End of an era

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JustinHorton
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Re: End of an era

Post by JustinHorton » Thu Dec 19, 2019 2:44 pm

Daniel Gormally wrote:
Thu Dec 19, 2019 2:43 pm
Why is it a silly word? It's a word like any other. Neither good nor bad.

I wasn't referring to messrs Howell and McShane of course who are strong players and probably deserve a column these days more than Raymondo does.

I was referring to people on this forum and elsewhere who should find better things to do than pick on a jaded writer.
....who has been a prominent figure in English chess for half a century, and is therefore quite a natural subject for people who discuss English chess, as people on the English chess forum are wont to do.
"Do you play chess?"
"Yes, but I prefer a game with a better chance of cheating."

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Daniel Gormally
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Re: End of an era

Post by Daniel Gormally » Thu Dec 19, 2019 3:06 pm

perhaps, except that everything about him is SO negative.

Can't a guy steal a living these days? :D

Matt Bridgeman
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Re: End of an era

Post by Matt Bridgeman » Thu Dec 19, 2019 3:43 pm

This may have already been mentioned before, but he was a big part of television coverage of the Short - Kasparov match, along with David Norwood, Jon Speelman, Danny King, William Hartston and Cathy Forbes. Seeing the extensive coverage on BBC2 and Channel 4 really sparked my interest in chess, and although I didn’t play a lot myself afterwards, it stayed with me and is probably why I was quite happy to see my daughter involved with the game many years later.

John McKenna
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Re: End of an era

Post by John McKenna » Thu Dec 19, 2019 4:12 pm

I see, above, from Matt B's post that there's always somethings positive to be taken away from a glorious failure, and Ray certainly threw himself into promoting that singular contest, body & soul.

David Sedgwick wrote:
Thu Dec 19, 2019 1:17 pm
Daniel Gormally wrote:
Thu Dec 19, 2019 1:12 pm
Nevertheless I wonder if the obsession with him from some quarters is or was partly motivated by the cushy job he had at the times- that perhaps others coveted?
I honestly don't think that that was the motivation of any contributor to this Forum.
Was it not RDK's roguishness, and his companionship of fellow freebooters, that mainly got up some Puritan noses?

And, of course, many impecunious people also resent those who receive money for old rope if they cannot secure the same, or similar, easy terms and unconditional conditions for themselves.

I suppose the raking raffishness of the PM could possibly prompt him, at some point, to promote RDKOBE to the Lords. You never know, though.

If so, the load would be spread as all taxpayers would end up supporting him rather than just the subscribers to his publications.
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

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JustinHorton
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Re: End of an era

Post by JustinHorton » Thu Dec 19, 2019 4:50 pm

John McKenna wrote:
Thu Dec 19, 2019 4:12 pm
Was it not RDK's roguishness, and his companionship of fellow freebooters, that mainly got up some Puritan noses?
No, it was forty years* of comically obvious misconduct

* and counting
"Do you play chess?"
"Yes, but I prefer a game with a better chance of cheating."

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Matt Mackenzie
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Re: End of an era

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Thu Dec 19, 2019 5:45 pm

When did the really "roguish" stuff start - his producing an instant book on the 1978 WC match when he had not only promised Korchnoi he would not do so, but actually signed a contract to that effect? Even the notoriously "tolerant" chess press in this country ran with that a bit IIRC.
"Set up your attacks so that when the fire is out, it isn't out!" (H N Pillsbury)

Jonathan Bryant
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Re: End of an era

Post by Jonathan Bryant » Thu Dec 19, 2019 6:16 pm

Matt Mackenzie wrote:
Thu Dec 19, 2019 5:45 pm
When did the really "roguish" stuff start - his producing an instant book on the 1978 WC match when he had not only promised Korchnoi he would not do so, but actually signed a contract to that effect? Even the notoriously "tolerant" chess press in this country ran with that a bit IIRC.
CHESS did. The BCM cut discussions short.

Dodgy origins or otherwise the 78 book was his last decent words championship book although my favourite of his instant books was the one on the Korchnoi - Spassky Candidates’ final.

You could make a case for either being his last good book of any kind

Geoff Chandler
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Re: End of an era

Post by Geoff Chandler » Thu Dec 19, 2019 9:24 pm

Hi Jonathan,

Totally agree about the two books you mentioned though I've enjoyed his writing after that.

That has always been the thing that bugged me when evidence of his major lifting was exposed.
Why resort to that when he obviously has the skill to be a very entertaining writer on the game.
I use to delight in defending him against his, to me, minor transgressions - recycling old stuff etc.
and this insistence on naming a source borders on paranoia...who really cares?

Lifting whole paragraphs without credit is wrong but a few lines of analysis should pass unless it is a correction of a
faulty variation published elsewhere. Something very rare these days with computers chugging away in the background.

But he shot himself in both feet with that intro to the Carlsen - Caruana match.
Again 'Why?' when he had months to cobble something together. I still cannot understand it (is it a health issue?)

Hope Ray writes a 'warts an all' autobiography, as Matt says, Ray has been involved in many chess events
in the past and will have a wealth of background stories.....Book of the Year!

Tim Spanton
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Re: End of an era

Post by Tim Spanton » Thu Dec 19, 2019 9:27 pm

Jonathan Bryant wrote:
Thu Dec 19, 2019 6:16 pm
Matt Mackenzie wrote:
Thu Dec 19, 2019 5:45 pm
When did the really "roguish" stuff start - his producing an instant book on the 1978 WC match when he had not only promised Korchnoi he would not do so, but actually signed a contract to that effect? Even the notoriously "tolerant" chess press in this country ran with that a bit IIRC.
CHESS did. The BCM cut discussions short.

Dodgy origins or otherwise the 78 book was his last decent words championship book although my favourite of his instant books was the one on the Korchnoi - Spassky Candidates’ final.

You could make a case for either being his last good book of any kind
The Spassky-Korchnoi book came out in 1978, which means it preceded by a year one of my all-time favourite Keene books, The Openings In Modern Theory And Practice.

https://beauchess.blogspot.com/

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JustinHorton
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Re: End of an era

Post by JustinHorton » Thu Dec 19, 2019 10:04 pm

Geoff Chandler wrote:
Thu Dec 19, 2019 9:24 pm
.
Why resort to that when he obviously has the skill to be a very entertaining writer on the game.
Beceuse he lost that skill abiut forty years ago. He traded it in for indolence.
Geoff Chandler wrote:
Thu Dec 19, 2019 9:24 pm
and this insistence on naming a source borders on paranoia...who really cares?
Copyright law, among other things
Geoff Chandler wrote:
Thu Dec 19, 2019 9:24 pm
But he shot himself in both feet with that intro to the Carlsen - Caruana match.
You can't shoot yourself when you've been dead for more than thirty years.
Geoff Chandler wrote:
Thu Dec 19, 2019 9:24 pm
Again 'Why?' when he had months to cobble something together. I still cannot understand it (is it a health issue?
No it's an indolence issue.
"Do you play chess?"
"Yes, but I prefer a game with a better chance of cheating."

lostontime.blogspot.com

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Matt Mackenzie
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Re: End of an era

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Thu Dec 19, 2019 10:14 pm

Tim Spanton wrote:
Thu Dec 19, 2019 9:27 pm
Jonathan Bryant wrote:
Thu Dec 19, 2019 6:16 pm
Matt Mackenzie wrote:
Thu Dec 19, 2019 5:45 pm
When did the really "roguish" stuff start - his producing an instant book on the 1978 WC match when he had not only promised Korchnoi he would not do so, but actually signed a contract to that effect? Even the notoriously "tolerant" chess press in this country ran with that a bit IIRC.
CHESS did. The BCM cut discussions short.

Dodgy origins or otherwise the 78 book was his last decent words championship book although my favourite of his instant books was the one on the Korchnoi - Spassky Candidates’ final.

You could make a case for either being his last good book of any kind
The Spassky-Korchnoi book came out in 1978, which means it preceded by a year one of my all-time favourite Keene books, The Openings In Modern Theory And Practice.

https://beauchess.blogspot.com/
Must admit I've never really looked at that one.

Around that time he *did* also write A Repertoire For The Attacking Club Player, which I will always be grateful for as I glanced at it when I had just started serious chess and it inspired me to play 2c3 against the Sicilian. Which I still do today :)
"Set up your attacks so that when the fire is out, it isn't out!" (H N Pillsbury)

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JustinHorton
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Re: End of an era

Post by JustinHorton » Thu Dec 19, 2019 10:46 pm

There's quite a lot of old horse in that book though. I can't remember who it was who was particularly scathing about the Gunderam nonsense.
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Roger de Coverly
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Re: End of an era

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Dec 19, 2019 11:08 pm

JustinHorton wrote:
Thu Dec 19, 2019 10:46 pm
I can't remember who it was who was particularly scathing about the Gunderam nonsense.
The Gunderam is usually regarded as 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Qe7. I'm aware that Ray came up with the idea 1. e4 e5 2. f4 Qh4+ 3. g3 Qe7, but what went into the books?

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IM Jack Rudd
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Re: End of an era

Post by IM Jack Rudd » Thu Dec 19, 2019 11:20 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Thu Dec 19, 2019 11:08 pm
JustinHorton wrote:
Thu Dec 19, 2019 10:46 pm
I can't remember who it was who was particularly scathing about the Gunderam nonsense.
The Gunderam is usually regarded as 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Qe7. I'm aware that Ray came up with the idea 1. e4 e5 2. f4 Qh4+ 3. g3 Qe7, but what went into the books?
1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.c4 Nf6 5.c5

There's positionally a lot to be said for that idea, but the specifics of the position aren't right.

Jonathan Bryant
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Re: End of an era

Post by Jonathan Bryant » Fri Dec 20, 2019 8:20 am

Tim Spanton wrote:
Thu Dec 19, 2019 9:27 pm
The Spassky-Korchnoi book came out in 1978, which means it preceded by a year one of my all-time favourite Keene books, The Openings In Modern Theory And Practice.
Oh yes - fair point.

And there’s the evolution of chess opening theory which I think was published in the mid 80s - an interesting idea and enjoyable read but not enough of Ray in it, I’d say to be a “good” book. Certainly not in the way that some of his earlier efforts were.

ORAP - someone (Sue Lalic?) mentioned in an interview once about challenging Ray on some line or other being dodgy and he replied that Levy wrote the whole thing and his name was only on the cover for sales. Which sounds plausible. And anyway not in the same class as the Pirc/modern books (to name but 2).


So let’s say The Openings in Modern Theory and Practice is RDK’s last good book. Unless somebody reminds me of another one I’ve forgotten which is quite possible.

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