Yesterday a video surfaced which was filmed in Saint Louis a couple of years ago, and as I was both there and am clearly visible in the last frame I feel compelled to comment.
The problem with videos shot in a casual environment in general is that they tell only part of a story. The problem with this one specifically is that it’s heavily edited from several clips and is designed to lead a narrative.
Those of us who were there know the true story. We know what the mood of the evening was; who was out of control and who wasn’t; who was ordering drinks for whom, etc.
The heavily edited video is designed to evoke a specific response from those who will see it. Sadly, it leaves a lot of the context out. For those of us who were there, we know the manner in which these things were said and happened.
I do not deign to speak for either Hikaru or Eric, and I consider both of them to be my friends. We’ve had some enjoyable times together, and I certainly hope to have more in the future, but I cannot in good conscience let my part go unsaid here. This video is trash, and an embarrassment to the chess community as a whole.
On a personal level, I find it unconscionable that someone would release edited footage of private moments which they either know for certain, or should at the very least strongly suspect, will be taken out of context. Most curious is the fact that in the beginning of the video, during the blitz match, the video cuts away quickly, not allowing the viewer to see that the overall mood was pretty relaxed at this point.
There were many things which led from the friendly blitz to the “fight” outside, and without having been there to see them, viewers of the video will simply be misled. I put the quotes around fight because, once again, it seemed from where I was standing to be a pretty friendly encounter.
As a dedicated and serious chess fan I hate to see this kind of dirty laundry made public. This does nothing to enhance the popularity of the game, and all involved in the release and sharing should be ashamed of themselves.