Chess, news ‘n stuff…
SPRAGGETT ON CHESS
Fugitive to return to Larimer County
Fugitive chess master Robert Snyder has waived his right to an extradition hearing and will return to Colorado from Texas likely by next week, sheriff’s officials said.
CHESS TEACHER AND KNOWN CHILD MOLESTER
Snyder fled Fort Collins in August 2008 after serving two years for two misdemeanor counts of unlawful sexual contact and one felony count of sexual assault on a child by one in a position of trust. After his release, Snyder failed to register as a sex offender and did not meet with his probation officer. Prosecutors and police said Snyder preyed on boys he met through his chess program.
Snyder was featured on the television program “America’s Most Wanted” on Nov. 28. Shortly after the program aired, the program and Fort Collins Police Services received a tip that Snyder was living in Belize under an assumed name, again teaching chess to young boys. Snyder was arrested and flown to Houston, where late last week he waived his right to a hearing and will now be extradited back to the Larimer County Detention Center, according to the Harris County Sheriff’s Office in Texas.
It is expected that they will simply put Snyder in prison and throw away the key…that he will spend the rest of his natural life behind bars!
Former chief of orthopedics at Sequoia Hospital, dies at 89
Dr. Frank Ruys, a former chief of orthopedics at Sequoia Hospital in Redwood City, died Nov. 23 at the age of 89.
He was born in Maasluis in the Netherlands in 1920 and moved to the United States in 1927. After graduating from UC Berkeley and Tulane University School of Medicine, he served in the U.S. Navy in post-World War II Japan. He also served on the hospital ship, Repose, during the Korean War.
Brilliant chess player
A former resident of Woodside and Atherton, Dr. Ruys was an orthopedic surgeon and chief of orthopedics at Sequoia Hospital, practicing for 38 years.
An avid stamp collector and first violinist with the Peninsula Symphony, Dr. Ruys was a brilliant chess player, say family members. By his mid-20s, he was competing successfully in chess tournaments statewide, even playing multiple blindfold games, they say. He won the status of United States Chess Master in 1985 and played correspondence chess with internationally known experts all his adult life.
Survivors include his former wife, Joyce Ruys; children Elaine Ruys, Patricia Stearns, Tim Ruys, Jennifer Gill, Renee Iverson and Cassandra Ruys; and seven grandchildren.
Condolences may be sent to: Jennifer Gill, 36 Duane Street, # 7, Redwood City, CA 94062. Donations may be made to the Sequoia Hospital Foundation
Ruys F. – Ryan R.
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Bg5 e6 7. f4 Qb6 8. Qd2 Qxb2 9. Rb1 Qa3 10. Be2 Be7 11. O-O Qc5 12. Kh1 Nbd7 13. f5 e5 14. Nf3 b5 15. Be3 Qc6 16. a4 Nxe4 17. Nxe4 Qxe4 18. axb5 axb5 19. Ng5 Qa4 20. Bxb5 Qa5 21. Qd3 Qc7
22. Nxf7! Rf8 23. Bb6 Qb8 24. Be3 Qc7 25. Qd5! Rb8 26. Ng5 Bxg5 27. Bxg5 Rf7 28. f6! [1:0]
Man wrongfully jailed for 35 years to be released because of new DNA evidence. Kept his sanity by playing chess!
Spent 35 years in prison. He is just 54 years old.
By Shoshana Walter
Published: Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Jimmy Bain’s family has a house waiting for him. A Toyota Camry. A dresser filled with clothes. A toothbrush and toothpaste. A chess set. His favorite movie, “Titanic.” A Curtis Mayfield CD. Pajamas.
They have prepared for this day. In 1974, Bain was convicted of kidnapping and raping a 9-year-old Lake Wales boy. This morning, after 35 years behind bars, he is expected to walk out of a hearing at the Bartow courthouse a free man.
Bain’s lawyers say a recent DNA test proves his innocence, while the State Attorney’s Office says it has to verify the results of the test first before he can be exonerated.
Until then, the State Attorney’s Office says, he will get to go home. But no matter how much Bain’s family has prepared, the joy of the occasion is tempered by the challenges of Bain’s past.
He’ll have to navigate a new landscape, punctuated by painful memories and changes he never got a chance to witness. His 77-year-old mother is now ill. His siblings have married and had children. At 54 years old, he’ll have to find a job and build a routine. “The motorcycle he was riding on back then is not the same as today. Just think about him sleeping in a [prison] bunk. Now he’ll sleep in a bed,” said longtime friend Nelson Freeman, 52.
“When I used to see Jimmy, there was nothing that I couldn’t talk to him about when we were little kids. But that was then. Now I’ll just tell him, ‘Keep your head up and be thankful for what you have left.’
Read more of Bain’s life at the link above, or do a google search.
WORRIED ABOUT HAVING YOUR LAPTOP STOLEN AT THE AIRPORT? STOP BEING A BABY: IN ISRAEL THERE IS MORE CHANCE OF YOUR LAPTOP BEING BLOWN UP AT THE AIRPORT THAN BEING STOLEN!
Israeli Police Blow Up American Student’s Laptop
PC shot at airport. Fire wall ineffective.
Israeli border police questioned an American student and blew up her laptop computer when she entered the country through Egypt.
Lily Sussman, 21, was questioned Nov. 30 for two to three hours and had all of her possessions thoroughly searched. She recorded the incident in detail on her blog.
“They had pressed every sock and scarf with a security device, ripped open soap and had me strip extra layers,” wrote Sussman, a Northeastern University student. “They asked me tons of questions—where are you going? Who do you know? Do you have a boyfriend? Is he Arab, Egyptian, Palestinian? Why do you live in Egypt? Why not Israel? What do you know about the ‘conflict’ here? What do you think? They quizzed me on Judaism, which I know nothing about.”
Sussman wrote that she heard on the loudspeaker system that Israel security was going to blow up a suspicious piece of luggage.
“I went inside to check on my bag. I had left it unattended, where they instructed. It was still there so I went back outside,” she wrote. “Moments later a man came outside and introduced himself as the manager on duty. And then, ‘I’m sorry but we had to blow up your laptop.’ “
Sussman reported that she was able to salvage her hard drive and thus several years’ worth of work. She said the security officials gave her an address where she could have her laptop replaced for free.
Responding to the story, the Israel Airports Authority said that “A check that the lady’s luggage underwent raised an indication that required security figures to act according to procedures. A police officer, who carried out the stated operation, was called to the scene.”
The authority said the Israel Police should be approached for additional information.
YOUTUBE video of interview with Lily Sussman can be found here:
Just to keep things clear, I think that anyone who leaves their laptop unattended at any airport deserves the worse! The Israeli security were only doing their job…and they were very polite about it! And they will buy her a new one!
This story is not really about the game of chess, but we can all appreciate the symbolism.
Little Walter: The Chess Masters
The harmonica is an instrument that doesn’t turn up often in jazz. When it does, the instrument typically is played in a polished, mannered style. Jazz chromatic harmonica masters include Toots Thielemans, Jerry Adler, Ron Kalina, Julian Jackson and Hendrik Meurkens. Past legends include Larry Adler and Jerry Murad. But deep down, the harmonica is most naturally a blues instrument, and no one played it quite the way Little Walter did. In the 1950s, Little Walter turned what had been a rhythm-keeper into an amplified solo instrument.
At times he made the harmonica sound like an electric guitar and at other times a full sax section. Now Hip-O Select has released Little Walter: The Complete Chess Masters (1950-1967), a box set that was just nominated for a Grammy Award. The music is stunning in every way, and the box set is an eye-opener for anyone interested in the development of American music.
Born Marion Walter Jacobs in Marksville, LA, in 1930, Jacobs was sent to stay with relatives in New Orleans at age 12 following charges of arson. Two years later he was in Chicago playing harmonica, and in 1946 he was first billed as “Little Walter–Wonder Harmonica King.” In Chicago he played behind Sonny Boy Williamson II, Sunnyland Slim and Honeyboy Edwards, and he was teamed with blues singer and guitarist Jimmy Rogers.
In 1947 Little Walter joined Chicago blues guitarist Muddy Waters and remained in his band for several years. [Pictured, from left: Elmore James, Sonnyboy Williamson II, Tommy McClennan and Little Walter circa 1953 in Chicago]
Little Walter began recording for Leonard and Phil Chess’ Aristocrat Records in 1947 behind Muddy Waters. Then in 1952, he was given a shot to record on harmonica as a leader. The result for the newly established Checker Records was Juke, a harmonica instrumental that flew to No. 1 on Billboard’s Top R&B Singles chart and remained there for six weeks.
From that point on, Walter recorded as a leader for the Chess brothers’ different labels: Checker, Chess, Cadet and Cadet Concept labels. Between 1951 and 1958, Little Walter had a total of 15 hit singles, including another No. 1 hit in 1955 with My Babe.
And that’s as close as Little Walter came to commercial success. In the years that followed, he battled constantly with alcoholism and a chronic short fuse, which led to frequent violent public fights over perceived slights. One such brutal encounter occurred on February 15, 1968 in Chicago, and the head blows he sustained aggravated previous injuries. Little Walter went to bed with a headache that night and died in his sleep.
Admittedly, I am not a huge blues fan. It’s not that I don’t like blues artists. I’m just disinterested, primarily because I spend my days listening to jazz recordings, which I find more dynamic. But Little Walter is different. Through his singing and harmonica playing, you hear how blues became r&b, which in turn led to early rock and roll. You also hear how Little Walter’s high-energy blues appealed to teens and had powerful influence on British rock musicians of the mid- and late-1960s.
In this regard, Little Walter is no traditional Delta blues artist singing about lost love or missed trains. His amplified harmonica remains instantly electrifying, he hammers away at the one and three beats, and his vocal sound is young and feverish. Little Walter was far edgier than many of his older Chicago blues contemporaries and a visionary in terms of what black and white teens wanted to hear and feel.
What’s more, Little Walter’s gloves-off style became a model for many different rock artists, some of whom recorded for the same label. In this box set’s five discs, you hear the roots of Elvis, Johnny Cash, Fats Domino, Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley. For example, listen to Who recorded in December 1955 and compare it with Elvis’ Too Much, recorded in late 1956. Bo Diddley was clearly influenced by Little Walter’s restless temperament and amplified groove after recording with him in April 1955.
You also hear Little Walter’s vocal sway in the voices and sounds of British rockers Mick Jagger, the Yardbirds, Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton and John Mayall. It’s easy to imagine a grade-school Jagger singing Can’t Hold Out Much Longer in front of a mirror.
There simply aren’t any bad tracks on this box set. Each one held my attention and had my feet moving. You can’t help but marvel at the strength and purity of Little Walter’s voice, the big yawning growl of his amplified harmonica, and the backbeats and lyrics he crafted. It’s a shame he wasn’t leveraged as a rock and roller in the 1950s the way Chess recording artists Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley were. Maybe the harmonica wasn’t as sexy as an electric guitar. Or that Little Walter didn’t have a stage gimmick. Or maybe it was just his temper.
JazzWax tracks: Little Walter: The Complete Chess Masters (1950-1967) (Hip-O Select) is a five disc set with remastered tracks and comprehensive liner notes by Tony Glover, Scott Dirks and Ward Gaines, co-authors of Blues with a Feeling: The Little Walter Story. The set is available at iTunes and at Amazon.
Leonard and Phil Chess, two Polish born immigrants, founded Chess Records the pre-eminent Blues label of the 50s and 60s.Eventually they created a monopoly of Chicago music recording, doing sessions and releasing recordings by every major blues performer from John Lee Hooker, Elmore James, “King of the Slide Guitar”, to Bo Diddley through Jimmy Reed, Chuck Berry and everyone in between.