One minor character in this particular play has been CJ de Mooi, one-time President of the English Chess Federation, who, it will be remembered, by chess players at least, invited Ray to open the 2011 British Championships. This was strange for a number of reasons, not least that Ray has not been a member of the English Chess Federation for about twenty years. Not since the financial shenanigans that involved him claiming and receiving a substantial sum of money for duties he had not apparently performed.
Opening ceremony 2013: no sign of Ray
CJ, for his part, was no stranger to financial shenanigans, distinguishing himself at those same 2011 Championships by distributing thousands of pounds in cash without invoices, receipts, signatures or any other kind of record to show for it. He subsequently disappeared from active chess life, though not before persuading the ECF to pass him another wedge of money to send him to the 2012 Olympiad in Istanbul, on arriving at which event he resigned his post without having performed the duties for which he had received his money. He proceeded to enjoy a holiday and - no doubt - a good laugh at our literal expense.
Anyway, CJ was (and is) a small part of Ray's mutual backscratching network. Here's part of Ray's Times column for 4 June 2011, which otherwise annotates the game Spassky-Bronstein, Leningrad 1960, from the 37th USSR Championship.
Now had I but world enough and time, on top of ploughing through Ray's many plagiarisms and his extraordinary number of recycled columns, to look at a third dubious aspect of his Times journalism, I might write about his use of his column and his Twitter account to plug his friends and business associates. (One notes, for instance, his several dozen mentions of Julian Simpole.) But for now, we'll just observe with regret that Ray's support was insufficient to raise the profile of The Renata Road, beautifully crafted as it may have been, to a film you have actually heard of.
In more important "actually" news, the column for 4 June 2011 was one in which Ray actually mentioned the source from which his notes were taken.
Yes indeed! Ray does in fact do this from time to time, perhaps once for every seven or eight times that he does not. He does it here. There's no mistaking it. That's a mention for My Great Predecessors, which he has so often plagiarised. Here, he speaks its normally absent name.
So what, then, is it doing in this piece, appearing as it does in the Predecessors series and the Plagiarism Index?
The answer is that the notes from My Great Predecessors have been plagiarised all right. They've been plagiarised by Ray Keene all right.
Not in the Times, but in the Spectator. Twice.
Let's take a look.