[English grandmaster Geoff Scorebook writes a regular column for the Streatham and Brixton blog. Geoff is well-known as a hardworking professional and a regular on the European club and tournament circuit.]
I would like to clear up some of the misapprehensions and rumours which have been put about concerning my non-appearance in the final round at Hastings yesterday with the result that I was defaulted and finished just out of the prizes.
It is not true, for instance, that I made a bet to the effect that I could drink more whiskies than Simon Williams had played moves against Nicholas Pert in the penultimate round. The wager merely concerned Xmas novelty chocolates with different whisky fillings. Nor did I manage all but one and then say "Dylan Thomas only managed seventeen and that was the last thing he did". In fact I managed twenty-three of them and as the box contained twenty-four I was able to leave one and still win the bet.
I did not claim that I could stay up "until two or three" without it affecting my chances in the final round. In fact I said I could stay "for another two or three" which was precisely my intention at the point when I said it.
I did not leave my hat, scarf, coat, laptop, mobile phone or my copy of the Daily Star in the pub, as I have seen variously reported. In fact, to the best of my knowledge I only forgot the keys to my guest house and I have not read the newspapers since the incident with the photographer, the house in Streatham and the subsequent coverage of my divorce.
I did not attempt to break into the room of the WFM who was staying in the same guest house as me. I admit I waved to her as I passed her window while attempting to gain access to my own room via the guttering, but having made eye contact it would have been impolite to do otherwise.
I did not assault a police officer after falling to the ground when waving politely caused me to lose my grip on the guttering. I accept that I made physical contact with the officer but only because he was standing directly beneath me at the moment when I fell. Had I not been startled by the light of his torch and his comment to his colleague that it was either a pervert or one of those weirdoes from the chess tournament, I might have maintained my grip even with only one hand.
I did not spend the night in the cells and find myself remanded in custody while the final round was being played. In fact, while it is true that I was technically under arrest, I was in the care of the Conquest Hospital who were attending to my broken foot and the minor injuries suffered by the colleague of the arresting officer. It may be true that I shouted "you can't keep me here, I'm a genius!" while in the police station but this was after an operation performed under anaesthetic and I cannot bear full responsibility for my actions in those conditions.
I hope this will put a stop to the cascade of falsehoods and exaggerations which have followed on from this regrettable sequence of events.
Who'd be a grandmaster?