acting-FIDE president, sent a letter to GM Kevin Spraggett
which appeared on Kevin’s website today (http://www.spraggettonchess.com/2018-fide-election-campaign/).
The reason for my present letter is your recent posts on your website about the upcoming FIDE elections and I would like to have my reply published as well.
I believe that your website was one of the most objective during the previous election campaign of 2014. But, unfortunately, I am afraid that this year you have turned your website, most probably unintentionally, to a propaganda outlet of Kirsan.”
I have been flummoxed as to why Kevin would support Kirsan Ilyumzhinov,
known to most of the world as the man who took a trip around the universe as a guest of Aliens, or ET’s, if you prefer.
Like a politician, Makropoulous included a caveat when he wrote, “…most probably unintentionally.” I have read the same thing Makro has read and what Kevin wrote was intentional. I cannot understand how anyone could read Kevin’s blog and feel it was anything but intentional.
In his post of May 7, Stranger things have happened! Remember Trump?, Spraggett writes, “Monty Python is alive and well…” He then wrote: “Here comes Nigel Short onto the world stage! I love the British sense of humour…” Underneath he posted this picture:
That is not funny, it is an INSULT!
Spraggett’s post of May 11 continued with, 2018 FIDE Carnival Begins! Again Kevin insults Nigel Short
again by using the previous picture:
Kevin writes, “I have read what a lot of commentators on the social media have written on the subject of a 3-horse race. I think that not one has stated the obvious: Nigel Short is Kasparov’s proxy.”
Kevin gives absolutely nothing to back up his claim that Nigel is “Kasparov’s proxy.” This is not only insulting, but libelous. There is more: “Kasparov can be a jerk (at times), but we all forgive him. The same will not likely be said concerning Nigel.”
Kasparov beat Nigel in a match for the World Chess Championship so he is forgiven for being a “jerk” but the man who lost will not be forgiven for being a “jerk?”
Until reading Kevin’s blog I was unaware there was a Main Stream Chess Media, which he puts into the “right-wing” category. In this post Kevin continues tying the Chess “MSM” to the whipping post:
“Good morning, Monday! It is the middle of the month already…where does the time go? You can tell it is approaching the middle of the year when the number of tournaments (teams and individual) are such that it is (almost) impossible to follow them all. Not that some well known sites care less…
Have you also noticed how FEW tournaments are followed by the more popular chess-news blogs? The ‘msm-chess’ sites , in the english language , that I am referring to include Chess.Com, ChessBase, ChessDom, Susan Polgar’s DailyChessNews, and one or two others. If you visit these sites during the week, you will have noticed that they cover virtually the same few tournaments.
Worse still, the political views expressed on these sites all have the same right-ish bias. (Don’t take me literally, please.) I don’t have a problem with this, but it does get boring to see the world as either black/white or as a hammer/nail type of model.”
Kevin also criticizes the regular, so-called, Main Stream Media:
“One of my favourite topics on this blog is how MSM (main stream media) more often than not goes out of its way to give chess a bad name. Any ugly story that might otherwise go unnoticed soon becomes headlines if the main character involved ever played a game of chess. The narrative immediately changes from ‘a random crime was committed’ to ‘one more chess player goes crazy’.
Witness the Women’s World Championship being played this week. Does MSM report on it? No way! But this past week has seen a higher than average number of articles in MSM linking chess to sex crimes and even murder. Here are just three examples. Of course there are more!” (http://www.spraggettonchess.com/friday-coffee-chess-and-potpourri/)
Kevin shows pictures of three recent incidents in which the word “chess” is given.
Man who taught children chess sentenced to 12 years in prison for downloading child pornography
If the word “chess” had been “golf,” or “piano,” do you think he would have put it on his blog? How many “teachers” are there in the whole country? Something like this occurs almost every day yet Kevin thinks the “MSM” “goes out of its way to give chess a bad name.” The MSM reports the news.
The second one:
‘Chess ace’ accused of murdering professor is perp-walked
Change ‘Chess’ above to “billiards.” Do you think that would have been included on Kevin’s blog?
The last one:
Minor girl accuses chess coach of molestation
By now I’m sure you get my drift…
Kevin poses a question:
“Witness the Women’s World Championship being played this week. Does MSM report on it? No way!”
There is a reason the “MSM” does not report on the Women’s World Championship but Kevin segues into “…MSM linking chess to sex crimes…” without doing anything other than to slam the “MSM” for NOT covering the WoCC. Give me a reason why it should be reported on the “MSM” Kevin! Think of it from the perspective of the person who decides how much space is to be devoted to anything. He would ask himself, “How many people know about the WoCC? How many people care if there is a WoCC?” After pausing he could think, “We do not cover the men’s WCC. Why would we cover the WoCC?”
The lack of coverage of Chess by the “MSM” is an indication of how society values the Royal game. In the minds of the general public things changed dramatically after Kasparov lost to Deep Blue. I cannot count the times someone who learns about my involvement with the game has said something along the lines of, “I thought people stopped playing after thr Russian lost to that machine.”
Wake up and smell the coffee, Kevin! The “MSM” needs a reason to utilize valuable space with a Chess story. If, for example, a female player managed to win a candidates tournament and challenge the World Champ how much space would be devoted to the match?
Then there is the problem of continued cheating, and cheating allegations, in Chess.:
GM Solozhenkin Suspended For Making Cheating Accusations; Fellow GMs Protest
Apr 13, 2018, 2:01 AM
“The FIDE ethics commission has suspended GM Evgeniy Solozhenkin for making unsubstantiated allegations of cheating, published in different articles on the internet. A group of grandmasters has written an open letter in support of Solozhenkin.
It’s an incident that shocked the Russian chess scene, and even months later, things haven’t calmed down. A 13-year-old girl, whose rating had reached that of IM level, was accused of cheating by a well-known Russian coach during the World Youth U14 last September in Uruguay.”
The Chess world must face, and come to terms with, the fact that there are more stories concerning Chess cheating than about playing Chess.
A blind man can see that the Chess world is in crisis. If you do not think the fortunes of something can change in a short period of time, look at NASCAR. All one needs do is read the headlines:
NASCAR Is In Trouble And Nobody Wants To Talk About It
That was two years ago. This was before the 2018 season:
NASCAR Wobbles Into 2018 Low On Gas, And Badly Needing A Spark
This is today:
Can NASCAR’s biggest problems be repaired? Petty, Gordon and other legends weigh in
One of the major problems is the folks who run NASCAR changed the traditional format of a race which alienated the most ardent racing enthusiasts. Knowing this caused me to cogitate on the changes that have been made to how Chess is played. The time for thinking has continued to diminish. For some reason those making decisions have decided to transform Chess into a much faster game. Chess is not Backgammon.
Chess is a wonderful tool with which to teach a child how to think. Why should Chess be taken seriously when the point of the game is to THINK, and time to do so is increasingly limited? What purpose does it serve to teach a child how to play Chess when there is not enough time to think?
Ask yourself, “Why should the “MSM” take the Royal game seriously when the collective Chess World does not take it seriously? How can anyone in their right mind believe yet another Kirsan term will change the downward trajectory on which the Royal game founders? How can anyone in their right mind think the “MSM” will take the news that Kirsan the ET will continue running the Royal game into the ground? Does the Chess world want Kirsan the ET, who has been ridiculed, pilloried, and sanctioned, continuing as the face of Chess?