Enquiry: English Chess Association

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Jonathan Bryant
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Re: Enquiry: English Chess Association

Post by Jonathan Bryant » Mon Jan 13, 2014 6:53 pm

John Philpott wrote:I received a copy of volume 5 of Comprehensive Chess Endings by Estrin & Kopayev shortly thereafter ....

That's not a bad deal, to be fair, although presumably eight quid twenty years ago went a lot further chess book-wise than it does now.

John Philpott

Re: Enquiry: English Chess Association

Post by John Philpott » Mon Jan 13, 2014 8:29 pm

Jonathan Bryant wrote
That's not a bad deal, to be fair
I entirely agree, particularly given that the volume in question dealt with rook endings!

O.G. Urcan
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Re: Enquiry: English Chess Association

Post by O.G. Urcan » Wed Jan 15, 2014 7:52 am

The confusion surrounding the start-up of the English Chess Association was described on page 545 of the December 1987 British Chess Magazine, which also said:

"We rather agree with the viewpoint we heard from Stewart Reuben, that any new body would be better named something like 'Chess Force' or 'Chess Promotions/Enterprises'. By adopting the name 'English Chess Association' some form of territorial claim seemed to be implied."

And:

"A meeting on 4 November of most leading players and the BCF President and International Director came out with a declaration of support for the Federation and welcomed the new formal channels of communication. 'We consider that any attempt to establish a body in England to organise chess in a manner competitive to the Federation would be counter-productive.'"

The British Chess Magazine added that the declaration was signed by Short, Speelman, Nunn, Chandler, Mestel, Stean, Pein and Martin.

That was in 1987. As mentioned in my post which opened this thread, a book by Raymond Keene published in 2013 described him as "the Chairman of the English Chess Association" - in the present tense.

So the question remains: on what grounds?

Thanks.

Olimpiu G. Urcan

PeterFarr
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Re: Enquiry: English Chess Association

Post by PeterFarr » Wed Jan 15, 2014 12:11 pm

Going back to the original post, it is also claimed in the blurb on Mr Keene in the Tony Buzan book that:

1) "He holds the world record for authoring 164 books on Mind Sports, thinking and genius"

- by this measure, Mr Keene could also claim to be a greater writer than Dickens, Tolstoy or Shakespeare, though not I believe Barbara Cartland

2) "MA from Trinity College, Cambridge, where he shared lodgings with HRH the Prince of Wales"

- whether he danced with anyone that danced with HRH is not recorded

3) "He also is the holder of the Gold Medal of the Chinese Olympic Association"

- interesting one; it seems surprising that we haven't heard about it before?

4) "the first western chess grandmaster to compete in China"

- this is actually quite interesting. Alekhine played in China in 1933, I believe, though I suppose you could debate about whether (a) he was technically a GM, (b) he was really "Western" even though representing France or (c) really "competing" as opposed to just playing exhibition stuff. Also it appears the Russians played a couple of matches in China in the early 60's (going by wikipedia so this may not be accurate). Again you might argue that the Russians were not "Western" or truly "competing".

Overall, might this actually be a fairly valid claim by Mr Keene?


The Tony Buzan book is priceless in many ways. Just browsing the publishers' (filament press) pdf extract, we find the following matchless passage:

"How Tony Met Ray"

On the first evening of a two-day seminar in 1990, Tony had booked an international Chess Master to play 20 simultaneous games of chess against the delegates, in order to demonstrate to them the power and potential of the human brain, with particular reference to the powers of concentration, work, ethic, memory and creative thinking.

Tony continues: “Five days before the event, the international Master came down with flu and was told by his doctor that there was no way he would be able to make the event. The organiser telephoned me in a panic because there was ‘no time’ to find a replacement. Of course, there was time – there were five days.

“I told her to pursue every avenue – and in the end the solution came from a most surprising source. Over afternoon tea with some friends, at which her seven-year-old son, Simon, was present, she
explained, almost tearfully, her dilemma. Suddenly her son piped up, ‘Mummy, why don’t you try Raymond Keene?’

“Not having the faintest idea who Raymond Keene was, and egged on by her son who had become enamoured of chess at his school chess club, she contacted Raymond Keene and asked him if he could possibly fill in for the missing international Master. Mr. Keene said that he could.

“She then nervously telephoned me and asked if I would be willing to accept this unknown chap called Keene as a substitute. I nearly fell off my chair. I told her that it was as if she was asking me whether I would mind, instead of having the amateur lightweight boxing champion from Scunthorpe, having Mohammed Ali as his substitute. “Raymond Keene was one of the world’s leading chess Grandmasters, the chess correspondent for The Times, The Sunday Times and The Spectator, the former British Chess Champion, the author of over 160 books on chess, and the chess writer whom I had been following for many years!

“Raymond took on twenty of the delegates, thrashed them all, and then randomly demonstrated that he had memorised every single move of every single game, including his own thoughts as he was considering each of his own next moves – the demonstration of the power of the brain was complete, and a new Mind Sports partnership had been formed.”


So there we have it, Mr Keene is the Mohammad Ali of chess, and apparently he had written 160 books already by 1990, which by my reckoning means he's only written 4 in the last 23 years. Still it must all be true, as he wrote it himself.

Also the tearful drama of having to find a GM to do a simul at only 5 days notice is really heart-rending stuff, is it not? I could hardly bear to read it.

Andrew Zigmond
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Re: Enquiry: English Chess Association

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Wed Jan 15, 2014 2:58 pm

O.G. Urcan wrote: That was in 1987. As mentioned in my post which opened this thread, a book by Raymond Keene published in 2013 described him as "the Chairman of the English Chess Association" - in the present tense.

So the question remains: on what grounds?

Thanks.

Olimpiu G. Urcan
The English Chess Association has presumably never been wound up, even if it is now largely dormant, so Mr Keene remains Chairman. While the title might not be as impressive as it sounds he is perfectly entitled to use it.

The English Chess Association has never had any connection to the English (formerly British) Chess Federation, the organisation to which this section of the forum is a strictly unofficial debating point for. Why do you not pursue your enquiry with Mr Keene via the Times Chess Twitter feed?

(minor spelling edit)
Last edited by Andrew Zigmond on Thu Jan 16, 2014 12:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PeterFarr
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Re: Enquiry: English Chess Association

Post by PeterFarr » Wed Jan 15, 2014 3:59 pm

Andrew Zigmond wrote: The English Chess Association has presumably never been wound up, even if it is now largely dormant, so Mr Keene remains Chairman. While the title might not be as impressive as it sounds he is perfectly entitled to use it.

The English Chess Association has never had any connection to the English (formerly British) Chess Federaion, the organisation to which this section of the forum is a strictly unofficial debating point for. Why do you not pursue your enquiry with Mr Keene via the Times Chess Twitter feed?
You may well be right that Mr Keene is entitled to make that claim, but to do so in a book aimed at non-chess players is surely to invite a mis-apprehension in the mind of the reader. Incidentally, there are a few chess club websites which have links labelled as the "English Chess Association". Happily they all actually point to the ECF site, but it does underline the potential to mis-lead.

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Re: Enquiry: English Chess Association

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Wed Jan 15, 2014 6:00 pm

PeterFarr wrote:
Andrew Zigmond wrote: The English Chess Association has presumably never been wound up, even if it is now largely dormant, so Mr Keene remains Chairman. While the title might not be as impressive as it sounds he is perfectly entitled to use it.

The English Chess Association has never had any connection to the English (formerly British) Chess Federaion, the organisation to which this section of the forum is a strictly unofficial debating point for. Why do you not pursue your enquiry with Mr Keene via the Times Chess Twitter feed?
You may well be right that Mr Keene is entitled to make that claim, but to do so in a book aimed at non-chess players is surely to invite a mis-apprehension in the mind of the reader. Incidentally, there are a few chess club websites which have links labelled as the "English Chess Association". Happily they all actually point to the ECF site, but it does underline the potential to mis-lead.
To be fair to Mr Keene his organisation actually predates the English Chess Federation which was the British Chess Federation at the time, so with less room for confusion. You're right that the claim is mis-leading, however I don't think it's all that damaging. I'm not a fan of Mr Keene by any means but attacks on him have proved damaging to the credibility of this forum - for that reason I have highlighted the thread to Carl.
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Matt Mackenzie
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Re: Enquiry: English Chess Association

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Wed Jan 15, 2014 6:12 pm

Andrew Zigmond wrote:
PeterFarr wrote:
Andrew Zigmond wrote: The English Chess Association has presumably never been wound up, even if it is now largely dormant, so Mr Keene remains Chairman. While the title might not be as impressive as it sounds he is perfectly entitled to use it.

The English Chess Association has never had any connection to the English (formerly British) Chess Federaion, the organisation to which this section of the forum is a strictly unofficial debating point for. Why do you not pursue your enquiry with Mr Keene via the Times Chess Twitter feed?
You may well be right that Mr Keene is entitled to make that claim, but to do so in a book aimed at non-chess players is surely to invite a mis-apprehension in the mind of the reader. Incidentally, there are a few chess club websites which have links labelled as the "English Chess Association". Happily they all actually point to the ECF site, but it does underline the potential to mis-lead.
To be fair to Mr Keene his organisation actually predates the English Chess Federation which was the British Chess Federation at the time, so with less room for confusion. You're right that the claim is mis-leading, however I don't think it's all that damaging. I'm not a fan of Mr Keene by any means but attacks on him have proved damaging to the credibility of this forum - for that reason I have highlighted the thread to Carl.
A very strange claim, which I for one would like to see explained :?:

"I'm not a fan of Mr Keene by any means" - but you don't want anything done about his (now overwhelmingly evident) misdeeds. Funny, that......
"Set up your attacks so that when the fire is out, it isn't out!" (H N Pillsbury)

JustinHadi

Re: Enquiry: English Chess Association

Post by JustinHadi » Wed Jan 15, 2014 6:22 pm

It is possible for Ray Keene to sign up for an account isn't it?

Andrew Zigmond
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Re: Enquiry: English Chess Association

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Wed Jan 15, 2014 6:24 pm

I'm thinking back to when a certain ex blogger was in his prime, however I believe Carl has been threatened with legal action due to some of the comments levelled at Mr Keene. And with regard to your second point I'm not exactly sure what can be `done`.
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Carl Hibbard
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Re: Enquiry: English Chess Association

Post by Carl Hibbard » Wed Jan 15, 2014 6:27 pm

Andrew Zigmond wrote:I'm not a fan of Mr Keene by any means but attacks on him have proved damaging to the credibility of this forum - for that reason I have highlighted the thread to Carl.
Yes I agree this thread does seem to have turned into a bashing so please people keep to the subject of the topic.
Cheers
Carl Hibbard

Andrew Zigmond
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Re: Enquiry: English Chess Association

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Wed Jan 15, 2014 6:28 pm

JustinHadi wrote:It is possible for Ray Keene to sign up for an account isn't it?
He could, but in emails to me when I challenged him on Twitter about comments made on another issue he said that he chooses not to get involved on here `as the knowledge and ... standard of debate is not high`. Or put more bluntly in an email to Adam Raoof made public by Steve Giddins he said, `I will not get involved with the termites`.

Incidentally in his emails to me I had to disagree with a lot of what Mr Keene said but he was polite and courteous throughout.
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JustinHadi

Re: Enquiry: English Chess Association

Post by JustinHadi » Wed Jan 15, 2014 6:32 pm

I agree ECF debate should be limited only to those with an Oxbridge education.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Enquiry: English Chess Association

Post by Roger de Coverly » Wed Jan 15, 2014 6:43 pm

Carl Hibbard wrote: so please people keep to the subject of the topic.
We've seen material about the inception of the ECA, even a comment from someone who joined. Also there's an explanation of its disappearance in around 1991. It was mentioned again at the time of the BrainGames deals, this time being sold to Einstein. If it again has a Chairman, one must presume it was bought back or re-established when Einstein was liquidated.

It's known that it's unincorporated, so not under any direct requirement to have a constitution or articles, hold AGMs and publish accounts. It's not known that it's done anything for twenty years or more. There was the series of Staunton events in which the Chairman was involved without any passing publicity being given to the ECA.

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Matt Mackenzie
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Re: Enquiry: English Chess Association

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Wed Jan 15, 2014 6:49 pm

Andrew Zigmond wrote:
JustinHadi wrote:It is possible for Ray Keene to sign up for an account isn't it?
He could, but in emails to me when I challenged him on Twitter about comments made on another issue he said that he chooses not to get involved on here `as the knowledge and ... standard of debate is not high`. Or put more bluntly in an email to Adam Raoof made public by Steve Giddins he said, `I will not get involved with the termites`.

Incidentally in his emails to me I had to disagree with a lot of what Mr Keene said but he was polite and courteous throughout.
Of course he was. People like him usually are ;)
"Set up your attacks so that when the fire is out, it isn't out!" (H N Pillsbury)

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