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

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

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Tue Aug 18, 2009 11:25 pm

Nigel_Davies wrote:It is, I believe, a good example of the politics of envy
<colossal yawn> :roll:

The apologists of the individual Justin referenced above used to say *exactly* that sort of stuff, of course :twisted:
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Re: A thank you to Ray Keene for the Staunton and other events

Post by Alex Holowczak » Tue Aug 18, 2009 11:42 pm

You don't necessarily have to meet someone to form an opinion on them. I haven't met Gordon Brown, David Cameron, Nick Clegg, Nigel Farage ... yet once every 5 years, I'm expected to vote for which of them I consider the best person to rule the country. That can only be done via what they say, how they act, and how the media portrays them. I suppose a fact of life is if you've got a list of controversies against your name, some people are always going to be critical.

I suppose it would be interesting to hear Keene's side of the story on some of the criticisms that have come his way.

I'm not going to rush to praise the Staunton Memorial. I'd like to know how many players didn't enter the British Championship because of having other commitments in London. As a matter of personal preference, I'd rather have seen Britain's top GMs playing in Torquay.

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

Post by Geoff Chandler » Wed Aug 19, 2009 12:13 am

Paul McKeown wrote: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.
A perfect reply. it covers the opening posters request very well.

There is nothing at all that need be added.

Thank you Mr Keene GM & OBE.

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

Post by IM Jack Rudd » Wed Aug 19, 2009 12:15 am

Nigel_Davies wrote: 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.
I suspect a number of people who've attacked Ray have never had any dealings with him because they don't trust him.

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

Post by Paul McKeown » Wed Aug 19, 2009 1:16 am

Geoff Chandler wrote:
Paul McKeown wrote: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.
A perfect reply. it covers the opening posters request very well.

There is nothing at all that need be added.

Thank you Mr Keene GM & OBE.
FM Jack Rudd wrote:
Nigel_Davies wrote: 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.
I suspect a number of people who've attacked Ray have never had any dealings with him because they don't trust him.
I would like to say that I think Ray Keene has done well with the Staunton Memorial and should be congratulated for that. I understand exactly, though, what Jack is saying too; I certainly wouldn't wish to think of RDK having any future position of authority with the ECF, for instance. Let him do what he does well and thank him for it; just bear in mind also the limits to what the world of chess in England should invite him to do. Then things can't really go too far wrong. (I think Stewart Reuben's comment hinted at such a line of thinking, too.)

Regards,
Paul McKeown

P.S. I think Justin should perhaps not have responded to this thread; in a way it was something of a trap. A lot of people are aware of the past disagreements between Grandmaster Nigel Davies and the writers of the Streatham chess blog, including, one presumes, Justin Horton. And, of course, Justin is also well known within the English chess world for having reported extensively on several occasions on the less seemly side of RDK's dealings. In this case, though, it is hard to criticise RDK with justification, because the Staunton tournament is clearly a success and free from the taint of scandal. So something of a bear trap, into which Justin has, alas, fallen. This is, naturally, my personal view of things and I would understand it if either or both were to tell me to "halt die schnauze". So be it.
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Re: A thank you to Ray Keene for the Staunton and other events

Post by Stewart Reuben » Wed Aug 19, 2009 1:38 am

Alex >I'm not going to rush to praise the Staunton Memorial. I'd like to know how many players didn't enter the British Championship because of having other commitments in London. As a matter of personal preference, I'd rather have seen Britain's top GMs playing in Torquay<

I rather think the answer to that is none. That the close proximity of the two events was not good for the English players who took part in both events is quite a different matter. The calendar is very tight and Mr Mols' schedule even tighter. Similarly the FIDE Grand Prix in Turkey concludes two days before Corus. Even two days was because I have persuaded the Turkish organiser to start start one day earlier.

The top British GMs who did not play in Torquay chose not to because the money isn't good enough. There was no start money this year for the non-English as the ECF took all the risk and the event made a considerable loss in 2008.

Stewart Reuben

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

Post by Jonathan Bryant » Wed Aug 19, 2009 1:55 am

Alex Holowczak wrote:I'm not going to rush to praise the Staunton Memorial. I'd like to know how many players didn't enter the British Championship because of having other commitments in London. As a matter of personal preference, I'd rather have seen Britain's top GMs playing in Torquay.
In other years it may have been different but this year Howell, Jones, Williams, Trent and Wells all played in the British and the Staunton (although whether it did them much good is another question).

I'm guessing perhaps you mean Short and Adams but I don't see them playing in the British anytime soon whether the Staunton's on or not - especially not with Noshers spanky new 2700+ rating. I doubt he'd take a wizz for the money on offer at the British just now.

Going back to the subject of the thread, I'm quite fond of Ray myself. I'm fascinated by how he manages to divide opinion so. Plus he wrote a piece for our Blog when he was well aware of some of the material on it. Bless the man for that.

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

Post by Nigel_Davies » Wed Aug 19, 2009 8:47 am

Paul McKeown wrote:I think Justin should perhaps not have responded to this thread; in a way it was something of a trap. A lot of people are aware of the past disagreements between Grandmaster Nigel Davies and the writers of the Streatham chess blog, including, one presumes, Justin Horton. And, of course, Justin is also well known within the English chess world for having reported extensively on several occasions on the less seemly side of RDK's dealings. In this case, though, it is hard to criticise RDK with justification, because the Staunton tournament is clearly a success and free from the taint of scandal. So something of a bear trap, into which Justin has, alas, fallen. This is, naturally, my personal view of things and I would understand it if either or both were to tell me to "halt die schnauze". So be it.
Just for the record I was not attempting to 'trap' anybody. The fact that Mr Horton chose to wade in with the usual Keene-bashing by using a ridiculous quote as some kind of 'evidence' is entirely his choosing. I could have contradicted this even further by mentioning, for example, Ray's bringing in Foreign and Colonial for a long-term relationship with the Hastings event. I did not because I don't want to waste any more of my valuable time on him or his colleagues. Nigel

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

Post by Mick Norris » Wed Aug 19, 2009 9:05 am

Nigel_Davies wrote:
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
Actually, Amin's contacts have helped events around Manchester obtain sponsors over the years - we're not talking big money maybe, but events Nigel has played in and won the odd £100 or so, which must help a professional meet his expenses

His main benefit, though, has been the hard work he has put into the (maybe boring to you) organisation and running of chess in Manchester, particularly the merger between the Manchester League and County organisations which formed the Manchester Chess Federation

It is precisely because of this kind of help that many congress organisers are able to give up a lot of their time to running events, which are mostly designed to give the players who actually pay for the chess the oportunity to play, as well as benefiting professionals like Nigel and Keith

When we have obtained sponsors, we are delighted to see Nigel playing as he is excellent with the demands that arise (e.g. sponsor making his first move for him, photo opportunities, playing on a board where everyone can watch rather than a quieter one) and is very polite in pointing out problems (e.g. tables/boards too close together, cramped conditions) which organisers can quietly fix

I wish all the GMs were as professional as Nigel and Keith

Mick Norris
MCF Congress Director

P.S. congratulations to Nigel on the best English performance in the all play all at the Staunton
Any postings on here represent my personal views and should not be taken as representative of the Manchester Chess Federation www.manchesterchess.co.uk

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

Post by Nigel_Davies » Wed Aug 19, 2009 9:32 am

Mick Norris wrote: ... professionals like Nigel and Keith
Again, for the record, I'm no longer a professional player (actually I've only ever been a semi-pro at most) and have not played in a weekend tournament since last year. You may describe me as a 'gentleman Grandmaster' if you wish!

I don't wish to be a party pooper but it would be really great if we could all make an effort to be accurate rather than rely on second hand information, guesses and innuendo. These are basically the factors that make forums such as these so utterly worthless, and indeed destructive.

Thanks, Nigel

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

Post by John Moore » Wed Aug 19, 2009 5:32 pm

First of all, a great tournament and well done to Ray for his part in it.

I know Justin does go on a bit - but really Nigel, forums such as this are worthless and destructive, are they. So far as this Forum is concerned, that is more nonsensical than anything Justin has yet uttered - and forgive me, Justin - he has had a go.

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

Post by Nigel_Davies » Wed Aug 19, 2009 6:15 pm

John Moore wrote:I know Justin does go on a bit - but really Nigel, forums such as this are worthless and destructive, are they. So far as this Forum is concerned, that is more nonsensical than anything Justin has yet uttered - and forgive me, Justin - he has had a go.
Has it occurred to you that sponsors can also read forums? How will it look to them when a major figure and organiser such as GM Ray Keene, OBE, is variously lambasted and compared to Hitler and Pol Pot? Will they want to venture into chess on seeing this kind of thing?

So with the Justins of the World mouthing off as they have it can endanger British chess sponsorship. And it is not nonsensical to consider this potentially destructive.

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

Post by Alex Holowczak » Wed Aug 19, 2009 6:44 pm

Nigel_Davies wrote:
John Moore wrote:I know Justin does go on a bit - but really Nigel, forums such as this are worthless and destructive, are they. So far as this Forum is concerned, that is more nonsensical than anything Justin has yet uttered - and forgive me, Justin - he has had a go.
Has it occurred to you that sponsors can also read forums? How will it look to them when a major figure and organiser such as GM Ray Keene, OBE, is variously lambasted and compared to Hitler and Pol Pot? Will they want to venture into chess on seeing this kind of thing?

So with the Justins of the World mouthing off as they have it can endanger British chess sponsorship. And it is not nonsensical to consider this potentially destructive.
I'm not so sure. If you go on a football forum, you'll find various people slagging off rival clubs and players. You'll even find fans of a club questioning their own players or management. Indeed, football phone-ins on the radio frequently have grumpy fans complaining about this, that and the other. Yet, I don't see any football clubs struggling to get sponsors. The reason that chess doesn't get sponsorship is because it doesn't really appear in the media. The reason it doesn't appear in the media is because it isn't a popular enough game.

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

Post by Nigel_Davies » Wed Aug 19, 2009 7:10 pm

Alex Holowczak wrote: I'm not so sure. If you go on a football forum, you'll find various people slagging off rival clubs and players. You'll even find fans of a club questioning their own players or management. Indeed, football phone-ins on the radio frequently have grumpy fans complaining about this, that and the other. Yet, I don't see any football clubs struggling to get sponsors. The reason that chess doesn't get sponsorship is because it doesn't really appear in the media. The reason it doesn't appear in the media is because it isn't a popular enough game.
Sponsors look for different images with which to be associated and in this chess and football are totally different. A potential chess sponsor will almost certainly like the classy image that chess represents; with football the main objective is to appeal to the fans so they'll buy various merchandise and season tickets etc.

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

Post by Alex Holowczak » Wed Aug 19, 2009 7:45 pm

Nigel_Davies wrote:
Alex Holowczak wrote: I'm not so sure. If you go on a football forum, you'll find various people slagging off rival clubs and players. You'll even find fans of a club questioning their own players or management. Indeed, football phone-ins on the radio frequently have grumpy fans complaining about this, that and the other. Yet, I don't see any football clubs struggling to get sponsors. The reason that chess doesn't get sponsorship is because it doesn't really appear in the media. The reason it doesn't appear in the media is because it isn't a popular enough game.
Sponsors look for different images with which to be associated and in this chess and football are totally different. A potential chess sponsor will almost certainly like the classy image that chess represents; with football the main objective is to appeal to the fans so they'll buy various merchandise and season tickets etc.
Okay then... snooker. It has a classy image. Formal wear, they call fouls on themselves etc. However, most snooker forums will generally oppose Sir Rodney Walker, the (whatever his official title is) of World Snooker. They'll also generally say how boring Peter Ebdon is, and there will be a massive O'Sullivan v Hendry debate going on. Clive Everton has publicly opposed the WPBSA and Sir Rodney Walker for much of the last 50 years, even when it was the BA&CC. Indeed, Ronnie O'Sullivan has publicly held similar comments. But during that period, snooker has become popular in the UK. Its main tournaments are all sponsored. They have prize money at most tournaments of > £30,000 for the winner. The sponsors don't seem to have been put off by fans being against the organisation, or the apparent disliking some of the players. Despite this, the sport retains its classy image, and the sponsors support it. This is more to do with the popularity of snooker, and the coverage it gets both on TV and in the newspapers.

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