A truly wonderful explosion has hit the Forum, as the generally admirable Prof Robertson has suffered one of those periodic eruptions, with which experienced Robbo-watchers are familiar. The casus belli was a perfectly justifiable reference he made to computers having destroyed correspondence chess. This brought forth a sharp rebuke from my old Hastings Congress friend, Tim Spanton, who wrote of Prof Robertson's comment :
Untrue (but a statement frequently made by people who don't play corr chess)!
That was all the combustible Prof needed for a spectacular outburst. Tim works as a features writer on our nation's biggest-selling newspaper, always a red rag to a Left-leaning Scouse bull, and the Prof duly set about him with all the ferocity of Graeme Souness tackling an upstart opposing centre-forward:
Tim Spanton? Sun journalist. Yes? Telling me what's true and untrue. Yes? Well, have I got The Truth for you. Remember: in Liverpool, we have a word for people like you. With good reason, we call you Scum. And the reason we call you scum, is because you are lying scum.
He then goes on to quote his own CC playing credentials (which apparently included a rather impressive 2400 rating in pre-computer days),before turning to Tim's own CC exploits on the ICCF server. It seems that a game exists between Spanton and a certain Mr Pheby, who has won a batch of CC titles, despite being graded only about 160 OTB. According to the Prof, the game Spanton-Pheby features an alarmingly high number of moves (for both sides) which coincide with Houdini's first choice. Of course, as my old University economics tutor was fond of pointing out, "correlation doesn't imply causation", but such Caissic coincidences are always somewhat malodorous, it must be admitted.
He demands that Spanton invite him to publish the game, and be ready to explain the Houdini-coincidence. Alternatively:
Or you can apologise! Even Kelvin MacKenzie managed that
You may be wondering what the Forum's chief censor, Carl "Old Mother" Hibbard was doing, whilst all this personal abuse was flying about? Er, bugger all, to be exact. He did go on, several hours later, with the dire warning that unless things improve, "moderation is unavoidable on this one", but he has done nothing at all to censor or remove Robbo's outburst - a most unusual departure from OMH's usual policy, which is to clamp down hard on all personal abuse, unless it is directed against the author of this blog!
Personally, I blame John Fliptop for the whole business. If that useless little clown were put in charge of organising all CC events, everywhere in the world, you would not get players using computers to make their moves for them, for the very simple reason that he would never publish any pairings, so no moves would get played in the first place!
Verily is it said that the Egregious Chess Federation has a solution to every problem...