Interesting article in today’s FT
Intrigue, Fiction, & a few Facts thrown in
It is always entertaining to see how a non-chessplayer journalist writes about FIDE politics and the chess world. In today’s Financial Times such an article was published, written by Sam Gad Jones.
(If you have problems with the above link, then simply do a Google search and you will get the entire article without the ‘subscription’ nonsense.)
Sam Jones had done a lot of research in preparation for writing this article. He definitely got the historical facts about Steinitz, Lasker and Alekhine right, as well as dates, something that many journalists fudge up on or just don’t pay enough attention to.
HOWEVER, when all you have is a semi-fictional fairy tale of political intrigue, then Sam Jones NEEDS the correct historical background to help lend an air of credibility.
“Documents seen by the Financial Times and extensive interviews with more than a dozen senior figures in the chess world show a co-ordinated global effort by the Russian state, through ambassadors and representatives of its banks and biggest companies, to win votes with promises of money and political pressure.”
The documents Jones refers to have no doubt already been published in the public domain during the 2018 FIDE election, so there is little mystery to be found for someone connected to chess.
‘Extensive‘ interviews with FIDE people most likely connected intimately with the pro-Makropoulos campaign also smells. Just another way for Jones to legitimize the speculation and fiction.
Jones also quoted Malcolm Pein in the article way too often to remain objective. We all know that Malcolm’s russo-phobia caused much self-inflicted embarrassment during the 2018 election.
Those who lose in an election rarely move on. Or learn from their mistakes. And they NEVER forgive.
However, Jones’ article is very well written, and reminds me a lot of Ian Fleming’s From Russia with Love. I see many similarities, very seductive fiction, amidst a historically correct background during the Cold War. The only thing missing is the girl.