Keene on . . .


‘I tend to make the articles in The Spectator more wordy and The Times I make a little bit more lapidary in the style.’


‘When I did my accounts after that event, I think I’d made eleven pounds profit.’

Being expelled from the BCF

‘I thought, the mere thought that they can even remotely suspect me is so insulting, I don’t want anything more to do with them.’

Miles’s article on Tunis

‘I was completely baffled by this.’

Golombek’s stroke

‘He ceased to be interesting afterwards.’


‘If somebody really gets out of line I can be quite decisive in dealing with it.’


‘I try to do things in ways that speed up efficiency, and sometimes this involves cutting corners.’

Staunton’s headstone

‘I found some quote from Shakespeare, but it didn’t quite work, so I rewrote it.’

Physical sports

‘I used to enjoy playing rugby . . . one could score tries while legitimately treading on the necks of one’s opponents.’

Training methods

‘The Lloyds Bank Masters 1981 was won in the King’s Head. It’s where I discovered Carlsberg Special Brew.’

Playing world champions

‘Smyslov I had trouble with. Petrosian I had trouble with. Tal, funnily enough, I didn’t have trouble with.’


‘I can be perfectly affable if I have to be.’


‘I don’t think I’ve seen one.’


(Source: unpublished interview with Raymond Keene by Jimmy Adams, Mark Huba and Sarah Hurst, 1998.)

First published in Kingpin 39 (Spring 2007)

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