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Old October 20th 05, 04:55 PM
Sam Sloan
 
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Default Taylor Kingston's Negative Review of Schiller book on Fischer

Taylor Kingston's Negative Review of Schiller book on Fischer

I have just finished reading the negative review by Taylor Kingston on
the Schiller book "Learn From Bobby Fischer's Games" for ChessCafe.com
at www.chesscafe.com/text/review462.pdf

Kingston cites exactly the same negative reviews by Miles and Hansen
of Schiller books that he has cited here, which indicates that he does
not have any other examples to offer.

Kingston does point out some real errors by Schiller, such as for
example Schiller wrote that the 1957 US Open was played in New Jersey,
whereas in reality it was played in Cleveland. Schiller wrote that Max
Euwe was a former World Championship contender, whereas in reality
Euwe was a former World Champion.

Taylor Kingston criticizes Schiller for basically copying and
rewriting notes by Fischer. However, when Schiller offers a different
evaluation and analysis than Fischer, Kingston criticizes Schiller for
saying something different from what Fischer said.

For example, in the game Fischer-Stein, Sousee Interzonal, 1967 ,
Schiller writes that after 26. ?c Nd3 27. Rd1 Nxc1 28. Rxd8 Ne2+ 29.
Kh2 Rxd8 Black wins because the queen is trapped. Kingston replies
that White instead can play 28. Rxc1 and the position is equal.

However, Fischer says nothing about either move and I think that it is
quite possible that Fischer did not see that the queen is trapped, as
nobody is perfect and it is difficult to see.

However, the most significant error that Kingston points out is not an
error at all. Schiller wrote "The Defeat by Fischer of Spassky in 1972
was a major psychological blow to the Soviet government". Kingston
replies "The geopolitical significance of the match was virtually
nil".

Is this an error? Everybody who has followed the sordid career of
Taylor Kingston and his mentor Hanon Russell knows that they view the
Soviet government through rise colored glasses. When the Soviets were
in power, there were advantages to this. Hanon Russell became a
translator of Russian language documents into English and was given
access to documents in the Soviet Union which other westerners could
not obtain.

However, now that the Soviets are no longer in power it is surprising
to see Taylor Kingston and Hanon Russell still telling us that the
Soviet leaders were well intended, albeit misunderstood, nice guys.

In the last paragraph of his review, Taylor Kingston reaches a
surprising conclusion, which is that the reason that there is no
native born USA player in the FIDE top 200 is that Schiller books are
popular here!

Sam Sloan

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Old October 20th 05, 07:11 PM
Chess One
 
Posts: n/a
Default Taylor Kingston's Negative Review of Schiller book on Fischer


"Sam Sloan" wrote in message
...

snip

However, the most significant error that Kingston points out is not an
error at all. Schiller wrote "The Defeat by Fischer of Spassky in 1972
was a major psychological blow to the Soviet government". Kingston
replies "The geopolitical significance of the match was virtually
nil".


This is an interesting report Sam.

I suppose Nixon going around the country talking about 'National Pride" in
relationship to the event, and Henry Kissinger calling you up is not global,
only national - even if super-power national.

But what happened on the Russian side afterwards, especially to Taimanov and
Spassky, wasn't any sort of joke or insignificant factor.

I'm surprised Taylor Kingston didn't ask Averbakh about it during his
interview with him, he seems very quiet on this issue - he didn't inquire
about Gulko as refusenik either, a similar issue.

Is this complete innocence, or something a bit more travelled? - Especially
since at his request I e-mailed him Russian [!] opinion that his interviewee
would lie about his role in things

Is this an error? Everybody who has followed the sordid career of
Taylor Kingston and his mentor Hanon Russell knows that they view the
Soviet government through rise colored glasses. When the Soviets were
in power, there were advantages to this. Hanon Russell became a
translator of Russian language documents into English and was given
access to documents in the Soviet Union which other westerners could
not obtain.


I also know lots of Russians and Soviet-era people from the republics. In
many respects they are just like us!

Taylor Kingston is a good book reviewer, but as an historian I would have to
say that your tenor resounds round the theatre. Lots of people could find
nothing wrong with the Soviets worth mentioning. This is usually a more
persistent criticism in England, odd to find it here in the USA.

The loudest noise in our understanding is what you correctly point out Sam
Sloan - a silence over what should not be silent -

However, now that the Soviets are no longer in power it is surprising
to see Taylor Kingston and Hanon Russell still telling us that the
Soviet leaders were well intended, albeit misunderstood, nice guys.


You are not quoting either gentleman as much as reflecting on what you
perceive as their attitudes. This is a distinction worth making. But a
degree of truth in what you say is certainly marked.

In the last paragraph of his review, Taylor Kingston reaches a
surprising conclusion, which is that the reason that there is no
native born USA player in the FIDE top 200 is that Schiller books are
popular here!


What a surprise that politics should play a part in USCF politics! But that
it should be pro-Soviet politics is quite absurd. It is hard to credit it
beyond a sort of muddle that often occurs in contact with 'Greats'. We want
people to be heroic, so we do not ask them what that muck is on their shoes.
In fact, we can become embarrassed for their shoes...

Fischer totally shocked the Soviet system, Sam. He was seen as something of
an outlaw - certainly outrageous, but as an inexplicable product of the
West. How is it possible that without any group support that //one man// can
have such catastrophic effect on Soviet group-man, in which huge amounts of
money had been invested over decades?

This was not a question that cold be either answered or ignored. This was
the grave doubt that Fischer's victory in Iceland cast on both the the
Soviet-system and sovietism everywhere in the world.

It was an awful system, one that eat its own children like ancient Saturn.
Millions of the poor *******s. Let's not pretend it was anything else, not
that, to quote Orwell, that the Imagination can be bred in captivity.

Cordially, Phil Innes



Sam Sloan



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Old October 20th 05, 07:15 PM
Alan OBrien
 
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Default Taylor Kingston's Negative Review of Schiller book on Fischer

Everybody who has followed the sordid career of
Taylor Kingston and his mentor Hanon Russell knows that they view the
Soviet government through rise colored glasses.


They are communissss Sam!! ASK THEM THE QUESTION ABOUT MEMBERSHIP!! They'll
say nothing!!


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Old October 20th 05, 08:18 PM
Taylor Kingston
 
Posts: n/a
Default Taylor Kingston's Negative Review of Schiller book on Fischer

I'd stopped replying to Sloan because correcting his errors was
proving a 24/7 task, but today I have a few spare minutes, so:

Sam Sloan wrote:
I have just finished reading the negative review by Taylor Kingston on
the Schiller book "Learn From Bobby Fischer's Games" for ChessCafe.com
at www.chesscafe.com/text/review462.pdf


Glad to hear it. I'll take all the readers I can get.

Kingston cites exactly the same negative reviews by Miles and Hansen
of Schiller books that he has cited here, which indicates that he does
not have any other examples to offer.


Send me more Schiller books, and I can almost certainly find many
more examples for you. Meanwhile, check out the many other reviews I
and others have cited here -- there's a lot more than just Miles and
Hansen. In fact, in the very review you are discussing, I cite several
others.

Kingston does point out some real errors by Schiller, such as for
example Schiller wrote that the 1957 US Open was played in New Jersey,
whereas in reality it was played in Cleveland. Schiller wrote that Max
Euwe was a former World Championship contender, whereas in reality
Euwe was a former World Champion.


Glad to see you think that's important, Sam, since Larry Parr
doesn't.

Taylor Kingston criticizes Schiller for basically copying and
rewriting notes by Fischer. However, when Schiller offers a different
evaluation and analysis than Fischer, Kingston criticizes Schiller for
saying something different from what Fischer said.


Wrong. I criticize Schiller not for differing from Fischer, but for
misrepresenting what Fischer said, and for reaching invalid conclusions
about various positions.

For example, in the game Fischer-Stein, Sousee Interzonal, 1967 ,
Schiller writes that after 26. ?c Nd3 27. Rd1 Nxc1 28. Rxd8 Ne2+ 29.
Kh2 Rxd8 Black wins because the queen is trapped. Kingston replies
that White instead can play 28. Rxc1 and the position is equal.


Sam misrepresents that passage of the review. Schiller actually
wrote:

"Fischer's comment that 'White has nothing' after Black captures on
c1 [i.e. 27...Nxc1] is quite an understatement. In fact White loses in
this line."

That is false. After 28.Rxc1 the position is equal, White is not
losing. That is what Fischer meant when he wrote in "My 60 Memorable
Games" that "If 27.R-Q1 NxB! and White has nothing." Fischer was right,
Schiller was wrong. (Shocking, eh?)

However, Fischer says nothing about either move and I think that it is
quite possible that Fischer did not see that the queen is trapped, as
nobody is perfect and it is difficult to see.


Rrriiight. Reading M60MG, it's clear that Fischer actually realized
it without sight of the board (there was a power failure at the time).


However, the most significant error that Kingston points out is not an
error at all. Schiller wrote "The Defeat by Fischer of Spassky in 1972
was a major psychological blow to the Soviet government". Kingston
replies "The geopolitical significance of the match was virtually
nil".


That is the basic assessment given in the last chapters of "Bobby
Fischer Goes to War" by Edmonds and Eidinow (Harper Collins 2004). In
general I agree with it. I'm sure those in the Soviet government who
followed chess were not happy about Spassky's defeat, but I doubt that
anyone in the Politburo said "Well, now that Spassky's lost, we'd
better pull out of Eastern Europe, and yank the rug on Hanoi and Cuba."


Is this an error? Everybody who has followed the sordid career of
Taylor Kingston and his mentor Hanon Russell knows that they view the
Soviet government through rise colored glasses.


Sam, you really need to stay off the hallucinogenics. I'm about as
pro-Soviet as Barry Goldwater.

However, now that the Soviets are no longer in power it is surprising
to see Taylor Kingston and Hanon Russell still telling us that the
Soviet leaders were well intended, albeit misunderstood, nice guys.


What are you using, Sam? LSD? Peyote? Psilocybin? While on your trip,
did the little voices give you even a single quote to support your
case?
Of course none exist, but Sam doesn't know that, because he never
even looked for any.

In the last paragraph of his review, Taylor Kingston reaches a
surprising conclusion, which is that the reason that there is no
native born USA player in the FIDE top 200 is that Schiller books are
popular here!


Sam apparently has lost the capacity to detect satirical irony. Still
further evidence of the tragic effects of drug abuse.

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Old October 20th 05, 09:37 PM
Skeptic
 
Posts: n/a
Default Taylor Kingston's Negative Review of Schiller book on Fischer


Sam Sloan wrote:

However, the most significant error that Kingston points out is not an
error at all. Schiller wrote "The Defeat by Fischer of Spassky in 1972
was a major psychological blow to the Soviet government". Kingston
replies "The geopolitical significance of the match was virtually
nil".

Is this an error?


Yes.

It might have been reasonable, in 1972, to think that the USSR's
leaders were deeply disturbed by Fischer's victory over Spassky. But
since the fall of the USSR, newer research showed that this is simply
not true. At the very least, the well-known book "Bobby Fisher Goes to
War" makes that clear.

That Schiller does not know this, and still presents as a "fact" the
disproved cliche about how "Bobby Shocked the Commies", shows that
Schiller didn't bother to do the most elementary research about Fischer
before writing a book about him.



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Old October 20th 05, 09:49 PM
Chess One
 
Posts: n/a
Default Taylor Kingston's Negative Review of Schiller book on Fischer


"Skeptic" wrote in message
ups.com...

Sam Sloan wrote:

However, the most significant error that Kingston points out is not an
error at all. Schiller wrote "The Defeat by Fischer of Spassky in 1972
was a major psychological blow to the Soviet government". Kingston
replies "The geopolitical significance of the match was virtually
nil".

Is this an error?


Yes.

It might have been reasonable, in 1972, to think that the USSR's
leaders were deeply disturbed by Fischer's victory over Spassky. But
since the fall of the USSR, newer research showed that this is simply
not true. At the very least, the well-known book "Bobby Fisher Goes to
War" makes that clear.

That Schiller does not know this, and still presents as a "fact" the
disproved cliche about how "Bobby Shocked the Commies", shows that
Schiller didn't bother to do the most elementary research about Fischer
before writing a book about him.


It is interesting that I write with the co-author of the title you note, who
is a producer of BBC radio, and cannot conclude with your public utterance
on the subject.

I cannot conclude is as much as the authors had no previous immersion in
chess, [none] nor even in political events of the time [none] , in order to
make such conclusion that you propose for them.

Phil Innes


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Old October 21st 05, 02:55 AM
 
Posts: n/a
Default Taylor Kingston's Negative Review of Schiller book on Fischer

GEOPOLITICAL SIGNIFICANCE NIL?

It might have been reasonable, in 1972, to think that the USSR's
leaders were deeply disturbed by Fischer's victory over Spassky. But
since the fall of the USSR, newer research showed that this is simply
not true. At the very least, the well-known book "Bobby Fisher Goes to
War" makes that clear. That Schiller does not know this, and still
presents
as a "fact" the disproved cliche about how "Bobby Shocked the Commies",
shows that Schiller didn't bother to do the most elementary research
about Fischer
before writing a book about him. -- Taylor Kingston


The crude thing about Taylor Kingston's thinking is to call a
difficult political evaluation an error. You can argue the point about
the effect of Spassky's defeat.
The Soviet leadership was notoriously insecure, which is the fate of
all illegitimate rulers. The smallest forms of dissent were treated as
assaults on the state, which in a sense they were, given the
illegitimacy of that state.

One recollects the effect of Reagan's famous "evil empire" comment
that shook the internal structure of the Soviet Union. I think it fair
to assume that Spassky's defeat was unsettling to the leadership -- how
unsettling becomes the stuff of argument.

The claim about the importance of Spassky's defeat is an arguable
point. No one is right or wrong about the matter. Eric's claim is
defensible. My view is that Spassky's defeat was a small tremor in the
Soviet political foundation. It produced a fissure somewhere, if only
a hairline fracture.

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Old October 21st 05, 12:25 PM
Sam Sloan
 
Posts: n/a
Default Taylor Kingston's Negative Review of Schiller book on Fischer

It might have been reasonable, in 1972, to think that the USSR's
leaders were deeply disturbed by Fischer's victory over Spassky. But
since the fall of the USSR, newer research showed that this is simply
not true. At the very least, the well-known book "Bobby Fisher Goes to
War" makes that clear. That Schiller does not know this, and still presents
as a "fact" the disproved cliche about how "Bobby Shocked the Commies",
shows that Schiller didn't bother to do the most elementary research
about Fischer before writing a book about him. -- Taylor Kingston


One thing that Taylor Kingston perhaps does not know is that Eric
Schiller is a completely fluent speaker of Russian. This gives
Schiller access to Russian language documents and Russian speaking
people. Thus, Schiller does not have to rely on a book written by two
BBC producers to formulate his opinions.

Schiller was also an extreme leftist who was very sympathetic to the
Soviet Union. Schiller opposed the efforts of John Donaldson to help
top Soviet woman player Elena Akhmylovskaya defect in Thessaloniki in
1988. (I was there and played a minor role in these events, as did
Eric Schiller).

So I would say that Schiller has done his research and can speak with
great authority on the events in question. Now, the question is: Has
Taylor Kingston done his research? Does Taylor Kingston know anything
about this subject beyond what he has read that was written by some
BBC Producer? Does Taylor Kingston have any right to call the
conclusions reached by Eric Schiller an "error" or even a "lie"?

Sam Sloan
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