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Old June 10th 06, 05:56 AM posted to rec.games.chess.politics
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Default CL & Evans--the acid test

Okay, we have had our new CL for a week or so now. Here is the question:

Which two pages of CL would you drop for Evan's column [as it existed in
the last few years]? Or none?

Ground rules: It cannot be ads, Tmt life, or the intro stuff--it must one
of the columns or news/games articles. I suppose you could say that one of
the longer pieces is too long and could be chopped two pages, but that is
something of a copout.

Politics and personal grudges aside, this is the real question, and the
only way we can decide whether it was a rational decision. Is what we are
getting instead of Evans better?

It is hoped that maybe we can have a reasoned discussion rather than the
usual gibberish.

Dondo

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Old June 10th 06, 09:38 AM posted to rec.games.chess.politics,rec.games.chess.misc
jr jr is offline
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Default CL & Evans--the acid test

Don Aldrich wrote:
Okay, we have had our new CL for a week or so now. Here is the question:
Which two pages of CL would you drop for Evan's column [as it existed in
the last few years]? Or none?


Is this a some kind of joke?

A quick scan provides the answer. The June issue is amateur hour.

In addition to the picture of Alex Onischuk on the cover,
there are two more full pages with his photo (18 and 34) that
add nothing new. Again a full page 31 contains another photo
of Onischuk that could easily have been shrunk.

And this is without mentioning the FOUR pages on An American in
Iceland (37-40).

Add up all the wasted blank space that easily adds up to
two pages or more.

Add up all the dots after each move number (which were
not there in past issues) to see how many pages that would save.

Instead the most famous writer in Chess Life, and a great
favorite of numerous readers, is dismissed on page 3 (Larry Evans
On Chess, which did so much to enlighten readers about the
Fischer era in particular, will no longer appear in these pages).
This graceless sentence is totally misleading and makes it look
as if the Hall of Famer is either seriously ill or had some kind
of spat with management. Yet we were told by Parr that FOUR
columns Evans already had submitted were paid for BUT NOT USED!

And $25,000 of our dues money went for this mishmash?

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Old June 11th 06, 01:21 AM posted to rec.games.chess.politics,rec.games.chess.misc
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Default CL & Evans--the acid test


Do I like it? No. But it is now a more "modern" magazine, more in line
with the ones I do freelance writing for - outside of chess. The
announcement that problem chess was going to the web probably means it
will be horribly mismanaged, and we will see all sorts of puzzles
there, which are not problems. Will there now be a need for expert
content managers on the web - at probably the same cost as a columnist?

Again, I continue to confound Larry Parr because I refuse to say Evans
of Chess should be dropped - Parr can only think in terms of
dichotomies, BUT ---

Why not let Evans continue to do his thing and move it to the web? The
whole idea of a web site is the possibly for diverse material. There
could be an Evans column and a Benjamin column.

Instead of those stupid outdated surveys Larry wants to resort to - let
both guys write a column for a year. See who is most popular, or
perhaps each could serve a valuable function - I would love to send the
kind of questions that used to be sent to Evans on Chess to Benjamin -
on analysis of games and openings. Evans explanation that he was giving
that up because of computer analysis (computers are still often wrong,
and I want to know what a human GM thinks precisely because I can ask
my computer at home).

Hell, call it "Evans Remembers." Evans has done many cool things and
knows many cool things, not just about Fischer (he needs a good
fact-checker though, the fact that he fell into the "Pope composed a
chess problem" ruse twenty years after it had been debunked, and the
fact that he told a reader that no other material he knew of on "double
stalemates" - white and black being simultaneously staelmated - was
equally embarrassing - this is a well-know problem type, and I know of
3 books on the subject - shows he answers too often off-the-cuff).

Luckily I never have been bound to the idea that CL was the be-all and
end-all of chess - of my 30 subscriptions to various chess magazines
only 2 originate in the US. You simply cannot believe how good the
level of chess information outside the US is....

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Old June 11th 06, 03:23 AM posted to rec.games.chess.politics,rec.games.chess.misc
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Default CL & Evans--the acid test


jr wrote:

Instead the most famous writer in Chess Life, and a great
favorite of numerous readers, is dismissed on page 3 (Larry Evans
On Chess, which did so much to enlighten readers about the
Fischer era in particular, will no longer appear in these pages).
This graceless sentence is totally misleading and makes it look
as if the Hall of Famer is either seriously ill or had some kind
of spat with management. Yet we were told by Parr that FOUR
columns Evans already had submitted were paid for BUT NOT USED!

And $25,000 of our dues money went for this mishmash?



IMO, a fairer way to handle the "dismissal" of Larry Evans'
columns would have been to alternate it with something else for
a reasonable period of time, then compile another survey of
readers' preferences to decide the outcome.

Just for example, Evans' Q&A format could have been alternated
with a similar column by Joel Benjamin or Bruce Pandolfini, for
instance. After a year or two a well thought out survey could then
determine if it was worthwhile to keep Evans around for the Q&A,
or replace him with another author to break out of the rut.


In view of what has happenned, I think it would be kinder, gentler
(G. Bush, Sr.) if they were to make amends by running an in-depth
article on Evans as a great American chess player, in some
upcoming issue. They could pay Larry Parr $25K to tackle the job.


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Old June 11th 06, 03:45 AM posted to rec.games.chess.politics,rec.games.chess.misc
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Default CL & Evans--the acid test


wrote:


Why not let Evans continue to do his thing and move it to the web? The
whole idea of a web site is the possibly for diverse material. There
could be an Evans column and a Benjamin column.



Thanks a million; it now looks as if I read your post, stole your
idea, and then went back and presented it as my own (which, BTW, is
utterly ridiculous since if I wanted to do that sort of thing, I would
become a hack writer like Ray Keene and get *paid* for it).


Instead of those stupid outdated surveys Larry wants to resort to - let
both guys write a column for a year. See who is most popular, or
perhaps each could serve a valuable function - I would love to send the
kind of questions that used to be sent to Evans on Chess to Benjamin -
on analysis of games and openings. Evans explanation that he was giving
that up because of computer analysis (computers are still often wrong,
and I want to know what a human GM thinks precisely because I can ask
my computer at home).



Luckily I never have been bound to the idea that CL was the be-all and
end-all of chess - of my 30 subscriptions to various chess magazines
only 2 originate in the US. You simply cannot believe how good the
level of chess information outside the US is....



Of those thirty, how many are printed in English? I once subscribed
to
Inside Chess, which I found to be superior to Chess Life in terms of
the
quality of games and annotations. However, CL had glossy paper with
full-color pictures and a variety of authors, while IC was on plain
white
paper and had, if I recall correctly, only two writers. In essence, IC
was
targeted toward stronger players, players interested primarily in the
international chess scene, in games between Grandmasters.

I never subscribed to any of the British chess magazines because, I
feared, they were probably focused upon the British chess scene in the
same way Chess Life focused upon the American one. In sum, I never
quite found what I was looking for in a chess magazine.


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Old June 11th 06, 04:45 AM posted to rec.games.chess.politics,rec.games.chess.misc
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Default CL & Evans--the acid test



Of those thirty, how many are printed in English?


Probably 5. Some are often bilingual. And of course, it is all chess,
so so long as you are willing to pick up a few words, reading them can
become an enjoyable way to practice another language. Not that most of
my fellow "Murricans" seem to find that important.


I never subscribed to any of the British chess magazines because, I
feared, they were probably focused upon the British chess scene in the
same way Chess Life focused upon the American one. In sum, I never
quite found what I was looking for in a chess magazine.



That was a poor assumption. I've been lucky enough to have one of my
games published in BCM (and several problems), and I am hardly a part
of either chess "scene" - of course, that is in the narrow way most
people see chess. But the Brits still look at the world while we
contemplate our Nakamurian navels.

If you are lucky enough to be a competent problemist, there are also a
lot of player's mags that still cover chess problems - Chess Life
having now left that group once again) - and with published problems
you get 1-3 free copies of the mag.

And it looks like many of the state and regional mags will be doing a
better job at being "chess magazines" than Chess Life (yes, I am a bit
old-fashioned in my views); not that many already haven't been - the
hiring of Daniel Lucas being a part of that, I think.

As to the 50 grand fee being too much, well, yes, Larry Parr could have
done it for 10.

But you get what you pay for. USCF head honchos obviously think this
type of magazine will succeed, and if it is properly mixed with web
content, who knows? Add a turn-based server for what served as CC games
in the old days, who knows?

Either exciting or terrible things are happening at USCF. If you listen
to Chicken Little Parr, terrible things are happening, but Mr. One-Note
has been droning on that one for what seems like centuries now, though
it be but a few decades.

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Old June 11th 06, 10:30 AM posted to rec.games.chess.politics,rec.games.chess.misc
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Default CL & Evans--the acid test


wrote:

I never subscribed to any of the British chess magazines because, I
feared, they were probably focused upon the British chess scene in the
same way Chess Life focused upon the American one. In sum, I never
quite found what I was looking for in a chess magazine.


That was a poor assumption. I've been lucky enough to have one of my
games published in BCM (and several problems), and I am hardly a part
of either chess "scene" - of course, that is in the narrow way most
people see chess. But the Brits still look at the world while we
contemplate our Nakamurian navels.



It wasn't purely assumption. I have read complaints that British
chess books focused too much on their home brew players, while somewhat
ignoring the ROTW. The same thing goes for what I have read regarding,
for example, Edward Winter, who it is often complained, focuses too
heavily upon Ray Keene -- the leading British chess author. Gawd don't
we have our share of hacks here in 'Murica, yet so far as I have yet
seen, only Schiller has gone under the knife -- and that, primarily for
his association with RK. The names Miles, Nunn, Short, etc. graced the
covers of British chess mags in pictures I have seen, just as the names
Christiansen, DeFirmian, and Benjamin often dotted covers of Chess
Life. Yet none of these guys stood any chance against the real
contenders: DeeperBlue, who never got a shot at the title, Fischer, who
refused to play.



I guess in the world of chess problems it is possible to get
published outside your geographic area; yet what are the odds of a
normal chess game being judged fairly based on its merits, not the fame
of the players? I recall Kasparov throwing a hissy-fit when a game he
lost was chosen for the brilliancy prize; he claimed it was decided by
a horrible blunder on his part, but won because of his reputation
alone. And I have seen countless similar examples in Chess Life, for
example. One game I watched being played in person was presented in CL
as some sort of brilliancy by none other than six-time Walter Brown; in
truth, his opponent had clearly outplayed him, refuted his
(misannotated) daring gambit, and then lost the thread only when Walter
went into his bizarre behavior routine just before time control --
distracting even spectators like myself! As far as I know, he gets
away with this quite often -- one might say routinely, simply because
he is a famous GM (the very same reason why even many poor games get
published).


If you are lucky enough to be a competent problemist, there are also a
lot of player's mags that still cover chess problems - Chess Life
having now left that group once again) - and with published problems
you get 1-3 free copies of the mag.

And it looks like many of the state and regional mags will be doing a
better job at being "chess magazines" than Chess Life (yes, I am a bit
old-fashioned in my views); not that many already haven't been - the
hiring of Daniel Lucas being a part of that, I think.



I have seen a few copies of state mags from Florida, Ohio and
Illinois, and they were pretty good despite a *much* smaller budget
than CL.


As to the 50 grand fee being too much, well, yes, Larry Parr could have
done it for 10.

But you get what you pay for. USCF head honchos obviously think this
type of magazine will succeed, and if it is properly mixed with web
content, who knows? Add a turn-based server for what served as CC games
in the old days, who knows?

Either exciting or terrible things are happening at USCF. If you listen
to Chicken Little Parr, terrible things are happening, but Mr. One-Note
has been droning on that one for what seems like centuries now, though
it be but a few decades.



I don't take Parr's whining seriously any more, but I really didn't
think
an organisation like the USCF had that kind of money to throw around.
Even if a regular membership cost, say, $30/year, it takes a lot of
such
annual membership dues to add up to the redesign cost. That's on top
of all their other expenses -- necessary ones like rent, electricity,
office staff, and printing costs. OTOH, the company I work for
routinely squanders money hand-over-fist, yet it effortlessly maintains

the #1 position in its field. At one time I worked for a company
where,
after a particularly poor showing in level of service due to gross
incompetence/outright dishonesty on the part of management (who
routinely deceived customers regarding "exclusivity" of services
which were provided at premium cost), a co-worker stated he hoped
we had not just lost the account, whereupon the customer replied,
stunningly, that he had already tried our main competition, and they
were far worse! It had never occurred to me that this was even
*possible*, after seeing the state of things where I worked.


I once got ahold of some Yugoslavian opening texts which, in
essence, equated to Informants but were far, far cheaper. Despite
them being dated, I found games and annotations which easily
superceeded anything I had read in my then-current books devoted
to the specific openings I was studying at the time. Only thing was,
there was no (comprehensible) text in the annotations, just symbols,
so if you couldn't figure out the "why", you were on your own.

In an old Chess Digest catalog, I read that some of the best
openings texts on certain openings were the German bis series --
whatever that is. But I never bought any, because I wanted textual
explanations, in English. By the time a few of these relevant texts
got translated, I was no longer interested.


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Old June 11th 06, 02:12 PM posted to rec.games.chess.politics,rec.games.chess.misc
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Default CL & Evans--the acid test


"jr" wrote in message
oups.com...
Don Aldrich wrote:
Okay, we have had our new CL for a week or so now. Here is the question:
Which two pages of CL would you drop for Evan's column [as it existed in
the last few years]? Or none?


Is this a some kind of joke?

A quick scan provides the answer. The June issue is amateur hour.

In addition to the picture of Alex Onischuk on the cover,
there are two more full pages with his photo (18 and 34) that
add nothing new. Again a full page 31 contains another photo
of Onischuk that could easily have been shrunk.

And this is without mentioning the FOUR pages on An American in
Iceland (37-40).

Add up all the wasted blank space that easily adds up to
two pages or more.

Add up all the dots after each move number (which were
not there in past issues) to see how many pages that would save.

Instead the most famous writer in Chess Life, and a great
favorite of numerous readers, is dismissed on page 3 (Larry Evans
On Chess, which did so much to enlighten readers about the
Fischer era in particular, will no longer appear in these pages).


The line now goes; what would you eliminate to replace Evans - but who is
the 'you'? Since the line also goes, no survey is possible!

Since CL readers will not be able to read anything controversial about
political goings on from Larry Evans, who is a credible critic, they must
content themselves to read the same material as glossed by Don Shultz on
USCF's role in Fide, which is angry, ineffective, but toothless, and will no
doubt compris in total action the inevitable 'stiff-memo', which Beatriz can
give the Khan.

As for Fischer - what will happen to readers' letters about his play and
era? Return to sender?

This graceless sentence is totally misleading and makes it look
as if the Hall of Famer is either seriously ill or had some kind
of spat with management. Yet we were told by Parr that FOUR
columns Evans already had submitted were paid for BUT NOT USED!

And $25,000 of our dues money went for this mishmash?


+$10,000 for the party to celebrate the new era which Don Shultz wrote
about, which was to meet the critics and make fundamental reforms - he even
agreed with me that they were absolutely necessary.

But which critics attended? The last critic with any fire in him has been
dismissed CLs pages.

Insiders can't stand critics, and always take it personally, as if it were
an attack on their personal fiefdom, and their power base, rather than on
what that base administers as worthwhile to actual chess players in the
country.

Mature criticism addresses what really favors condition to expand chess in
the US, [the Mission Statement!] in quantitative and qualitative ways, and
also note's how efficacious is USCF's role in those activities. These
measurements expose the work of the federation to much needed sunshine and
objectivity.

The $10,000 fundamental review party was a complete sham - with too faint a
desire to even invite a major critic who could address these national
issues, rather than USCF's administration: to wit: administration of what?

Excluding Evans' voice from CL and such critical meetings as these relegates
USCF to its own introverted concerns, rather than addresses fundamentals of
the American chess scene for the C21st.

This is the subject that has just been summarily executed, by sly
appartachiks who took it out back one dark morning and strangled its voice.

Phil Innes


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Old June 11th 06, 03:11 PM posted to rec.games.chess.politics,rec.games.chess.misc
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Default CL & Evans--the acid test


Chess One wrote:

As for Fischer - what will happen to readers' letters about his play and
era? Return to sender?


This is why no intelligent discourse is possible. The assumption is
immediately made that no one other than Evans can answer these
questions.

And then you just degenerate into your usual conspiracy theory
nonsense...

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Old June 11th 06, 10:41 PM posted to rec.games.chess.politics,rec.games.chess.misc
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Default CL & Evans--the acid test


wrote in message
ups.com...

Chess One wrote:

As for Fischer - what will happen to readers' letters about his play and
era? Return to sender?


This is why no intelligent discourse is possible. The assumption is
immediately made that no one other than Evans can answer these
questions.


An assumption by whom? By Rynd, or is this man's name Dowd?

Why is it unintelligent to ask this question? Previously the criticism was
that was was old-hat, now it becomes that presumably anyone can answer the
questions. Such a dribble of thought.

And then you just degenerate into your usual conspiracy theory
nonsense...


Surely not written byu the person who claims his own paranoia about writing
his name?

There is nothing conspiratorial about the fact of firing someone out of hand
with no market intelligence in operationm.But perhaps Mr. 2-names will care
to outline his thinking to greater degree, and perhaps then it will deserve
attention?

Phil Innes


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