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Interview with Count & Grand Master Raymond Dennis Keene, O.B.E.


Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Publication (Outlet/Website): WIN ONE/Phenomenon (World Intelligence Network)

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2019/11/03

1. Scott Douglas Jacobsen: Some chess Grandmasters have all-around high-quality talents, gifts, and skills in chess. Others have specific talents, which they exploit, e.g. strengths in offensive or defensive strategies, or talents in Blitz Chess. In each major division of skills, gifts, and talents, what exemplars come to mind for generalized abilities, offensive strength, defensive strength, Blitz Chess strength, and so on?

Count & Grand Master Raymond Dennis Keene, O.B.E.: The great exponent of defensive chess was a man named Tigran Petrosian, who was World Champion from 1963 to 1969. He died in 1984. He was known to be unbeatable. For example, he went through the World Championship qualifying tournament in 1962, which he won without losing a single game. He represented the Soviet Union in many, many chess Olympics and Olympiads. He only lost one game out of about 80 that he played. He was an amazing example of someone who was an exponent of defensive play. His main talent was not losing. If you do not lose, it maximizes your chances of winning. In fact, he won the World Championship.

In modern chess, the World Champion is Carlsen. He is probably the greatest exponent of the end game. I think it was the sixth game of his 2013 World Championship game against Anand. The rooks and pawns, where computers were saying the position was completely drawn, but Carlsen found a way to win, and it was a way to win the computers hadn’t seen. I think one of his strengths is in the end game.

Until there is an attack, the ones that come to mind are Alekhine, Mikhail Tal, and Garry Kasparov. Mainly, they are known for attacks against the imposing king. This has become more difficult because with modern computer players. Defense techniques are becoming better. It is becoming rarer and more difficult to achieve, but these guys in their prime were able to do that, and it wasn’t just by the brilliance of their ideas, but by the charisma of their personalities. It is not a dry exercise. Charisma, personality, and psychology play a very large part in it.

2. Jacobsen: We spoke about chess prodigies. What about late-bloomers in chess? Those that made a tremendous impact on the mind sport’s trajectory throughout its history.

Keene: Nowadays, it is difficult to become a late bloomer. It’s really very difficult indeed. You have to start young. I think all of the top Grandmasters now started very young. If you go in back in history, you can find some people who were late bloomers. One was Akiba Rubinstein. A Polish grandmaster. He didn’t learn the moves of the game until he was 16, a teenager. Yet, he became one of the world’s greatest players, and that is very, very, very rare.

In the past, winning the World Championship, Alekhine won the World Championship in 1927. He was 35 years old. That wasn’t uncommon. Nowadays, people do not win the World Championship until in their 20s. Carlsen won it in his 20s; Kasparov won it in his 20s. You need to look into the past for late bloomers.

Rubinstein is one of the ones that come to mind. Most of the great players were really strong. Capablanca was World Champion from 1921-1927 and was playing since the age of 4 with his father. He started to observe his father play. I think there are activities like mathematics, chess, where there is some kind of cosmic harmony. A five-year-old or a six-year-old could not have possibly written a novel like War and Peace because it requires expertise, historical knowledge, and experience. I think mathematics and chess are quite different. They are purely an expression of harmony, universal harmonics. Very young people could pick up on those harmonics and pick up on it. Same thing with music. You can play the violin very young. You can do mathematics very young. You can play chess very young. That is because I think there is some kind of harmony in the universe, which is in certain people with certain gifts can actualize and interpret.

3. Jacobsen: What chess games remain the greatest in history to you – top 3?

KeeneTop three games, I think probably the first one would be the immortal game between Adolf Anderssen and Lionel Kieseritzky played in 1851. It was a game that made a huge impact on chess history. It is called the Immortal Game because of its impact.

I would say that the game between Botvinnik and Capablanca in 1938, where Botvinnik was the representative of the Soviet school of chess. Capablanca was the old champion and was defeated by Botvinnik in a game of an amazing series of sacrifices. It showed the shift from the domination of Western chess to the new domination of the U.S.S.R. It was a beautiful game.

The final game, I think, also very symbolic, it was the 24th game of the 1985 game between Garry Kasparov and Anatoly Karpov. Garry became the youngest of the World Champions at the age of 24 as he beat Karpov in the final game. It was not only a fascinating game, very deep strategy and amazing ideas, but, again, it showed a transition, a historical transition, between the old Soviet Union and the passing of what must have been the Soviet state from 1917 and became the New Russia.

Although brilliant games in themselves, they were symbolic of political and social change. That’s why I’d think I’d choose those three. The 1851 game, 1938 game, and 1985 one between Kasparov and Karpov. It is interesting that in those three games two were won by white, but, Kasparov, as black, won the third game. I find it interesting that normally white has the advantage. It is a bit like having the serve in tennis. The kind of massive upheaval that overthrew the Soviet state also somehow symbolizes black, as the disadvantage, somehow won that last game.

4. Jacobsen: You have produced numerous media productions for the presentation and increased knowledge, and insight, into the professional strategy of chess – even inclusion of games with individuals such as GM Garry Kasparov. What responsibilities with the chess community, other chess Grandmasters, and the public comes with taking on this important activity of accurate and in-depth representation of chess to those with/without experience in it – and in an entertaining and respectable manner?

KeeneI think that with writing about chess or broadcasting about chess, there are different audiences to bear in mind. One audience is people who are expert chess players and understand a little about the game.  This is a very small number of people compared to the rest of the world. I think the next group is those that have interest chess, play chess, but do not have expert knowledge. I think that the key thing is to appeal to both groups at once. I have always tried to do this.

You can do this in two ways. First thing, you can say something about a position, or a variation, or a possibility, it has to be analytically accurate. You should not give a variation that does not work. I think that if you say something that is analytically correct and will hold up to computer scrutiny.

Next thing, which is where I think most chess commentators fail miserably, is you’ve got to make it clear, and you’ve got to make it comprehensible, and you’ve got to make it exciting. It has got to be verbally expressed. If we think back to Homer’s epic, the Iliad, Homer made that series of battles around Troy exciting. He didn’t do it by listing the latest technical developments in the forging of Greek armor. He did it by making the thing into an epic adventure. By creating heroes, by stating the deeds of an amazing set of people, I think the duty of the chess commentator is to think of the chess board like Homer, and to extol the virtues, the strengths, and the winner. You don’t denigrate the loser in the Homeric battle. You have got to explain this. You have got to present this battle between two sides. Chess is thought incarnate. It is the battle between two systems of thought. Two characteristics of thought. Two charismas of thought. It is exciting and needs to be expressed verbally, rhythmically or cosmically bound by correct variation like a symphony or epic. You cannot lie about the variations to make it more exciting. The variation is correct, the analysis would be correct, but you must be seen as a sort of bard singing the virtues of these heroes of mental warfare to make it exciting and attractive to pull more people in and show them the beauty of the game.

5. Jacobsen: You noted the current state of computers versus human beings in chess. In reflection on the defeat of Garry Kasparov by Deep Blue, what seemed like the collective reaction of the chess community, and the set of chess Grandmasters at the time?

KeeneI think that there was a belief after that match that it was still possible for Grand Masters to beat computers, that is, not lose to them. The period of matches for the World Championship for the highest honors between human thinkers and computers in mind sports, which started in 1992 where I organized the Draughts World Championship. That was the first ever world title match between a human and a computer in any thinking sport. By the time that Kasparov played Deep Blue in 1997, for a few years after that, maybe four or five years after that, it was still possible for humans and machines in thinking sports – but now, we know the computers are going to win. It will be some time before a player can sensibly challenge a computer and still win. There was a window between 1992-2008, where there was an interest in these matches. Now, we know in time what is going to happen.

Because computers advance so quickly, we no longer see computers as opponents, but as tools to help us, help the leading Grand Masters, or anybody, to improve their own play.

I hadn’t realized that that set a record for the first mind sports competition between a human and a machine. I didn’t realize it at the time but should have written a book about it.

6. Jacobsen: Some chess players utilize their station and stature in the chess world, such as Garry Kasparov, for the purpose of political and social activism too. For instance, in protest over the Presidency of Putin in Russia at the moment, Kasparov protests the government. Of course, his formidable achievements in chess provide – as you noted with yourself with respect to a certain weight in intellectual and social status – the basis for people taking his opinions, even outside of chess, seriously and given quite a lot of gravitas. What other chess Grand Masters come to mind in terms of utilization of their stature in the chess world as a means towards another personal, social, or political end?

KeeneDr. Max Euwe, who was the World Chess champion from 1939-1947, and he defeated Alekhine in 1945, but lost the title later. He was a Dutchmen. He became a giant figure, not as a Dutchman, but someone who won the World Champion. He became a gigantic figure in Dutch society. He influenced Dutch culture to take on chess in a very big way. He was a massive figure, highly respected. One of the greats. His presence turned chess into a passion in Holland. I think if you think in countries who have worshipped chess there is Russia, Iceland, and Holland, and these are the three that really stand out.

Now, other people who have utilized their chess ability to create a certain standing: Anand in India. He has won sportsman of the year twice. He has been recognized by either Indian sportsman or cricketeers, cricketman, in India as being sportsman of the year. Although, I don’t think he’s done much with it. I do not think many chess players have done that much to leverage their chess prowess.

7. Jacobsen: What philosophical system seems the most robust and accurate in its representation of reality to you? What argument(s) and evidence seem the most convincing for this philosophical system?

KeeneCause and effect, and the possibility or impossibility of infinity or non-infinity. Here’s my answer to several questions at once:

I believe that the human brain cannot conceive of either infinity or non-infinity in either time or space because if you say, “This goes on forever.” There’s an urge to say, “You must stop at some point. What comes after it?”  If you say, “Well, existence is infinity backwards,” the brain demands cause and effect. I do not think the universe, the physical universe as we can observe it, are subject to the laws of cause and effect. They break down at the beginning. There can’t be a beginning. Otherwise, what would have come before it? There can’t be a beginning. Cause and effect annihilate each other at the point of any beginning. How can something always exist?

I think it is also impossible for the human brain to conceive of nothing. The standard way of conceiving of nothing is a vacuum. A vacuum isn’t nothing. A vacuum is a space in which there is nothing, but that’s not nothing because the state which involves the vacuum is already something.

The space which can be emptied of everything that is conventionally viewed as nothingness isn’t nothingness at all because nothingness implies the absence of the space itself. Ergo, reality cannot be comprehended by the human brain. We can’t do it. It is not possible. Maybe, one day we can. Maybe, one of Manahel’s equations will do it. At the moment, we do not understand anything. We are like blind, deaf, and dumb. We do not know what the hell’s going on. The universe isn’t just weird; it’s weirder than we can possibly imagine, somebody said. We cannot conceive of a beginning without something before it, or space that’s empty. We cannot conceive of nothingness. We cannot conceive of infinity in time or space or non-infinity.

To be absolutely frank, the universe doesn’t make sense. Let’s live in it and do our best.

8. Jacobsen: You noted “gifts” for someone like Capablanca, as from something from God, possibly. Do you believe in gods or God?

KeeneOf course, I believe in God because, otherwise, it’s completely impossible to comprehend – I’m not a Christian. Technically, I am part of the Church of England, but I do not prescribe to Christianity, Islam, or Buddhism. I believe these are attempts to grasp the universal truth by different cultural and geographical methods. So I think there is a God, and we cannot comprehend him or her. I do not even know if God cares about us or not. I think God thinks in very grand designs. Individuals do not matter very much. I think our job in the universe is to help the universe become aware of itself and aware of God, and that is our job. The better the job we do, the better we are doing it. I think the origins of the universe are energy. Energy becomes gas; gas becomes liquid; liquid becomes solid; solid becomes matter; matter becomes sensate; sensation becomes intelligence; and the process, I see, is a driven process whereby the universe becomes aware of itself. It becomes aware of the divine. It becomes aware of the way it is, and we are currently beings capable of understanding what is it.

We are currently as far as we know the only beings remotely capable of understanding what it is. Maybe, somewhere it is something, and somewhere else it is something else. Whether it is some sixteen tentacle octopus on the moons of Alpha Centauri that is more intelligent than we are, but as far as we know we are doing the best job we can to understand it, comprehend it, and visualize it, to try and comprehend the complexity of beginnings and ends. But I’m not sure if any philosophical system or scientific system comes remotely close to explaining what the universe is, or what religion is, or what philosophy is. I think we just have to do the best we can, given our limited knowledge.

Maybe, Manahel’s 300+ page equation could solve it. So far, no one has anything. We are complete bloody beginners. When people say, “Well, I know this – I know there is no God.” Oh yea, really?! You know that for sure. Or people say, “Definitely there is a God.” Oh, yea, perhaps, my feeling is that there is so much that we cannot particularly comprehend, which is logically so completely beyond us that I think there must be some divine principle that is impelling us to understand. I think understanding, comprehension, is our job. Everything we do towards understanding, comprehending, is a good.

9. Jacobsen: Does this amount to a supreme spiritual or motivational principle?


10. Jacobsen: In terms of this God, what attributes does this transcendental object/being/entity have to you?

KeeneThe desire to be comprehended.

11. Jacobsen: What can be done to reduce cheating and scandals in the chess world?

Keene[Laughing] That’s a jump.

Jacobsen: [Laughing].

KeeneDo not let people bring mobile phones into chess tournaments and make damn sure that they aren’t wired up to anything. It is all to do with electronic communication. There has to be some way of monitoring electronic communication. People, in any way, suspected of electronic communication, then you better figure out a way of dealing with it. It should be fairly simple, but one of the ways communication can ruin chess tournaments. It is as simple as that as far as I’m concerned.

12. Jacobsen: What political views seem the most efficacious in the world to you?

KeeneI think human beings are animals. I think animals are subject to the laws of evolution. And I think the laws of evolution have to honour in political systems. I think political systems, which distort human nature are doomed to failure. I think communism is a disaster, which tries to distort human nature.

13. Jacobsen: How so? Where does the conflict lie?

KeeneBecause communism is too dirigiste, it tries to direct what human beings do. I think political systems that are successful are the ones that allow human beings the greatest freedom. I am pretty close to being a Libertarian. I think government is very suspicious. I think you need government to maintain order internally and defend the state against external aggression. Apart from that, I think governments, in general, try to take on too much. They try to legislate too many parts of people’s lives. I think the states that are most successful are the ones that allow citizens to get on with their lives. The government is simply there to be a last resort to make sure order does not break down and that the society isn’t threatened.

14. Jacobsen: Based on the principles of evolution by natural selection brought by Charles Darwin in 1859, what seems like the core of human nature to you?

KeeneI think the core of human nature is enlightened self-interest. I think that there are sizeable species like the preying mantis, which is promoted entirely by self-interest. It is not enlightened self-interest. A mantis will eat another mantis. I do not think human beings will do that. I think human beings are programmed to cooperate. A human being will not eat another human being. You will cooperate with another human being to grow crop to eat that, but a preying mantis with another preying mantis will simply eat it. Human beings are characterized by enlightened self-interest. Quite often, the most catastrophic events in human history have occurred when self-interest has been prevented. For example, the First World War, millions of people were interested in self-interest. They would not have dashed off to go and kill each other at all. There were other ways, but the First World War was the one where people were forced to fight in a way they were not in previous wars because of mass conscription. I think that human beings are naturally cooperative. They are naturally inclined to create. The destructive human beings are the exceptions rather than the rules. I think that if left to themselves human beings will create excellent systems. Governments bugger things up.

15. Jacobsen: In terms of the destructive human beings, in an evolutionary framework, they might perform a function. What seems like that function to you?

KeeneNapoleon was seen as good by the French and bad by the British. The British saw him as a continental despot trying to run the whole continent. The French saw him as some trying to restore French liberty, glory, and divinity. So, what is good? What is bad? A destructive human being, a really destructive human being, is often one who would be clinically insane. Even Adolf Hitler, the man was a criminal. If you read accounts of the way he rose to power, he rose to power by criminal methods. However, having gotten to power, if he hadn’t gone completely bonkers trying to conquer every other country in Europe, he would have restored Germany’s fortunes. It’s just that he was bonkers. He hit the Sudan, Czechoslovakia, then Poland, then Russia and France. I mean, this is insane behavior. I think even Hitler himself declared war on America.

The immediate denial of the Jews was insane. It was irrational. I think that where you get truly destructive individuals is because they are mentally unbalanced. Maybe, these people can be good. Yes, as a result of this terrible insanity, Europe has now stabilized itself, where I think European wars are a thing of the past. I do not think there will be another European war. Europe has had its differences, but there, I think, will never be another war between France and Germany. There may be another war thousands and thousands of years into the future, but as far as I can see, the traumas of the past caused by some very bad people have led to a better situation.

16. Jacobsen: Some things come to mind with respect to “relative ethics.” Some ethics include individuals such as Jeremy Bentham for Utilitarianism and John Stuart Mill. Utilitarianism splits into Act and Role Utilitarianism too. Other ethics come to mind such as Divine Command Theory, where the Good or the Just comes from the top-down from a transcendent object, being, or entity. What ethic do you take into account when considering relative values?

Keene: I think the key is to not harm other people. Do what you want to do and do not harm people in the process. I think there was a book written by Kingsley in the 19th century called The Water-Babies. It’s a kid’s book. He basically says, “Do not do to others what you wouldn’t wish to have done to yourself. Deal with others in the way you would wish to be dealt with.” I think that is the basic, simple rule, but I think it is a good one.

Jacobsen: It sounds as if it comes out of Matthew 7:12.

KeeneEverybody remembers it from Charles Kingsley’s The Water-Babies, which is a sentimental 19th century kid’s book from England. I think he invented characters like Mrs. Doasyouwouldbedoneby.

Jacobsen: Mr. Golden Rule. [Laughing]


17. Jacobsen: What form of economic system seems the best for developed societies such as the United Kingdom?

KeeneCapitalism: I would say think when the government tries to interfere that is where things start to go wrong. Of course, I think there should be some checks and balances. I actually believe in the survival of the fittest. That if a company is successful, then they should not be hand strung by government regulations. In that context, I think all drugs should be legalised. I think that the government should sanction companies to make drugs available and people should be allowed to take allowed to take whatever they want to whether marijuana, or cocaine, or any other thing. They should be allowed to do so. It should be the same penalties when under the influence of drugs as when committing criminal behavior when under the influence of alcohol.

I think that billions and billions of dollars are wasted worldwide by trying to stop people taking drugs, where you can damage yourself by drinking or even overeating. People should be allowed to do what they want to do. If they commit a crime, it should be tickets. Billions are spent on trying to stop people taking drugs. If the state licenses drugs, they can be a source of revenue instead of a source of loss. The whole question of drug-taking is totally relativistic. In the 19th century, cocaine was completely legal. Opium was legal. Some sort of modern argument that these should be criminalized. I find that thing weird, illogical. I think in due course that more drugs will be legal. Not that I’ve ever done a drug in my life. I would never do anything that I think would impair my thinking process. If people want to take them, then so be it. Let them do it.

Jacobsen: That argument ties together the Libertarian leanings and the Capitalist framework for the United Kingdom for you.


18. Jacobsen: In the modern, in an intellectual, context, for the left, far-left, even moderate or centre-left, the positions seem to have misgivings with respect to Capitalism. What seems like a reasonable response to you?

KeeneI think Socialism is a disease.

Jacobsen: How so?

KeeneI think that the idea that human beings can be controlled and that free thought can be contained, or crushed, as indeed under extreme right-wing regimes such as Nazism is completely wrong. I say it again, you must give people the freedom to act, unless people are doing harm to other people. Governments must let them be individuals and let the individual do what they want to do. This is how creativity flourishes. If you try to crush creativity, whether creative expression, or actions or performances, you limit the creative potential of the human race. I believe in free speech.

19. Jacobsen: What about developing, or poor, countries with the aim to become developed countries?

KeeneThe system of government. Is that what you’re saying?

Jacobsen: Better system of government is part of it, but it would be derivative from that better system of government. In other words, the economic system that would be implemented to improve their lot at either a faster rate or in general.

KeeneIt’s got to be Capitalism. I think the best system of government for a country, which is very difficult to achieve, is a benevolent dictatorship without corruption.  It is almost impossible, but a lot of these countries, for example, South Africa. It went on a great course after Mandela, but with this current President corruption is rife. I think it’s going to go the same way as Zimbabwe if it’s not careful. Developing countries are in serious danger of being ran by corruption. Money is put into these ridiculous projects to be distributed fairly. I think Capitalism is a better way forward in all of these countries and freedom. I think when people start to tap out of Capitalism and press freedom these countries start to go off the rails.

20. Jacobsen: How important is women’s rights and the empowerment of women to the development of countries – even narrowed topics of cultural and sport import such as chess (which you indicated the future of chess with more women in it aside from the formidable Polgar sisters)?

KeeneI think it’s absolutely vital. You cannot leave out half of the population when you’re trying to develop creativity. It’s completely bonkers. Women should be encouraged to shine in every area of intellectual area of performance.

21. Jacobsen: You have deep association with Tony Buzan, the inventor of Mind Mapping, Dominic O’Brien, Eight Times World memory Champion, and Dr. Manahel Thabet. What instigated involvement with these prominent individuals?

KeeneI met Tony Buzan in 1991 when I went to one of his lectures. We have been working together closely ever since. Dominic O’Brien, I also met in 1991 because what had happened is that Tony suggested that we organize the first of the World Memory Championship. I went to the Guinness World Record to see who won the world records and invited all of those who got people who got memory awards to the meeting and Dominic turned up. So I started an association with him in 1991. He won the first ever World Memory Championship, which we organized. I’ve been working with Dominic ever since. We have another one coming up in China this year. Manahel, I think she met Buzan last year, and he mentioned here to me. I got in touch. I have been associated with her ever since. She’s a wonderful person.

22. Jacobsen: Each brings unique specialties and talents to the professional and public world.[24],[25],[26],[27],[28],[29],[30] Various talents, skills, abilities, and initiatives of importance and influence in a national, and international, context. What makes each of them unique to you?

KeeneTony Buzan invented mind-mapping. He is absolutely committed to everything involving the mind, the brain, and genius. Dominic is a great ambassador of mental qualities. He’s very presentable, very tall, always well-dressed, very immaculate, and with a suit and tie. He really represents mental qualities in a most impressive way. Manahel is the most extraordinary person. I have never met anyone with such an amazing intelligence and an incredibly high IQ. Highly presentable, very, very charismatic, tremendous powers of reflexive persuasion. She is really a unique individual. I have never met anyone like her.

Jacobsen: Could you elaborate a little more on each individual?

KeeneI could, in what way?

Jacobsen: A parsing of personality variables. What seems to make them succeed in their area of professional life?

KeeneWith Dominic, it is the fact that he started off without any particular talent for memory. I think this is probably common to all three of them. When they are presented with a situation where they have to succeed, or want to succeed, they had to analyze the accentuation that would derive the algorithm of success. Dominic did not start off with a great memory. He was inspired by a man named Craig Carvello. He wanted to do it himself. He wanted to perform all of these memory feats. He studied the methods of improving memory. He won the World Memory Championships eight times.

Tony, in university, was facing a dead-end in his studies and he wanted to remember what he was taught and how to make it interesting, colorful, how to make it attractive, and how to make it stick. That’s how he came up with the mind maps system. It is a situation where somebody is not given a God-given gift needs to solve certain immediate problems. They find the algorithm to do it by a process of ratiocination, by a process of analysis. I think that’s very impressive.

I think too with Manahel. I mean she comes from a different culture. She comes from a Middle Eastern culture where women do not have the freedom in life that men have. She wanted to solve the problem of breaking in to areas of activity that have traditionally been masculine. She did it by creating a genius persona and by winning IQ competitions, genius competitions, and she studied the methods of how to break into this masculine circle. She did it. Now, she is a global superstar. All three of them.

23. Jacobsen: One woman with an interest in women’s rights, women in science, women in academia or the university system, and in the world in general is Dr. Manahel Thabet. How important are contributions, such as her own, to the increased equality and rights for women in the world and the aforementioned domains because these seem interconnected in this globalized world?

KeeneI think they are very important because she is a very prominent person in Middle Eastern society, they all know who she is. She is immediately recognizable. She has a very distinctive style of presentation and dressing. She stands out. I think she is very widely respected. I think that’s why she won Brain of the Year from the Brain Trust Charity. That has been going since 1990. I think she has helped a lot, the cause, throughout the world. I think she will continue to do so and will increase her profile.

24. Jacobsen: Any future plans in development with them?

KeeneAbsolutely, I’m going to do the World Memory Championship with Tony Buzan in China later this year. It’ll be China again next year. I’ll be hoping to bring it to the Middle East in 2017 with, possibly, Dr. Manahel’s assistance. There is a definite scope of possibility there. Of course, Dominic O’Brien is very active in the World Memory Championships. I am seriously considering expanding the scope of the World Memory Championships. It is much bigger than it was than when we started. It started with 8 people. Now, it is at about 200 every year. I think that there is scope for making the World Memory Championship something truly exciting. Something televisual; something that becomes almost as the World Championship of the brain. I think all three of them will be involved in that.

25. Jacobsen: What about for you – individually – for near and far future plans?

KeeneI have a lot of things. I want to increase the range and scope of The Brain Trust Charity. I want to help Professor Michael Crawford in his aims to eliminate world mental ill-health with his Institute for Brain Chemistry and Human Nutrition. I want to increase the range and scope of the World Memory Championship. I want to create a real Olympic Games for the mind, which we started a few years ago but never quite made it. I am very interested in creating an Olympic Games for the mind that covers all the possible mental competitions. We’ve got The Gifted Academy with Dr. Manahel. I want to enhance the scope of it to bring our new mental training technique to as many people as possible. I want to help Tony Buzan bring mental literacy to the whole world. Everything is centered around increasing the power of people to think and help them make their own decisions to help the individual make up his or her own mind about the truth, and not be fed lies by governments or the press. And to help them decide for themselves what is the right path for themselves for comprehension.

26. Jacobsen: Thank you for your time, Mr. Keene.


In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at


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