Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Guess who's coming to dinner?

So, who's the most celebrated diner in English chess been dining with recently?

Well, that didn't take long.

Gaius Maecenas was both immensely rich and a patron of the arts (fact fans: the Spanish term for a patron of the arts is mecenas) and I've not seen any evidence that Mr Paulson meets either description, but let us not detain ourselves too much with the foolishness of Ray and turn to the foolishness of dealing with Ray instead. Supping with that particular devil is not - is it? - a sign of a particularly wise, principled or promising President.

Moreover, it's perhaps surprising that somebody who described Ray as "toxic" shortly before being elected to a post is dining with him shortly after.

Of course, we don't know exactly what Ray and Mr Paulson talked about. So it is, one supposes, possible that Mr Paulson did his research beforehand and - having ascertained the reasons why Ray is not a member of Mr Paulson's organisation -

spoke to Ray along the lines that as he was responsible for the subs of Federation members, he and they would very much appreciate hearing
  • when Ray proposed to repay the money
  • when Ray proposed to provide a written explanation and apology.
Possibly Mr Paulson went on to say that until the many serious questions about Ray's business methods were answered, not least the current scandal, then Ray was not, unfortunately, a gentleman with whom the ECF could be expected to work.

We can, one assumes, be confident that something along those lines occurred since we know from Mr Paulson's election address that operating ethically is important to him. Indeed, he wants the ECF to represent nothing less than a "moral vanguard".

Which rather rules out any connection with Ray Keene. Doesn't it, Mr Paulson?

- - - - -

UPDATE: thanks to Richard James for sending us this apt clue from today's Guardian crossword.

[Thanks to Pablo Byrne]
[The Penguin Files]
[Andrew Paulson index]
[Ray Keene index]


Anonymous said...

Is it thought there will be a repeat of the CJ/RDK organised dinner at Simpsons under an AP presidency?

Rereading the 2010 ecforum thread shows a lot of compliments to CJ for organising it and getting Karpov and Kasparov to attend.


Jonathan Rogers said...

Oh come on, AP is not going to hold a dinner for anyone opposing Kirsan, and no one, including AP, will hold a dinner FOR Kirsan. Forget this line. There must be other things of mutual interest.

This friendship/alliance isn't really news, in the way it was with CJ-RDK. People already knew of the AP-RDK connection when AP was elected (indeed the Grand prize event that AGON held was at Simpsons). AP even spoke in his statement about wanting to bring back "estranged actors" into English chess. Not that he was specific about what he had in mind of course (not about that nor much else). There still lies the mystery.

ejh said...

"There are no friendships in politics, only convenient alliances."

Jonathan B said...

There was certainly a view - don't know if it was held by many, but I know for sure that it existed - any potential involvement between AP and RDK was a matter of concern. There was also a sense of reassurance that this appeared to have been ruled out by AP himself.

I disagree, therefore, that a friendship/alliance between the two isn't news.

Jonathan Rogers said...

AP never gave any such assurance. The passage which Justin links to is nothing - AP is only referring to others viewing Ray as toxic. If anyone misread that passage as any kind of reassurance, then ... well, I don't know what, but you just can't reason with some people!

David R said...

As I understand things, a Maecenas is (a rich) someone who puts up his cash to support the Arts etc. RDK used the term fairly on earlier occasions to describe the Dutch bloke who stumped up for the annual Anglo-Dutch matches at Simpsons.

But using the term to describe Paulson is surely premature at best, and arguably wishful thinking, since I'm not aware that Paulson has yet used any of his own cash to fund chess, nor said that he will.

RDK is well-known to be attracted by the rattle of loose change, never mind the rustle of anything more substantial. But if each is playing on the other's fantasies and aspirations, an AP-RDK table-for-two may not yet guarantee happiness hereafter

ejh said...

AP is only referring to others viewing Ray as toxic

Well yes, but where "others" means his constituency.

Jonathan B said...

AP never gave any such assurance. The passage which Justin links to is nothing

I'm not referring to anything AP said on the EC Forum