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Old June 11th 06, 01:26 PM posted to rec.games.chess.politics
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Our rgc* historians plus Winter are often
attacked for their attention or even preoccupation
with the historical details. The role of details
is different under different circumstances
hence it is a topic which deserves a discussion.

***

In the context of the historical studies
there should be a fine balance between
viewing the details and the global picture.
While you cannot have the big picture
without the details, you also need the
global understanding in order to interpret
the details properly.

Since the tension between the details and
the overall picture didn't caused too much
tension on rgc[mp], I will leave this part of
the discussion. I have included it only to
show that a routine prejudice against details
should not be stated without stating the
context in which the objection is raised.

***

The emotions about the details were flying
high on rgc[mp] in the context of the criticism
of the chess books by chess historians, who
were simply doing their useful work by pointing
to the ommisions, misstatements, errors, etc.
An author of a mathematical text on each such
occasion would simply and sincerely say "thank
you" (and given a chance, s/he would correct
the error). It's not so simple and nice in the
chess circles.The anti-historian camp tries to
convince the public that all those details are
not really important. The argument may go
like this: this book is just about chess, and the
historical inserts are provided just for the
general audience, to make the reading smoother.

But this kind of arguments are wrong and harmful.
Indeed, there would be less harmful to have errors
in a publication for a narrow public od specialists
because they know the facts anyway or at least
they are alert to possible misstatements.

On the other hand the author of a book for the
general audience should be extra careful about
history of the game and other factual information.
Indeed, s/he is an authorytet to her/his readers.
Thus writing under such conditions means extra
responsibility.

The human aspect of chess (its history etc)
is what makes chess special, more so than
the intrinsic value of the game's rules. Frankly,
(the Western) chess is neither unique nor
exceptionally profound (wei qi is). Thus the
significant part of the chess charm comes
from its history and trivia. The popular chess
books should be extra careful about historical
chess events, about the people, about the
dates, about the circumstances...

Errors in the books for chess amateurs are
inexcusable. The corrections should be met
by the sloppy authors with gratitude.

***

Wlod

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Old June 11th 06, 04:11 PM posted to rec.games.chess.politics
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Errors in the books for chess amateurs are
inexcusable. The corrections should be met
by the sloppy authors with gratitude. -- Wlod

IM ANTHONY SAIDY'S RIFT WITH EDWARD WINTER

I valued Edward Winter's diligent work and subscribed to his Chess
Notes until it went out of business in 1989. I was grateful to him for
pointing out an embarrassing error in my book The World of Chess (where
I missed the location of Cambridge Springs only by the width of the
Atlantic Ocean. We corresponded for several years. However, when I had
the audacity to correct one of his errors in translating a Spanish
phrase, his huffy reply indicated that he was alien to the concept of
receiving constructive criticism. I stopped writing [to him] after this
incident.

GM LARRY EVANS' REPLY TO SAIDY

Mr. Winter is a tireless researcher but I have little regard for his
work because he attacks writers I admire such as Kasparov, Keene and
Fine. His vendettas are detrimental for chess, and especially for the
man himself. IM John Watson's review of Kings, Commoners, and Knaves
sheds light on why many critics find Winter's work irritating: "For
someone who is so admirably concerned with the accuracy of the written
word, one would think that objectivity would also be of primary
importance. But Winter seems to stick with his heroes and his villains,
come what may, and is very selective in what he reports about them.
Kings, Commoners, and Knaves has only bad things to say about Kasparov,
for example, and puts a consistently negative spin on whatever he says."

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Old June 11th 06, 07:14 PM posted to rec.games.chess.politics
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Wlodzimierz Holsztynski (wlod) wrote:

Errors in the books for chess amateurs are
inexcusable. The corrections should be met
by the sloppy authors with gratitude.


Well put, Wlod. The main argument of rgcp's apologists for
sloppiness, Parr in particular, seems to be that in order to keep the
books' prices down, sloppiness is a necessary cost-reducing shortcut.
Issues of absurdity aside, it sounds a bit like saying it's OK to
produce a car that's not safe to drive, as long as you sell it cheap.

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Old June 11th 06, 10:45 PM posted to rec.games.chess.politics
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"Taylor Kingston" wrote in message
oups.com...

Wlodzimierz Holsztynski (wlod) wrote:

Errors in the books for chess amateurs are
inexcusable. The corrections should be met
by the sloppy authors with gratitude.


Well put, Wlod. The main argument of rgcp's apologists for
sloppiness, Parr in particular, seems to be that in order to keep the
books' prices down, sloppiness is a necessary cost-reducing shortcut.
Issues of absurdity aside, it sounds a bit like saying it's OK to
produce a car that's not safe to drive, as long as you sell it cheap.


What a farce! This is written by the guy who reviews books and admits not
reading them, instead talking about ex-cathedra items like player's wives,
instead of the games they palyed.

Wlod's 'support' needs to expand beyond Kingston's side-lining of chess to
sundry anecdotes, entirely missing the main theme, to be interesting to
actual chess players.

Phil Innes


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Old June 12th 06, 02:47 AM posted to rec.games.chess.politics
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Phil Innes wrote (Sun, 11 Jun 2006 21:45:45 GMT):

[Taylor Kingston] reviews books and admits not reading them,
instead talking about ex-cathedra items like player's wives,
instead of the games they palyed.


_
It was GM Soltis who decided to comment on a player's wife.
Taylor Kingston was simply pointing out that GM Soltis
presented this sort of information instead of such information
as the round in which the game was played and the relative
positions of the contestants.
_
Details about specific moves of specific games WERE
discussed in the part of the Taylor Kingston review that dealt
with the annotations.
_
"No one expects [Taylor Kingston] to go
through every single game in the book
when reviewing it." - Larry Parr
(26 Apr 2006 23:23:33 -0700)

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