What's he displeased about? Well if you can read Spanish, you don't need me to tell you, but if you can't, it consists of an extended assault on a study by the Education Endowment Foundation, relating to chess in schools as well as the reporting of that study in the Daily Telegraph.
If that sounds like surprisingly old news, that's because it is: the study was published months ago (you may have seen Richard James' comment in August) and the offending Telegraph piece appeared in the middle of July.
Anyway, for whatever reason, Leontxo has got round to damning the study, which to his dismay, and unlike some previous studies, does not report that learning chess in schools furthers the academic development of pupils. As I say, he damns not only the study, but the reporting of the study and for that matter comments made on the study by Chris McGovern and by Kevan Collins - the latter being head of the EEF - which appear in the Telegraph piece.
Among other things, he says of Collins and his study
su fundación nunca debió diseñar el estudio con tal falta de rigor, debió paralizarlo o modificarlo al comprobar cómo se estaba haciendo, y nunca debió publicarlo, por su absoluta falta de credibilidad.
his foundation should never have designed the study with such an absence of rigour - it should have suspended it, or altered it, on seeing how it was turning out and never should have published it, on the grounds of its complete lack of credibility.He also suggests that
Todo indica que ni Espinoza ni McGovern juegan al ajedrez (o al menos no lo hacen con frecuencia). Si lo hicieran, pensarían más antes de hablar o escribir
It all suggests that neither Espinoza [author of the Telegraph piece - ejh] nor McGovern play chess (or at least not very often). If they did, they would think more before speaking or writingand concludes
pensar no está de moda.
thinking is not in fashion.You get the gist. I'm not sure I want to go through the whole piece (readers who have Spanish can of course go through it themselves) and I'm certainly not going to do it today, but you'll have gathered that it's an extended attack on the credibility of the study and its authors as well as on the newspaper article that reported it, and that among Sr García's accusations are "falta de rigor" and "falta de credibilidad".
Uh huh. Personally I have no problem with the study, but I imagine its authors can stand up for themselves and readers would perhaps be best advised to look at the study, as well as Richard James' commentary and any other discussion on the matter that they find informative, and make their own judgement. But just for today, I wonder what Leontxo García means by rigour and credibility and the lack ("falta") thereof. Let us use, as examples, the journalistic output of Leontxo García.
Just to refresh our memories:
- Leontxo García reckoned that playing chess delays the onset of Alzheimer's, an extremely dubious claim. In the course of saying so, he not only made errors of fact but also made claims about a scientific study that the study itself did not make.
- Leontxo García claimed record television viewing figures for a World Championship match which took place five years before Spanish television viewing figures were actually measured.
- Leontxo García stated in 2014 that there are six hundred million chessplayers in the world, which of course there are not. He attributed the figure to pollsters ("sondeos") which was quite wrong (see below) but despite being advised of his error
- Leontxo García stated the same thing again last month. He also stated that this information was from "a study by the prestigious American agency YouGov". YouGov is not American, and more importantly, as everybody should know by now, no such information appears in the YouGov study.
Quite a record, eh? So I wonder - can there be a less suitable person to talk about scientific studies and their credibility than this joker?
Falta de rigor, thy name is Leontxo García.