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<| The Olive 13 October 2000  

Area Chessmaster Foozled

      MEADVILLE, PA--Robert Griffin, an network engineer for well-respected CSOnline, was completely misled yesterday in a game of online chess.

 
Above: Shot taken minutes after Griffin left his cubicle in anger after being tricked in an online chess sting.

"I really don't understand what happened," says Griffin, 19, sitting at his workstation. "I thought I was playing a friend of mine in Kentucky but, being on the Internet, you never really know."

According to Griffin, as he surfed shockwave.com to see some hip Flash animations, he came across a online chess game. "I thought it would be a fun thing to try out," admits Griffin. After filling out the prerequisite form, the site sent an Invitation email to Griffin's friend in Kentucky, Tre Pryor.

"You know, at first I was psyched about playing Bob in chess, but then, I was like, uh, I'm terrible at chess," says the Web developer. Pryor, 34, father of two and husband to Jennie, then proceeded to enlist the services of his younger brother Andrew Pryor. "I figured Andrew could probably beat Bob and then I could tease him about it later," claims Pryor. "I didn't think the press would find out about my deception so quickly."

The both locals newspapers, The Meadville Tribune and the Louisville Courier-Journal both ran small spots in their October 12 issues covering the deception, further enhancing peoples perceptions of the Internet as a "dangerous playground."

"I feel betrayed... I feel cheated," says Griffin. "That's the last time I trust Tre, he basically lied to me."

Pryor admits, "I know it wasn't the 'right' thing to do but heck, it's only a game and I was going to tell Wax the next day. (Editor: Wax is a online alias that Bob uses while using the Internet.) What I want to know is how the press found out?!?"

Griffin plans to continue to utilize the Internet for work purposes but confirms that next time, he might just watch TV like everyone else.

Maurine Boyd, an employee at CSOnline had this to say. "Robert didn't seem like himself after he heard about it in the paper. He took like an hour and a half lunch break and that's not like him. He usually works right through lunch."

Andrew Pryor, the co-conspirator, felt little remorse.

"The Queen to E2 was the obvious move. The knight hanging out there at B4 was just to tease him. Well, Bob got a little greedy so he got busted. Simple is that." Andrew Pryor expressed at a news conference in Louisville this morning. In an exasperated voice he added, "If people are going to get upset about every little thing, then what's the point? I'm going fishing." Pryor was later seen loading up on giggers at the Good Ole Boys Tackle and Bait Emporium.

It's unsure as to whether an legal action will be taken on the part of Griffin, but his lawyer has advised him to keep his options open.

"We don't want to burn any bridges at this time," says Marty Felster, Griffin's legal counsel.

It's unclear if this kind of manipulation is a frequent occurance in online chess. We made repeated attempts to locate another online chess player, but none were willing to comment on the record.


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