End of an era

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Joseph Conlon
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End of an era

Post by Joseph Conlon » Fri Sep 27, 2019 11:05 pm

From Ray Keene's chess column in today's Spectator:

"After 42 years without missing a week, this is my last column for The Spectator."

The final game of the column is Keene-Kovacevic (1973).

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Matt Mackenzie
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Re: End of an era

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Sat Sep 28, 2019 12:08 am

As has been pointed out, the claim to have not missed a week is typically "Keeneian".
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O.G. Urcan
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Re: End of an era

Post by O.G. Urcan » Sat Sep 28, 2019 7:52 am

Concerning Raymond Keene's claim to have written The Spectator's chess column for "42 years without missing a week", these were the columnists during a six-week run in 1986:

11 October: David Spanier
18 October: Raymond Keene
25 October: David Spanier
1 November: David Levy
8 November: Raymond Keene
15 November: David Spanier.

Paul Habershon
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Re: End of an era

Post by Paul Habershon » Sat Sep 28, 2019 8:20 am

There is no mention of his successor, or is the column being dropped?

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JustinHorton
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Re: End of an era

Post by JustinHorton » Sat Sep 28, 2019 2:41 pm

Matt Mackenzie wrote:
Sat Sep 28, 2019 12:08 am
As has been pointed out, the claim to have not missed a week is typically "Keeneian".
Also, you know, given that the content was very often taken from somebody else...
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Andy Stoker
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Re: End of an era

Post by Andy Stoker » Wed Oct 02, 2019 12:06 pm

One would like to think he had been rumbled ... after such sterling service - but probably not. Surprised that he didn't claim the longevity record.

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JustinHorton
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Re: End of an era

Post by JustinHorton » Wed Oct 02, 2019 12:50 pm

Andy Stoker wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 12:06 pm
One would like to think he had been rumbled ... after such sterling service - but probably not.
They knew very well.
"Do you play chess?"
"Yes, but I prefer a game with a better chance of cheating."

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Roger Lancaster
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Re: End of an era

Post by Roger Lancaster » Wed Oct 02, 2019 2:55 pm

Frankly, I'm not too sure that the wider world cares too much about plagiarism. Obviously the original authors do, because it's annoying to see others taking credit for and/or making money from their work, but otherwise plagiarism passes unnoticed except for the minority of committed readers who actually realise that they have come across the same thing elsewhere.

Besides which, to take the most obvious example, if one is writing an openings treatise then it's prudent to build on what has been written elsewhere. But in some lines the new author has little substantial to add in which case, although s/he may play around with the words in order to avoid plagiarism in its literal sense, the end-result in those particular lines can of necessity be little more than intellectual plagiarism. That's not to condone the practice but to set it into context.

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JustinHorton
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Re: End of an era

Post by JustinHorton » Wed Oct 02, 2019 6:19 pm

It's not however a context that fits this particular practice.

(Also, of course, it's about much more than plagiarism - it's about all kinds of lazy, sloppy and tenth-rate journalism, of which the plagiarism, extensive though it was, was only the most serious manifestation.)
"Do you play chess?"
"Yes, but I prefer a game with a better chance of cheating."

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Roger Lancaster
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Re: End of an era

Post by Roger Lancaster » Wed Oct 02, 2019 8:29 pm

JustinHorton wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 6:19 pm
It's not however a context that fits this particular practice.

(Also, of course, it's about much more than plagiarism - it's about all kinds of lazy, sloppy and tenth-rate journalism, of which the plagiarism, extensive though it was, was only the most serious manifestation.)
There's no greater reason for grandmasters to be competent journalists than for journalists to be good chess players. Good wordsmiths are few and far between. However, I would differ from Justin and instead argue that the "most serious" issue is an inability to check facts - Edward Winter's Chess Notes sometimes lists dozens of inaccuracies in a single book. If a writer can't get dates and places correct, and apparently doesn't use a proof-reader, how confident should anyone be as to the accuracy of the published chess analysis?

Angus French
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Re: End of an era

Post by Angus French » Wed Oct 02, 2019 8:35 pm

Roger Lancaster wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 2:55 pm
Frankly, I'm not too sure that the wider world cares too much about plagiarism. Obviously the original authors do, because it's annoying to see others taking credit for and/or making money from their work, but otherwise plagiarism passes unnoticed except for the minority of committed readers who actually realise that they have come across the same thing elsewhere.
Aside from the original authors, readers and/or commissioning editors and/or examiners might care - and feel cheated... Plagiarism isn't only noticed by authors and committed readers, it's also noticed by others if it's publicised.
Roger Lancaster wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 2:55 pm
Besides which, to take the most obvious example, if one is writing an openings treatise then it's prudent to build on what has been written elsewhere. But in some lines the new author has little substantial to add in which case, although s/he may play around with the words in order to avoid plagiarism in its literal sense, the end-result in those particular lines can of necessity be little more than intellectual plagiarism. That's not to condone the practice but to set it into context.
You could at least provide attribution.

Angus French
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Re: End of an era

Post by Angus French » Wed Oct 02, 2019 8:38 pm

Roger Lancaster wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 8:29 pm
JustinHorton wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 6:19 pm
It's not however a context that fits this particular practice.

(Also, of course, it's about much more than plagiarism - it's about all kinds of lazy, sloppy and tenth-rate journalism, of which the plagiarism, extensive though it was, was only the most serious manifestation.)
There's no greater reason for grandmasters to be competent journalists than for journalists to be good chess players. Good wordsmiths are few and far between. However, I would differ from Justin and instead argue that the "most serious" issue is an inability to check facts - Edward Winter's Chess Notes sometimes lists dozens of inaccuracies in a single book. If a writer can't get dates and places correct, and apparently doesn't use a proof-reader, how confident should anyone be as to the accuracy of the published chess analysis?
And if a writer plagiarises, how confident can you be in anything else they do?

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JustinHorton
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Re: End of an era

Post by JustinHorton » Wed Oct 02, 2019 8:42 pm

I think theft is more serious than laziness and incompetence, but given that in this instance the former grew out of the latter, I guess it's not so important where you place each of them on the podium.
"Do you play chess?"
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Alex Holowczak
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Re: End of an era

Post by Alex Holowczak » Wed Oct 02, 2019 8:43 pm

Roger Lancaster wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 8:29 pm
JustinHorton wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 6:19 pm
It's not however a context that fits this particular practice.

(Also, of course, it's about much more than plagiarism - it's about all kinds of lazy, sloppy and tenth-rate journalism, of which the plagiarism, extensive though it was, was only the most serious manifestation.)
There's no greater reason for grandmasters to be competent journalists than for journalists to be good chess players. Good wordsmiths are few and far between. However, I would differ from Justin and instead argue that the "most serious" issue is an inability to check facts - Edward Winter's Chess Notes sometimes lists dozens of inaccuracies in a single book. If a writer can't get dates and places correct, and apparently doesn't use a proof-reader, how confident should anyone be as to the accuracy of the published chess analysis?
If the subject is moving on to books...

Presumably most, if not all, buyers of chess books are doing so for the analysis of the topic by the author. I would imagine that in a world with finite resources for spending on error-proofing, authors are more likely to concentrate their energies on the quality and accuracy of the analysis rather than trivialities like whether the game was played in Amsterdam or Rotterdam, about which the typical reader is probably uninterested?

What does surprise me is that given chessplayers are a subset of humanity normally associated with being pernickety about detail, this does not appear to extend to the subset of chessplayers who author books.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: End of an era

Post by Roger de Coverly » Wed Oct 02, 2019 9:22 pm

Alex Holowczak wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 8:43 pm
whether the game was played in Amsterdam or Rotterdam, about which the typical reader is probably uninterested?
Sporting history surely. It's like writing that the 1981 test match where Willis took 8 wickets was played in Birmingham against the West Indies. It was the late ErIc Schiller who was often responsible for similar chess howlers.

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