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: â€œFive 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 â€˜no timeâ€™ to find a replacement. Of course, there was time â€“ there were five days.
â€œI told her to pursue every avenue â€“ 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, â€˜Mummy, why donâ€™t you try Raymond Keene?â€™
â€œNot 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.
â€œShe 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. â€œRaymond Keene was one of the worldâ€™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!
â€œRaymond 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 â€“ the demonstration of the power of the brain was complete, and a new Mind Sports partnership had been formed.â€
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.