Tuesday 26 February 2019

Brain Drain

Now here's a thing - the latest accounts for the Brain Trust, Ray Keene's fake charity, are out. They're late, but they're out.

What do they tell us? Not much we didn't know already, so if you were expecting all the large donations to have gone to Ray, Tony Buzan and their mates, there is nothing here to disappoint you.

If you look at the notes carefully, you'll be doing more than anybody was when they wrote them, or for that matter when they signed them off, since UK Schools Memory Initiative seems to have become UK Memory Sports Council between the list of grants and the notes to that list. Nevertheless, they were "approved by the Board of Trustees on 20 December 2018" and signed off by Ray, as well as the charity's Independent Examiner, Ray's old business partner David Massey.

I'm not actually sure that anything called the UK Schools Memory Initiative exists at all but no matter, the accounts themselves cite Ray and Tony as having an involvement in these two entities, organisations, bank accounts, whatever they may actually be. They don't suggest the same for the Chinese Memory Championship, perhaps surprisingly as the World Memory Statistics webpage, not updated for a while, trumpets the then-upcoming World Memory Championships, to be held in China, in December 2017

where they duly took place, with Ray and Tony visible in many of the photos.

Monday 18 February 2019

Missing millions

Good spot Rog.

The Chessbase article on the FIDE campaign to be accepted as a sport at the 2024 Olympics is, as it says, a translation of a piece, in German, by Conrad Schormann, on the blog Perlen Vom Bodensee. It has appended to it, though, the text of a FIDE press release

whch as Roger observed, makes our favourite claim, and does so in two places.

We'll just note in passing the date on that press release (12 February, the day before the Chessbase piece) and the fact that it invites us to contact a VĂ©ronique Revoy who among other things is General Secretary of the French Chess Federation.

I took up that invitation and last Friday I swapped a few emails with Mme Revoy.

Monday 11 February 2019

Cut Short

Funny thing is I was just wondering whether to renew my subscription.

I've not seen the first issue of 2019 yet - well, I've seen the front cover

but the rest of it, the last one that I've currently paid for, is late. And if it and when it does turn up, there's not going to be any Nigel Short in it.

This is a good thing.

I'd stopped reading his column some issues back anyway, partly because it really wasn't very well written (too much convoluted phrasing in preference to plain English) but partly because after a few years the combination of ego, obnoxiousness and permanent points-scoring just isn't that compelling any more.

I mean yes, if what you're looking for is controversy

then it's a good thing to have a motormouth on the scene.

But what if you're looking for is for women to be treated with respect? Is that important at all, Leon, or is the controversy the thing?

What if you would like other nationalities to be treated with respect too? What if you find his propensity to bullying and feuding distasteful?

It's not an optional extra, it's the whole man, the whole style. The "controversy" he produces is misogyny, prejudice and bullying. And I think we ought to be able to do better than that.

I'd like that to be the reason he's gone. Of course it isn't, whatever this may actually mean -

but it's the reason why, if and when my copy does turn up, I'll be renewing my subscription.