Chess: continuing problems of perception
Little hope for improvement in UK
Continuing with the theme of MSM’s deliberate and steady erosion of chess’ visibility and prestige, the above header was from yesterday’s Daily Telegraph. Dominic Lawson, the ECF’s acting president and well known – if somewhat controversial – journalist and author, has been actively campaigning in recent years for English politicians to have chess’ status change in the UK so as to access sports funding or atleast some concrete benefits derived from such a status change. Today markedly frustrated with his lack of progress, Lawson now admits that this is not going to happen any time soon…if ever.
“I don’t know anyone in Government now who is interested in chess. Part of the problem lies in the fact that chess is not perceived as part of British culture. People in the sporting bodies are into athletics and physical sports, and when it comes to chess – if they think about it – they look at it with contempt.
It seems to me that they do not want to open what they see as a Pandora’s box by allowing chess into the arena of recognised sports. That is why there has been adamantine resistance.”
Sinquefield Cup ignored by MSM in USA
Billionaire Rex Sinquefield has invested heavily in the development of chess in St. Louis in particular and in America generally. He is seen by many as the reason the US National Team won the Olympiad last year for the first time in a zillion years.
The recently concluded Sinquefield Cup, won by the Frenchman Vachier-Lagrave, has been met by a wall of silence in MSM in the USA. I checked this morning for any news on this magnificent event in papers such as the NYTimes, Washington Post and came up empty handed.
It is like the Sinquefield Cup never took place…no doubt when Kasparov plays in a couple days time in St. Louis this will all change. But Kasparov is a unique celebrity, and none of his ‘shine’ has ever flowed over into the chess community. More likely still, Kasparov will use the opportunity for more Russia bashing, and that will serve for MSM’s sudden interest in Sinquefield’s chess events.