police, and a TV show.”
with stealing from friend’s widow
FACES 10 YEARS IN PRISON FOR FRAUDFeb 19 2010 Luke Traynor Liverpool Echo
”A LIVERPOOL chess player has been charged with stealing from the widow of one of his best friends.
Police launched an investigation into Joe Siddall over claims he stole up to £40,000 from pensioner Rita Hinton after the death of her husband Jeffrey in 2003.
The ECHO reported in December how the 79-year-old widow was left penniless, and sometimes without power and heating.
Joe Siddall, on the right in both photos
Now, Mr Siddall, 52, once said to be ranked 62 on the British Chess list, has been charged with 10 counts of theft. He is due to appear before magistrates in Liverpool on March 8.
Mr Siddall, who has refused to comment about the matter, is on bail pending his court appearance.
Dawn Hinton, daughter of the late Rita, said: “I am distraught that my mum faced such a difficult time towards the end of her life.”
The alleged offence is claimed to have started in 2003 when Jeffrey Hinton, Rita’s husband, died. Mrs Hinton, who suffered from crippling headaches after a plate was inserted into the back of her head, was well-respected in Garston where she worked for many years as a dinner lady at South Bank Primary School.
Known as being larger than life, she loved to take part in the local carnivals where she dressed up in costumes.”
Mr. Siddall could face up to 10 years in prison. This despite the wife and family of Mr. Siddall having given back more than 10,000 pounds to the Hinton family. Mrs. Hinton died more than a year ago of a brain tumor, her last days turned into a hell by Mr. Siddall’s actions.
”MOST CORRUPT” CHESS COMMUNITY IN NORTH AMERICA ?
$120,000 disappears into thin air and no questions asked! _____________________________________________
THE FACES OF THE PRESENT SCANDAL: REMEMBER THEM!
Clockwise from upper left: Eric van Dusen , Chris Mallon, Barry Thorvardson, Hal Bond, Stijn de Kerpel
The readers were informed in a December 5 blog entry about the on-going scandal in Canadian chess involving 120,000 dollars of Ontario Trillium Foundation money that disappeared between 2006 and 2007. Perhaps ‘disappeared’ is not the most accurate word: for the then Ontario Chess Association (OCA) President, Barry Thorvardson, simply refuses to say what happened to it and long time OCA cronies Eric van Dusen, Stijn de Kerpel, Hal Bond and Chris Mallon have now decided not to pursue the issue nor to contact the authorities, despite the wish of the membership to discover the truth of what really happened.
This laissez-faire attitude by (ex)OCA officials towards their civic and legal responsibilities in the face of Mr. Thorvardson’s refusal to cooperate and account for the missing money has shocked many within the Canadian Chess Community. It is a complete abdication of collective responsibilities. Some members are wondering why the police have not been called in to investigate. What do they have to fear?
Others are wondering if the real problem does not run deeper than just an isolated episiode of flagrant disregard of Canadian law and might be symptomatic of bigger problems in the OCA leadership. Case in point: an ex-OCA official who just couldn’t give a shit about the entire sordid affair is Roger Patterson (now Victoria Chess Club organizer) :
”As much as many people have been critical of Barry over the Trillium spending, he thought of it, he did the prep work, he did all of the leg work in getting it. None of that money was the OCAs….OCA members have not been hard done by this.” (Roger Patterson from chesstalk message board)
Roger Patterson: lost in space
According to this logic, it is ok if the OCA is used as a vehicle to defraud Trillium, providing the OCA membership is kept in the dark and made unaware.
When Trillium began to get worried that the money was being misused, they hastily held a meeting with the OCA President Mr. Thorvardsson and OCA Vice-President Mr. Bond. Trillium immediately cut all further cooperation with the OCA following the meeting.
Neither Mr. Bond nor Mr. Thorvardsson have ever reported back to the membership what transpired…inspite of repeated requests. The minutes of the OCA meetings remain unpublished and are not accessable to the chess public.
The most remarkable aspect of the unaccounted for 120,000 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?)
The first time that the OCA executive gave any indication of something being wrong or that some wrong doing had taken place is AFTER Trillium had already disassociated itself from the OCA (and cut off all further funding). Hal Bond introduced a motion of censureship of Mr. Thorvardsson , a mere slap on the wrist and purely theatrical in substance. It is true that Mr. Thorvardsson was in violation of numerous articles of the OCA constitution, but this is something that had been going on for two whole years! And everybody knew it, but kept quiet. Furthermore, Mr. Thorvardsson did not have total signing rights for cheques: atleast one other person must have known exactly what Barry was doing all the time.
Mr. Bond should have himself been forced to disclose his own role in the 2 previous years as VP of the OCA. In effect, Mr. Thorvardsson was made a scape goat. A well paid scape goat, it is true, but too convenient ! Could it be that he was not the only OCA executive who received Trillium money?
The minutes of the following agm of the OCA have never been published. And for as long as Mr. Thorvardsson is not forced to give a detailed account of what he did with the Trillium money, there is no way to accurately know the role of the other members of the OCA executive. The present CFC executive (comprised mostly of OCA politicos) seems bent, ironically, on making sure that Mr. Thorvardsson does not need to tell his side of the story.
In late December 2009, a perversely OCA-biased CFC Executive report into Mr. Thorvardsson’s actions was released to the public. This report all but awards Mr. Thorvardsson a medal. It almost completely exonerates Mr. Thorvardsson of any wrong doing and abuse, and instead suggests that some nominal changes in the wording of the OCA constitution would prevent a recurrance!(www.chesscanada.info/forum)
Inspite of their subsequent platitudes and rationalizations of the obvious inadequacy of the report , it is clear that both Mr. Van Dusen and Mr. Mallon have always stood in the way of getting to the bottom of the truth and that any future legal proceedings against Mr. Thorvardsson must also avail itself of the option of including Mr. Van Dusen and Mr. Mallon. Things can not be more clear: Mr. Thorvardsson did not act in a vacuum.
In his address to the chess community in the recently published national newsletter of the Canadian Chess Federation, CFC president Eric Van Dusen did not mention even one word concerning the growing scandal and embarrassment. The federation executive, composed virtually entirely of OCA delegates directly involved at various stages of the Trillium fiasco, is desperately trying to ignore calls for an unbiased investigation and/or legal action.
Mr. Les Bunning, many time President of the CFC and legal council for the CFC up until last year, has written on a Canadian chess-message board that the two year period inwhich to undertake legal action against those involved has not yet expired. CFC president Eric van Dusen has ignored this advice.
It is believed that this period will expire within several months. In the meantime, Mr. Van Dusen has already began his re-election campaign.