"Rejoice, for issue number 40 of Kingpin is out ...."
Or so said my friend and fellow blogger EJH a couple of Fridays ago, although not that out as it transpired. In the week that followed I visited both branches of Chess and Bridge only to find that they were yet to receive any supplies from the publisher. Fortunately when I went back to Baker Street this Tuesday I finally got my mitts on a copy. I had a good read, enjoyed it immensely, then got on with my life.
Imagine my surprise when I discovered that we had been sent an open letter from Ida Eddis Foster concerning that self-same 40th edition of Kingpin. "Dear Chess World" Eddis Foster begins, displaying a touching, if deeply erroneous, faith in the proportion of the planet's chessers who are wont to drop by our humble blog. S/he continues ... well, why don't I just show you the letter (with the disclaimer that the views expressed below are Mr./Ms. Eddis Foster's and not necessarily our own):-
Dear Chess World,
Shocked is scarcely the word for my reaction to issue 40 of Kingpin magazine. Reading the detailed article about Ray Keene, "Machiavelli on Ice", anyone would conclude that such a man merits no place at all in the chess world.
It was bad enough when the previous issue uncharitably put Ray's writing under the spotlight for 15 pages, together with some dark hints about his financial dealings. There should be a law against such things.
And now 13 more pages about what supposedly happened to investors' millions, and another unseemly charge of plagiarism, as if anybody cared. The heading contains a word not even in my dictionary, "Grandfraudster", and I regard this shambles with total disgust. Nobody's interested in such exposés, however much "documentary evidence" Kingpin finds to put on its website http://www.kingpinchess.net/category/penguin-files/.
Enough is enough, and ideally Kingpin should be banned (or burned - or both). Failing that, I urge Ray's supporters, as well as all right-thinking chess-lovers, to:
1) Tell the Editor of Kingpin what he can do with copies of his magazine. The address is: firstname.lastname@example.org.
2) Write to the Editors of The Times and The Spectator, expressing dismay at the precise accusations against their chess correspondent and telling them they look ridiculous.
3) Send congratulatory messages to the British Chess Magazine and CHESS for steadfastly defending Ray's interests, by omission and/or commission.
4) Persuade leading officials of the English Chess Federation to make Ray the Finance Director, with unfettered powers.
5) Swamp chessgames.com with messages summarizing the attacks on him, so that Ray can respond at a safe site where, mercifully, there are still people who look up to him.
Please act now because Ray really needs help.
Ida Eddis Foster
2 December 2009
We thank Mr./Ms. Eddis Foster for his/her letter and take the liberty of providing some links that may prove useful to our readers.
CHESS (via the Chess & Bridge shop)
English Chess Federation