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Lev Khariton: Grandmasters 'Honoris Causa'



 
 
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  #1  
Old January 6th 05, 04:09 AM
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Default Lev Khariton: Grandmasters 'Honoris Causa'


January 5th, 2005
Many sites announced the sad news of Arnold Denker's death. Among them
was the editor of Week in Chess Mark Crowther. As is well known, in the
80-s a group of old strong chess players who had had great achievements
in the past, were awarded the grandmaster's title. However, I did not
agree with Mark Crowther's arguable remark that... Well, this is our
correspondence two days ago:


Dear Mark,
I cannot agree with your words:

"Denker was awarded the IM title in 1950 and then later in 1981 the GM
title based on long past achievements (a very dubious practice that
distorts historical records in my view)..."

First of all, Denker was a living legend of the chess world of the 20th
century. No matter that he lost two games to Botvinnik in the
radio-match. He played against Botvinnik! And he was playing on the
first board being US Champion ahead of Reshevsky and Fine! At any rate,
he deserved the GM Title more than many grandmasters today, whose names
we even do not know.

Then, why "a dubious practice" regarding the awards of the GM titles to
outstanding chess players of the past. Suffice it to name Carlos Torre.
Didn't he deserve this title only for his tournament in Moscow in 1925
where, among others, he defeated Lasker in a most legendary game of the
20th century? Didn't he deserve this title for the Torre Attack, the
opening widely employed by the most outstanding grandmasters of today
(Korchnoi, Karpov, Usupov, many English grandmasters)?

In the 80s some outstanding Soviet chess players were awarded thew GM
Titile. Among them were Konstantinopolsky, Makogonov, Alatortsev. All
of them were outstanding chess players, who participated and showed
outstanding results in the Soviet championships, at a time when these
tournaments were much stronger that all the international tournaments
in the West. I knew personally Alexander Konstantinopolsky. He was not
only an out standing player, he was a great theoretician and chess
coach (Bronstein was his student, and he seconded Bronstein in the
historic match against Botvinnik in 1951!) I am sure all the progress
of women's chess would have been impossible without Konstantinopolsky
who coached Gaprindashvili, Alexandria, Levitina in the chess
Olympiads. Suffice it to remember that Konstantinopolsky beat at the
chess board such giants as Reshevsky, Keres, Boleslavsky...I repeat
again: are these chess players any worse than many grandmasters of
today?
Regards,
Lev Khariton

*************************

Dear Lev

Well for instance my friend Bob Wade's IM title is worth more than some
spurious GM title from 20 years later, he absolutely wouldn't hear of
changing his title.

Denker was an IM he played as an IM and had his place in history
winning the US Championship and playing in Groningen. Suddenly way
after his career to upgrade it to a GM title is simply wrong. Why have
a rubbish GM title when you earned a real proper hard IM title in 1950?
And you're right many of those Russian IMs had no chance to earn a GM
title. But if you played as an IM it seems very silly to
retrospectively change it so that you can maybe put GM Arnold Denker on
the front of a book.

I'd rather say I earned my IM title when they were very hard to get
rather than I was given one because the standards had dropped so low.

Best
Mark

*************************

Dear Mark,

Many thanks for your prompt answer. I appreciate that.
I can say that I like your stand and I even accept it. But there is
only one thing that you cannot convince me of. I knew most of the
people I mentioned in my letter. I even met and talked many times with
Denker way back in Moscow in 1984 in the press-center of the first
Karpov-Kasparov match. Konstantinopolsky was my chess teacher and a
good friend. I used to visit him in his apartment in Moscow. And almost
weekly I came to see him in the Central chess club in Moscow where he
was working in the federation.

Well, one thing that matters (or rather, mattered) to them: they were
happy that during their lifetime their past achievements were
appreciated by the new generations. After all, they were all human
beings and they needed appreciation and respect.

I think we are entering an interesting discussion, and probably, which
is very rare, we are both right!



Regards,
Lev Khariton

  #3  
Old January 7th 05, 03:36 AM
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"While I often differ with Lev Khariton, in this case I must agree with
him."Taylor Kingston

Dear Mr.Kingston,
Nice to see that sometimes you agree with me.
Maybe, some old masters were very happy and proud to be awarded the GM
title for their past achievements (I understand their feelings very
well).But I was happy and proud that my "achievements", my articles in
ChessCafe, were not icluded in "ChessCafe Heroic Tales" (edited by
T.Kingston). In a way, it is also a sign of respect and appreciation,-
and probably, heroism! - not to be published with others.
Lev Khariton

  #4  
Old January 7th 05, 09:11 AM
Jerzy
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wrote in message
oups.com...
"While I often differ with Lev Khariton, in this case I must agree with
him."Taylor Kingston

Dear Mr.Kingston,
Nice to see that sometimes you agree with me.
Maybe, some old masters were very happy and proud to be awarded the GM
title for their past achievements (I understand their feelings very
well).But I was happy and proud that my "achievements", my articles in
ChessCafe, were not icluded in "ChessCafe Heroic Tales" (edited by
T.Kingston). In a way, it is also a sign of respect and appreciation,-
and probably, heroism! - not to be published with others.
Lev Khariton


I wonder whether your materials were ordered by ChessCafe ? If not then you
shouldn`t blame in public Mr. Kingston that he hasn`t publish them but
explain your case privately.

Regards,

Jerzy


  #5  
Old January 7th 05, 09:13 AM
Jerzy
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wrote in message
oups.com...
"While I often differ with Lev Khariton, in this case I must agree with
him."Taylor Kingston

Dear Mr.Kingston,
Nice to see that sometimes you agree with me.
Maybe, some old masters were very happy and proud to be awarded the GM
title for their past achievements (I understand their feelings very
well).But I was happy and proud that my "achievements", my articles in
ChessCafe, were not icluded in "ChessCafe Heroic Tales" (edited by
T.Kingston). In a way, it is also a sign of respect and appreciation,-
and probably, heroism! - not to be published with others.
Lev Khariton


I wonder whether your materials were ordered by ChessCafe ? If not then you
shouldn`t blame in public Mr. Kingston that he hasn`t published them but try
to explain your case privately.

Regards,

Jerzy


  #7  
Old January 7th 05, 10:54 PM
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Taylor,
Until now, I was still having a hope that though you are an author
whose work is nothing but compilation fringing on plagiarism, I was
still even sure you would have brains not to be narrow-minded as some
unnprofessional readers as to accuse me of plagiarism. But I was
mistaken.You want to hit below the belt. But that does not work. For
the simple reason that all my writings are original and more than that
I am not paid for them.Plagiarism, as any wrong-doing is always aimed
at pecuniary renumeration. Something that you have always been getting
from, let us say, from ChessCafe.
I have never been paid by any of the sites.Considering that Chernev
piece (for all its worthlessness, let alone that Chernev is absolutely
unknown in the world of really professional chess authors)I have never
explicitly written that it is my piece. I just inlcluded this short
story in my almanac.The only thing is that I did not mention Chernev's
name.That was my oversight, and I admit it.Your site raised a big
stink, the site that never paid me a cent for my articles! The stink
came as I understand from Mr.Winter, who I am sure was later either
kicked out of ChessCafe, or maybe he cheated your site. This Mister
Winter who is probably a mythological figure because no one has ever
seen him, who has never played chess, etc.
Well, I took off the Chernev story the moment I received news that
ChessCafe and Winter were against that.And I have never been paid for
this story or my almanac that I have been posting at pakchess, or my
column 200 Words. So, I do not owe anyone anything.
To accuse me of plagiarism is to show all the evil that is inside you,
Taylor, to show all your envy. No one knows you in the chess world and
that is killing you!
Gary Kasparov in his book "Predecessors" mentions me in his volume on
Euwe as an authentic source of information. Gary Kasparov who has every
reason to bear a grudge against me!
I have never done you anything wrong. On the contary, I remember as you
were asking me, as a beggar, for some information on Botvinnik,Smyslov
and Keres. And I immediately complied with your request. You knew well
that your knowledge on these giants was next to nothing, and you wanted
to get the information from me who knew personally these grandmasters.
This is your method of "scientific research" in chess.
You'd better focus on your profession!

  #9  
Old January 8th 05, 12:57 AM
Wlodzimierz Holsztynski (Wlod)
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Taylor Kingston:

"Grandmaster Emeritus" [...] is given
to honor a long life of service
to chess, and in no way does it detract
from any titles earned in tournament play.


I disagree.

1.There should be sharp distinction (in names
too) betweeen the titles which are a result of
strictly measurable sport achievements (let's
call them "sport titles") and other honors.

2. Bureaucrats (say from FIDE) should not
-award- any titles, that's not their job, they
are not qualified. For the sport titles, they
should be awarded automatically--a committee
should just follow them, verify and confirm.

3. Achievements not covered by the sport
titles can be celebrated unofficially, by
chess enthusiast and chess journalists,
e.g. on the occasions of round birhtdays etc.
There can be some polls, amojng chess enthusiasts
or journalists, partly for entertainment, partly to honor
the outstanding achievements.

======

Let me recall a superb, rather modern chessplayer,
who, born in 1880, didn't live till 1950, so he died
without any titles. Let me quote "The Oxford...":

"
In the same [1910] year he won a match against
Bogoljubow (+4 =1), and in 1913 he drew a match
against Duras (+1 -1). In All-Russia tournament he
came second at St Petersburg 1911; fifth, ahead
of Alekhine, at Vilnius 1912; and third (+11 =4 -2)
at St Petersburg 1914 [...] it's purpose [of the
tournament], apart from the awarding national title,
was to determine who should play in the great
St Petersburg tournament of that year (won by
Lasker) [...] missed this opportunity by half a point,
the difference between his score and that of the
joint winners, Alekhine and Nimzowitsch. [...]
in [...] double-round event at Baden-Baden 1914,
he was first ahead of Bogoliubov, Rabinovich
and Romanovsky."

He was ahead of Rubinstein in two tournaments,
both times winning his game against the great Akiba,
winning the tournament in 1910 and coming second
in 1919, in warsaw championsjips.

His name was Aleksander Flamberg (1880-1926).

During the 1900-1939 there were several
strong Polish chessplayers, who lived
modestly, often in poverty, got almost
no recognition, but who played outstanding
chess.

Regards,

Wlod

  #10  
Old January 8th 05, 01:05 AM
Wlodzimierz Holsztynski (Wlod)
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it's purpose

"its purpose". My fault, not of the
quoted original. Sorry for this and
other typos.

Wlod

 




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