Celebrate Pingist author and critic Anton Kaichevsky is the closest thing Pingism has to an intellectual. Although primarily known for his syndicated chess columns in many international newspapers, he has written an attempted study of the notoriously mercurial nature of Pingism, 1979’s Invisible Forces, which suffered poor sales in part due to a title that led readers to expect a Tom Clancy thriller rather than a dry data-dump.
Kaichevsky’s parents were both circus performers, which in Russia at the time was almost a respectable career. As a boy, he would frequently wrestle lions and bears, but never came to any harm. (After Anton’s death in 2004, his wife, Svetlana, revealed that on most of these occasions the animals were dead. However, he had so much self-esteem bound up in these misremembered tales of youthful bravado that no one had the heart to tell him.) After his parents were killed by an angry clown from a competing circus, the young Anton was transferred to his uncle’s estate in Ukraine, where he showed initial promise as a chess player, and engaged in weekly bouts of wrestling with champion horses which were, again according to his wife, dead.
His wife also told the story of his favourite cat, Perkins, who followed him around the house, and went for walks with him, and so on. It was obvious to everyone that Perkins was a dog, but again no one had the heart to tell him. One night, she claims she cornered him with the information. His reaction was the following piece of inspired Pingist philosophy: “What is a cat, but a dog with autism?” His wife had no answer. No one did.
Despite clearly being divorced from reality, his frequent, often bizarre articles on Pingism were validated, at least in the opinion of members of the movement, by a single article published in a peer-reviewed journal about a certain breed of moth, and how it was actually an already-established breed of butterfly that liked flying around in the dark sometimes. This one publication was enough to refer to him as Dr. Kaichevsky in all correspondence with the religion, which he obviously regarded more as an atavistic philosophy. Despite the fact that his qualification (non-existent in any case) was in entomology, he felt that being a doctor of something was very similar to being a doctor of everything, and advertised himself as such on various talk shows, and on his book blurbs.
Anton Kaichevsky died in 2004, mid-way through his final book, ironically titled, Not The End. We will never know what his last words were going to be, and maybe the hardcore Pingists are right when they say that it just doesn’t matter.