Silly Question: No spoons admitted

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The Independent Online
A NEW bidder has emerged in the battle to stage the world chess championship between Nigel Short and Garry Kasparov. In a letter to the Independent, a new deal has been offered to resolve the current dispute and restore 'the traditions of courtesy and pure intellectual endeavour' and bring the chess world back to its senses.

The offer comes from The Devonshire Inn Chess Club in Okehampton, Devon, where extensive discussions between the Secretary, Colonel Walter K Polhill, and the treasurer, Binkie Braithwaite, have resulted in a detailed proposal of which the main points follow:

1 With the proceeds from a coffee morning and a raffle, the sponsors are able to offer pounds 150 to the winner and pounds 100 to the loser. It is hoped that sale of television rights will boost these figures.

2 Both parties and their retinues will be offered free accommodation at The Devonshire Inn for the duration of the contest.

3 The snug bar has been provisionally allocated as The Chess Room. This is where the chess club play their own matches and they are confident that both grandmasters will find it most congenial.

4 Col Polhill and Mr Braithwaite will be available at all times to discuss arrangements such as playing schedules, clocks, and restrictions on the world press. The Colonel is prepared to act as arbiter, though if FIDE, the International Chess Federation, wish to nominate another candidate, he will not stand in their way.

'We understand that the bidding is closed', explains Col Polhill, 'but feel that even at this late stage the various parties might consider our offer, representing as it does a return to 'chess for the people.' It is also possible that negotiations could again flounder, and the opportunity to stage this match in a quiet Devon village will become increasingly attractive.'

In view of the current wrangling between the pounds 1.5m (plus pounds 200,000 guaranteed residuals) from Times Newspapers and Teleworld Rotterdam, and the pounds 2m (plus a share of residuals) from The London Chess Group, the Devonshire Inn offers a convenient and decent solution. We commend it to the players.