Chess magazines' coverage of chess literature scandals

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Geoff Chandler
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Re: Chess magazines' coverage of chess literature scandals

Post by Geoff Chandler » Wed Mar 12, 2014 11:26 am

Hello,

"....they didn't want to damage an author's image in the eyes of a chess book buying public."

Since the S & B blog has started highlighting all of Keene's copying and Edward WInter
has listed all the sloppy work done by Schiller the buying public are fully aware of what is going on.

One only has to read forums where people are asking what books to buy.
The poster is usually warned early on whose books not to buy and RDK's always name pops up.
(The chances are you already have it!)

And surely anyone fully understand why CHESS and BCM do not, or very rarely go near scandals.

It's best to stay out of it, don't get involved.
The Eye is only interested in RDK because he writes for the The Times.
Do you think he would get a mention if he was cut & pasting his stuff in a mere chess magazine?

With such a restricted readership the last thing you need are enemies and cancelled subs.

The Readers Letter page before the Internet came along was the place to let off steam.
Both mags had a 'nothing to do with us' readers letters section and it often ran like this:

A attacks B
B defends himself and counter attacks.
A reminds B of another incident.
C, D, E and F appear saying must we read about this continue bickering in the Readers Letters section.

Now the Internet is here what is a serious mag meant to do? Point the reader to a few comments in a chess forum?

By the time the reader gets his magazine and eventually gets around to reading what is on the other end of the link
it will have been hijacked, locked, pulled or contain a glowing report on what that lad has for tea and his weather report.


Pointing the reader to the S & B blog could be done, but how do you explain the reason why?
(Not to mention the 1001 emails you will receive from hit seekers asking you to mention their blog.)

Blogs are free, the tittle-tattle seekers can float about the net feeding their habit for nothing.
And if that is not enough then they can always start up a thread like this.

Would they pay for it?

I sometimes get 4,000+ hits per column for the stuff I write.

http://www.redhotpawn.com/blog/blogread ... postid=126

If they had to pay for it, I'd get 4.
(me, my mum, one sad reader and the entire S&B team looking for any evidence of plagiarism.)

So burying your head in the sand and just giving the readers just chess is obviously
the safest and most sensible way to go. And I'm not being sarky. A libel case could close either magazine.
In the early 1950's such a case nearly shut down CHESS.

My stance is still the same, lifting a few comments and computer generated analysis
is hardly the crime of the century. I've never done it, not knowingly anyway.
I like the challenge of coming up with new terms or awful puns.
People get in such a tiss over this minor plagiarism, to me it's akin to a parking fine.

And I really do find the whole matter quite amusing.
The moves of the game are not copyright and yet the few unimaginative bland comments are???

Hi John,

Perhaps we should do the 'International News' for BCM.

You can add your bit about Kaspaorv being fully aware parts of his stuff being lifted and I can add;

A Russian complaining that his work is being lifted, my heart truly bleeds.
The Russians printed 50,000 copies of Fischer's 60 Memorable Games and Fischer got nothing.
This pirated edition was one of Kasparov's first chess books.

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John Saunders
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Re: Chess magazines' coverage of chess literature scandals

Post by John Saunders » Wed Mar 12, 2014 12:18 pm

Geoff Chandler wrote: ... everything he wrote...
... is absolutely spot on. Geoff, sir, I take my hat off to you. That was better (and funnier) than anything I could have written on the subject.

And you managed to figure it all out for yourself without (as far as I know - correct me if I am wrong) being in the printed chess magazine business. Why couldn't some other people on the forum figure it out without having to cross-question me?
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Jonathan Rogers
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Re: Chess magazines' coverage of chess literature scandals

Post by Jonathan Rogers » Wed Mar 12, 2014 12:51 pm

Geoff wrote:

"You can add your bit about Kaspaorv being fully aware parts of his stuff being lifted and I can add;

A Russian complaining that his work is being lifted, my heart truly bleeds.
The Russians printed 50,000 copies of Fischer's 60 Memorable Games and Fischer got nothing.
This pirated edition was one of Kasparov's first chess books."

Is that a reason why a chess magazine shouldn't even spend four lines to acknowledge the affair? That you and some other readers might have an odd sense of right and wrong, and think that it's not so bad if Keene did plagiarise Kasparov because Kasparov himself, when he was 8, read a book published in Russian by some Russians who didn't pay Fischer (WTF?? :lol: )

Anyway, I don't accept that every reader of CHESS and BCM knows about the allegations against Keene. It's very convenient for those who deny the slightest responsibility to tell them to assert that they must already know.

Some of your points are well made, Geoff, as were those of the two Johns, but none of them actually conclude the debate. Just as we don't know how much reliance to place on a single sentence that CHESS readers don't want to read about chess politics (everything depend on how the questions were put and how they were understood) we also don't know how much reliance to put on letters in magazines saying that the writers don't find previous letters to be interesting. How do we know that many others didn't think the opposite, but since the material was in fact being published, saw no reason to write in to say so? Anyway, a good editor will draw the line when tedium sets in. Tedium is not the issue here; it is a refusal clearly to mention certain important things even once.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Chess magazines' coverage of chess literature scandals

Post by Roger de Coverly » Wed Mar 12, 2014 12:56 pm

Jonathan Rogers wrote: But I doubt that we know how different the groups are. In order to place any significant weight on the CHESS survey, we would need to know how the questions were phrased. (I am afraid I don't know, but I will assume that the only relevant question referred to "chess politics" without further definition).
Those responding to the survey were asked what type of article they would like to see less or more of, ranked on scale of 1 to 5 with 1 being "a lot less of" and 5 "a lot more of".

Choices for content were

Super GM tournament coverage
In-depth interviews with top players/personalities
Opening instruction/analysis
Instructional features : Middlegame
Instructional features : Endgame
Chess-themed fiction
Chess politics
Biographical features on past and present players
Puzzles & Tactics
Opinion Pieces
News reports
Chess history
Quizzes & Competitions

So just a generic term. Opinion Pieces probably covers the same ground if it includes stuff about who should or shouldn't be FIDE or ECF President.

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John Saunders
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Re: Chess magazines' coverage of chess literature scandals

Post by John Saunders » Wed Mar 12, 2014 1:02 pm

Geoff Chandler wrote: My stance is still the same, lifting a few comments and computer generated analysis
is hardly the crime of the century. I've never done it, not knowingly anyway.
I like the challenge of coming up with new terms or awful puns.
People get in such a tiss over this minor plagiarism, to me it's akin to a parking fine.

And I really do find the whole matter quite amusing.
The moves of the game are not copyright and yet the few unimaginative bland comments are???
This is one of the best bits of a brilliant post and worth highlighting.

I used to get hot under the collar about people plagiarising me. Nobody's condoning it - it's a dishonest thing to do. Yes, it's happened to me a couple of times and I went after them (privately), much good it did me. But I'm now a bit older and wiser and realise, like Geoff, that life is too short to worry about such nonsense. I live in the real world. Now I'm actually slightly miffed that I didn't get plagiarised a bit more often. Maybe my writing wasn't good enough.

Let's imagine someone plagiarises your book. You go down the police station and say "I've got this evidence," (slams down a huge file of papers on the desk), "that this bloke has copied stuff from my book." After they've stopped laughing, the police will explain that plagiarism not actually a crime and that you need to take it up with a solicitor. If you had said something about "this bloke has copied stuff from other people's books", they'd probably threaten to charge you with wasting police time (which IS a crime).

Yes, you would think from the righteous tones in which plagiarism is bandied about here that it was on a par with paedophilia, but Geoff rightly places it nearer a parking offence on the naughtiness spectrum. It's not a crime, it's a tort and it is ultimately the business of the person who owns the copyright to make an issue of it, not a third party.

Incidentally, it says on Wikipedia that "cases of plagiarism can constitute copyright infringement." Which reminds me that the S&B blog has a lot of images on it - photos, scans of pages, books, magazines, etc. For example, pages from the Spectator, Times, CHESS, etc, scanned and displayed to support the plagiarism allegations. I recall that one of my photos was used without permission and wrongly credited. I didn't make too much of fuss but asked for the credit to be corrected. I'm not proposing to sue anyone - if I did that for every one of my photos that got nicked, it would be a full-time job. But it does make me wonder whether S&B have sought permission to use other material they've scanned and posted. If they haven't got permission, it could be construed as copyright infringement - and, what is perhaps rather worse, hypocrisy.

But I'll settle out of court for ridicule.
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Re: Chess magazines' coverage of chess literature scandals

Post by John Saunders » Wed Mar 12, 2014 1:19 pm

Jonathan Rogers wrote:Some of your points are well made, Geoff, as were those of the two Johns, but none of them actually conclude the debate.
Sadly, that's true. You and others will no doubt witter on, and Justin will probably conduct one of his line-by-line dissections of everything Geoff and I have written, looking for evidence of the darkness in our souls, but as far as I'm concerned it's pretty well done and dusted.

By and large I feel I wasn't too badly treated during my time in the Court of EC Forum's witness box. I was expecting to encounter more kangaroos but in the end there was only the one.
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O.G. Urcan
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Re: Chess magazines' coverage of chess literature scandals

Post by O.G. Urcan » Wed Mar 12, 2014 1:20 pm

For a moment, let's just imagine that some "controversial" figure in the chess world - maybe Ilyumzhinov, Danailov or Azmaiparashvili - is also a journalist. It's proved, through careful research, that he has copied dozens of annotated games, pretty much word for word, from Kasparov's "Predecessors" books, presenting the notes in print as his own.

The BCM and CHESS wouldn't mention the affair at all?!
Last edited by O.G. Urcan on Wed Mar 12, 2014 1:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Jonathan Rogers
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Re: Chess magazines' coverage of chess literature scandals

Post by Jonathan Rogers » Wed Mar 12, 2014 1:26 pm

Some forms of copyright infringement are criminal (s.107 Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988) but true enough, I don't think that plagiarism is one of those forms. Incidentally, a useful summary of the law for lay people can be found here: http://www.seqlegal.com/blog/10-things- ... -copyright

I think that the chess community is still entitled to feel outarged though. As Justin has said many times, any other journalist would be investigated seriously over comparable allegations of plagiarism and sacked if found to have perpetrated it. So what, it's just that chess and chess readers of newspapers don't matter, then? It is a very harmful view which is not helped by the mainstream chess magazines failing even to mention the allegations.

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Re: Chess magazines' coverage of chess literature scandals

Post by Jonathan Rogers » Wed Mar 12, 2014 1:26 pm

O.G. Urcan wrote:For a moment, let's just imagine that some "controversial" figure in chess world - maybe Ilyumzhinov, Danailov or Azmaiparashvili - is also a journalist. It's proved, through careful research, that he has copied dozens of annotated games, pretty much word for word, from Kasparov's "Predecessors" books, presenting the notes in print as his own.

The BCM and CHESS wouldn't mention the affair at all?!
Quite

Jonathan Rogers
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Re: Chess magazines' coverage of chess literature scandals

Post by Jonathan Rogers » Wed Mar 12, 2014 1:33 pm

John Saunders wrote:
Jonathan Rogers wrote:Some of your points are well made, Geoff, as were those of the two Johns, but none of them actually conclude the debate.
Sadly, that's true. You ... will no doubt witter on...
No doubt, but you should hear what some of my club mates say about my emails!

Graham Borrowdale

Re: Chess magazines' coverage of chess literature scandals

Post by Graham Borrowdale » Wed Mar 12, 2014 1:51 pm

Jonathan Rogers wrote:I think that the chess community is still entitled to feel outarged though. As Justin has said many times, any other journalist would be investigated seriously over comparable allegations of plagiarism and sacked if found to have perpetrated it. So what, it's just that chess and chess readers of newspapers don't matter, then? It is a very harmful view which is not helped by the mainstream chess magazines failing even to mention the allegations.
I think the point though is that 'the chess community' does not feel outraged, whether or not it is entitled to; you might be mixing up 4 or 5 people who post on this and similar topics frequently, and who, yes, apparently give a damn, with 'the chess community'.
As one of the latter I feel more outraged by how some of my chess opponents think it is alright to play 1d4, 2Nf3, 3Bf4 and mate me on h7 with regularity, and I would like my chess magazines to help me to avoid it happening again. I would like to read about 4NCL/county matches/congresses/world championship candidates, etc, even the odd endgame study or problem would be fine. A bit of news on FIDE/ECF elections would be fine, but I really do not want to spend my hard-earned reading about plagiarism. I suspect my views are typical.

Jonathan Rogers
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Re: Chess magazines' coverage of chess literature scandals

Post by Jonathan Rogers » Wed Mar 12, 2014 2:13 pm

Your views are certainly typical if you mean that actual chess, and reports on chess, interest you most. And so they should, I might add. But you are exaggerating the case being made here. You wouldn't be put off, surely, by just four or five lines in a news section referring to the allegations, as suggested up thread?

On your other point, presumably you play 1...d5 after 1 d4. I think you want to look at an early ...b6 and ...Bb7 against these London type systems (the same is true of the Torre with Bg5). So, 1 d4 d5 2 Nf3 Nf6 3 Bf4 e6 4 e3 b6 5 Bd3 Bb7, followed by ...Nd7 and, sometime soon, ...Ne4. Very good way of not getting mated on h7. If White plays 6 Ne5 , maybe leave the knight on b8 to avoid pins with Bb5, and just continue ...Be7, 0-0 and then Nbd7 or Ne4. But I repeat, no one gets mated with a knight on e4. The bishop may be better on e7 than d6, because it will be easier for you later to play ..Nbd7xe5 if you don't have the problem that dxe5 will then fork your pieces on f6 and d6. Another tip is to avoid an early ...c5 because it doesn't actually achieve any desired objective, and you really want to develop the pieces, get castled and play ...Ne4 before making further plans. Not playing ... c5 may mean you can put a piece there, if the game later continues Nbd7 x e5 dxe5; and further, if White does get his pawn to e5 that way, having the pawn on c7 may defend against potential infiltrations on d6.

Geoff Chandler
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Re: Chess magazines' coverage of chess literature scandals

Post by Geoff Chandler » Wed Mar 12, 2014 2:18 pm

Hi Editor John,

I did print/edit/sell my own magazine 'CapaTal' (sic) Chess' in the late 70's early 80's.
But it was nothing on the scale of CHESS or BCM. Print run of 200 which always sold out.

I filled it with blunders (mine included) and some beautiful awful games of chess.
The stronger you were the more your leg got pulled if you dropped a clanger.
My defence always being 'I did not make it up', that is what you played.'
One or two tender souls got a bit miffed, but most/all came around and often submitted their games.
It was all harmless good fun.
I've carried this and other nonsense onto the columns/blogs I write.

Scandals? A few dropped in my lap. I ignored them.
Usually because I only had the one side but mostly because I don't want to get involved
and is anyone, apart from the person/people involved, really interested?

I've always been more interested in what happened on the board.
Published and be damned when pulling someones chain about a blunder, it's just a game.
Never got involved in anything personal.

Hi Other John.

(which of you John's was born first, sue the later born's John parents for plagiarism)

(WTF?) indeed. This is my own personal feeling about the whole issue.

BTW Have S&B ever mentioned the Fischer incident?
Are they carrying the torch for every harmed writer or is this endless quest just aimed at one individual?

I've no idea I stopped looking months and months ago.

Hi Urcan,

"For a moment, let's just imagine that some...."
No, now you are speculating and imagining what CHESS and BCM may or may not print.

And anyway.....
At the moment this is a trial by blog and forum.
If it ever becomes a court case then CHESS & BCM may be bound by law not to mention the case till after it's over.

Hi Graham.

I can tell you how to stop getting mated on h7 but I can't.
I read it in a book and that would be plagiarism.

JR. Where did you get your analysis from?

You are next on the S&B hit list.

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Re: Chess magazines' coverage of chess literature scandals

Post by Jonathan Rogers » Wed Mar 12, 2014 2:27 pm

Geoff Chandler wrote: ...
JR. Where did you get your analysis from?

You are next on the S&B hit list.
Nah, we're mates, probably.

Tell you what, I did once publish some analysis in a book review in KingPin and it was repeated almost exactly by a GM a little while later, a GM who (Jon Manley told me at the time) was sent a free copy of that issue. It could have been coincidence, and one reason why I didn't do anything about it was that I thought it was possible; and the GM in question did and does have a good reputation. Big coincidence if so, though.

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Re: Chess magazines' coverage of chess literature scandals

Post by Geoff Chandler » Wed Mar 12, 2014 2:38 pm

Hi JR.

No such thing as a coincidence, pass his name onto the S & B team.

"it was repeated almost exactly....."

That is close enough, go get him boys.

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