A thank you to Ray Keene for the Staunton and other events

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Nigel_Davies
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A thank you to Ray Keene for the Staunton and other events

Post by Nigel_Davies » Tue Aug 18, 2009 6:37 pm

Given Ray Keene's prolific record as an organiser and finder of chess sponsorship, I'd like to propose a vote of thanks to Ray on behalf of English chess.

Nigel Davies

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Re: A thank you to Ray Keene for the Staunton and other events

Post by Paul McKeown » Tue Aug 18, 2009 7:03 pm

I think everyone on this forum would be happy to thank Ray Keene for organising tournaments such as the Staunton Memorial, which have provided opportunities for British and British resident players to compete against strong international opposition, including legendary figures such as Korchnoi and Timman, in a venue which is in itself a legend in the history of chess. Mention should also should be made of the fact that the tournament took place in London, which has seen a dearth of such events for a long time.
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Re: A thank you to Ray Keene for the Staunton and other events

Post by JustinHorton » Tue Aug 18, 2009 7:22 pm

"Ray has a very interesting talent for getting sponsors – once. They never come back. He has a history of making people unhappy ." - Mohammed Amin, talking to the Sunday Times, 1990.
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Re: A thank you to Ray Keene for the Staunton and other events

Post by Nigel_Davies » Tue Aug 18, 2009 7:33 pm

JustinHorton wrote:"Ray has a very interesting talent for getting sponsors – once. They never come back. He has a history of making people unhappy ." - Mohammed Amin, talking to the Sunday Times, 1990.
London WFW, 1988-1991.

Meanwhile you might care to check out Mr Amin's record of tournament organisation... N
Last edited by Nigel_Davies on Tue Aug 18, 2009 7:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: A thank you to Ray Keene for the Staunton and other events

Post by JustinHorton » Tue Aug 18, 2009 7:41 pm

Then, there's the London Chess Group, never seen again after Ray turned them over in 1993....or Intel, same event....

Funny people, a lot of chessplayers. They'll complain all day about federations, arbiters, amateurs, hotels, pairing systems, alleged favouritism towards rivals, press coverage, absence of press coverage, absence of recognition from the general public and what you will.

But take somebody who they think can come up with sponsorship....and they couldn't care less what their ethical and financial record is provided there's a chance they might get a piece of the action.

There's a system of values in there somewhere. It's an interesting one. It's even an instructive one. But it's not a very good one.
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Re: A thank you to Ray Keene for the Staunton and other events

Post by Nigel_Davies » Tue Aug 18, 2009 7:48 pm

JustinHorton wrote:Then, there's the London Chess Group, never seen again after Ray turned them over in 1993....or Intel, same event....

Funny people, a lot of chessplayers. They'll complain all day about federations, arbiters, amateurs, hotels, pairing systems, alleged favouritism towards rivals, press coverage, absence of press coverage, absence of recognition from the general public and what you will.

But take somebody who they think can come up with sponsorship....and they couldn't care less what their ethical and financial record is provided there's a chance they might get a piece of the action.

There's a system of values in there somewhere. It's an interesting one. It's even an instructive one. But it's not a very good one.
Excuse me Justin, but you've just been caught using a non-sensical quote by a totally unrealiable source which was made in the midst of a 4 year run of an excellent GM tournament. Watson, Farley and Williams evidently came back, which is quite enough to falsify this nonsense.

Instead of blustering, why not simply admit your error? Nigel

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Re: A thank you to Ray Keene for the Staunton and other events

Post by Leonard Barden » Tue Aug 18, 2009 9:28 pm

Jan Mol has now sponsored the Staunton Memorial, organised by Ray Keene, for several years and shows no sign of giving up. In fact each successive year seems to become a higher class event.

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Re: A thank you to Ray Keene for the Staunton and other events

Post by JustinHorton » Tue Aug 18, 2009 9:47 pm

Nigel_Davies wrote:Instead of blustering, why not simply admit your error? Nigel
I think, Nigel, that if I were looking for totally unreliable sources, I'd look for them rather closer to the person of Ray Keene, since he has a thirty-year-plus history of fitting that description - or, if I am being less kind, of committing ethical violations of various kinds and at many other people's expense.

You'd don't have to care about that if you don't want to, and that's your choice. My choice is to say that somebody with Ray Keene's record is not somebody I'm prepared to make excuses for no matter how many chess tournaments he may organise, and that the willingness of a fair proportion of the chess community to play wise-monkeys on the issue says as much about their relationship to ethics (and indeed their willingness to bluster) as it does to his.
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Re: A thank you to Ray Keene for the Staunton and other events

Post by Stewart Reuben » Tue Aug 18, 2009 10:06 pm

The people who have raised most money by way of money outside the government, game fee or membership fees are in order: Ray Keene; Leonard Barden; David Anderton, Gerry Walsh and myself - the last three in a totally unclear order, taking into account change caused by inflation.
Yes, it is true that on occasions Ray's enthusiasm for a project outrun the value of that project to the sponsor, so they didn't last long.

The business plan for the Staunton Memorial, now a long-running event is quite simple. The money comes in, the outgoings always exceed the income and Ray makes up the difference from his own pocket.

Do you really quarrel with about 100 programmes on Thames TV just because they weren't shown outside London? That was because by and large the chessplayers couldn't be bothered to pressure for them to appear on their local stations.

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Re: A thank you to Ray Keene for the Staunton and other events

Post by Simon Brown » Tue Aug 18, 2009 10:16 pm

Come on now. Whatever you may think about Ray personally, he has done infinitely more good than harm. I endorse Nigel's feelings.

Simon

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Re: A thank you to Ray Keene for the Staunton and other events

Post by JustinHorton » Tue Aug 18, 2009 10:21 pm

I meant to say this on the previous Ray Keene thread, but the whole Ray business reminds me very much of the chap who used to be chairman of my football club when I first started supporting them.

Similarly large-than life, a lot of wealthy riends, put a lot of money into the sport. Also had a lifelong record of deals that ended in controversy and other people crying foul, far too many times, in fact, for there to be any doubt that he was a completely untrustworthy individual. But as it was, it never ended up in court and while the money kept flowing a lot of people were prepared to overlook all the controversies provided that they, personally, didn't get hurt.

Then of course in 1992 it all fell apart and you couldn't find anybody who'd admit to having defended him. But in truth everybody should have known what he was like for thirty years.

I reckon that people should have known what Ray was about since, ooh, at least 1978. And by God, they've had enough reminders since. But, like I say. While the money kept flowing.
Last edited by JustinHorton on Tue Aug 18, 2009 10:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A thank you to Ray Keene for the Staunton and other events

Post by JustinHorton » Tue Aug 18, 2009 10:27 pm

Simon Brown wrote:Come on now. Whatever you may think about Ray personally, he has done infinitely more good than harm.
I think, Simon, that if you were to start making a list of people Ray has wronged, I think the term "infinitely more good than harm" would swiftly be obliged to make itself scarce.

Unless, of course, we treat 'has arranged the sponsorship of chess tournaments' as some kind of trump card which overrides all wrongs. There are of course people who are happy to do that: it'll be clear that I'm not one of them and that I think that their position consists of an absence of ethics.
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Re: A thank you to Ray Keene for the Staunton and other events

Post by Nigel_Davies » Tue Aug 18, 2009 10:41 pm

May I suggest that Justin and others go to one of their previous threads if they wish to continue in this vein. This one was meant to be one of sincere appreciation to someone who has brought a tremendous amount of money into British chess. Many of our GMs, IMs and others are deeply appreciative of Ray's efforts and I wanted to express this publicly. I have had nothing but positive dealings with Ray and cannot understand many of the comments that I've seen. Nigel

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Re: A thank you to Ray Keene for the Staunton and other events

Post by JustinHorton » Tue Aug 18, 2009 10:46 pm

I should say - and apologies for posting three times our of four, but I really need to get off this forum for a few weeks as I'm trying to kick off a new business and haven't really got the time for prolonged debate, so I'd rather say what I have to say and leave you to it - I was serious on the other Keene thread when I said (if I may paraphrase) that Ray's a very interesting man who's led an intersting life and that the fact that he's got away with it for so long tells us a lot of interesting things about chess. And I was serious when I said that really, I'd like to write about him at length and perhaps, one day, I will.

But I'm also serious when I say that I think the fact that he's got away with it says something really uncomplimentary about chess, a lot of people within chess and the values they operate by. He's an interesting man but he's also incredibly untrustworthy, wholly disreputable and not fit to be believed in any particular whatever. He does discredit to the people who associate with him and he does discredit to the people who excuse him. And what's really interesting is that the reason people do this is that they think that if they do, he'll come up with more money. Or they think that as long as it's not them that he's ripped off (and Nigel's comments are instructive in this regard) then they don't need to think about what's happened to anybody else.

A lot of professional chessplayers do seem to think like that, I've noticed. As long as somebody pays them and is nice to them personally, they don't need to think about anything else. To me, that makes it worse, not better. But to them, that makes him all right. That's the really interesting thing.

Within chess a lot of people think that way. But I wonder how it looks to people outside chess. Perhaps, if and when it all goes pear-shaped, we'll find out.
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Re: A thank you to Ray Keene for the Staunton and other events

Post by Nigel_Davies » Tue Aug 18, 2009 11:12 pm

Simon Brown wrote:Come on now. Whatever you may think about Ray personally, he has done infinitely more good than harm. I endorse Nigel's feelings.

Simon
One thing that I find interesting is that many of the people who've attacked Ray here and elsewhere have never met him and never had any dealings with him. It is, I believe, a good example of the politics of envy.

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