Telegraph report about Austria

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Roger de Coverly
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Re: Telegraph report about Austria

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sat Aug 18, 2012 9:04 am

LawrenceCooper wrote: Wasn't this at the Lloyds Bank Masters or did another similar incident occur at the British?
The accused was someone I had played in the previous couple of years, which is why I recall the case. My recollection says "British", Eastbourne if we want to get more specific.

LawrenceCooper
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Re: Telegraph report about Austria

Post by LawrenceCooper » Sat Aug 18, 2012 10:22 am

Roger de Coverly wrote:
LawrenceCooper wrote: Wasn't this at the Lloyds Bank Masters or did another similar incident occur at the British?
The accused was someone I had played in the previous couple of years, which is why I recall the case. My recollection says "British", Eastbourne if we want to get more specific.
A quick google search does indeed confirm Eastbourne 1990. Maybe I only heard about it at Lloyds Bank Masters :oops:

John McKenna
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Re: Telegraph report about Austria

Post by John McKenna » Sat Aug 18, 2012 11:34 am

Once again I feel compelled to interject - not because I am possibly a suspect (and I could not care less who might actually think I'm the prime one, as I know I am in no way involved) in the "who impersonated IM L. Cooper" on another site since I exchanged a few words with him here last month but because Austin Elliot is right to keep warning people posting here about the 'Rashomon effect' (in the tale a female medium is used by the court to give the dead man's account of the events that lead to his demise but in this case it is best to let people speak for themselves before putting words in their mouths).
If there is any truth in this kind of complex case it is that conducting witch-hunts usually ends in death and here that means (mutual) character assassinations.
All the adults involved in the incidents at Mureck put themselves under a lot of pressure right from the time they decided to go (or stay home with the youngest) and the pressure increased daily I should imagine - for some more rapidly than others. In an early round two of the English players were paired and a comment was made on the ECF junior site, by the parent writing the daily report, that it meant "we have a guaranteed point today". However, that point was not shared and the loser was one of the three boys from Norfolk/Cambridge. Did that contribute in some way to enhancing the feeling of his parents that they were not getting the full support they hoped for? What were the coaching arrangements for the two boys involved - did they both get assistance from the same coach, different coaches or no coaching at all for their encounter?
I feel sorry for all involved in this unfortunate tale of woe but some people here are not helping anyone by throwing more fuel onto the pyre (and that includes me so I will now shut up about it).
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

Andrew Zigmond
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Re: Telegraph report about Austria

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Sat Aug 18, 2012 8:12 pm

John Cox wrote:Moreover, while this stuff is of course diverting, I'd be more interested in knowing why it is that our juniors have performed so abysmally in these events. I can't say I've paid much attention to our results in them since about thirty years ago, but at that time one was not expected to return with scores like 3/10, and if one did Leonard would no doubt have wanted to know the reason why. I know the former Soviet states take part individually now, which obviously has thickened up the top of the table a bit, but still. Or is this sort of thing the norm these days? Certainly I don't see many juniors around the UK scene who seem to me to have much ability.
This probably belongs on another thread but I think this comment is unfair. Surely in any tournament somebody has to score 3/10. Of course it has been the case in the past (a point I'll return to) that we've only sent representatives who the selection committee felt could deliver a reasonable score but surely if every country followed this logic (and possibly they do) the field would be very depleted.

Also (and not being an expert I can't comment except in general terms) it's possible our juniors were subsidised in the past, reports seem to suggest this is no longer the case (if it ever was). Therefore families have to pay their own way and family economics will play its part.

I'm sure this wasn't your intention but if any of the participants, already having to deal with their parents being subject to accusations in the national press, were to see themselves described on here as `abysmal` and `not having much ability` they'd be quite hurt. We have been spoilt for prodigies in recent years (and not all have fulfilled their potential) but somebody needs to keep the flame burning while we await the next one.

I know in the late 90s Michael Basman wrote to several chess publications complaining about the (then) BCF's junior selection policies which were conducted behind closed doors and which they refused to justify to anyone asking. One bone of contention was an expectation that anybody selected should be able to achieve at least fifty percent, thus denying valuable experience to juniors whose parents were willing to pay.
Last edited by Andrew Zigmond on Mon Aug 20, 2012 4:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Jonathan Rogers
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Re: Telegraph report about Austria

Post by Jonathan Rogers » Sat Aug 18, 2012 8:16 pm

LawrenceCooper wrote:
Roger de Coverly wrote:
LawrenceCooper wrote: Wasn't this at the Lloyds Bank Masters or did another similar incident occur at the British?
The accused was someone I had played in the previous couple of years, which is why I recall the case. My recollection says "British", Eastbourne if we want to get more specific.
A quick google search does indeed confirm Eastbourne 1990. Maybe I only heard about it at Lloyds Bank Masters :oops:
Eastbourne 1990 was certainly eventful off the boards. In particular, the starting day was marred by the murder of the local MP, Ian Gow, by the IRA. Later during the fortnight Iraq invaded Kuwait and Saddam took British civilians in Iraq as human shields.

Among the chess players, during the first week, there was much hilarity that one player in the Major Open, Conor Bracken, was literally staying and sleeping on the beach. He even held a bedroom party towards the end of the first week, which virtually everyone under 22 seemed to attend. I remember vividly that two youths came up to the party and challenged us to a fight. We tried to ignore them, though we must have looke pretty silly, because they were right in front of us and we must have outnumbered them by about 40-2.

Conor was presumably short of money though and the following night an argument did break out over dinner - one player said something along the lines that Conor was always trying to get out of paying his share and that apparently provoked the sudden attack. It was potentially very serious, by all accounts - there was blood everywhere at the scene - and it was said that Conor wandered the streets oif Eastbourne afterwards, wondering what would happen if the victim were to die and he was contemplating suicide until he met Jon Levitt who persuaded him to hand himself to the police. If he later avoided a prison sentence (and I think that he did) then this was good advice, though today I think a prison sentence would be inevitable in any event. Stewart knows better than I do what happened tp Conor in later life, but as far as I know no one in the English chess community has seen him since.

Paul Dargan
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Re: Telegraph report about Austria

Post by Paul Dargan » Sat Aug 18, 2012 8:21 pm

Re: Eastbourne 1990. Conor was a flat-mate of mine in London for a while. After Uni he moved overseas and has a successful business career. He seems to dabble in the occassional tournament - easy enough for anyone interested to check his FIDE page.

Paul

Keith Arkell
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Re: Telegraph report about Austria

Post by Keith Arkell » Sat Aug 18, 2012 8:28 pm

John Cox wrote: I certainly wouldn't be rushing to the police, and let's be honest - it's ridiculous to do so, the police have more important things to do.
I guess we live in a mad world John. Anybody can rush to the police about anything. I sent an inoffensive text message to an insane girl once and she complained to the police :shock: However ridiculous, the police are obliged to investigate any complaint. People dial 999 if their pizza hasn't arrived on time.

Among other reasons people have made emergency calls to the Police are:
A shop denying someone the use of their toilet.
Asking for the opening times of a pharmacy.
A man had called 999 (the UK emergency number) to report a 'large, bright object in the sky'. Said object turned out to be the moon.
And apparently an old woman ran 999 as she couldn't get through to vote in the final of Strictly Come Dancing.

Keith Arkell
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Re: Telegraph report about Austria

Post by Keith Arkell » Sat Aug 18, 2012 8:34 pm

ok, This wasn't exactly an emergency call, but you know what I mean :)

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Telegraph report about Austria

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sat Aug 18, 2012 8:40 pm

Paul Dargan wrote:Re: Eastbourne 1990. Conor was a flat-mate of mine in London for a while. After Uni he moved overseas and has a successful business career. He seems to dabble in the occassional tournament - easy enough for anyone interested to check his FIDE page.

Paul
I believe he's now in Thailand running a Company.

There was a report on the Streatham page
http://streathambrixtonchess.blogspot.c ... pirit.html

I was only in Eastbourne for the weekend, but it was the hottest of the year, possibly the decade. Luckily the venue was opposite the beach.

Paul McKeown
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Re: Telegraph report about Austria

Post by Paul McKeown » Sat Aug 18, 2012 9:11 pm

Jonathan Rogers wrote:Stewart knows better than I do what happened tp Conor in later life, but as far as I know no one in the English chess community has seen him since.
He's living in Thailand, some say he skipped the country with an outstanding warrant, although I don't know whether that is true or not. He became a successful businessman working - and employing many - in IT. I'm happy for him that all turned out well in the end, I knew him a little as a junior. I hope all went well with his victim in the end.

Sean Coffey
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Re: Telegraph report about Austria

Post by Sean Coffey » Sun Aug 19, 2012 12:45 am

Paul McKeown wrote:
Jonathan Rogers wrote:Stewart knows better than I do what happened tp Conor in later life, but as far as I know no one in the English chess community has seen him since.
He's living in Thailand, some say he skipped the country with an outstanding warrant, although I don't know whether that is true or not. He became a successful businessman working - and employing many - in IT. I'm happy for him that all turned out well in the end, I knew him a little as a junior. I hope all went well with his victim in the end.
I don't know him myself, but he's mentioned in an account on one of Colm Daly's sites: http://dublinchess.com/thailand2007.html, in a report on the 7th Bangkok CC Open 2007.

By the way, Paul, you posted a game against him here a little earlier. I grabbed it for the archives (http://www.irlchess.com/games_archive/s ... d-1986.htm) but now it seems to have disappeared here? It wasn't bad for a blindfold game.

Susan Lalic
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Re: Telegraph report about Austria

Post by Susan Lalic » Sun Aug 19, 2012 7:47 am

I agree with a lot of the comments from Andrew and John. It was worrying that some people took the dignified silence of the accused as a sign of guilt, rather than observing that they were committed to following and respecting the channels of authority. I would describe the accused family as unassuming, no-nonsense, accomplished and well liked.
The daughters are two of the most kind and gentle pupils I have ever come across and I cannot believe that the ECF are in possession of any statement to the contrary. The coaches must be in a strong position to advise on what went wrong and how to avoid future problems.

Andrew Camp
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Re: Telegraph report about Austria

Post by Andrew Camp » Sun Aug 19, 2012 8:49 am

Keith Arkell wrote: I sent an inoffensive text message to an insane girl once
My tired, sun-frazzled brain initially read this as, 'I sent an insane text message to an inoffensive girl once.'

After reading it properly, I'm quite disappointed.
Last edited by Andrew Camp on Sun Aug 19, 2012 9:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
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David Sedgwick
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Re: Telegraph report about Austria

Post by David Sedgwick » Sun Aug 19, 2012 9:20 am

Andrew Camp wrote:My tired, sun-frazzled brain initially read this as, 'I sent an insane text message to an inoffensive girl once.'

After reading it properly, I'm quite disappointed.
Your brain must still be a bit tired and sun-frazzled. You've attributed Keith Arkell's comment to John Cox.

Andrew Camp
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Re: Telegraph report about Austria

Post by Andrew Camp » Sun Aug 19, 2012 9:27 am

Duly and wearily edited.

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