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The Importance of Sport (NEW CONCEPTS)
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Mick Harper
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Scotland 1 Israel 1

Yes, but how many sabras were on show? Lyndon Dykes of the Gold Coast, Brisbane "with Scottish parents". Yeah, I'm sure. Not Jewish, are they? Or Australian. Another ludicrous penalty saved Scotland. Same beef as before: corner comes in, ball headed on, falls invitingly in front of an Israeli defender two yards out who clears it without ceremony. But no, it turns out that a Scottish player had come in from his blind side and stuck his foot out, and the Israeli foot had caught it a glancing blow on its way to the ball. Pen, all day long. Nobody even protests any more. Remember when coaching the wee laddies: It's the Green Cross Code, never kick a ball until you have looked left, right and left again (and behind you unless you are actually standing on the goal line).

Played at Hampden Park. Covid regulations meant there were 149,000 empty places. Beating their own world record set during the other three times they used the stadium in the last decade. And they think they can be independent.

PS They were playing for a draw at the end. Against Israel, at home. I'd rather be an Australian.
PPS I bet they'd prefer to be Scottish after yesterday's 20/20. But they've always been a nation of Greg Normans.
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Mick Harper
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Chess Olympiad

Mysteries abound as Russia and India share gold because of an 'internet outage'. Wha-a-a? I thought. It's a game of chess for chrissake, what are they playing on, dial-up Amstrads? India were behind so I assumed Indian hankey-pankey. Then I learned they beat Armenia in the quarter-finals despite the Armenians losing because of ... wait for it ... an internet outage. That settles it unless I hear different from Wiley. The only question that remains is whether it was Hindu nationalists or the bookies.
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Wile E. Coyote


In: Arizona
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Who knows?

It's probably a technical problem, Ding lost a game recently in a different competition as his internet connection went down in a drawn position. The rules in that comp were clear: if you disconnect or suffer disconnection, you lose. Later in the competition Ding drew a won game as he was rushing the ending conversion, maybe fearing another disconnect. There again he might have just been overconfident.

This time, India were behind in the match 2.5 to 1.5 but with a clear win in one game and a likely draw in the other. It would have probably ended in a tie, with an Armageddon to decide the winner. The appeals committee failed to reach a conclusion, so the FIDE president decided.
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Mick Harper
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An aside to the rest of you. Wiley is a chess aficionado and is supremely anxious to believe the bona fides of his sport.

Who knows?

This from a fully paid-up AE-ist. Disgraceful.
It's probably a technical problem

No, it was a technical problem.

Ding lost a game recently in a different competition as his internet connection went down in a drawn position

Wiley thinks the Chess Olympiad is of the same order of magnitude as a minor Ding-dong. He overlooks the fact that while a technical problem can (and inevitably will) occur at some point and is of no significance, it is only when it occurs twice at the same point that it becomes significant. The 'floodlight failure' scenario.

It would have probably ended in a tie

In his rush to acquit the Indians he overlooks the fact that the best they could hope for was a tie so why not, as it were, settle for a tie.

The appeals committee failed to reach a conclusion, so the FIDE president decided
.
Finally, the smoking gun. Appeals Committees are designed to reach a conclusion. They have no other function.
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Wile E. Coyote


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It's not just Wiley who hasn't got faith in FIDE, I mean the last President of FIDE was Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, who was accused of voter rigging, fraud and, whilst being Presideny of Kalmykia, killing a journalist, who was investigating him. Kirsan's main ambition was actually football and to take control of FIFA, which he certainly had the skillset for. When Kirsan was ditched as FIDE president, appearing on the US santion list for supporting terrorism, he was abandoned, probably by Putin, in favour of the current FIDE President, Dvorkovich. There is as much dodgy dealings as ever.

If you want to take a radical position on Chess, or Boxing, you have to argue it's all above the chessboard.
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Mick Harper
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This is interesting but not surprising (only shocking), and therefore not significant, AE-wise. It is a) the Indian dimension and b) the careful ignoral that is. Kalmykia is no better than it ought to be, India should be and, by the way, is a long-term ally of the Soviet Union which, I assume, in chess terms, that Russia still is. More than can be said for Kalmykia!

If this is an Indian ploy the question becomes, 'how high?' India is probably the worst sporting nation in the world, as measured by triumphs per head, so winning a chess Olympiad must rank quite high with them. The question then becomes how high does it have to go before you have the oomph to trigger internet outages. If it's just a bloke round the back pulling a lever then, I suppose, we'll all have to go back to sleep.

Remember, one and all, corrupt systems are just as interesting for us vide Mayor Daley Syndrome. Just saying they are corrupt is not saying very much at all.
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Mick Harper
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Talking of nationalists with not much to brag about when it comes to national success, here's a scholarly paper that dropped onto my mat this morning

ANALYZING WRESTLERS’ PERCEPTIONS OF WRESTLING BY STUDYING THE METAPHORS OF THE ATHLETES FROM THE TURKISH NATIONAL TEAM
Mehmet Türkmen

It features a methodology unknown to WADA

This study aimed to explore the perceptions of wrestlers on the Turkish national wrestling team by analyzing their metaphors for wrestling. 107 athletes voluntarily participated in this study in 2013. Data were collected by asking the volunteers to fill in the blanks of the following sentence: “Wrestling is like .……since……..”.

In this way, it was expected that each participant would come up with a metaphor. For this study, the phenomenology research design was used and the data were analyzed using the content analysis technique. This study was conducted to identify the perception of previous and current wrestlers of the Turkish National Wrestling Team about the concept of "doping".

Sounds like a technique we could use ourselves. Hatty, round up some academics.
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Mick Harper
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The Tour de France is on one of its Megalithic stages today: Ile d'Oléron to the Ile de Ré. It's pan flat and boring as shit (unless the wind is up and someone plays silly buggers with the echelons) but I'll have to watch it anyway for work-related reasons. I envy them, at least they can knock off after the race.
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Mick Harper
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They're going through wall-to wall salt evaporation pans. Plus ça change...
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Mick Harper
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Weirdest Statement of the Week

Italy 1 Poland 0
...and Poland have a notable absentee of their own. Lewandowski hasn't returned from holiday.
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Mick Harper
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Terrible news about Belgium being suspended from all competitions because, despite half their population being French-speakers, none of them are permitted to play for the national side. Everybody in their group has been awarded pro forma 2-0 wins for any remaining games against them.
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Mick Harper
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Any of you living in or around Bury in Lancashire? If so, one of your favourite sons has just lost the maillot jaune in the Tour of France while another of your favourite sons has just donned the maglia rosso in the Tirenno-Adriatica. You want to make your minds up, you do.
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Mick Harper
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If I had a pound for every time somebody on Sky Transfer News (ten, one, five, seven and ten o'clock respectively) says 'gets it across the line', I would be able to afford a life.
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Chad


In: Ramsbottom
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Mick Harper wrote:
Any of you living in or around Bury in Lancashire? If so, one of your favourite sons has just lost the maillot jaune in the Tour of France while another of your favourite sons has just donned the maglia rosso in the Tirenno-Adriatica. You want to make your minds up, you do.

Yeah, they cut their teeth on Rawson's Rake in Ramsbottom.

You'll like this Mick:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mdXys9FxCs8
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Mick Harper
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I recognised the hill. They used it for a Hovis ad years ago.
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