Playing Chess Leads To Murder And Pedophilia?

Murder. Perversion. Just another day in the seedy underworld of…chess? It’s a thinking man’s game, but apparently doesn’t do a whole lot for the part of the brain that governs common sense.


photo by William H. Cook

In Iowa City, Iowa, two neighbors sat down for a friendly game early Sunday morning. Somehow, within a couple of hours, one of them was dead — the victim of a murder allegedly perpetrated by the other as a result of an argument stemming from the outcome. Not to be outdone, a chess coach in Evanston, Illinois (Go ‘Cats) reportedly has been taking pictures of his students (who are grade-school kids) and sending them to a prison inmate, accompanied by “graphic” letters.

These two guys are totally zugzwanged. Lunacy after the jump.

The DES MOINES REGISTER says that David Christian has been charged with second-degree murder and public intoxication for his role in the death of Michael Steward. Well, at least he was drunk. That’ll tack on three days to his 90-year prison sentence.

Iowa City police Sgt. Denise Brotherton says preliminary results from an autopsy are expected back this week. Brotherton says it’s unknown what injuries Steward suffered in the fight or what caused his death.

Meanwhile, WBBM 780 has the the details about the as-yet-unidentified coach (he hasn’t been charged yet) in Evanston, whose photos were not explicit, but were accompanied by “disturbing” material:

The children’s coach allegedly sent pictures of the chess team to an out-of-state prison inmate. Both of Linehan’s children have been on the chess team.

“It doesn’t seem like anything happened besides pictures being sent and certain words being written on the pictures,” Linehan said.

One parent said the photos were sent with graphic letters. The prison contacted Evanston police. Officers then called the school. Police have had a meeting with the parents of the children who were in the photos.

The exact content of the unsettling content hasn’t been revealed, but police are investigating whether or not an actual crime has been committed. Either way, dude isn’t allowed at the school anymore. He also had been teaching chess at the local public library, but that engagement looks like it’s coming to an end as well.

It’s too bad, because all of this is taking away from the world chess championship, which is currently going on in Bonn (which you certainly know about). I can’t wait for today’s pivotal fifth match between Viswanathan Anand and Vladimir Kramnik, which is being televised live on The Ocho.

Anand is up right now, and I don’t think he wants this thing going seven. Saturday’s Match 4 was a snoozefest, according to the AP:

Anand had the white pieces and the opening was the solid Queen’s Gambit Declined. As often happens in this opening, Black wound up with an isolated d-pawn and White had only the slightest chance of an advantage.

I was going to try and make some sort of joke here, but I have no idea what any of that means.

I do know that the match was made all the more insufferable by Chip Caray’s obnoxious declarations of Kramnik’s supremacy and his repeated misidentification of the opening as the Sicilian Defense. Luckily, Joe Buck will be taking over for Match 6, and will fit right in since he calls every other sport with the same enthusiasm as your average chess match.