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Old September 5th 05, 06:41 PM
Sam Sloan
 
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Default Wikipedia controversy about John W. Collins

Yesterday, I happened to notice that the Wikipedia biography of John
W. Collins and twice been deleted. This is unusual. It had been my
understanding that once a Wikipedia biography is posted, it stays up
forever, unless the person is entirely non-noteworthy.

So, I found a new skimpy biography that had been posted after previous
deletes. I expanded it by finding his birth date which had not been
previously posted and I looked up the ISBN number of the two books he
wrote. I also called a few people who knew him well. Since I knew him
almost as well as anybody who is still alive and played a tournament
game against him, I wrote a biography of him. It was almost
immediately deleted within a few hours.

Just before it was deleted, Ian Burton severly criticized by biography
in a posting to rec.games.chess.politics.

I have reinststed it, but it is obviously about to be deleted again,
so here it is. Any opinions?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_W._Collins

John W. Collins
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
John W. Collins (September 23, 1912 - December 2, 2001) was one of the
most influential chess teachers in U.S. history, with Bobby Fischer
and many other great players among his pupils (although Fischer
rejects that claim). It is an unfortunate irony that his well-deserved
fame in that respect has eclipsed his achievements in other phases of
the game.

Collins became a chess master in the 1930s. He was a major figure in
the early days of modern organized chess, serving as the first postal
chess editor of Chess Review; all USCF correspondence players thus owe
him a debt. He was one of a very few who excelled nationally at both
correspondence and OTB play, winning the U.S. correspondence
championship and ranking as one of the top OTB players in the U.S. He
remained an active tournament player through the 1960s. He represented
the United States in the first World Correspondence Chess Championship
but finished last.

A prolific author, he has taught thousands of players through his
books and articles, and was co-editor of the ninth edition of Modern
Chess Openings. Collins has been a major organizer and leader in New
York City, with significant impact on the U.S. and world chess scenes,
especially through his Collins Kids organization.

He suffered from a childhood illness and spent his life in a
wheelchair as a spastic dwarf, assisted by his sister Ethel, who was a
registered nurse and brought him to chess events. He never allowed any
publicity about his illness. His picture in his monthly column in
Chess Life magazine portrayed him as a fat, jovial man, but in real
life he was the opposite. Very few people were aware of his actual
condition until they met him.

John Collins' 1975 book My Seven Chess Prodigies aroused some
controversy. In this book, Collins claimed to have been the teacher of
some of America's top players: Bobby Fischer, William Lombardy, Robert
Byrne, Donald Byrne, Raymond Weinstein, Salvatore Matera and Lewis
Cohen. No doubt, all of them were frequent guests in Collins' home in
Stuyvesant Town in New York City. However, the question was whether
Collins deserved credit for teaching them. Bobby Fischer said that
Collins never taught him anything and for that reason Fischer at first
refused to come down and meet Collins in the lobby of Hotel Loftleidir
in Reykjavik, Iceland when Bobby was playing for the World Chess
Championship in 1972. Raymond Weinstein became insane and has been
locked up for 40 years in a mental institution. Lewis Cohen never
quite made master and quit chess before he became an adult.
Nevertheless, because of the tragic physical condition of Collins,
nobody wanted to dispute his claims.


Books
My Seven Chess Prodigies ISBN 0671219413
Maxims of Chess ISBN 067914403X
Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_W._Collins"
Categories: U.S. chess players
  #2   Report Post  
Old September 12th 05, 10:20 PM
Sam Sloan
 
Posts: n/a
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At 02:00 PM 9/12/2005 EDT, wrote:
Sam, thats a good bio of Collins. Who deletes and why? Jerry Hanken


They object on three points.

1. Bobby Fischer said that John W. Collins was not his teacher and
never taught him anything. I feel that this should be metioned or else
the claim that Collins was the teacher of Fischer, a claim made twice
in the article, should be dropped.

I did not even mention the fact that during the World Championship
Match in Reykjavik, Iceland in 1972, Collins sat in the lobby of the
Hotel Loftledir for weeks waiting for Fischer to come down so that
they could be photographed together and Collins could claim to have
been Fischer's teacher. Fischer did not like that and for that reason
never came to the lobby and for that reason Collins never got his
photo opportunity.

2. They object to the fact that I mention that Collins had a childhood
illness as a result of which he had to spend his life in a wheelchair.
They insist that Collins was not ill. Anybody who ever met Collins
could see that he was ill.

3. When the book "My Seven Prodigies" came out, some of his supposed
prodigies said that Collins had not been their teacher and objected to
the book. I alluded indirectly to this and they cut that out.

You can see my actual article at
http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?...d id=22676883

As you point out, there is nothing wrong with what I wrote. In fact,
it gave Collins more credit than he deserved. Collins did not really
teach thousands of kids. However, I have decided not to fight over it.
If they want to claim that Collins was more than he actually was, I
guess there is no real harm to it.

Sam Sloan
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Old September 12th 05, 11:41 PM
Sam Sloan
 
Posts: n/a
Default

At 02:58 PM 9/12/2005 -0700, Duncan Oxley wrote:


2. They object to the fact that I mention that Collins had a childhood
illness as a result of which he had to spend his life in a wheelchair.
They
insist that Collins was not ill. Anybody who ever met Collins could see
that he was ill.


Sam Sloan

------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sam:

Do you know what illness he suffered from? Is it possible he
simply had a birth defect and was not ill all his life?

Duncan


No. I do not know what was wrong with him. It was never discussed.

I have been told that Walter Shipman knows. However, my email asking
about this has received no reply.

What is clear is that Collins wanted it kept secret. However, now that
he is dead, I feel that it is time for the truth to come out.

Sam Sloan
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Old September 13th 05, 05:41 AM
Sam Sloan
 
Posts: n/a
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At 08:16 PM 9/12/2005 -0700, Curt Carlson wrote:
It amazes me there is no bio of Koltanowski!


Very good point, so I just made one.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Koltanowski

Thank you for pointing this out.

Sam Sloan
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Old September 13th 05, 09:40 AM
Ray Gordon
 
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Jack Collins never taught **** to Fischer. No one but Fischer himself made
Fischer a great player.

Fischer learned chess when he was age six, and took to the game because "it
was the most difficult of them all."

Around age ten, Fischer helped a storekeeper by sweeping floors and moving
packages, only to receive a quarter for all his troubles. This incident
triggered the hatred he had for other people, a hatred which he chanelled
into chess. Whenever Fischer won a game, he was triumphing over the "evil"
he saw in that storekeeper.

Fischer played at his home, but that was because he lived in Brooklyn and
needed a place in Manhattan to play, as did many others. Fischer also used
to play chess for $0.50 a game at the Automat, and of course in the clubs in
the city.








"Sam Sloan" wrote in message
...
At 02:00 PM 9/12/2005 EDT, wrote:
Sam, thats a good bio of Collins. Who deletes and why? Jerry Hanken


They object on three points.

1. Bobby Fischer said that John W. Collins was not his teacher and
never taught him anything. I feel that this should be metioned or else
the claim that Collins was the teacher of Fischer, a claim made twice
in the article, should be dropped.

I did not even mention the fact that during the World Championship
Match in Reykjavik, Iceland in 1972, Collins sat in the lobby of the
Hotel Loftledir for weeks waiting for Fischer to come down so that
they could be photographed together and Collins could claim to have
been Fischer's teacher. Fischer did not like that and for that reason
never came to the lobby and for that reason Collins never got his
photo opportunity.

2. They object to the fact that I mention that Collins had a childhood
illness as a result of which he had to spend his life in a wheelchair.
They insist that Collins was not ill. Anybody who ever met Collins
could see that he was ill.

3. When the book "My Seven Prodigies" came out, some of his supposed
prodigies said that Collins had not been their teacher and objected to
the book. I alluded indirectly to this and they cut that out.

You can see my actual article at
http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?...d id=22676883

As you point out, there is nothing wrong with what I wrote. In fact,
it gave Collins more credit than he deserved. Collins did not really
teach thousands of kids. However, I have decided not to fight over it.
If they want to claim that Collins was more than he actually was, I
guess there is no real harm to it.

Sam Sloan





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Old September 14th 05, 06:44 PM
Ian Burton
 
Posts: n/a
Default




"Ray Gordon" wrote in message
...
Jack Collins never taught **** to Fischer. No one but Fischer himself
made Fischer a great player.

Fischer learned chess when he was age six, and took to the game because
"it was the most difficult of them all."

Around age ten, Fischer helped a storekeeper by sweeping floors and moving
packages, only to receive a quarter for all his troubles. This incident
triggered the hatred he had for other people, a hatred which he chanelled
into chess. Whenever Fischer won a game, he was triumphing over the
"evil" he saw in that storekeeper.

Fischer played at his home, but that was because he lived in Brooklyn and
needed a place in Manhattan to play, as did many others. Fischer also
used to play chess for $0.50 a game at the Automat, and of course in the
clubs in the city.


Ray Gordon's post is so absurd I won't take the time to rebut it. Where do
people get such rubbish?

I was close to Fischer for more than 20 years. Despite what some fanatics
think:

He never flapped his arms and flew.
He never turned base metal into gold.
He never walked on water.
He never turned water into wine.
He never cured the lepers.

--
Ian Burton
(Please reply to the Newsgroup)










"Sam Sloan" wrote in message
...
At 02:00 PM 9/12/2005 EDT, wrote:
Sam, thats a good bio of Collins. Who deletes and why? Jerry Hanken


They object on three points.

1. Bobby Fischer said that John W. Collins was not his teacher and
never taught him anything. I feel that this should be metioned or else
the claim that Collins was the teacher of Fischer, a claim made twice
in the article, should be dropped.

I did not even mention the fact that during the World Championship
Match in Reykjavik, Iceland in 1972, Collins sat in the lobby of the
Hotel Loftledir for weeks waiting for Fischer to come down so that
they could be photographed together and Collins could claim to have
been Fischer's teacher. Fischer did not like that and for that reason
never came to the lobby and for that reason Collins never got his
photo opportunity.

2. They object to the fact that I mention that Collins had a childhood
illness as a result of which he had to spend his life in a wheelchair.
They insist that Collins was not ill. Anybody who ever met Collins
could see that he was ill.

3. When the book "My Seven Prodigies" came out, some of his supposed
prodigies said that Collins had not been their teacher and objected to
the book. I alluded indirectly to this and they cut that out.

You can see my actual article at
http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?...d id=22676883

As you point out, there is nothing wrong with what I wrote. In fact,
it gave Collins more credit than he deserved. Collins did not really
teach thousands of kids. However, I have decided not to fight over it.
If they want to claim that Collins was more than he actually was, I
guess there is no real harm to it.

Sam Sloan





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Old September 15th 05, 01:21 AM
A. Berger -- Onlynux
 
Posts: n/a
Default

In my opinion, Fischer Robert James is
a crazy guy and he is also coward.

He didn't wanted to play against Karpov
because Karpov get there after beating
Spassky and with his very strong positional
style was a strong challenge.

Although i accept that the Fischer of 1973
could outplay Karpov, certainly the Karpov
of the 80's would have been a different story.
I think Kasparov would win against Fischer
at any time.

--
Regards
__________________________________________________ __

Andrés Berger García
Marketing Manager
http://www.Machu-Picchu-Mysteries.Info

Consorcio De Viajes S.A.C.
Calle Cólon 110. Oficina 401. Miraflores
Lima -- Perú. Telefax: 511-2430149
__________________________________________________ __







"Ian Burton" escribió en el mensaje
news:[email protected]



"Ray Gordon" wrote in message
...
Jack Collins never taught **** to Fischer. No one but Fischer himself
made Fischer a great player.

Fischer learned chess when he was age six, and took to the game because
"it was the most difficult of them all."

Around age ten, Fischer helped a storekeeper by sweeping floors and

moving
packages, only to receive a quarter for all his troubles. This incident
triggered the hatred he had for other people, a hatred which he

chanelled
into chess. Whenever Fischer won a game, he was triumphing over the
"evil" he saw in that storekeeper.

Fischer played at his home, but that was because he lived in Brooklyn

and
needed a place in Manhattan to play, as did many others. Fischer also
used to play chess for $0.50 a game at the Automat, and of course in the
clubs in the city.


Ray Gordon's post is so absurd I won't take the time to rebut it. Where

do
people get such rubbish?

I was close to Fischer for more than 20 years. Despite what some fanatics


think:

He never flapped his arms and flew.
He never turned base metal into gold.
He never walked on water.
He never turned water into wine.
He never cured the lepers.

--
Ian Burton
(Please reply to the Newsgroup)










"Sam Sloan" wrote in message
...
At 02:00 PM 9/12/2005 EDT, wrote:
Sam, thats a good bio of Collins. Who deletes and why? Jerry Hanken

They object on three points.

1. Bobby Fischer said that John W. Collins was not his teacher and
never taught him anything. I feel that this should be metioned or else
the claim that Collins was the teacher of Fischer, a claim made twice
in the article, should be dropped.

I did not even mention the fact that during the World Championship
Match in Reykjavik, Iceland in 1972, Collins sat in the lobby of the
Hotel Loftledir for weeks waiting for Fischer to come down so that
they could be photographed together and Collins could claim to have
been Fischer's teacher. Fischer did not like that and for that reason
never came to the lobby and for that reason Collins never got his
photo opportunity.

2. They object to the fact that I mention that Collins had a childhood
illness as a result of which he had to spend his life in a wheelchair.
They insist that Collins was not ill. Anybody who ever met Collins
could see that he was ill.

3. When the book "My Seven Prodigies" came out, some of his supposed
prodigies said that Collins had not been their teacher and objected to
the book. I alluded indirectly to this and they cut that out.

You can see my actual article at

http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?...d id=22676883

As you point out, there is nothing wrong with what I wrote. In fact,
it gave Collins more credit than he deserved. Collins did not really
teach thousands of kids. However, I have decided not to fight over it.
If they want to claim that Collins was more than he actually was, I
guess there is no real harm to it.

Sam Sloan







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Old September 15th 05, 07:16 PM
Sam Sloan
 
Posts: n/a
Default

On Wed, 14 Sep 2005 10:44:11 -0700, "Ian Burton"
wrote:


Ray Gordon's post is so absurd I won't take the time to rebut it. Where do
people get such rubbish?

I was close to Fischer for more than 20 years. Despite what some fanatics
think:

He never flapped his arms and flew.
He never turned base metal into gold.
He never walked on water.
He never turned water into wine.
He never cured the lepers.

--
Ian Burton
(Please reply to the Newsgroup)


Ray Gordon is just a nut who obviously knows little or nothing about
chess. He constantly makes absurd statements. You should never respond
to him.

I am interested in your claim that you were close to Fischer for more
than 20 years. You also made a similar claim about Collins. I never
saw you around Fischer nor did I ever hear Fischer mention your name.
Which years were those 20 years? In fact, the first time I ever heard
your name was on this newsgroup. It seems certain that you are a liar
or at a minimum that you are exaggerating.

Sam Sloan
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Old September 16th 05, 04:40 PM
Sam Sloan
 
Posts: n/a
Default

On Wed, 14 Sep 2005 10:44:11 -0700, "Ian Burton"
wrote:

I was close to Fischer for more than 20 years. Despite what some fanatics
think:


--
Ian Burton


This has to be a lie. The entire playing career of Fischer was only 16
years, from 1956 to 1972. Thus, Ian Burton could not have known
Fischer for 20 years.

In addition, Ian Burton wrote that he knew Collins from the 1950s
until Collins died. However, Fischer virtually cut-off contact with
Collins after the 1972 match because Fischer did not like the fact
that Collins claimed to have been Fischer's teacher. Therefore, Ian
Burton could not possibly have known both of them after 1972.

Finally, I have asked around and nobody remembers anybody named Ian
Burton around Fischer or Fischer ever mentioning the name of such a
person.

When you tell a lie, you should pick one that cannot readily be
demonstrated to be false.

Sam Sloan
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Old September 16th 05, 04:54 PM
Sam Sloan
 
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Default

On Mon, 5 Sep 2005 00:00:49 -0700, "Ian Burton"
wrote:

Your Jack Collins biography is one reason I don't trust anything on
Wikipedia. Did you ever meet the man? Did you ever spend any time with
him? Are you aware that this "spastic dwarf," as you so charmingly describe
him, played in the weekly Marshall Chess Club rapid tournament, often
winning first prize in this 10-seconds-a-move event? Jack was indeed a
"jovial man." How can you say he was "the opposite"?

Please stick to writing about people you know. You've made some good
contributions to chess literature. This biography is a disgrace.

--
Ian Burton


I certainly did meet Collins many times. Did you?

Yes. He could play five minute chess. He could move the pieces and
press the clock. However, he could not write down the moves. His hands
were deformed.

This means that all the chess columns he wrote for Chess Life
magazine, all the chess books he wrote, all the postal games he
played, were actually written or typed by his sister, Ethel. This is
not to deny him any credit. The fact that he was able to function and
lead a worthwhile and productive life in spite of these severe
handicaps is to his credit, not his blane.

Here is what Max Burkett wrote about him:

Sam:

I'll leave the forwarding of email to you but I know for fact, and so
should you, that the first wheelchair access chess tournament was in
Saint Louis 1960 and the accomodation was for John Collins and me.

His sister travelled with him to Saint Louis as his nurse and I met
him, but had no urge to pry. I suspect his may have been a genetic
problem. Larry Evans would know for sure. So would Bill Lombardy. Of
course, Bad News Bobbie knew him best but you are unlikely to get
anything of use out of him.

I will go just a bit further: Physically he was tiny, about the size
of a third grader. His hands were deformed and his sister kept score
for him. He seemed to me to be a nice guy who found his niche.

They object to the fact that I mention that Collins had a childhood illness as
a result of which he had to spend his life in a wheelchair. They insist that
Collins was not ill. Anybody who ever met Collins could see that he was ill.


This is a matter of terminology. Does "Ill" = "Genetic Defect" and
which one was it?

Amici sumus,
Max

website:
http://people.montana.com/~mburkett/

email:




Max Burkett
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