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In Passing

In Passing
Fred Snitzer Print E-mail
By Phillip R Smith   
November 21, 2012

Fred Snitzer (1929-2012)

Fred Snitzer passed away unexpectedly on October 26, 2012 in Brooklyn, New York at the age of 83 after a brief illness.

Fred was self employed as an investment counselor. He was a USCF rated expert and played regularly at all the standard chess hangouts of New York including the Marshall Chess Club, Washington Square Park, and the chess shops in Greenwich Village.

He was a long time member of the Kingsmen Chess Club which met for many years at the Brooklyn War Memorial Youth Center. He played in the National Chess League, the Commercial Chess League, the Banker’s League, and the Metropolitan Chess League. He also played in the parks, the clubs, the diners, the buses, the senior citizens center and in department stores. In fact he played anywhere a horizontal surface could be found. He had hundreds of friends in the chess world, most of them known only by a first name or a nickname. That’s the chess world.

Fred was an endgame specialist, and his idea of a good time was to trade off the queens early and head straight for an ending. Although he never achieved Master rank, he did, have his 15 minutes of fame. In the mid-60’s he played a marvelous game against Bobby Fischer in a simultaneous, in which he earned a draw with the future world champion. The game was published in the New York Times.

Fred loved justice. He gave enthusiastically of his time and money for charitable causes. He worked in a soup kitchen in lower Manhattan. He gave a substantial portion of his earnings to Doctors Without Borders and various chess programs for kids. Fred also loved justice in the business world. He had a particular bug up his craw for large corporations who tried to ignore the little guy. He must have had a dozen lawsuits over his career against the United States Government, the bank, the IRS, the phone company, the stock brokerage, etc. Anyone who knew Fred knew his mantra. I will get justice, and I will not go away. He wasn’t greedy; he didn’t want or need top dollar. He just wanted the jerks up there in corporate headquarters to acknowledge the injury to the little guy. The message on his telephone answering machine was typical Fred. “You have reached 875-4747. If you wish to pay a bill, someone will call you back right away. If you are calling to collect a bill, no one will call you back.”

Well, Fred is in the next world now, as Someone has called him to collect a bill. No doubt, he will be able to pay that bill, with all the mitzvahs he did in this world. This world is a better place because of you.

Obituary submitted by Michael Bast.

Fred Snitzer may you rest in peace.