Friday, October 18, 2013

Plus ça change

One knows from experience that any campaign involving Garry Kasparov will be accompanied by a quantity of nonsense in the media, and where better place to start than your favourite chess columnist and mine, who wrote about it in his Spectator column for 12 October.

Skipping over the alien-abduction business (though if I were a climate change sceptic I'd be a little more careful about drawing attention to other people's ludicrous beliefs) we are presented with this account of Ray's ill-starred 1986 campaign for world domination:

That's not the entire story: it leaves out, for instance, the ending. To refresh our memories, let us dig out Ex Acton Ad Astra:
Keene was a gifted pragmatist and well versed in the darker political arts, but he had hooked up with an even more adept practitioner. The world champion was vital to the Lucena/Keene campaign's hopes of swaying the third-world vote, but at the very last minute Kasparov informed them that they no longer had his support. By implication Kasparov was saying that he was prepared to let Campomanes win, even though he had spent nearly two years since the termination of the 84–85 match condemning Campomanes at every opportunity.

Keene and his supporters did not understand Kasparov’s motive at the time, but with hindsight it appeared that he wanted Campomanes in situ to increase support for the breakaway Grand Masters' Association, which would be launched the following year. In his public utterances Keene kept quiet about Kasparov's role in his campaign’s debacle, choosing instead to blame Lucena and others. With large royalties in the offing from a second edition of BCO, Kasparov’s treachery had to be accepted.
Treachery eh? Well, one thing to be said about backstabbers is that they do at least understand one another, so in 1993 Garry and Ray were working together again like nothing had happened. As they were again in 2000. But never, one notices, for very long.

They're still close, though. Matter of fact they're so close you can barely tell them apart.

[Thanks to Pablo Byrne]
[Ray Keene index]


ejh said...

By the way, does anybody recall the subject of the "wheelings and dealings" referred to in 1245 here?

Anonymous said...

Issues 643, 644 and 645 of Private Eye were in August 1986. The Korchnoi book perhaps, unless it's a reference to the 1984 termination. It's too early for the seconds affair to have become public, or for that matter the overspend on the London KvK match of that year. The PCA and BrainGames were far into the future.


John Cox said...

Good Lord. That climate change link is surreal. Is RDK really reduced to making friends with anonymous loons talking about politics in the comments section of!

What's the back story of all these Hardinge & Simpole -v- Winter games, then?

And doesn't your Acton link rather make my point that it's been common knowledge for years that Ray simply copies every word he writes in the Times? Not that chronicling it as you are isn't valuable.

ejh said...

And doesn't your Acton link rather make my point that it's been common knowledge for years that Ray simply copies every word he writes in the Times?

I think it's been known for a long time that he's been known to engage in the habit. As I've said before, it's the sheer scope that I think has previously escaped attention.