Search found 429 matches

by John Clarke
Mon Sep 28, 2020 11:58 pm
Forum: General Chat
Topic: Perhaps you aren't a number and are a free man but OTB so many revert to the former inadvertently.
Replies: 32
Views: 1304

Re: Perhaps you aren't a number and are a free man but OTB so many revert to the former inadvertently.

The late Norm Oliver, former secretary to the London League, used to call them "magic numbers" and once penned an article for their newsletter expressing his impatience with those who made such a fetish of them. I had more than one opponent who demanded to know my grading almost before we'd shaken h...
by John Clarke
Mon Sep 28, 2020 11:48 pm
Forum: General Chat
Topic: No Birthdays Today
Replies: 9
Views: 664

Re: No Birthdays Today

..... or more unluckily to be born early in the month and pushed forward so you are now the youngest in your year and bullied for being smaller then everyone. To say nothing of missing out on a whole extra year in what used to be called the infants (ages 5-7), and being moved up to the juniors (7-1...
by John Clarke
Sun Sep 27, 2020 11:00 am
Forum: Not Chess!
Topic: Pedants United
Replies: 176
Views: 3537

Re: Pedants United

Another of my pet peeves. From a recent on-line Guardian story:

"Should Trump refuse to leave office, America could be plunged into a constitutional crisis and find itself in unchartered territory."

Territory they wouldn't have actually hired, eh? Given the choice, I wouldn't hire it myself.
by John Clarke
Sun Sep 20, 2020 12:03 pm
Forum: Deaths & Obituaries
Topic: Robert Chaloner (Bob) Pentecost 1935-2020
Replies: 3
Views: 638

Robert Chaloner (Bob) Pentecost 1935-2020

Scan_Pic0012 (2).jpg I learned recently that my one-time fellow-employee and partner in chess crime passed on earlier this year, a couple of months shy of 85. I’ve written about him before in various other threads on this site, but in this latest piece I’ll stick to his chess-related activities. Bo...
by John Clarke
Fri Sep 18, 2020 11:42 pm
Forum: Not Chess!
Topic: Pedants United
Replies: 176
Views: 3537

Re: Pedants United

The clock on our cooker (made by Westinghouse, therefore presumably designed in America) covers all the bases by going from 23.59 to 24.00 then a couple of seconds later to 00.00! For my money, it should always be 0.00, with 24.00 never featuring at all. For many purposes I prefer the 24-hour clock ...
by John Clarke
Thu Sep 17, 2020 12:01 am
Forum: Not Chess!
Topic: Pedants United
Replies: 176
Views: 3537

Re: Pedants United

Some nouns exist only in plural form, I believe they are called plurale tantums , scissors and trousers are fairly obvious examples of that. Use of "trouser" as a singular noun is not unknown. Some menswear retailers with a pretentious bent used to (may still do) refer to something they showed you ...
by John Clarke
Wed Sep 16, 2020 11:33 pm
Forum: General Chat
Topic: On-line and OTB chess, main differences?
Replies: 13
Views: 785

Re: On-line and OTB chess, main differences?

Have to agree with MJM about playing with an actual set vs playing (or thinking) from diagrams. I'll extend that sentiment a bit by stating that for some intangible reason, the better the equipment, the less worse I seem to play. Genuine Jacques Staunton pieces on a well-crafted inlaid wooden board ...
by John Clarke
Mon Sep 14, 2020 6:22 am
Forum: Deaths & Obituaries
Topic: Dave Rumens
Replies: 98
Views: 16803

Re: Dave Rumens

John Saunders got it right in his review of Murray's career, but the supposed LARA result in "Chess" is actually the 1974 one. HAH! So that's what happened about that report. One of only two occasions where I might have hoped to see my name in Chess , and they managed to goof it up. (For the record...
by John Clarke
Sun Sep 13, 2020 10:19 pm
Forum: Not Chess!
Topic: Pedants United
Replies: 176
Views: 3537

Re: Pedants United

Why do lollipop men and ladies carry a sign which says "Stop Children". If that sign was obeyed they would be out of a job. I recall being told that when the lollipop person is at the side of the road the sign should be displayed with faces parallel to the road. The sign is then visible to the chil...
by John Clarke
Thu Sep 10, 2020 11:22 pm
Forum: Chess History
Topic: Remembering Joseph Blackburne (10-xii-1841 01-ix-1924)
Replies: 9
Views: 613

Re: Remembering Joseph Blackburne (10-xii-1841 01-ix-1924)

Always in such cases in the 19th century there can be problems arising from the writer's handwriting not being read accurately by the typesetter. Not just the nineteenth century. Publishers of one book I was associated with in NZ managed to print the name of one of the country's best-known chess pl...
by John Clarke
Thu Sep 10, 2020 10:56 pm
Forum: General Chat
Topic: N.Littlewood - B.Wade, Southend 1964
Replies: 35
Views: 1687

Re: N.Littlewood - B.Wade, Southend 1964

It's not an original because at the bottom of the scoresheet is printed "Send 5p in stamps..." - decimal currency was not introduced until 1971! Reg makes a very pertinent point there. Definitely a transcription, then, made several years after the game was played, and not necessarily by either of t...
by John Clarke
Wed Sep 09, 2020 11:00 pm
Forum: Chess History
Topic: Remembering IM Imre König (2-ix-1901 9-ix-1992)
Replies: 1
Views: 189

Re: Remembering IM Imre König (2-ix-1901 9-ix-1992)

The BCN piece refers to Hooper and Whyld being "silent on König for some strange reason". Nothing strange about it. As their preface to the OCC made clear, they had to be selective when it came to entries about individual players. Their criterion was at least one GM norm. A middle-of-the-road IM wit...
by John Clarke
Mon Sep 07, 2020 11:36 pm
Forum: Not Chess!
Topic: Pedants United
Replies: 176
Views: 3537

Re: Pedants United

A few random comments. While always trying to uphold standards in my own writing, I’ve long since stopped bothering to correct other people. The Yankees might decide to drop the ‘d’ in Wednesday, but what would the other 44 states have to say? There wasn’t one single Anglo-Saxon language any more th...
by John Clarke
Sat Sep 05, 2020 11:47 pm
Forum: Not Chess!
Topic: Pedants United
Replies: 176
Views: 3537

Re: Pedants United

American and British English are more different from each other than you might think, but who is to say we are more correct than the Americans Some American usages and spellings are actually older (and therefore more "correct"?) than current British ones. "Gotten", for one. And "tires" for "tyres" ...
by John Clarke
Sat Sep 05, 2020 11:43 pm
Forum: Not Chess!
Topic: Pedants United
Replies: 176
Views: 3537

Re: Pedants United

I'm not sure it's pedantry to be irritated by new expressions. The ones that get me are where people use words that actually mean something else. If I hear that someone has refuted an allegation I expect to hear that he has disproved it, not that he simply denies it. You repudiate a statement If yo...