Using the biggest sexist in the world of chess who has nothing to do with this issue to mouth off this sensitive topic on Twitter is not the way to resolve anything. Some are clearly using this to advance their own personal and political agenda.Why "remarkable"? Well, remarkable because it's true, which is not necessarily Susan Polgar's style. So we had the simultaneous spectacle of the biggest sexist in the world of chess posing as a defender of women's rights and the biggest fibber in the world of chess calling him out for it. Calling him out for it, when practically nobody else would do so.
Especially not our mainstream journalists, who seemed to have a collective attack of memory loss1 where Nigel's past statements and conduct are concerned.
Short, wrote Julian Barnes in 1994, "has a history of graceless behaviour". So he does, but it's not as if you have to remember back to 1994, or even to have been alive in 1994, to know about that.
You don't even have to go back to 2012 and his piece delighting in sex tourism and the "totty" you could find.
You only have to go back to last year.
So when you have the Times, for instance, reporting that Nigel "led calls for a change of venue"
is it really too much to ask that the question - "hang on, Nigel Short is leading this? That Nigel Short?" - finds its way into the mind of the reporter, and that the answer finds its way into the story?
Apparently it is.
Or when a Telegraph writer files a story including this passage
is it too much to ask that they remember this story in the same newspaper only last year? It includes passages like this
about a "feminist lobby" who are "shrill" and "tyrannical".
Not too hard to remember, you'd think. Especially as both pieces were by the same journalist.
To get back to Susan Polgar, heroic speaker of truths:
Some are clearly using this to advance their own personal and political agenda.So they are, and so are the newspapers concerned, which is OK so long as everybody understands that. Still, that being so, a bit less humbug and outrage all round might be appreciated.
Also - you know, it was only three months ago that Nigel went to Iran to take part in a tournament. I doubt he did this without being paid. He took the trouble when commenting on the tournament to talk (among his numerous complaints) about the hijab and it will not have escaped his notice that it had to be worn. This didn't, however, stop him playing, and I don't suppose it stopped him getting paid.
Shortly after this he went to Baku for the Olympiad where, as we know, there was a big, big ruck over Nigel being searched during a game and which led him to refer to the arbiter concerned as
- "an idiot"
- "a jumped up little prick" ; and
- "a worthless individual who is not fit to lick my boots"
You can actually see why journalists are so keen on Nigel because he doesn't half give a good interview, but he's also something of a bully, isn't he? More than something. He'll dish it out when it's one of the little people on the receiving end, because that's the kind of guy he is.
But at the end of that interview he says, of the chess world, "we're living in a dictatorship" and refers to his "little protest". So I just wondered - when he was playing, profesionally, in Bandar Anzali, in what some people describe, with reason, as a theocratic dictatorship, did he make any little protests against the hijab there?
I'm sure he did. I look forward to reading all about it in New In Chess.
[1paywall I'm afraid]