Mass media

Izvestia “improves” Sutovsky’s article, Süddeutsche Zeitung refers to fabrication

Preface: I did cover the Carlsen-Karjakin match in German, so did many other sources in many languages – no need to translate my articles on the match itself. This post-match piece appeared in German yesterday (5th December), here I translate it as published and mention recent developments at the end. I did consider the world championship match to be ‘over’, also from a journalistic point of view, and I do separate chess from politics as much as possible. But this article “has to be written”.

To first mention media and persons involved: For Izvestia in Russian at least two persons – upon invitation Israeli grandmaster (with roots in Azerbaidjan) and ACP president Emil Sutovsky and, not requested by Sutovsky, at least one unnamed member of Izvestia’s staff. Izvestia can currently be considered a government-friendly tabloid. Sutovsky wrote about it on Facebook, these are certainly 100% his own words. Later, after the original (or second) version had already been quoted internationally, Izvestia changed and thereby somewhat ‘softened’ the article.

For Süddeutsche Zeitung, Frank Nienhuysen translated and quoted Sutovsky or rather (he couldn’t know) Izvestia’s final editor. I can’t blame him for this, but maybe for the fact that he called Sutovsky ‘Russian’ [situation on 5th December, see below for later correction]. Süddeutsche Zeitung is an independent German quality newspaper; Nienhuysen is (according to the profile accompanying the article) an experienced staff member (since 1994) and expert for Eastern European politics – certainly not relying on Google Translate for Russian sources.

From my personal point of view: When I write about chess (or my other hobby running), I am currently always amateur or at most incidental freelancer, certainly not a professional.

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