Pestaño: More gory crimes by chess players

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Thursday, January 16, 2014


WHOEVER said chess is a harmless sport is talking through his nose.

In my article last week I narrated an incident in China where a man murdered his best friend and then killed himself so they could play chess in the afterlife.

Another gruesome case happened this week in Dublin, Ireland. Tom O’Gorman, 39, was found dead with a badly mutilated body in a pool of blood last Tuesday.

A post-mortem examination on the body of O’Gorman discovered that one of the victim’s lungs had been removed in the horrific attack.

Originally from Palermo in Sicily, the suspect, Saverio Bellante, 34, has been living in Ireland for the past two-and-a-half years working for a pharmaceutical company in Dublin. He is renting a room in the victim’s house.

He admitted the killing after an argument over a chess game and in his anger, bit his heart.

The suspect, who was arrested at the scene, told the police that O’Gorman asked him to leave the house following an argument over a chess move and he agreed to do so.

However, O’Gorman was then attacked and stabbed with a kitchen knife a number of times but managed to fight off .He was then beaten several times over the head with a dumbbell.

There were a number of stab wounds to the body and blunt-force trauma to the head. The chest cavity had been opened with a knife.

A source said: “The victim’s heart was intact but the post mortem confirms that a lung was removed from the body and has not been located.”

Police have said some of the details of O’Gorman’s death and the circumstances of the arrest of Mr Bellante are too horrific to release.
Detective Patrick Traynor told the court that when charged and cautioned last Tuesday, the defendant replied: “I am guilty.”

Here are some specific examples of violence related to chess posted in chess.com, my favorite website.

In January 1979, Patrick McKenna, a prisoner in Nevada, strangled his Las Vegas cellmate, Jack J. Nobles, after an argument over a chess game. McKenna has been on death row in Nevada since 1979.

In 1989, a Russian scientist killed another colleague with an axe after losing a chess game at the Vostok Research Station in the Antarctic. Russia has since then banned chess from being played in their research station.

In 1994, Martin Wirth of Fort Collins, Colorado, shot to death Vernie Cox after the two argued over a chess game. Cox died of two gunshot wounds to the chest.

Witnesses said that Wirth had lost a chess game with Cox, knocked over the chess board and some furniture, then began to argue with his opponent.

Wirth then went across the street to his home and returned with a gun and shot Cox to death.

In 2001, Christopher Newton murdered his cellmate, Jason Brewer, over a game of chess in an Ohio prison.

In 2003, Simon Andrews of Falls Township, Pennsylvania, stabbed to death Jerry Kowalski during a chess game

In January 2008, Zachary Lucov was playing chess with Dennis Klien in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, when a scuffle broke out. Luco pulled out a gun and Klein was shot in the elbow. Lucov was arrested for aggravated assault and reckless endangerment.

There are many other incidents of chess violence.

Wesley So. After the third round, Wesley is tied for the lead with Levon Aronian of Armenia, Hikaru Nakamura of the US, Fabiano Caruana of Italy, Pentala Harikrishna of India and Anish Giri of the Netherlands with two points apiece.

Wesley won against Richard Rapport and drew his two games against Nakamura and Arkadi Naidistch.

Rated 2719, he has a performance rating so far in this tournament with 2858 and has improved to no.20 in the world live ratings at 2734.

(boypestano@gmail.com,www.chessmoso.blogspot.com)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 17, 2014.

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