SPRAGGETT ON CHESS
I suppose we should have seen it coming…We have been complaining for some time now about the lack of press coverage of our lovely little game of chess and in particular of the general dis-interest on the part of the media.
It seems that the only time chess gets reported is when it is the butt of a joke or a truly bizarre incident takes place. For example, when Canadian I.M. Michael Schlieffer
decided to pee on the board while his opponent was considering his next move, at a R.A Chess Club
tournament a few years back, the Toronto Star put one of its best reporters on the story! The story was quickly picked up and travelled around the world…but when Karpov went to Toronto 2 years ago to inaugurate a chess school, the media did not give a damn!
OTTAWA’S golden CHESS CLUB
Club information: Garland Best, (613) 256-8057
Recently two other chess-stories have made the papers and once more bring our noble game into disrepute…
Associated PressOctober 13, 2009
IOWA CITY, Iowa
Don’t play chess with this man! He does not like to lose…
An Iowa City man has been sentenced to up to 10 years in prison
in the death of his opponent in a chess game. David Christian
was sentenced on Monday in Johnson County District Court for involuntary manslaughter in the death of Michael Steward in October 2008.
The two men got into a fight while playing chess at Christian’s home. Police say Christian forced Steward’s head between his legs and squeezed until Steward died.
Christian was originally charged with second-degree murder. He pleaded guilty to the lesser charge last month. Assistant Johnson County Attorney David Tiffany said the plea deal was influenced by the victim’s family, who wanted Christian to receive help for his psychological problems.
there is a video of a great TV report on the incident.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bREYOvq8JHk
Photo on the right is of the murderer himself, in better times. When asked what brought him to stop choking his opponent, David Christian replied when he noticed that he ‘did not look so good’!
This story makes one think about the value of a man’s life: David Christian might be out on good behaviour in 6 or 7 years! I wonder if this will lead to an increase of chess-related killings in coming months? During the middle age in England, there was a special exception in the laws concerning murder: if one murdered a person while playing chess then it would be considered a less serious charge!
FROM THE HISTORY BOOKS:
Raymond Weinstein (right) was described as a player with a ‘ruthless killer instinct’
Raymond A. Weinstein (born April 25, 1941) is an American chess master from Brooklyn, New York, who was awarded the FIDE International Master title in 1962. He has been incarcerated in a psychiatric hospital since killing a man in 1964.
Dutch chess author Tim Krabbe has identified the victim as the Dutch psychology professor and International Master Johan Barendregt. Soon after this incident, he was deported to the United States. There, he was detained in a half-way house, where he killed his 83-
year-old roommate with a razor
after an argument. Weinstein was deemed incapable to stand trial, and remanded to a psychiatric hospital, the Kirby Forensic Psychiatric Center
on Manhattan’s Ward’s Island where he remains to this day.
A recent email states that Weinstein has been transferred to the Dunlap B section and he is seeking stronger chess opponents because he can beat all the other inmates in the asylum.
Weinstein had been described as having a “ruthless killer instinct” for chess in a February 1964 British Chess Magazine article, before the incident took place.
AMERICA’S MOST WANTED POSTPONES SHOW ON SEX OFFENDER CHESS CHAMP
BY COLORADOAN STAFF
October 23, 2009
America’s Most Wanted has postponed its planned program on Robert Snyder, a Fort Collins chess champ who is wanted for failing to report for sex offender intensive supervision probation, because the Fox network will instead air a baseball playoff game between the New York Yankees and the Los Angeles Angels.
Promoted himself as a chess teacher
Snyder pleaded guilty in 2007 to felony sexual assault on a child by a person in a position of trust and two misdemeanor counts for unlawful sexual contact. He agreed to serve two years in jail for the misdemeanor charges and, upon his release, which turned out to be a year and a half later, he agreed to serve 10 years on intensive supervision probation.
He also would have been required to register four times each year as a sex offender.Snyder was released from the Larimer County jail on Aug. 24, 2008, and was given five days to register as a sex offender. He also was supposed to meet with his probation officer the day of his release but never showed.
Felony warrants have been issued for two counts of failure to register as a sex offender and for probation revocation for sexual assault on a child.
A genius when it came to chess, Snyder used his internationally known chess skills to make money by writing multiple books, starting Chess for Juniors in Fort Collins and charging $40 per hour for the chance to play chess against him online.
“He became a very renowned chess player and chess master at a very young age, and, obviously, he’s an intelligent person,” said Fort Collins police Sgt. Paul Wood, one of the officers tasked with tracking down Snyder.
“But he has an aura about him that he’s smarter than the rest of us and that he doesn’t have to comply with the rules the rest of us do.”
His victims, according to police, were boys usually about 11 or 12, whom he groomed while teaching them to play chess. “He would get them into a position where he could molest them, and that speaks to his personality that he’s very controlling, and he’s very intelligent in how he separates these kids,” Wood said.
Wood said when Snyder is caught, it’s possible he will be sentenced to life in prison. “With the history of this case, I’d say there’s a good chance he’ll get the life sentence,” Wood said. “The types of crimes he committed and he failed to comply with the conditions of the plea agreement. … From our standpoint, we would advocate for a life term in prison.”
Because Snyder is facing serious prison time if caught, Spine said he thinks his former chess coach is likely to victimize more young boys. “Now he’s a fugitive. Now he’s a public enemy. He doesn’t have anything to lose anymore,” he said. “Why wouldn’t he continue with this pattern of abuse? Whether he does it or not, he’s going to jail for a long time, so I don’t know if there’s any deterrent out there for him at this point.”
Wood said he’s fairly certain Snyder is not in the Fort Collins area and that the chess master has fled the country, likely using connections he made while traveling the globe playing chess.After exhausting local leads, Wood said he and other investigators asked “America’s Most Wanted” if they’d be interested in featuring Snyder in an episode with the hopes of using Snyder’s arrogance against him.
“We feel he has the need to be around people. We feel very strongly that someone has seen him and knows where he’s living and how he might be spending his time,” he said. Wood said he also hopes the “America’s Most Wanted” episode will encourage more victims to come forward.
“Our investigation centered on two victims for the purposes of prosecution, but we had evidence of more than two,” Wood said. “All of us, as far as the investigative part, felt it was likely there are more victims that we are unaware of.”
Police are certain Snyder will get involved with chess in some fashion, which could help lead to his arrest.
“He’s going to be where he’s familiar. He’s going to be in contact in some manner or another with young boys,” Wood said. “We believe pretty strongly he’s going to be around the chess world in some fashion or another. … We’re hoping someone in that world has seen him or heard from him and can provide some information to us.”
Editor’s note: this story is not related to the disappearance of ex-CFC President Peter Stockhausen;