Obscure, endless arguments

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Roger de Coverly
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Re: Obscure, endless arguments

Post by Roger de Coverly » Mon Nov 22, 2010 3:52 pm

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
http://www.stevegiddins.blogspot.com/

It is true that the piece on which he comments is one of the forum's more pedantic moments - namely the literal meaning of one of the longer Russian surnames in the top 20 players.

Are there any objective measurements of the size of a forum?

As far as representative is concerned, there's a reasonable spread of opinion on the forum from the English (and British) chess scene, rather wider probably than the views expressed in a typical magazine.

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Adam Raoof
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Re: Obscure, endless arguments

Post by Adam Raoof » Mon Nov 22, 2010 4:03 pm

My experience of Forums is that they are rather poorly populated, and the quality of the contributions can be variable! Two notable exceptions are the EC Forum and moneysavingexpert.com. And let's face it, blogs can be just as variable...
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Ian Kingston
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Re: Obscure, endless arguments

Post by Ian Kingston » Mon Nov 22, 2010 4:33 pm

One can't help but feel that magazine editors would be better advised to engage with a forum in order to encourage people to subscribe rather than to take pot shots at the forum and its members. But perhaps that's just me...

Eoin Devane
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Re: Obscure, endless arguments

Post by Eoin Devane » Mon Nov 22, 2010 4:40 pm

Ian Kingston wrote:One can't help but feel that magazine editors would be better advised to engage with a forum in order to encourage people to subscribe rather than to take pot shots at the forum and its members. But perhaps that's just me...
Completely agree.

Since I was the one who brought up the pronunciation of Mr. Nepomniachtchi's name, I'd like to say that I actually thought it was an interesting discussion and I learnt something new about a) his name and b) Russian history / census practices from it. I am grateful to everyone who contributed to the discussion, even those whose information might have turned out not to be completely correct. We can't all be right all of the time, and a forum certainly works much better when people are prepared to give their views rather than holding them back in the fear that they'll be publically ridiculed if it turns out that they were incorrect.

LozCooper

Re: Obscure, endless arguments

Post by LozCooper » Mon Nov 22, 2010 4:44 pm

Christopher Kreuzer wrote:
John Upham wrote:Can someone post the URL of the reviewers site / blog / whatever and we can review it here?
I think it was print-publication only. Not sure. It appeared in the November 2010 issue of CHESS. Pages 48-50. You can buy single issues of CHESS for £3.95 it says on the front cover.
I'm still waiting for my free copy for writing an article on the Olympiad :oops:

Alex Holowczak
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Re: Obscure, endless arguments

Post by Alex Holowczak » Mon Nov 22, 2010 5:43 pm

Must be a slow news day in the world of chess.

Sean Hewitt

Re: Obscure, endless arguments

Post by Sean Hewitt » Mon Nov 22, 2010 7:18 pm

Most of the contributors to this forum play more games of graded/rated chess in a year than all the UK chess magazine editors / proprietors combined :-)

Ola Winfridsson
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Re: Obscure, endless arguments

Post by Ola Winfridsson » Mon Nov 22, 2010 7:34 pm

Nick Thomas wrote:Kaissiber is the best mag by far I have ever seen (and I don't even speak German). Anyone know any free software which can scan, convert to a digital document and then translate German to English?
Quite a spec list that! ;-)

But on a serious note, freeware of this kind is probably not that easy to find. I think you'll have to invest in a commercial solution. Adobe Acrobat has a conversion feature, but is rather expensive, and I don't think it has a translation engine. Nuance (previously ScanSoft) offers scanner software with conversion and automatic translation features (and should be quite a lot cheaper than Adobe), but I strongly doubt that the translation feature is particularly good. (Google translate is good because it's based on existing translations performed by humans; once the machine translation feature kicks in, it's very hit and miss.) However, it should be able to give you the gist of what the article says, provided it leaves the chess notation as is.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Obscure, endless arguments

Post by Roger de Coverly » Mon Nov 22, 2010 7:49 pm

I
Ola Winfridsson wrote:Nick Thomas wrote:
Kaissiber is the best mag by far I have ever seen (and I don't even speak German). Anyone know any free software which can scan, convert to a digital document and then translate German to English?


Quite a spec list that! ;-)
Actually I think there's a straightforward solution.

If you can assume a scanner which allows documents to be saved in html, then you just point your browser at the html local file on your disk and run Google translate.

I've just downloaded the most recent file on chessbase.de (nachrichten.asp.htm) and translated it. Here's a sample
original wrote:Noch interessanter würde die Deutsche Ländermeisterschaft sicher werden, wenn wieder mehr Länder teilnehmen würden.
Google translate wrote:Even more interesting If the German Cup countries are safe, if more countries would participate.

Michael Jones
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Re: Obscure, endless arguments

Post by Michael Jones » Mon Nov 22, 2010 8:13 pm

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?

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IM Jack Rudd
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Re: Obscure, endless arguments

Post by IM Jack Rudd » Mon Nov 22, 2010 10:17 pm

Michael Jones wrote:...as it is {Giddins} is 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).
Hmmm; I'd probably agree with you about soi-disant, but I wouldn't think twice about using nefarious in a context that warranted it.

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Carl Hibbard
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Re: Obscure, endless arguments

Post by Carl Hibbard » Mon Nov 22, 2010 10:26 pm

Is there a BCM blog documenting the thoughts of Mr. Giddins?
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Carl Hibbard

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IM Jack Rudd
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Re: Obscure, endless arguments

Post by IM Jack Rudd » Mon Nov 22, 2010 10:32 pm

Carl Hibbard wrote:Is there a BCM blog documenting the thoughts of Mr. Giddins?
There is indeed.

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Carl Hibbard
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Re: Obscure, endless arguments

Post by Carl Hibbard » Mon Nov 22, 2010 10:34 pm

Got it now thanks, with 13 followers perhaps it does need watching...
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Carl Hibbard
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Re: Obscure, endless arguments

Post by Carl Hibbard » Mon Nov 22, 2010 10:46 pm

IM Jack Rudd wrote:
Carl Hibbard wrote:Is there a BCM blog documenting the thoughts of Mr. Giddins?
There is indeed.
I could pass comment on this blog but Jack would need to moderate me :oops:
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Carl Hibbard

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