There was a funny story published on the Ginger GM website a week or so ago. Simon Williams related how he had been contacted by a chess playing Simon Williams from the Midlands who'd just received a cheque from the ECF as payment for 'his' work as one of the coaches at the World Junior Championships in Greece.
Well mistakes happen, don't they? One shouldn't necessarily assume from this one piece of intelligence that the ECF would in any way struggle to organise a piss up in a brewery, nor that a sentence including the words "farts", "trances" and "in" would be appropriate hereabouts. Except that Simon Williams - the Grandmaster Simon Williams who'd actually been to Greece - had previously contacted the ECF to confirm his present address. Twice. Less than a fortnight before the cheque was sent out.
But, as Jimmy Cricket used to say, there's more. It seems that Simon Williams - the Brummie one - has spent much of his chess career fending off the advances of folk who are labouring under the delusion that he is a professional chess player and not the 166 he claims to be.
Meanwhile, adding insult to injury, last year the ECF published a photograph on their website relating to a story about the much stronger Simon Williams, but the picture wasn't of him: it was the second best carrot-topped chesser in the country, Adam Hunt. Well, these gingers all look a like don't they? It's easy to understand how the ECF got confused. Quite why it took them two weeks to correct matters once they'd been notified of their error, though, is perhaps a little harder to understand (that said, the lackadaisical attitude to website maintenance does go some way to explaining their decision to give the 2010 Website of the Year award to a site that goes months at a stretch between updates).
Enough of this nit-picking. Let's try to stay positive. It could have been worse after all. At least the ECF didn't put up a photograph of Ron Weasley.
the actual scene can be viewed here