Hello. I don't think we've ever met, although we spoke briefly on the phone in July. Anyway, I'm a member of the English Chess Federation, of which organisation you were President until last Saturday's election. I didn't have a vote in that election (some people had lots of votes, but we'll get on to that another time) so in the absence of a vote I'll offer you an apology instead.
I'd like to apologise to you for the ludicrous decision of our organisation to vote for your opponent, one of the worst electoral decisions I can recall.
It's not as if you'd done anything wrong in the first place: I've heard no complaints. There was no case for getting rid of you and the case you made for staying was eminently sensible and level-headed. It's hard enough to understand why anybody should have been standing against you: almost impossible to understand how you actually lost.
It's almost beyond impossible to understand how you lost to a ludicrous candidate whose connection to English chess does not extend to ever having played a competitive game of chess in England. Still less this particular one, given that he's one who rarely makes a claim that stands up to any scrutiny.
Our electorate, Roger, had a choice between trustworthiness and untrustworthiness. They chose untrustworthiness by a margin of three to two.
But don't blame yourself, Roger. It's not quite impossible to understand. The thing is, they knew this. They voted for untrustworthiness. They voted for it because that was what they wanted.
For years, much of English chess has wanted nothing more than some fantasy-figure, a Mystery Man With Money - or the claim of money - on whom they can project their own fantasies of English chess transformed. It doesn't matter what the Mystery Man actually says. It doesn't matter what he's said in the past, or what he says now, or whether what he says changes every time he says it. It doesn't matter if he actually believes it or if they actually believe it. They're voting for what they want to believe, and what chance has the sensible and thoughtful against that?
In the general run of things two out of three people don't really care what's true and what isn't - and chessplayers are no exception. So don't blame yourself, Roger. You never had a chance. Friedrich Schiller could have told you that.
Anyway, I, for one, appreciated a year without a clown in charge. Not so much fun, for sure. Nothing to blog about. But now we're cursed to live in interesting times again.
I'm sorry about that.