Friday 25 May 2018

Could this be any more embarrassing?

Or any more ludicrous?

Check out the latest Spectator to find the ECF's support for Nigel urged, in the name of "a clean-up of this organisation"

by a man whose whole career has been based on deceit and malpractice, and one who had to resign from the very organisation whose vote he's trying to influence because he obtained money from it under false pretences.

Monday 21 May 2018

The Shereshevsky Gambit

I've been entertained, and a little puzzled, by a sideshow in the world of chess book publishing that's been taking place this month, following the appearance of this very striking review, by John Hartmann, which apparently also appears (though not in an identical version) in Chess Life.

It concerns the English edition, and hence translation, of Mikhail Shereshesky's The Shereshevsky Method To Improve In Chess: From Club Player to Master published earlier this year by New In Chess. (At least it is in part, and that is the part that I'm interested in here.)

As you can see from its Amazon page, it's been well-reviewed in other sources, but Hartmann spotted some oddities that other reviewers have not, and remarkable oddities they are too. I recommend you read his review before proceeding with my piece: when you do, you'll understand why he writes that
I was astounded by what I found in The Shereshevsky Method.
What astounded Hartmann so? In the first place, the fact that large sections of other people's books are used in the text, far beyond anything we would normally associate with legitimate quotation under the principle of fair use.

How large? Larger than anything I've ever seen before. For instance, the section quoted from John Nunn's well-known book Secrets of Practical Chess begins on page 245 of The Shereshevsky Method and continues through to page 251. That's a quotation six pages long. It's well over half the chapter (which, as Hartmann notes, is ironically entitled "Laziness").

Shereshevsky makes no bones about this. He says very clearly that this is from Secrets of Practical Chess, even gives the page number where you should start and adds
I decided to present Nunn's own version and not waste time looking for material in other similar sources.
Another way to put this would be "I decided not to waste time writing my own book when I could just import pages and pages of somebody else's".

Sunday 20 May 2018

Monday 14 May 2018

Celebrity endorsement

It's Tony Buzan!

Also Tony's mate of course.

Nothing from CJ de Mooi yet, but we'll let you know.

[EDIT TUESDAY: no CJ yet but we do have another crony].

Tuesday 8 May 2018

Not making plans for Nigel

There must be any number of reasons why this is an atrocious idea, but let's start off with these:

1. FIDE shouldn't have as its President the single most notorious misogynistic goon in the world of chess. It represents women as well as men and Nigel Short has spent his entire career treating women with an entire lack of respect.

2. FIDE shouldn't have as President somebody who thinks it is all right to bully chess officials and menace them.

3. FIDE shouldn't have as its President somebody who is quite prepared to denigrate people on account of their racial origins ("Asiatic despot"), or to insult whole nationalities. This is a sport for everybody, and people who engage in racial or national jibes shouldn't be in positions of responsibility.

4. FIDE shouldn't have as its President somebody who was quite prepared to take the world championship match away from that organisation when it suited him financially, and never mind the consequences for chess, FIDE or anybody else. It's not just the absurdity, it's the untrustworthiness. And it's not just the untrustworthiness, it's the absurdity.

5. FIDE shouldn't have as its President somebody who misused his position as the ECF's FIDE Delegate to pursue specious court cases on behalf of his political ally while hiding the fact from ECF members. It's that untrustworthiness again.

6. FIDE shouldn't have as its President somebody who has a history of being spectacularly obnoxious to people with whom he's fallen out, of which that notorious obituary is only one (and this another) of far too many examples.

7. FIDE shouldn't have as its President somebody who make a fantastic amount of noise about misconduct but is silent as the grave where his mates are concerned. Or, come to that, somebody whose concerns about Kirsan weren't especially big until the money appeared to dry up. Being a crusader only when it suits you may impress the gullible or the cynical, but there's quite a lot of people in between.

I could go on, and no doubt I will, but that'll do for now. Nigel Short is an offensive, untrustworthy, self-centred and misogynistic bully whose standard mode of behaviour is the feud. I wouldn't put him in charge of a weekend tournament.