Keene's claim to have won "22 national championship titles."

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O.G. Urcan
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Keene's claim to have won "22 national championship titles."

Post by O.G. Urcan » Tue Jan 06, 2015 11:56 am

On his webpage http://www.keeneonchess.com/about-ray/ Raymond Keene says that he "has won 22 national championship titles."

How many of the 22 can be identified?

Many thanks.

Olimpiu G. Urcan

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Jon Mahony
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Re: Keene's claim to have won "22 national championship titl

Post by Jon Mahony » Tue Jan 06, 2015 12:23 pm

Sounds like a bit of an exageration - in his rather *ahem* unusual book Samurai Chess: Mastering the Martial Art of the Mind RDK claims to be the winner of 14 different British Championship titles, and as Tony Miles wrote in his side splitting review of the book http://www.kingpinchess.net/2009/02/samurai-chess/ “That’s is 12 more than are generally known about!”
"When you see a good move, look for a better one!" - Lasker

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Keene's claim to have won "22 national championship titl

Post by Roger de Coverly » Tue Jan 06, 2015 1:01 pm

O.G. Urcan wrote: How many of the 22 can be identified?
You have to count victories in the National Counties (teams of 12/16/20) playing for Cambridgeshire and in the National Club (teams of 6) playing for Cambridge University and later for Kings Head. On that way of counting there would be numerous players with similarly high counts of national titles.

If you use the stringent qualification of being personally named every year in the BCF/ECF year book, the count is just 2, the tied Under 18 title in 1964 with Brian Denman and the British Champion title in 1971.

Cambridgeshire are listed as County Championship winners in 1970,1971 and 1972.

There used to be a team Lightning Championship for which Cambridge were winners in 1971 and 1974.

Cambridge University won the National Club in 1969,1970,1972,1973,1974 and 1975 with King's Head the winners in 1980 and 1981.

There's also the National Schools won by Dulwich in 1965 and 1966.

It doesn't make 22 though.

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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: Keene's claim to have won "22 national championship titl

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Tue Jan 06, 2015 1:05 pm

Is no-one going to attempt to verify his claim to have written 199 books.... [on Chess, Mind Sports, Genius, Mental World Records, Art Appreciation and Thinking]? :wink:

I hadn't realised he had been "chess tutor to The Imperial Court of Iran" (before 1975).

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Re: Keene's claim to have won "22 national championship titl

Post by Matt Fletcher » Tue Jan 06, 2015 1:15 pm

I'm not sure that the site specifically states that all these titles relate to chess?

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Re: Keene's claim to have won "22 national championship titl

Post by Roger de Coverly » Tue Jan 06, 2015 1:30 pm

Christopher Kreuzer wrote:Is no-one going to attempt to verify his claim to have written 199 books....
The list will include material that you wouldn't immediately consider to be a "writing a book" such as articles for a defunct magazine on chess theory and being the editor of a series of tournament bulletins.

http://www.keeneonchess.com/rays-books/

The 199 claim is there. Filament Publishing (previously Hardinge-Simpole) have quite a bit of Ray's output where other publishers had given up the rights.

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Re: Keene's claim to have won "22 national championship titl

Post by David Robertson » Tue Jan 06, 2015 3:02 pm

Cutting through his hyperbole, there's clearly something lacking

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Joey Stewart
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Re: Keene's claim to have won "22 national championship titl

Post by Joey Stewart » Tue Jan 06, 2015 6:30 pm

It is amusing whenever I talk to non playing times readers and hearing their perception of ray - it must be somewhat similar to asking a north Korean what they knew about Kim jong
Lose one queen and it is a disaster, Lose 1000 queens and it is just a statistic.

Jonathan Bryant
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Re: Keene's claim to have won "22 national championship titl

Post by Jonathan Bryant » Tue Jan 06, 2015 11:22 pm

Joey Stewart wrote:It is amusing whenever I talk to non playing times readers ....
there are plenty of people within the game who are entirely oblivious of RDK's unique way of going about his business.

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Matt Mackenzie
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Re: Keene's claim to have won "22 national championship titl

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Wed Jan 07, 2015 12:11 am

Jonathan Bryant wrote:
Joey Stewart wrote:It is amusing whenever I talk to non playing times readers ....
there are plenty of people within the game who are entirely oblivious of RDK's unique way of going about his business.
Not to mention those who claim it "doesn't matter" or even that any criticism is inspired by "envy". Yeah, whatever.
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Re: Keene's claim to have won "22 national championship titl

Post by Arshad Ali » Wed Jan 07, 2015 2:00 am

RDK is the greatest. I start frothing at the mouth when anyone questions his divine status.

Some of his books aren't half-bad -- I'm thinking of the one on Nimzowitsch. Likewise his book on the flank openings. The books on the Pirc and Modern he coauthored with Botterill aren't bad for their time (over forty years back). The book he authored with Levy -- How to Play the Opening in Chess -- I read as a teenager back in the '70s. Again, not bad as an introductory book.

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Re: Keene's claim to have won "22 national championship titl

Post by Geoff Chandler » Wed Jan 07, 2015 2:17 am

Not to mention those who claim it "doesn't matter"

Who really cares? Do not get yourselves so wound up over trivial matters.

Ray played in the winning team in the 1966 Glorney Cup, does that count?

"has won 22 national championship titles."

He does not say they were all for Chess.

He could be the 1977 conkers champion or the 1969 Snakes and Ladders Champion.
He is a man of many talents and he has met the Queen. Leave him alone.

Hi Ali,

I'm not too fond of RDK's book on Nimzo, the content is good but the layout is awful.
My copy of flank openings fells to bits on me, the binding was cheap.
I do like his instant World Championship books and his 'How I became a
Grandmaster' is a good read.

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Jon Mahony
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Re: Keene's claim to have won "22 national championship titl

Post by Jon Mahony » Wed Jan 07, 2015 9:32 am

Geoff Chandler wrote:'How I became a
Grandmaster' is a good read.
Got the required norm, cited exhaustion and left Bill Hartston to be eaten alive on top board? :wink:

His book on the Karpov - Korchnoi 1978 World Championship, is actually pretty good, though Korchnoi later said RDK wrote it, while A) He was supposed to be acting as Korchnoi’s second and not writing a book, and B) Ray was under written agreement not to write a book on the match at the time of playing.

After this, Ray simply skirted around the issue of Korchnoi hating his guts, when making any reference to him.
"When you see a good move, look for a better one!" - Lasker

Jonathan Bryant
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Re: Keene's claim to have won "22 national championship titl

Post by Jonathan Bryant » Wed Jan 07, 2015 10:39 am

Jon Mahony wrote: ... B) Ray was under written agreement not to write a book on the match at the time of playing.
As confirmed by Michael Stean’s mum.

O.G. Urcan
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Re: Keene's claim to have won "22 national championship titl

Post by O.G. Urcan » Thu Jan 08, 2015 8:33 am

Matt Fletcher and Geoff Chandler suggest that the "22 national championship titles" claimed by Keene were not all necessarily for chess. But the context is clearly chess only, as Keene's claim is sandwiched between two other purely chess matters:

"...has won numerous first prizes in international chess tournaments across five continents. Ray has won 22 national championship titles. He represented Cambridge University on top board in the Boat Race of the Brain, the annual Varsity match against Oxford University..."

- Olimpiu G. Urcan

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