Yesterday's Independent treated us to one of those hastily-cobbled-together list items in which a couple of the less senior hacks in the office are obliged to compile a list of the all-time most significant happenings in any given sphere suggested by a given news story. The Ten Most Ridiculous Celebrity Funerals, perhaps, or Top Twenty Latin American Coups, compiled with the expert knowledge of the journalists, or more likely their expert knowledge of how to search the internet.
One day I might do the Top Ten Inaccurate Newspaper Stories About Chess, assuming I can whittle it down to ten rather than settle for, say, a hundred: yesterday's piece is at least a candidate for the longlist. Simon Rice and Jimmy Leach offer us The Worst Losers in Sport: beginning (perhaps unfairly) with Ricky Ponting and eventually arriving at number thirteen, who turns out to be Bobby Fischer.
The piece on Fischer reads, in full:
During a chess match between Spassky and Fischer in 1971, Bobby Fischer refused to allow any of the spectators to eat fruit yoghurt in the auditorium because he suspected secret messages were being transmitted to Boris through which flavours they were eating!Since we're making lists: readers are invited to do precisely that and list every mistake which the piece contains. Because I think it may include more errors of fact per word than any other passage about chess I've ever read. Where did they get it from?
[Thanks to Angus for this]