Raymondo

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JustinHorton
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Re: Raymondo

Post by JustinHorton » Thu Aug 13, 2009 12:57 pm

Geoff - there's quite a lot to know about Keene and it's fair to say that a lot of people aren't aware of much of it,largely because the mainstream press - both within chess and more generally - tends to leave him alone (for reasons I understand without necessarily agreeing with).

However, starting points would include Edward Winter's articles "Copying" and "Cuttings", several pieces that have appeared in Kingpin (notably Raymondo Contra Mundum and Ex Acton Ad Astra) as well as a fair amount of Private Eye coverage (one of which items was reproduced, I'm sure, on your website). There are links to some of these attached to Keene's Wikipedia entry.

He's apparently a charming man in person and he was once a very fine chessplayer, but he has a history of - choosing my words carefully - ethically questionable behaviour which stretches back three and half decades and which, in the opinions of some, might have caused him more trouble than it has, had he not made a large quantity of money and cultivated some powerful friends.
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Geoff Chandler
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Re: Raymondo

Post by Geoff Chandler » Thu Aug 13, 2009 1:40 pm

Hi All,

I know RK's background and all the tales but am I not allowed to have a free opinion
on this matter.

I will not be told who I have to like and dislike. The guy has done nothing to me.
'cept break the monotony of reading about players squealing about their grades,
or how badly a tournament was organised......

And what does this mean 'reductio ad absurdum' it's Latin.
Why is someone speaking to me in Latin?

First of all we have some snapper complaining about an incident that happened
25 years ago. An incident that RK cannot recall but has appologised for.

I noticed that during the original complaint that photographer chappie
related to a boxing match that took place in 1962. He appears to have
some kind of 25 year time warp going on. 2034 will be interesting.

And now I'm expected to study and learn a language that is older
than God's dog so I can figure out what I'm being called now.

I'm not running with the crowd on this one I'm afraid. I never have.

OK some of his books are littered with errors, that I know.
But I cannot comment on or take sides on the other matters.
I've not been involved.

I repeat: The guy has done nothing to me.

(I've not looked up the Walker thread - should I? was Raymond Keene to blame?)

Edit1: link to my Corner piece on RK and Private Eye.

http://www.chessedinburgh.co.uk/chandle ... handID=301

I simply 'cut and pasted' the article (I got that trick from RK!).
You will see I do not add any comments or take sides.
'cept express a minor surprsie that EYE was interested.

(I still cannot believe I missed those easier mates in the last game).

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Carl Hibbard
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Re: Raymondo

Post by Carl Hibbard » Thu Aug 13, 2009 1:52 pm

Yet another thread it's perhaps best to close and move on with :roll:
Cheers
Carl Hibbard

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Matt Mackenzie
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Re: Raymondo

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Thu Aug 13, 2009 2:11 pm

Geoff C, you mentioned his books. This is the heart of the critique of RDK for me, at least..........

In the 1980s and into the 90s he produced some of the most offensively slapdash and shoddy stuff ever to find its way onto the chess market (since the death of F Reinfeld anyway - shame there wasn't an E G Winter figure around back then to meticulously detail *his* later year excesses, eh? Still he has his spiritual heir now in RDK's chum, E Schiller :lol: )

And we *know* that (unlike the aforementioned ES perhaps, or certainly the empty headed Divinsky) he *can* do so much better and has - both early in his writing career and recently (there is no doubt his Petrosian tome is a very fine work)

I can forgive *some* sharp practice and rough tactics in his business dealings - whatever else you say he always got things done, and continues to do so. But NOT for his knowingly and cynically inflicting tawdry trash (and often very unoriginal trash, let us say no more) on a generation of unsuspecting chess players :evil:
Last edited by Matt Mackenzie on Thu Aug 13, 2009 3:00 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Raymondo

Post by Geoff Chandler » Thu Aug 13, 2009 2:14 pm

Quote:
"Yet another thread it's perhaps best to close and move on with."

Why?

It's all friendly banter as far as I'm concerned.
I never take of knowingly give offence. This is good fun.

Close the thread on the grading system, that is boring.

"How can you put a number on a brain?" Bronstein.

You cannot, but that lot will argue (complete with colour graphs) forever
about it till the next list comes out. Then they will start again.

Simon Spivack
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Re: Raymondo

Post by Simon Spivack » Thu Aug 13, 2009 2:17 pm

Carl Hibbard wrote:Yet another thread it's perhaps best to close and move on with :roll:
Fair enough, this will be my last post in this thread.
Andy Burnett wrote:Mr Spivack, If you can't respond to a fairly innocent post in a more temperate, less obnoxious manner, then I'd suggest that silence would be a better option.
Andrew,

I'd recommend that you reconsider what you have written. Raising the temperature by using family names is hardly conducive to a good humoured debate. Nor is putting to work an adjective such as "obnoxious". I have not used such language.

I don't consider what I wrote extremely unpleasant. One of my points was that I did not wish to be misrepresented. An instance of which follows:
Andy Burnett wrote:I have little doubt that the generally high level of distaste for Keene which has been displayed over the years in magazines and chess forums is based on real grievances, but bringing the likes of Eley and Walker into the debate as some sort of comparison is a bit much.
The reader is invited to find where I am guilty of "bringing the likes of Eley and Walker into the debate as some sort of comparison"? Andrew, why have you insinuated that I did? For my name is the only one amongst those who have posted in opposition to Geoff that you have mentioned.

If you find my posts so repulsive you could, for instance, list me as an "enemy" in the fora. As I understand it, when you log in, you will be spared the pain that I cause you, you won't see my posts. I have not tested whether this actually works.

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JustinHorton
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Re: Raymondo

Post by JustinHorton » Thu Aug 13, 2009 2:22 pm

Simon Spivack wrote:The reader is invited to find where I am guilty of "bringing the likes of Eley and Walker into the debate as some sort of comparison"? Andrew, why have you insinuated that I did?
I don't believe he has. He surely referred to John Upham's comments.
"Do you play chess?"
"Yes, but I prefer a game with a better chance of cheating."

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JustinHorton
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Re: Raymondo

Post by JustinHorton » Thu Aug 13, 2009 2:24 pm

Geoff Chandler wrote:And what does this mean 'reductio ad absurdum' it's Latin.
Why is someone speaking to me in Latin?
Because the Latin term has entered the English language. Like the French "café", for instance.
"Do you play chess?"
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Roger de Coverly
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Re: Raymondo

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Aug 13, 2009 2:30 pm

Geoff Chandler wrote:Close the thread on the grading system, that is boring.
Perhaps. But the ECF have introduced some major changes of both practice and principle into their grading system. The thread is acting as an audit of these changes. In fact in the absence of clear statements from the ECF it's even just trying to establish what these changes are.

A grading system is one of the few useful functions that a national chess body provides for the average player, so it's important that it's both right and perceived to be right.

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Re: Raymondo

Post by Geoff Chandler » Thu Aug 13, 2009 2:43 pm

Hi Matt

I agree that some of RK books are below par. (shrug) So don't buy them.

I think there are some terrible chess books out there - some real dire crap
and they are not RK's or Fred Reinfeld.

But I don't hate the author. I just don't buy their book.

I like Fred Reinfeld's book only because there are avid FR fans out there
and they buy them up on ebay.

I pick 'em up for 20p-30p and sell them for £9.00 (just off to post a few
just now).

Keene's books are a bit sticky but they do sell eventually.

The Latin Bit:

And now someone is quoting French words 'café' to justify the use of Latin.
We did not all go to fee paying schools - some of us failed our 11+.
Keep it plain and simple - just like you were annotating a game of chess.
You don't need to use any foreign words then do you....

er...en passant...Zugszwang....Fritz...hmmmm...OK forget that bit.

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JustinHorton
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Re: Raymondo

Post by JustinHorton » Thu Aug 13, 2009 2:47 pm

For what it's worth, I went to a North Hertfordshire comprehensive.
"Do you play chess?"
"Yes, but I prefer a game with a better chance of cheating."

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John Upham
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Re: Raymondo

Post by John Upham » Thu Aug 13, 2009 2:48 pm

JustinHorton wrote: I don't believe he has. He surely referred to John Upham's comments.
I was merely referring to chess "baddies" as a collective group, not their degree of badness...
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Andy Burnett
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Re: Raymondo

Post by Andy Burnett » Thu Aug 13, 2009 2:48 pm

Simon,
I detected absolutely nothing good-humoured about your post re: Geoff's comments. That's why I used Mr. Spivack (I don't know you and wasn't impressed by your comments).

I didn't mean to attach the Eley/Walker comparison to yourself, so apologies if it came across that way.

Also, why would I list you as an enemy on the basis of 1 post? You seemed to be annoyed with Geoff's approach to Keene, I was annoyed by your approach to Geoff! No harm done :)

For what it's worth, fora is the Latin plural of forum but modern English usage seems to prefer forums - I wasn't sure of this so looked it up before my original posting. Fora does sound better though, so i'm going to use it from now on.

Andy Burnett

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Matt Mackenzie
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Re: Raymondo

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Thu Aug 13, 2009 3:04 pm

Didn't know you sold FR books, Geoff :)

Like RDK, he did some good (at times *very* good) as well as bad stuff, but that makes the s***e even more glaring and cynical IMO. No I don't buy said books and never have, but the point is that lots of people *did*, and I think there is nothing wrong with wanting such books to be better :D

Would be interested to know some of the "terrible" books you have in mind. I have one or two ideas myself :P
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Matthew Turner
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Re: Raymondo

Post by Matthew Turner » Thu Aug 13, 2009 5:35 pm

I am no position to judge Ray Keene's actions, but I would just point out that at present he is organising an event in central London with lots of great players which you are entitled to go and watch for free. Yes he is also alleged to have taken £50,000 from his brother-in-law.
However, I would contrast this with the ECF Office which last year cost £110,000, who is really taking money out of English chess?

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