Roger de Coverly wrote:
It seems that the magazines don't have a very high opinion of this forum.
According to the new BCM editor, the forum is
BCM blog wrote:
tiny and totally unrepresentative
From what I've seen of Steve Giddins's writing, he doesn't have a very high opinion of a lot of people. I'd be more inclined to take his criticism seriously if he could point to a larger and more representative forum on the subject of English chess; as it is he's just picking a couple of uncomplimentary adjectives out of this thesaurus and thinks it makes him look clever (no-one would use "soi-disant
" or "nefarious" in an article aimed at a non-specialist audience for any purpose other than to show off the extent of his vocabulary). For a start, he appears to have absolutely no sense of irony: he calls the forum "unrepresentative", yet his criticisms of it are based primarily on one post. He then fails to observe the difference between a magazine article or blog
entry and an internet discussion: namely, that the first is written by one person, who has the opportunity to (and hopefully will) research its content before publication to ensure that it is correct; the second is exactly that, a discussion. Someone asks a question, others make attempts at answering which they may or may not be entirely sure of, then someone with a better knowledge of the subject comes along and gives a better answer, and eventually a conclusion is arrived at which is generally agreed to be correct. It would be a pretty boring 'discussion' if the first response gave an entirely correct answer and all subsequent posts just said "Yes, I agree".
'Needful' to say - evidently so, since Giddins fails to observe it - is that the memory lapse involved is clearly not serious: James had remembered the story about the fugitives' census entries, but thought that what the enumerator had written in such cases was "no name" rather than "not remembering". If Steve Giddins has never had such a 'serious' memory lapse in his life, I'd be very impressed. On an incidental note, there's an entry on one of the 19th century British censuses which I can only presume was the result of a landlord failing to remember when the enumerator asked for his lodger's name: the lodger is recorded as Watt F**k.
As to the nature of Giddins's criticisms, the list of members for this forum indicates that we have more than 50 people who have made 200+ posts; quite a few regular contributors, then. Some are juniors, some students, some older players. Some are club players, some FMs or IMs and one or two GMs. We're spread over pretty much all of England, and a few outside it. How many contributors does the BCM have, I wonder, and how representative are they of the chess-playing population of England?