There has been virtually no reaction at all to my blog piece of last week, regarding the systematic match-fixing engaged in by two of the world's strongest women players. Nobody could give a tuppeny damn, it seems. The termites have ignored the matter, whilst my suggestion that one of the world's premier English-language chess news sites might take up the story was brushed aside.
The termites, meanwhile, have been far more exercised about mobile phone defaults. It is a never-ending source of fascination to me, how obsessively self-righteous chessplayers get over the issue of mobile phones going off during a game. We already have hugely disproportionate penalties for this, with players facing instant default, even when the phone is proved to have switched itself on, to emit a two-second battery alarm beep. But from the guff spouted by chessplayers on internet forums, it is clear that most would like to see the sanctions increased at least to the extent of capital punishment, if not worse ("worse" being something such as 24-hour imprisonment, in a shared cell, with Carl "Old Mother" Hibbard, perhaps...).
These self-righteous clowns justify their absurd nonsense by prattling on about how disturbing it is when a mobile goes off. What rubbish! How is a momentary bleep from a mobile phone anything like as disturbing as a player coughing or clearing his throat every 30 seconds throughout the game, or shaking his legs under the table, or twiddling a captured pawn in his fingers in your eyeline, or slurping his tea, or assaulting your nostrils with his two-week old cumulative body odour, or any of the 1001 other indignities one has to put up with, when playing OTB chess?
"Of course, if Black's disturbing behaviour had been reported to me initially, I wouldn't have been able to do anything about it, because I am currently on a cruise"
It is high time the chess world got a grip, and acquired a sense of proportion. Reading the termite forum, it is pretty clear that if two competitors in the British Championship were to engage in full-blown sexual intercourse on the floor of the tournament hall while the round was in progress, nobody would dare utter so much as a syllable of disapproval, but if either of their mobile phones were to bleep whilst they were in flagrante, then the culprit could expect to be defaulted, expelled from the building, and, quite possibly, burned at the stake.
And whilst this were happening, in another corner of the tournament hall, two of the world's leading female players could be quietly playing out a pre-arranged game, to carve up the prize money, and nobody would give a fig. Welcome to the wonderful world of chess!