Thursday, September 15, 2005

Spam Spam Chess and Spam

After murderers, sex offenders, child abusers and the Kennedy's (oh wait, I've already mentioned murderers and sex offenders), are there really any lower forms of life than spammers?

Well, chess friends, I am sorry to say that I have found one that is a USCF Master. Worse yet, he's a local!

America Online Inc. won a $13 million judgment yesterday against a prominent spam gang in its first case filed under a law allowing seizure of spammers' assets....

One spammer, Braden M. Bournival, a 20-year-old chess champion from New Hampshire, cooperated with AOL in the investigation and agreed to surrender gold, cash and a 2003 Hummer H2 to the company....

The Internet provider said it will give property confiscated from Bournival to its subscribers -- the Hummer, which once bore a vanity tag reading "CASHOLA," $75,000 in cash and $20,000 in gold.

I looked up Bournival's tournament history to determine what basis they had for calling him a "chess champion." The most I could find is that he tied for first with GM Alexander Ivanov at this year's New Hampshire Open. I also looked to see whether he has ever played at the BCC. I couldn't find any evidence that he had, but he has played at Newburyport, MetroWest and Waltham, as well as major local tournaments like the Eastern Class, Pillsbury and Massachusetts Open.

On a tangentially related note, those of you using Blogger have a new tool at your disposal to combat comment spam. Check out word verification.

Update: Apparently Dennis M. is dealing with an entirely different type of comment spam.

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