A bitter feud between two famous Australian chess personalities erupted very publicly in front of some of the world’s greatest chess players at the Doeberl Cup in Canberra yesterday.
An verbal altercation between Australian Chess Federation president Gary Wastell and Australia’s first grandmaster Ian Rogers turned the normally genteel meet into a naming-calling showdown, according to a report in The Australian.
Rogers refused to be presented with an award from Wastell, exclaiming “Not while you’re president!” and saying Wastell “had acted badly towards me and other top players in the past”.
The competition was attended by World champion Garry Kasparov, who flew from Russia for the event. The pair continued to argue on stage in front of the assembly, and even when Kasparov tried to dispel the disagreement by outlining his plans to encourage more children to play the game, they continued to argue.
Onlookers told The Australian “It was a complete meltdown”, “everyone was stunned” and embarrassed by the scene in front of “the world’s greatest player when he’s finally made it to Australia”.
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