Media comments on chess

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JustinHorton
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Re: Media comments on chess

Post by JustinHorton » Sat Feb 29, 2020 6:19 am

Ian Rogers wrote:
Sat Feb 29, 2020 2:18 am
JustinHorton wrote:
Fri Feb 28, 2020 3:39 pm
Kevin Thurlow wrote:
Fri Feb 28, 2020 1:51 pm
Ah, I'd forgotten that. I don't think the idea of Korchnoi being a target if he'd won is totally ridiculous. Those Kremlin boys don't mess about if they're unhappy.
Well as far as I'm aware there's an absolute absence of any evidence for any such thing involving Korchnoi, and that kind of dominates my thinking on the matter.
I am not sure if this would count as firm evidence, but Korchnoi said to me that he had discovered in his KGB file (which he said bought for $400 soon after the USSR collapsed)
Well it would count as firm evidence if he had actually produced anything from this file that he apparently bought.
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Ian Rogers
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Re: Media comments on chess

Post by Ian Rogers » Sat Feb 29, 2020 12:50 pm

JustinHorton wrote:
Sat Feb 29, 2020 6:19 am
Ian Rogers wrote:
Sat Feb 29, 2020 2:18 am
JustinHorton wrote:
Fri Feb 28, 2020 3:39 pm


Well as far as I'm aware there's an absolute absence of any evidence for any such thing involving Korchnoi, and that kind of dominates my thinking on the matter.
I am not sure if this would count as firm evidence, but Korchnoi said to me that he had discovered in his KGB file (which he said bought for $400 soon after the USSR collapsed)
Well it would count as firm evidence if he had actually produced anything from this file that he apparently bought.
What exactly would you be looking for? Korchnoi didn't make this claim before 1991, but nor did he make a big deal of it after then. It was his life in the files and as far as I know he never planned to write a second autobiography. So you have his word and that is probably all you are going to have to rely on. So, given the USSR's record of foreign assassinations after WWII, I regard his statements as more likely than not. Anyone is free to disagree, of course.

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JustinHorton
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Re: Media comments on chess

Post by JustinHorton » Sat Feb 29, 2020 1:15 pm

Ian Rogers wrote:
Sat Feb 29, 2020 12:50 pm
JustinHorton wrote:
Sat Feb 29, 2020 6:19 am
Ian Rogers wrote:
Sat Feb 29, 2020 2:18 am


I am not sure if this would count as firm evidence, but Korchnoi said to me that he had discovered in his KGB file (which he said bought for $400 soon after the USSR collapsed)
Well it would count as firm evidence if he had actually produced anything from this file that he apparently bought.
What exactly would you be looking for?
He said it was in the file, yes? Did he show you this, or show anybidy else? Did he quote from it?
"Do you play chess?"
"Yes, but I prefer a game with a better chance of cheating."

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Ian Rogers
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Re: Media comments on chess

Post by Ian Rogers » Sun Mar 01, 2020 1:34 am

JustinHorton wrote:
Sat Feb 29, 2020 1:15 pm
Ian Rogers wrote:
Sat Feb 29, 2020 12:50 pm
JustinHorton wrote:
Sat Feb 29, 2020 6:19 am


Well it would count as firm evidence if he had actually produced anything from this file that he apparently bought.
What exactly would you be looking for?
He said it was in the file, yes? Did he show you this, or show anybody else? Did he quote from it?
Friends you meet and spend time with at tournaments don't normally carry around paper files, nor quote from files left at home. They normally don't lie either. Especially not when expressing the rather unexpected (to me) view that retrospectively he was now glad that he didn't win the final game of his 1978 match against Karpov, a loss which had been a source of regret for so long.

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JustinHorton
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Re: Media comments on chess

Post by JustinHorton » Sun Mar 01, 2020 5:39 am

Ian Rogers wrote:
Sun Mar 01, 2020 1:34 am
JustinHorton wrote:
Sat Feb 29, 2020 1:15 pm
Ian Rogers wrote:
Sat Feb 29, 2020 12:50 pm

What exactly would you be looking for?
He said it was in the file, yes? Did he show you this, or show anybody else? Did he quote from it?
Friends you meet and spend time with at tournaments don't normally carry around paper files, nor quote from files left at home. They normally don't lie either.
Right Ian but from the point of view of literally the rest of the world, what we have here is a claim entirely unsupported by any kind of evidence, despite the claim that the evidence exists in writing, which Korchnoi had two decades to produce but remarkably never did so, and unsupported by any witness or docunnntary evidence ever found or produced by anybody else ever.

Really, what historian would take this seriously for a minute?
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"Yes, but I prefer a game with a better chance of cheating."

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Roland Kensdale
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Re: Media comments on chess

Post by Roland Kensdale » Sun Mar 01, 2020 5:12 pm

Reply to John Upham's post:

John Upham » Wed Feb 26, 2020 12:22 pm
Which programme broadcast by Thames Television on November 4th 1970 makes reference to the game

Hartston - Gligoric, Hastings 1966 ?

This was the programme mentioned in Mark Hannon's post:
Episode on Talking Pictures TV channel 81 on Freeview

Mon 24 Feb 20
21:00
Special Branch
Fool's Mate. 1970

Det. Inspector Jordan says he knows nothing about Chess but starts recounting events from recent Chess history.
A thin plot but a cast of famous faces from British TV of the 1970's. Chess scenes included positions which could have been interesting if the film had paused for a second or two longer.

Ian Rogers
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Re: Media comments on chess

Post by Ian Rogers » Sun Mar 01, 2020 11:36 pm

JustinHorton wrote:
Sun Mar 01, 2020 5:39 am
Ian Rogers wrote:
Sun Mar 01, 2020 1:34 am
JustinHorton wrote:
Sat Feb 29, 2020 1:15 pm


He said it was in the file, yes? Did he show you this, or show anybody else? Did he quote from it?
Friends you meet and spend time with at tournaments don't normally carry around paper files, nor quote from files left at home. They normally don't lie either.
Right Ian but from the point of view of literally the rest of the world, what we have here is a claim entirely unsupported by any kind of evidence, despite the claim that the evidence exists in writing, which Korchnoi had two decades to produce but remarkably never did so, and unsupported by any witness or documentary evidence ever found or produced by anybody else ever.

Really, what historian would take this seriously for a minute?
You seem to be arguing that Korchnoi should have kept historians happy, rather than just living his life. I would just say that, given what I was told and the multiple external assassinations in the USSR period, a threat to Korchnoi's life had he won in the Philippines is more likely than not. You, however, simply dismissed the possibility earlier in the thread. You are entitled to be sceptical but on the available evidence to reject the idea out of hand is not justified.

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JustinHorton
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Re: Media comments on chess

Post by JustinHorton » Mon Mar 02, 2020 6:13 am

Ian Rogers wrote:
Sun Mar 01, 2020 11:36 pm
JustinHorton wrote:
Sun Mar 01, 2020 5:39 am
Ian Rogers wrote:
Sun Mar 01, 2020 1:34 am


Friends you meet and spend time with at tournaments don't normally carry around paper files, nor quote from files left at home. They normally don't lie either.
Right Ian but from the point of view of literally the rest of the world, what we have here is a claim entirely unsupported by any kind of evidence, despite the claim that the evidence exists in writing, which Korchnoi had two decades to produce but remarkably never did so, and unsupported by any witness or documentary evidence ever found or produced by anybody else ever.

Really, what historian would take this seriously for a minute?
You seem to be arguing that Korchnoi should have kept historians happy, rather than just living his life
Well i don't "seem" anything, I'm explicitly saying that a claim without evidence is of no value, and that a claim to have documentation that is never sctually produced is worse.
Ian Rogers wrote:
Sun Mar 01, 2020 11:36 pm
on the available evidence to reject the idea out of hand is not justified.
There is no "available evidence". There is literally nothing we could consider as such.
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Ian Rogers
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Re: Media comments on chess

Post by Ian Rogers » Mon Mar 02, 2020 8:08 am

I'm explicitly saying that a claim without evidence is of no value.
There is evidence; it is just you who won't accept it unless it is in written form. Do you have a problem with oral history generally?

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JustinHorton
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Re: Media comments on chess

Post by JustinHorton » Mon Mar 02, 2020 9:18 am

Yes of course, where it's uncorroborated by any other source, and all the more so where there would be every reason to expect corroboration if there were any reason to believe it.

(I also don't think that "X once said to me" constitutes what we normally think of as "oral history" by any normal standards.)
Last edited by JustinHorton on Mon Mar 02, 2020 9:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
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JustinHorton
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Re: Media comments on chess

Post by JustinHorton » Mon Mar 02, 2020 9:35 am

It's not just that we don't have Korchnoi's documents, though to be blunt about this, if somebody says "I have a document that says such-and-such", but the document itself never surfaces, then the only proper assumptions the historian can make are that either the document doesn't exist or that it doesn't say what it's claimed to say.

This might change in the light of any proper evidence from any other source, but is there anything actually documented anywhere? This would be a proposal to assassinate a then world-famous individual, with all kinds of potential consequences. There would have to be discussions, authorisations, and they're not going to be confined to one person's supposedly stolen file. Where else in the archives does it appear? What source is there that a historian could properly use and take seriously?
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Jonathan Rogers
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Re: Media comments on chess

Post by Jonathan Rogers » Mon Mar 02, 2020 9:54 am

I should have thought that from any sensible historical point of view, Justin must be right. The historian might repeat Korchnoi's claim but he or she would have to add to that the lack of any corroboration. Nor is it depriving Korchnoi's memory in any way to show such scepticism. Had he wanted historians to record this, he had several years in which to ensure it.

Myself, I don't know what to believe. If there was ever a real life example of the maxim "just because you're paranoid, it doesn't mean that they are not in fact out to get you!", one imagines that it was Korchnoi.

I remember reading a story about Tal saying to Korchnoi in the 1980s that there had been a plan to take him out if he won game 32. The narrator (sorry, I forget who, but I think that I read about this is Kasparov's My Great Predecessors) says that he turned on Tal afterwards and asked "why did you tell him this? Him, of all people?" To which Tal allegedly replied "I thought it would be nice for him to hear this!" (To judge from Ian's posts above, maybe so...)

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JustinHorton
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Re: Media comments on chess

Post by JustinHorton » Mon Mar 02, 2020 10:07 am

Jonathan Rogers wrote:
Mon Mar 02, 2020 9:54 am
. If there was ever a real life example of the maxim "just because you're paranoid, it doesn't mean that they are not in fact out to get you!", one imagines that it was Korchnoi
Quite so, although the reverse is also true.
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Geoff Chandler
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Re: Media comments on chess

Post by Geoff Chandler » Mon Mar 02, 2020 12:36 pm

Not long ago I watched...

Image

They claim they have access to KGB files...Chess pops up in episode two round about 22:45.
(Look out for Roger Moore with a chess set... of course the board is round the wrong way.)

Ex KGB General Kalugin, (himself, not an actor) says they would normally have just taken Korchnoi out
but he was deemed too famous, so they used paranormal 'mind control' methods instead.
(though he does not mention what would have happened if Korchnoi won.)

A post 1978 Korchnoi appears (board set up correctly) saying weird thoughts were entering his head.

There followed the infamous 'perhaps' that accompanies all these documentaries.

'Perhaps,' they suggest, mind control was used to assassinate the Kennedys and an attempt to bump off a Pope.
(not by the KGB, apparently they don't bump off famous people, but by other interested parties. )

Regarding the Justin - Ian debate, Ian was simply repeating what Korchnoi told him.

This clamouring for proof every time something of interest is posted is source - phobia.

Nobody trusts anybody any more. Next time someone tells me something of interest I'll get them to
repeat it infront of witness's and and then hire a camera crew to capture the historical moment.

(Jonathan R. imagines that Korchnoi was possibly paranoid. Does he have a medical or a psychiatric source?)

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JustinHorton
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Re: Media comments on chess

Post by JustinHorton » Mon Mar 02, 2020 1:10 pm

Geoff Chandler wrote:
Mon Mar 02, 2020 12:36 pm

'Perhaps,' they suggest, mind control was used to assassinate the Kennedys
I thought it was you and me, Geoff
"Do you play chess?"
"Yes, but I prefer a game with a better chance of cheating."

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