SPRAGGETT ON CHESS
Over the past 3 years–when this blog first went online–I have covered on numerous occasions (more than a dozen times, if memory serves) the history of CMA executive director Larry Bevand’s practice of censorship on his message board ChessTalk
. A sordid history of ruthless and self-serving control over the message board readers and contributers. A paranoid effort to distort the truth about the corruption that runs amuck in the Canadian chess community.
I invite my readers to type in the word ”chesstalk” into the search box on the left and investigate for themselves what I wrote in the years 2009 and 2010 about censorship on the message board. The practice is arbitrary and indiscriminate. And at times totally irrational: Bevand this past summer even censored the moderator of the message board ( Chris Mallon) for no good reason at all!
But there are many other episodes to choose from. In particular, the Peter Stockhausen scandal stands out: soon after news of Stockhausen’s disappearance first broke Bevand tried to block the discussion threads , no doubt fearing that his close relationship with the disgraced CFC politician might come back to haunt him. To seal lips, Bevand even banned Stockhausen’s wife from posting!
Or there is the time when atleast one writer was threatened with being banned should he continue to write fair and , at times, glowing commentary of my blog! The list goes on and on…I invite my readers to discover the dark history of ChessTalk.
THE LATEST EPISODE
After the censorship all that remains are ‘x’s
The latest episode of Larry Bevand’s censorship can be seen of Montrealer Neil Sullivan’s post (on the French chesstalk board) about the recent publishing of a French language book on the life and death of Alexander Alekhine by Guy Gignac. Neil Sullivan often writes book reviews on chesstalk and is considered a respected and authoritative voice in the Montreal chess community.
A more than pissed-off Sullivan wrote back:
”Today I posted a message on the French board on the new Alekhine book. I am more than a little upset to see that the body and title have been edited without my knowledge.
As I am unaware of having contravened any rule, I don’t understand the reason for this. Why would any admin feel they had a right to change a poster’s words?
If I did something wrong, please let me know. But, just changing what people write unilaterally is completely unacceptable! What country is this?”
Bevand responded with something incoherent about ”blatant advertising” …. to give an idea of just how arbitrary and random Bevand’s behaviour is : he only censored the French board(!!), leaving Mr. Sullivan’s posts about the book untouched on the English board! You go figure that out…
However, it would be unfair to Mr. Bevand to single him out in the Canadian chess community for being the only figure to use censorship as a daily tool in his dealings with others. The current CFC leadership also follows in Mr. Bevand’s footsteps….consider the following example taken from this past summer.
Victor Itkine is one of the most respected organizers in Ontario and this past July he and his organization did a splendid job with the CYCC, making a profit just under $20,000. When he and his group decided to not give the CFC Executive the proceeds (they have this right) but instead to award it as prizes to CYCC winners, the CFC asked for Mr. Itkine posts to be censored!
Victor later wrote:
”I just posted the decision of 2011 CYCC Organizing Committee how to distribute the cash-prizes among the CYCC winners. This decision was taken by the vote of the majority of the Organizing Committee.
The CFC has not only requested to remove my post from the ChessTalk, but has also terminated my access to post at the CFC Forum.”
Adding to this farce, it transpired that the moderator of both the CFC’s message board and Chesstalk–Chris Mallon–did NOT ask for Mr. Bevand’s permission before taking this action. When Mr. Bevand found out , he was furious and then immediately telephoned Mallon and unceremoniously fucked him over the phone! Mr. Mallon, obviously distraught at Mr. Bevand not using vaseline, did not waste much time before replying:
I really did not appreciate you calling me, swearing at me and talking to me like I’m a little child.I’ve run YOUR chess board for years at absolutely NO COST to you.
It’s not MY fault you didn’t take the three seconds to notice that the posts were moved into the original thread and not deleted. This is NOT something that requires special permission, this is NORMAL MODERATION and is practiced on every major forum in the world.
If that is the way you want to treat volunteers who have put hundreds of hours into your organization, so be it. But I will have no part of that.
Enjoy running your own board from now on. Link
Making a long story short, eventually Mr. Itkine gave the CFC the money, but with strings attached . He is now free to post on ChessTalk and the CFC message board…atleast, up until the next time he will be censored and banned!
AND WHAT OF MR. BEVAND AND MR. MALLON?
When Bevand finally realized what an ass he was, he issued a public apology (!) and both gentlemen kissed and made up! Apparently, there is a photo of this somewhere….
SPRAGGETT ON CHESS