Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1   Report Post  
Old May 2nd 06, 03:33 PM posted to rec.games.chess.politics,rec.games.chess.misc
Taylor Kingston
 
Posts: n/a
Default Kingston replies to Keene

I post this in reply to GM Raymond Keene's thread "Keene reviews
Kingston." There, Keene commented on my review of his book "Aron
Nimzowitsch: A Reappraisal" (3rd edition, Batsford 1999), which
appeared at www.ChessCafe.com in March 2000. The review can be seen
he http://www.chesscafe.com/text/reapp.txt, however, for the sake of
clarity it appears below (each portion headed "Review:"), punctuated by
Keene's comments (headed "Keene:") and my replies (headed "TK:").
Except for omitting one long irrelevant digression about another book,
I have retained all Keene's comments.
I set a precondition that Keene must first respond in detail to a set
of questions I posted several days ago. He has not done so in full, but
I see no reason to delay my reply any further. Especially since Keene's
comments proved generally quite easy to refute.
Because of the length of the review and the number of Keene's
comments, this is necessarily a long post. Those sincerely interested
in understanding the issues between Keene and myself are encouraged to
read all the way through. On some servers, such as Google, this may
require using the "read more" icon.

Review:
Along with Morphy, Steinitz, Tarrasch, and a very few others, the
Latvian master Aron Nimzowitsch (1886-1935) is considered a major
contributor to the theoretical foundation of chess. His writings, such
as My System and Chess Praxis, are considered essential to a full
understanding of the game. At his peak (circa 1926-31) he was one of
the top four or five players in the world, and was always one of the
game's more colorful and controversial personalities. It is a measure
of his impact that books continue to be written about him.

Keene: Excellent start. I like it. Concisely written, to the point
and well done.
TK: Thank you.

Review:
This one is making its third appearance. Earlier editions were
published in 1974 and 1991, both in descriptive notation. This edition
has algebraic notation and some additional games, some as recent as
1995, that show Nimzowitsch's influence. British grandmaster Raymond
Keene, an extremely prolific but often careless author (he admits to
having written entire books in a few days) this time appears to have
some genuine passion and respect for his subject, and has taken more
than usual care (though perhaps still not enough). Though this is a
third edition, your reviewer will approach it as he would a new work.


Keene: Hang on a moment. What are these generalisations about being
careless?
TK: I find this comment extremely disingenuous. I cannot believe that
GM Keene is oblivious to his own reputation.


Keene: I imagine he will soon be trying to produce some evidence for
this libellous assertion.
TK: An absurd statement. Pointing out factual errors is not libel.
Concerning evidence, Keene need merely look at the thread "Keene on
Chessic Omniscience" for a few of the many known instances.


Keene: His evidence so far is that I admit to having written a book
in a few days.
TK: The bulk of the evidence is not relevant to a review of the
Nimzovitch book, and so is not recapitulated there. I again recommend
that GM Keene refresh his memory from my recent posts, or check the
many instances cited by various commentators over the past 25 years or
so.


Snip long story about writing a book over a weekend.


Review:
In his first chapter, Keene notes that Nimzowitsch's own major
written works stopped before the most successful phase of his career
(ca. 1929-31). Keene intends Reappraisal as "a continuation of his
Chess Praxis covering the years 1928-1934." Even for someone of Keene's
pretensions this is a tall order, but he does have some success. The
result is an interesting though uneven work, part biography, part games
collection, part historical and
theoretical survey.


Keene: Damning with faint praise. Okay. Let's see what else he has to
say.
TK: Actually I'm giving the book high praise by comparison with other
Keene works.


Review:
Chapter 2 is of historical interest, consisting of excerpts from
Nimzowitsch's hard-to-find autobiography "How I Became a Grandmaster."
It introduces us to his somewhat grandiose writing style and conception
of himself, and goes far to explain the antipathy, both professional
and personal, that developed between him and German grandmaster
Siegbert Tarrasch. Chapter 3 includes a discussion of positional themes
in Nimzowitsch's games, and a conversation with Danish GM Bent Larsen
(logical, since Nimzowitsch lived in Denmark for
years, and Larsen is considered something of a spiritual descendant).


Keene: Very good. Remember that point about Nimzo living in Denmark.
It's relevant to what follows.
TK: But not relevant to the book, as we will see.


Review:
Chapter 4, "The Influence of Nimzowitsch on Modern Opening Play",
discusses lines he either originated or enhanced, among them the
Philidor-Hanham (1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 d6 3 d4 Nf6 4 Nc3 Nbd7); the Nimzowitsch
Defence (1 e4 Nc6); various lines, for both colors, in the French; the
Caro-Kann, especially (after 1 e4 c6 2 d4 d5 3 Nc3 dxe4 4 Nxe4) the
lines 4...Nf6 and 4...Nd7; some lines of the Sicilian, e.g. 1 e4 c5 2
Nf3 Nf6; the Queen's Indian (1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nf6 b6); the
Nimzo-Indian (1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nc3 Bb4); and the Nimzowitsch Attack
(1 b3, or 1 Nf3 and 2 b3). Keene makes some interesting points along
the way, e.g. "many of the original strategic ideas stem from
Nimzowitsch himself while ... the actual variations we still employ
were elaborated by the arch-realist Alekhine." However, as we will see,

Keene's factual support for such points is spotty.


Keene: Spotty? We shall see!
TK: Indeed we will.


Review:
Like some other writers, notably Fred Reinfeld in "The Human Side of
Chess" or Reuben Fine in various works, Keene occasionally purports to
psychoanalyze or even peer into "the very heart" of his subject and
relate the insights thus gained to chess style. Chapter 5,
"The Duality of Nimzowitsch" does this in a somewhat overblown manner,
quoting Goethe (Zwei Seelen wohnen, ach! in meiner Brust / Die eine
will sich von der andern trennen) and trying to illustrate how these
'two souls living within his breast' ("Prophylaxis" and "Heroic
Defence") manifested themselves in Nimzowitsch's games. Such armchair
insights are not always valid, but if handled with sufficient style
they make for interesting reading. Whether one agrees that "with
Nimzowitsch, we see a powerful awareness of the presence of the
opponent as someone who must be restrained or provoked," or one
associates "the direct, positive action of an Alekhine, or a Fischer,
with a homogeneous, harmonious unity of chess style as opposed to the
duality and indirection which pervade Nimzowitsch," one can at least
enjoy Keene's polysyllabic prose. And an occasionally overblown style
is perhaps appropriate when discussing Nimzowitsch.


Keene: Yes. Fair enough. TK even picks up my stylistic homage to
Nimzo.
TK: Thank you.
Keene: So are we back on track?
TK: I was not aware that the review had left its track.


Review:
Chapters 6 through 11 are (along with chapter 4) the best sections of
the book: about 70 games, most of them deeply annotated, from different
phases of Nimzowitsch's career: First Steps 1904-06, Established Master
1907-14, Disaster and Recovery 1920-24, World Championship Candidate
1925-28, The Crown Prince 1929-31, and The Final Years 1932-35. They
are accompanied by tournament crosstables. The games often feature
Nimzowitsch's own notes, which are among the most stylized,
idiosyncratic, hyperbolic, and least humble ever written; as Keene's
Danish translators put it, "each game [is] turned into a drama -- more
than that, into a morality play -- in which Nimzowitsch becomes a very
special character: an almost invincible crusader, an embodiment of all
sapient virtues." For example, of this position (See Diagram).

Keene: Good. Well quoted! TK really seems to be getting into the
spirit of things now! Now he discusses a position from Nimzo-Romih, San
Remo 1930 after 22 Bd5-c6.
TK: Yes, the position is:
1r2kr2/p2bq1bp/1pBp4/nPp5/Q1P1Pp2/P1NP1P1p1/3KN3/1R5R.

Review:
While grandmasters tend to be an egotistical lot, it's hard to think
of many who would, with a straight face, describe their own moves as
"awe-inspiring." Elsewhere Nimzowitsch rejoices in the "thorn-infested
path to victory" that the complexity of his style forced upon him,
masochistically regarding the "renunciation of lunch" as "a thoroughly
welcome intensification of the pleasure". Not without reason was he
considered a bit strange.
Still, the instructive value of Nimzowitsch's games and the complex
intelligence behind them cannot be denied. Keene perceptively points
out many features of Nimzowitsch's play, such as the concept of
"ambush." This means more than just a trap or combination, rather it is

"a deep refutation of a course of action which the opponent is under no
compulsion to adopt," yet one toward which Nimzowitsch's play strongly
leads him. A prime example is Rubinstein-Nimzowitsch, Marienbad 1925
(See Diagram) where the key was the unusual and not at all obvious
18...Rfe8!!. ... The games section, the bulk of the book, features many
such instructive, perhaps even "awe-inspiring" moments.
In other areas Reappraisal comes off less well. While emulating
Reinfeld in the "psychological insight" department, Keene criticizes
Reinfeld's book on Nimzowitsch (Hypermodern Chess, a/k/a Nimzovich the
Hypermodern, 1948). For example, discussing the game Nimzowitsch-Salwe,
Carlsbad 1911 (See Diagram), Reinfeld wrote that for playing 7 dxc5,
"one of the deepest [moves] ever played, Nimzowitsch was roundly damned
by the chess world." Keene cites Vidmar to show that "Unfortunately,
the facts contradict this pleasantly romantic view." However, Keene has
often been shown by Edward Winter and others to be one of chessdom's
worst offenders against historical accuracy. Though in the above matter
he may be right, for him to criticize Reinfeld is rather like Jackie
Gleason admonishing someone to lose weight.

Keene: Hang on. What's this? I'm one of the worst offenders against
historical accuracy!
TK: Yes.
Keene: I trust he's going to produce some evidence for this libel.
TK: Again, I can only regard Keene's attitude as extremely
disingenuous.


Keene: And what's this about being right but now allowed to correct
Reinfeld ...
TK: Wrong end of the stick. I did not say that Keene is forbidden to
correct Reinfeld. The attentive reader will notice that Keene's comment
about Reinfeld merely provides the review with a convenient segue to a
discussion of Reappraisal's historical problems.
Keene: ... a gifted player who had a plus score against Reshevsky,
beat Fine and drew with Alekhine?
TK: Reinfeld's playing strength or career scores are entirely
irrelevant here.
Keene: Reinfeld wrote some potboilers but also some very good books
including his studies of Nimzo and Tarrasch.
TK: Again, quite irrelevant. At least Keene does acknowledge that a
"very good book" (e.g. Reinfeld's on Nimzovich) may also have some
errors (e.g. the "romantic" illusion to which Keene referred). Reinfeld
is not alone in this.


Keene: TK's remarks are a crude slur which utterly fails to produce
any worthwhile reason why I should not criticise anyone or anything I
find to be in error.
TK: Keene has the right to criticize error, but his authority to do
so is weakened by the high incidence of error in his own work. It is
wrong to drink and smoke to excess, but the guy to say this is not
Mikhail Tal. It is wrong to cheat on one's wife, but I could only laugh
if told this by Bill Clinton or Jack Kennedy. Religious and racial
bigotry is wrong, but for Bobby Fischer to tell me that would be
ludicrous hypocrisy. I trust my point is clear now.


Keene: I also find this kind of criticism by innuendo highly
distasteful and unworthy of any decent reviewer who is supposed to be
objective. Ah, but is objectivity TK's real goal?
TK: As a matter of objective fact, yes, it is.


Keene: Now we come to his so-called evidence of my offenses against
historical accuracy.
TK: Only those I found in "Reappraisal." There are many others in
other books.


Keene: This will be interesting. Winter has decreed that Keene is a
bad writer ...
TK: Interesting. Keene is aware of what Winter has written about him,
yet is somehow unaware of the many historical errors Winter has pointed
out?


Keene: (let's try to forget or spin the old Winter description of my
book on Nimzo as "splendid").
TK: No, let's not. In some ways it is a splendid book. But "some"
does not mean "all."


Keene: Now TK must fine [sic] something wrong with my book to justify
the new dictates of his stern lord and master.
TK: Hmmm ... Keene claims I have made a "crude slur," yet he follows
this with - a crude slur! Concerning my "stern lord and master," the
plain fact is my wife does not even know how to play chess, and has no
role at all in my reviews.
I now add a portion of my review which GM Keene failed to include in
his post. Please keep this mind further on; it's highly relevant:


Portion of review omitted by Keene:
For example, in discussing the Panov-Botvinnik variation of the
Caro-Kann (1 e4 2 c6 2 d4 d5 3 exd5 cxd5 4 c4) Keene says "Nimzowitsch
used this against Alekhine at Bled 1931, and then Alekhine himself
became its most enthusiastic practitioner. Why on earth we call it the
Panov-Botvinnik I shall never understand!" (p. 77). Questions of
opening nomenclature are often tricky; this line actually was first
analyzed by Orland Krause of Denmark in 1911.

Keene: Yes, we know about Dr. Krause, the Danish theoretician --
remember Denmark? --where Nimzo emigrated after the first World War.
Nimzo even gives a game by Krause with this very line in his Chess
Praxis.
TK: It's too bad that this relevant information is not mentioned in
"Reappraisal."

Review:
-- and played and analyzed further by Russian Vasily Panov ca. 1929-30.


Keene: Much later.
TK: 1929-30 is still earlier than any date the book gives on this
subject.

Review:
But as far as it concerns Nimzowitsch and Alekhine, Keene appears to
have cause and effect reversed! As far as I can find, their actual
chronology with the line is: (1) Alekhine-Tartakower, Paris 1925; (2)
Tartakower-Nimzowitsch, Liege 1930; and only then (3)
Nimzowitsch-Alekhine, Bled 1931. In other words, Nimzowitsch may well
have learned of the line from Alekhine, and not the other way around.

Keene: Try Nimzo-Jokstad, Bergen 1921 which as far as I can see
normally comes BEFORE 1925 and 1930.
TK: It's a funny thing, but when I review a book, I evaluate it based
on the information actually in the book. I don't recall the Jokstad
game being mentioned at all in "Reappraisal." On the matter of the
Panov-Botvinnik Attack, Keene gives only one paragraph, just three
sentences, and mentions no date except 1931.
Keene: It seems pretty likely that when Nimzo went to Denmark he
became interested in this line by association with Dr. Krause, whom he
writes of very positively in Chess Praxis.
TK: A plausible hypothesis, but again *_not_* mentioned in
"Reappraisal." Here again is what Keene wrote: "Nimzowitsch used this
against Alekhine at Bled 1931, and then Alekhine himself became its
most enthusiastic practitioner." That's it.
That's a clear chain of events: (1) First, Nimzovitch plays the
Panov-Botvinnik against Alekhine in 1931, then (2) Alekhine likes it
and plays it. That's all the evidence Keene gives *_in the book_* on
the issue of who showed whom the PBA. Alekhine in fact played it at
least six years earlier. Keene does not mention this. Maybe Nimzovitch
showed it to him before that, but "Reappraisal" does not say so.
As I said, I judge a book by what's *_in the book_*. Whatever else
Keene may know has no bearing. Even overwhelming evidence has no effect
on a case if it's not presented in court.
Perhaps GM Keene can produce a fourth edition, and include what he's
shown here, in which case I will give _that_ book full credit for doing
so, but not the third edition, the book under discussion here.

Review:
The Panov-Botvinnik might be more accurately called the Krause-Panov,

but for Keene to imply that it should be named for Nimzowitsch is
ludicrous.

Keene: I did not write this at all!
TK: It seemed to be Keene's clear implication. First he says
Nimzovitch used it, then says it should not be named for Panov or
Botvinnik. So if not Nimzovitch, who else did Keene mean?
Keene: I merely wrote that I was surprised it was christened after
Panov and Botvinnik.
TK: But you gave no reason why it should not be so named, except that
Nimzovitch played it in 1931 against Alekhine, who then took it up.
Keene: But to call it the Panov-Botvinnik as I supposed we now must
-- as sanctioned by usage --is just another sad example of Soviets
hacks hijacking an opening system worked out by others. It reminds of
of Commander Chekhov, the Russian Star Trek officer who automatically
claims that everything was invented in Moscow.
TK: A valid point about the Soviets, but not really relevant to
"Reappraisal."

Review:
Other errors are more subtle.

Keene: What other errors? He hasn't found any at all yet!!
TK: Suit yourself.

Review:
While Reappraisal is better researched than many other Keene books,
it still shows a certain superficiality, for example in its discussion
of the genesis of the Nimzo-Indian Defense.

Keene: Superficiality is it now ? This had better be good!

Review:
Nimzowitsch first played 1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nc3 Bb4 against Janowsky
at St. Petersburg 1914. Keene rightly notes that it had been played
earlier (with a slight transposition), in Englisch-Blackburne, London
1883, but neglects to state that it had appeared even earlier, in
Singleton-Casswell, correspondence, England 1854.

Keene: I neglect to mention a game from 1854!
TK: I agree, you neglected to mention it. Personally, I thought
readers of the review would find my added information interesting. And
the fact that Keene mentioned only the 1883 game makes it seem he
considers it the first. Keene's exact phrasing is that the
"Nimzo-Indian Defense [is] Nimzowitsch's most famous strategic
invention, although it had been played previously (by accident!?) in
1883!"
Would not a better phrasing have been "although it had been played
previously, in such games as ..." followed by relevant examples from
several years.

Keene: I am here saying that Nimzo neither invented the opening nor
had a monopoly on its development. Both true!
TK: Agreed. However, in the book Keene clearly is trying to trace the
Nimzo-Indian's ancestry, asking "is it possible that Nimzowitsch was
influenced by some of Tartakower's games from Carlsbad 1911? ...
Clearly there was some cross-fertilization between the livelier minds
of the pre-1914 chess world."
Indeed there was such cross-fertilization; I just don't think this
part of "Reappraisal" does a very thorough job tracing it - much
relevant information was missing. That is why I characterized it as
having "a certain superficiality."

Review:
Admittedly not a point of great importance, but a harbinger of
further omission when Keene discusses the Nimzo-Indian's strategic
ancestry. He correctly notes that an important theme of the defense,
Black's pressure against White'sc3/c4/d4 pawn complex, may not have
been completely original with Nimzowitsch, citing this position (See
Diagram), from a Dutch Defense, Salwe-Tartakower, Carlsbad 1911. Keene
says "the manner of play against the doubled c-pawns and the whole
concept of blockade ... [clearly shows] there was some
cross-fertilization between the livelier minds of the pre-1914 chess
world. The new ideas were not the sole intellectual property of
Nimzowitsch!"
True indeed, but Keene seems completely unaware that the idea can be
traced back much further. Consider this position (See Diagram).

Keene: And now I am allegedly unaware of an even more important
mirror image -- this time from 1867.
TK: Well, it sure ain't in the book.

Review:
Interested readers please consult the database

TK: What's this? I wrote no such thing in my review. Below is the
correct continuation:

Review:
Consider this position from Winawer-Neumann, Paris 1867 [Note: in the
original review a diagram appeared, but unfortunately that was lost
when the review was archived as a .txt file. Here is the position:
1nbdqkr/r3b1p1/p1p1p1Q1/2ppPp2/2P2P2/1P1P1N2/P6P/RQBN2RK] where the
Polish master continued 22 Ba3 Qf7 23 Nc3 a5 24 Na4 Na6 25 Rac1,
pressuring the c5-pawn in a perfect mirror image of the Nimzo-Indian
strategy, nearly 50 years before Nimzowitsch "originated" it. This is
not the only Winawer game with such ideas. As we noted in the February
1999 Inside Chess, it is very hard to believe that Winawer's games were

unknown to the Latvian Nimzowitsch (not to mention the Pole
Tartakower), especially since (1) they all moved in Russian chess
circles at the time Nimzowitsch was formulating his opening ideas; and
(2) Nimzowitsch was very fond of the line 1 e4 e6 2 d4 d5 3 Nc3 Bb4,
i.e., the Winawer French. Nimzowitsch's affinity for Knights over
Bishops is another sign of Winawer influence. Winawer lived until 1920
and Nimzowitsch almost surely knew him personally. I strongly doubt
Nimzowitsch was ignorant of Winawer's games, but it's clear Keene is.

Keene: No, Keene is not ignorant.
TK: Then I suggest Keene show that by including relevant information
when he is aware of it. As I said, I can judge a book only by what the
author puts in, not by what else he might know but omits.

Keene: I just thought everyone knew about Staunton's win vs. the
Bristol Chess Club of 1844-45 by correspondence -- a game far predating
any references cited by TK! It's #25 in my book on Howard Staunton, a
pure mirror image Nimzo-Indian.
TK: A shame it was not mentioned in "Reappraisal," then.
Keene: TK misses the point. I wasn't trying to find the earliest
reference, which is in fact Staunton's game, but simply showing that a
well known 1883 game had reached the Nimzo basic position, which GMs of
that era would probably know and that others (Tartakower) also deserved
some credit. I am sure Winawer does too, but if we are playing the game
of going as far back as we can I doubt anyone will trump Staunton vs.
Bristol.
TK: Immaterial. I am not "playing the game of going as far back as we
can," I am showing information I considered relevant to the topics in
"Reappraisal," but which was not given in "Reappraisal."

Review:
He is further guilty of worse superficiality in discussing the
Advance French (1 e4 e6 2 d4 d5 3 e5), calling it "another of
Nimzowitsch's brain children," when it is well known that Louis Paulsen
(1833-91) was playing it years before Nimzowitsch was born.

Keene: Wake up Taylor Kingston. Anyone at home up there? Paulsen vs.
Tarrasch is on page 53 of my book!
TK: I do not consider a brief fragment (moves 15-19) buried in a note
to Nimzovich-Tarrasch, San Sebastian 1912, adequate to counteract the
impression given by calling the Advance French "Nimzowitsch's
brainchild."

Keene: And brain child doesn't mean Nimzo played it first ...
TK: Really? My Webster's Dictionary defines "brainchild" as "a
person's invention (often of a practical order)." No other definitions
are given. To say the Advance French was "Nimzovich's
brainchild" is like saying "The airplane was Charles Lindbergh's
invention."
Keene: ... though it could.
TK: Only if one makes up one's own definition. Larry Parr does that a
lot. You don't want to be like him. ;-)
Keene: It means that Nimzo nurtured and proselytised for it like no
other GM ever did. He worked out a complete theory for 1 e4 e6 2 d4 d5
3 e5 in the French, contributing more than anyone else.
TK: If that's what Keene meant, then Keene should have said that,
rather than "another of Nimzowitsch's brain children."

Review:
Keene has at least deleted one error from his 1974 edition (repeated
from Reinfeld), that New York 1927 was a "candidates tournament" in
which, had Nimzowitsch finished first, or second to Capablanca, he
could have gained a world title match. While it is a pleasant surprise
to see Keene correcting himself, on the whole one should not read
Reappraisal as an historical work without substantial salt at hand.

Keene: Salt? The belief that New York 1927 was a candidates'
tournament was widespread when I wrote the first edition. And no, I did
not get it from Reinfeld. In fact I accepted the truth of a memoir of
Capablanca by J. DuMont.
TK: I stand corrected on your source. But the salt remark was not
directed at NY 1927.
Keene: It is now believed that New York 1927 was almost certainly NOT
a candidates' tournament as we now understand the phrase, though heaven
knows how they would have handled matters had Nimzo won or come second.

TK: Capablanca would have played the match with Alekhine, as had
already been contractually agreed.
Keene: But I certainly felt it safer to delete this based on what had
been unearthed since the first edition.
TK: Good. Why does GM Keene not show a similar willingness to correct
and/or admit other errors?


Keene: Now what's this assertion about "at least deleted one error,"
implying there were lots more. I have proved here that there aren't.
TK: I suppose we will continue to differ on that.
Keene: I would even say, given the state of knowledge at the time of
writing, that referring to New York 1927 as a candidates' tournament
was NOT an error. Changing the description showed an awareness of and
sensitivity to more recent research. This slur about a pleasant
surprise to see Keene correcting himself is unworthy of an objective
reviewer. It would be more typical of a reviewer with a preset agenda.
TK: On the contrary, I feel it would show a complete lack of
objectivity to ignore Keene's record of factual errors.

Keene: I am always ready to correct something if it can be done. For
example, if a mistake occurs in my daily Times column I always try to
get it corrected as quickly as possible. Anyone who reads it can verify
this fact.
TK: Not being a regular reader of the Times, I cannot address that
from personal knowledge. However, I will say that Keene's claim differs
sharply from most reports I have read.

Keene: TK's pleasant surprise insult is just another generalised
attack without foundation.
TK: It's not an insult, it's my genuine feeling. Perhaps GM Keene
could cause me to feel it more often?

Review:
As an instructional book, it is somewhat problematic, though not
through any fault of Keene's. As R. E. Fauber said, "If there were a
difficult way to play a chess game, Nimzovich would find it." Few
masters are harder for the amateur to emulate than the eccentric
Latvian. However, Keene deserves credit for making some Nimzowitsch
concepts easier to understand, and for providing relevant illustrative
examples. By itself, or used as Keene recommends, in concert with My
System and/or Chess Praxis, Reappraisal should have
instructive value, at least for players of above-average strength. For
less advanced players I would recommend (at the risk of making
Nimzowitsch spin in his grave!) that they first try a book by his
arch-rival Tarrasch, whose more direct theory of the game is easier to
grasp.

Keene: This bit is more or less okay. TK even admits I mention Praxis
where the 1924-25 Krause game occurs, thus conceding that I did know
about Krause's contribution to the so-called Panov-Botvinnik Attack.
TK: Again, whatever Keene may have known but left out is irrelevant
to my review. All that matters is what he put *_in the book_*.

Review:
It is as a games collection that this book stands out: about 100
Nimzowitsch games, both famous and little-known, some with his own
annotations (hard to find anywhere else), others with good notes by
Keene. For all his eccentricity and bombast, Nimzowitsch loved and
understood chess as few men have ever done, and for all his usual
sloppiness ...

Keene: For all his usual sloppiness?? Outrageous slur with no
evidence at all. Who has been sloppy here with his research? Me or the
reviewer who overlooked Nimzo vs. Jokstad 1921 and Staunton vs. Bristol
1844?
TK: The author who neglected to mention them in his book is the guy I
had in mind.
Keene: Come off it. TK has not found one single instance of so-called
sloppiness, whereas I have unearthed several in his review.
TK: Again, it appears we must agree to differ.

Review:
Keene's respect and enthusiasm for Nimzowitsch have motivated him to
produce a book well above his norm. As long as one does not regard it
as an historical reference, Aron Nimzowitsch: A Reappraisal will do
little harm, and will provide a good deal of interesting reading and
educational study material.

Keene: Damning with faint praise yet again. No historical reference?
What about all the tournament tables. What about unearthing Nimzo's
"How I Became a GM" with his fabulous early game with Tarrasch?
TK: I have already made clear what I regard as salient historical
errors. Those two things were not among them.
Keene: Yet TK mentions respect and enthusiasm. My verdict on his
review? Three on a scale of ten. Not yet ready for prime time (as GM
Evans puts it in his 4/24/06 column at WCN). Taylor Kingston is
evidently lying throughout.
TK: I hope I may be forgiven if I feel a strong sense of irony.
Keene: Even worse, he is lying to himself, thus defeating the purpose
of his review.
TK: The irony deepens.

Keene: His language at times betrays that he likes my book but he
knows that Winter now disapproves of Keene and he must toe the party
line or be hurled himself into outer darkness with the non-Winterians
-- Parr, Evans, and the redoubtable Innes.
TK: Oh ... my ... Gawd.

Keene: TK tried desperately to demolish my book ...
TK: By giving it a positive final verdict? Seems a funny way to
demolish. And in what sense was I "desperate"? Desperate means without
hope. My hopes have nothing to do with your books.

Keene: ... in spite of the fact that in truth he liked it! But he had
to dance to the official tune, hurl slurs and fire insults. He either
has to invent claims I patently never made and says I overlooked games
that are in my book (Paulsen vs. Tarrasch) and alleges I showed
historical ignorance. He could actually make a decent chess writer if
he didn't have such an agenda.

TK: Ah, now the cat's out of the bag. Keene claims that like some
Nazi minion, I have blindly followed orders from an evil Führer, like
a ringwraith I am slave to a Dark Lord. Talk about (to use Keene's own
words) an "outrageous slur with no evidence at all"!

Ray, I'm afraid the gloves have to come off now. To put it bluntly,
on this matter you're full of it. ABSOLUTELY FULL OF IT. And I'm being
nice by omitting the two letters that come before the "it."

Keene: Finally I ask you, Mr. Kingston, what have I done to deserve
this attack from you? You don't know me and I certainly had no idea of
who you were before I noticed your insulting material. What is wrong
with my book, which many consider a classic. and which has gone through
three editions to deserve this kind of shoddy treatment at your hands?

TK: Please, spare us the melodrama. You sound like a ham actor on an
off night.

  #2   Report Post  
Old May 3rd 06, 08:16 PM posted to rec.games.chess.politics,rec.games.chess.misc
Taylor Kingston
 
Posts: n/a
Default Kingston replies to Keene


Certain recent posts by GM Keene indicate he feels singled out for
special maltreatment at the hands of myself and other reviewers. Just
so Keene does not feel particularly persecuted, I provide below links
to various reviews of mine which pan, in whole or part, various books
books by other GMs, plus others works that received high praise in some
quarters. Perhaps GM Keene's misery will be lightened when he knows he
has company.

GM Jan Timman:
http://www.chesscafe.com/text/review495.pdf

GM Jonathan Rowson:
http://www.chesscafe.com/text/review274.pdf

GM Rainier Knaak and Manuel Fruth
http://www.chesscafe.com/text/review435.pdf

GM Eduard Gufeld and others:
http://www.chesscafe.com/text/review388.pdf

GM Andy Soltis:
http://www.chesscafe.com/text/review348.pdf

GM Paul Motwani:
http://www.chesscafe.com/text/power.pdf

IM Chris Baker:
http://www.chesscafe.com/text/simplewc.txt

ICCM Victor Charuchin:
http://www.chesscafe.com/text/charousek.txt
http://www.chesscafe.com/text/mitro.txt

J.C. Hallman:
http://www.chesscafe.com/text/review406.pdf

Former USCF President and FIDE delegate Don Schultz:
http://www.chesscafe.com/text/chessdon.txt

"The Turk: Chess Automaton":
http://www.chesscafe.com/text/review254.pdf

Jan van Reek:
http://www.chesscafe.com/text/review363.pdf

Hugh Myers:
http://www.chesscafe.com/text/review341.pdf

This last is particularly noteworthy. Hugh Myers is a long-time
favorite of Edward Winter. Keene and Parr have alleged that Winter is
secretly orchestrating all the recent anti-Keene posts here, and that
those so posting are Winter's mind-slaves who do not dare to disagree
with their Dark Lord. In that case, my largely negative verdict on
Myers' book must be difficult to explain.

  #3   Report Post  
Old May 4th 06, 03:24 AM posted to rec.games.chess.politics,rec.games.chess.misc
 
Posts: n/a
Default Kingston replies to Keene

TAPPER DANCING

Anyway it should not be overlooked that your review was
generally complimentary, if grudgingly so. -- Larry Tapper to Kingston


The Tapper-man and NM Taylor Kingston, the
self-proclaimed 2300+ ELO windmill who is actually
rated 1800 or so, dance daintily around each other.

The point behind Taylor Kingston's irrelevant
introduction of stem games was to impute lack of
research on the part of GM Raymond Keene. The truth
is that Keene was not trying to present a history of a
given variation; he made an illustrative remark. Such
was his purpose which was sufficient to his point.

NM Kingston was then one-upped by GM Keene who
filled in quite a few lacunae in the reviewer's knowledge.
The injury to the Kingstonian ego was palpable. He
announced that he would not respond until GM Keene had
answered a laundry list of questions; he changed the title of
the thread; and he posted his response on another forum.

Too, Mr. Niemand, a Kingstonian pseudonym, appeared
to take another bow. (Not the kind of material that a
Tapper-man would care to address.)

The response to GM Keene has been that he ought
to have included his further information in the work
on Nimzowitsch, which is nonsense. Keene gave the
necessary illustrations. He judged, correctly, that
further elaboration would have been inelegant -- the
kind of listing and junkiness to be found in much
ratpackerian writing.

  #4   Report Post  
Old May 4th 06, 06:18 AM posted to rec.games.chess.politics,rec.games.chess.misc
 
Posts: n/a
Default Kingston replies to Keene

LIGHTENING KEENE'S MISERY

Just so Keene does not feel particularly persecuted, I
provide below links to various reviews of mine which pan,
in whole or part, various books books by other GMs, plus
others works that received high praise in some quarters.
Perhaps GM Keene's misery will be lightened when he
knows he has company. -- Taylor Kingston

Talk about a dishonest strawman. NM Taylor
Kingston, our 2300+ ELO sower who is actually an
1800-rated reaper, also writes: "Keene and Parr have
alleged that Winter is secretly orchestrating all the
recent anti-Keene posts here, and that those so
posting are Winter's mind-slaves who do not dare to
disagree with their Dark Lord."

NM Kingston is our farceur. He criticizes poor
old Hugh Myers, which shows how he disagrees with
Edward Winter.

Of course, no one has accused Edward Winter of
"orchestrating" anything on rgcp.

What Winter has attempted to do for many years
in letter writing campaigns was to get Keene fired from
the Times of London, Tisdall fired from Reuters, Goodman
fired from the AP, and Evans fired from Chess Life.

Thanks to jr for reminding me of the copyright violation charge.

  #5   Report Post  
Old May 4th 06, 11:06 AM posted to rec.games.chess.politics,rec.games.chess.misc
David Richerby
 
Posts: n/a
Default Kingston replies to Keene

jr wrote:
You forgot to add that Kingston was so enraged by Keene's
critique of his putrid review that his initial reaction was to
bring you up on charges of copyright violation before the
Chess Journalists of America. That's now a moot point
because Kingston quoted it himself on this forum.


Huh? The copyright owner can do whatever he wants with his work. You
cannot, by construction, violate your own copyright.


Dave.

--
David Richerby Unholy T-Shirt (TM): it's like a
www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~davidr/ fashion statement but it's also a
crime against nature!


  #6   Report Post  
Old May 4th 06, 11:44 AM posted to rec.games.chess.politics,rec.games.chess.misc
The Historian
 
Posts: n/a
Default Kingston replies to Keene


David Richerby wrote:
jr wrote:
You forgot to add that Kingston was so enraged by Keene's
critique of his putrid review that his initial reaction was to
bring you up on charges of copyright violation before the
Chess Journalists of America. That's now a moot point
because Kingston quoted it himself on this forum.


Huh? The copyright owner can do whatever he wants with his work. You
cannot, by construction, violate your own copyright.


This is another example of Larry/"jr" rewriting facts to suit his
needs. If you examine the thread in question, you will find I, not Mr.
Kingston, suggested that Mr. Parr violated the Code of Ethics of the
Chess Journalists of America by republishing Mr. Kingston's article.
Mr. Kingston did initially state, correctly in my opinion, that his
copyright had been violated by such extensive quotation - almost the
entire review. The 'charges of copyright violation before the CJA' is a
Parrian construct; since Mr. Kingston did not say he would do that.

  #8   Report Post  
Old May 4th 06, 02:16 PM posted to rec.games.chess.politics,rec.games.chess.misc
Chess One
 
Posts: n/a
Default Kingston replies to Keene


wrote in message
oups.com...
LIGHTENING KEENE'S MISERY

Just so Keene does not feel particularly persecuted, I
provide below links to various reviews of mine which pan,
in whole or part, various books books by other GMs, plus
others works that received high praise in some quarters.
Perhaps GM Keene's misery will be lightened when he
knows he has company. -- Taylor Kingston

Talk about a dishonest strawman. NM Taylor
Kingston, our 2300+ ELO sower who is actually an
1800-rated reaper, also writes: "Keene and Parr have
alleged that Winter is secretly orchestrating all the
recent anti-Keene posts here, and that those so
posting are Winter's mind-slaves who do not dare to
disagree with their Dark Lord."

NM Kingston is our farceur. He criticizes poor
old Hugh Myers, which shows how he disagrees with
Edward Winter.

Of course, no one has accused Edward Winter of
"orchestrating" anything on rgcp.

What Winter has attempted to do for many years
in letter writing campaigns was to get Keene fired from
the Times of London, Tisdall fired from Reuters, Goodman
fired from the AP, and Evans fired from Chess Life.

Thanks to jr for reminding me of the copyright violation charge.


it remains to be seen if CJA will condone or condemn it - but since vague
accusations fly around unchecked, [as if to suggest them is enough] and as
there is faint interest in the challenge to ask Winter whatever he means
about BCO, then I took up the challenge and made a specific inquiry to CJA
directly

without quoting e-mails wink it will be difficult to substantiate anything
about Winter, except if he makes a direct response in public. the sub-strata
of correspondence is usually denied most vociferously by those who conduct
it wink who then lampoon 'conspiracy' theories as if to knock out the idea
as absurd!

some people here are 'quite the cheese' in this respect, even a veritable
Stilton of cheesiness

Phil Innes



  #9   Report Post  
Old May 4th 06, 02:34 PM posted to rec.games.chess.politics,rec.games.chess.misc
Chess One
 
Posts: n/a
Default Kingston replies to Keene


"Taylor Kingston" wrote in message
oups.com...

"[Kingston's] language at times betrays that he likes my book but he
knows that Winter now disapproves of Keene and he must toe the party
line or be hurled himself into outer darkness ...But he had to dance to
the official tune, hurl slurs and fire insults."

My reply was (and is):

Ah, now the cat's out of the bag. Keene claims that like some Nazi
minion, I have blindly followed orders from an evil Führer, like a
ringwraith I am slave to a Dark Lord. Talk about (to use Keene's own
words) an "outrageous slur with no evidence at all"!

Ray, I'm afraid the gloves have to come off now. To put it bluntly,
on this matter you're full of it. ABSOLUTELY FULL OF IT. And I'm being
nice by omitting the two letters that come before the "it."

--------

This is a test! Of Comprehension.

Kingston's language, actually his comprehension of what he is reviewing, is
displayed here in his own words - with entirely gratuitous mentions of Nazi
minions in a confused burlesque of images. The level of dialogue has,
perhaps inevitably, dropped at the end of the message to coyly mentions what
comes out of people bottoms.

Although this is an unintended self-caricature on the part of Kingston,
nevertheless it displays what someone wrote, and what someone else
understood by it.

This is the nature of the dialogue taking place here - and the complaint by
the author is that his reviewer is taking pearls and making swine's ears our
of them.

If we review the QUALITY of author complaint to quality of responses as
actually demonstrated by the reviewer, is the author correct?

Phil Innes


  #10   Report Post  
Old May 4th 06, 03:09 PM posted to rec.games.chess.politics,rec.games.chess.misc
Rob
 
Posts: n/a
Default Kingston replies to Keene


Taylor Kingston wrote:
Certain recent posts by GM Keene indicate he feels singled out for
special maltreatment at the hands of myself and other reviewers. Just
so Keene does not feel particularly persecuted, I provide below links
to various reviews of mine which pan, in whole or part, various books
books by other GMs, plus others works that received high praise in some
quarters. Perhaps GM Keene's misery will be lightened when he knows he
has company.

GM Jan Timman:
http://www.chesscafe.com/text/review495.pdf

GM Jonathan Rowson:
http://www.chesscafe.com/text/review274.pdf

GM Rainier Knaak and Manuel Fruth
http://www.chesscafe.com/text/review435.pdf

GM Eduard Gufeld and others:
http://www.chesscafe.com/text/review388.pdf

GM Andy Soltis:
http://www.chesscafe.com/text/review348.pdf

GM Paul Motwani:
http://www.chesscafe.com/text/power.pdf

IM Chris Baker:
http://www.chesscafe.com/text/simplewc.txt

ICCM Victor Charuchin:
http://www.chesscafe.com/text/charousek.txt
http://www.chesscafe.com/text/mitro.txt

J.C. Hallman:
http://www.chesscafe.com/text/review406.pdf

Former USCF President and FIDE delegate Don Schultz:
http://www.chesscafe.com/text/chessdon.txt

"The Turk: Chess Automaton":
http://www.chesscafe.com/text/review254.pdf

Jan van Reek:
http://www.chesscafe.com/text/review363.pdf

Hugh Myers:
http://www.chesscafe.com/text/review341.pdf

This last is particularly noteworthy. Hugh Myers is a long-time
favorite of Edward Winter. Keene and Parr have alleged that Winter is
secretly orchestrating all the recent anti-Keene posts here, and that
those so posting are Winter's mind-slaves who do not dare to disagree
with their Dark Lord. In that case, my largely negative verdict on
Myers' book must be difficult to explain.


I think it should be pointed out that, in my opinion ,there are two
distinct types of
general chess literature. There are the "How To" manuals and there are
the "Historical" manuals. Now, please bear with me on my analogy, if
one had a love for old cars one might buy books that talked about the
old cars historically. Lots of information might be included(production

years, engine displacement, cost to buy new, ect).

If one wanted to repair the car and work on it that type of book would
be useless to the purpose. If you bought that book for that reason,
you bought the wrong book. You would instead want a book that tells you

how to tear down the engine or to rebuild a carbuerator.


If you wanted to read about the car "historically", then a repair
manual would be an aweful purchase.


So if a book's intent is to present a more historical examination of
something, don't be too harsh about it's technical side if it has one.
If it's intent is to be a technical book, don't be too harsh if it's
historical facts are weak.


There is plenty enough fault to be found in any work done by anyone to
waste alot of time worring about it. Be assured that person's taste
will also vary. What one person does not like someone else may. It
simply isn't a zero sum equation in my opinion.
Rob

Reply
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules

Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Keene reviews Kingston (part 1) [email protected] rec.games.chess.politics (Chess Politics) 443 June 11th 06 09:30 AM
Keene reviews Kingston (part 1) [email protected] rec.games.chess.misc (Chess General) 445 June 11th 06 09:30 AM
I wouldn't be too keen if I were Keene... Skeptic rec.games.chess.misc (Chess General) 13 May 3rd 06 05:32 PM
Kingston replies to Keene Taylor Kingston rec.games.chess.misc (Chess General) 1 May 2nd 06 05:55 AM
Keene: Up to his Usual Standards Skeptic rec.games.chess.misc (Chess General) 24 February 5th 06 08:38 PM


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 06:26 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ©2004-2019 ChessBanter.
The comments are property of their posters.
 

About Us

"It's about Chess"

 

Copyright © 2017