Chess magazines' coverage of chess literature scandals

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Gordon Cadden
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Re: Chess magazines' coverage of chess literature scandals

Post by Gordon Cadden » Mon Mar 24, 2014 8:32 am

GM John Nunn was responsible for editing Robert Fischer's "60 Memorable Games". He was eminently qualified, as most players would have agreed.
Fischer stopped attending school at 12 years of age. I cannot recall Fischer ever using Algebraic Notation.
Of course Fischer should have been consulted, but since he was on the run from the United States Authorities, for Tax Evasion, and tearing up a US Passport on television, it might have been a problem making contact.

Stewart Reuben
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Re: Chess magazines' coverage of chess literature scandals

Post by Stewart Reuben » Tue Mar 25, 2014 2:17 am

Bobby Fischer was a High School drop-out. So he must have attended Erasmus High after 12. Barbra Streisand was also at Erasmus High and remembered him. Neil Diamond was a bit older thus they weren't contemporaries. That makes a good basis for a trivial pursuit question.

The way Gordon wrote, although it may have been unintentional, suggests that Bobby leaving school earlier was the reason he didn't use algebraic notation. It was perfectly normal to use descriptive in the US. He was fully conversant with algebraic.

Leonard Barden told me that Faber and Faber had received 'My 60 Memorable Games' for consideration for publishing. They were rather dismissive, but thought they had better contact Leonard (their chess editor) before rejecting it. Time was very short, but he managed to persuade them to change their minds.

Leonard, apologies in advance if I have mis-remembered that anecdote.

O.G. Urcan
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Re: Chess magazines' coverage of chess literature scandals

Post by O.G. Urcan » Wed Mar 26, 2014 6:34 am

Gordon Cadden wrote:GM John Nunn was responsible for editing Robert Fischer's "60 Memorable Games".
As shown in Edward Winter's article "Fischer's Fury" (http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/extra/fischer.html), matters were more complicated than that.

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

Post by Roger de Coverly » Wed Mar 26, 2014 7:48 am

O.G. Urcan wrote: As shown in Edward Winter's article "Fischer's Fury" (http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/extra/fischer.html), matters were more complicated than that.
Edward Winter went after Batsfords, counting the changes, with the same enthusiasm as shown for attacks on Schiller and others. He was later sworn at by Fischer for not finding enough.

O.G. Urcan
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Re: Chess magazines' coverage of chess literature scandals

Post by O.G. Urcan » Wed Mar 26, 2014 10:34 am

Roger de Coverly wrote:
O.G. Urcan wrote: As shown in Edward Winter's article "Fischer's Fury" (http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/extra/fischer.html), matters were more complicated than that.
Edward Winter went after Batsfords, counting the changes, with the same enthusiasm as shown for attacks on Schiller and others. He was later sworn at by Fischer for not finding enough.
Edward Winter was engaged by CHESS to establish the extent of the textual changes made by Batsford. To make sure his conclusions were accurate, he compared the two editions line by line, and reported in CHESS that over 570 textual changes had been made by Batsford.

I'm not aware of anyone disputing that figure, except Fischer himself. He angrily made the absurd claim that Batsford had made "thousands upon thousands and thousands and thousands of changes."

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Matt Mackenzie
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Re: Chess magazines' coverage of chess literature scandals

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Wed Mar 26, 2014 6:16 pm

Didn't he also claim that Winter not finding more showed he had been "working for the Jews" or something?
"Set up your attacks so that when the fire is out, it isn't out!" (H N Pillsbury)

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

Post by Geoff Chandler » Wed Mar 26, 2014 9:59 pm

http://streathambrixtonchess.blogspot.c ... wells.html

I left a signed reply to this on the S & B site not sure if it took or not. Tried three times.
I see the blog editor gets to vet what is left on comments before it becomes a comment.

It goes something like this.

I think it due to the note after move 25 in the original piece:

"Ian Wells thought...."

Did Ian write up his games as the 3rd person? I know people do but it is not common.

That "Notes based on those by Ian Wells." could well be notes based on comments by Ian
and B.H.Wood or RDK wrote some or the major part of the piece.

In the 2nd and 3rd copy the note after move 25 reads:

"After the game Ian Wells suggested...."

Which gives the impression these were comments made by Ian to RDK during the after game analysis.

(Of course the 2nd and 3rd copies could be RDK adding his take on things....just thought of that.)

Advised someone should bring the 2nd and 3rd copies to light of both mags.

Then stated that I did not like the heading of the piece. (A purely personal opinion)
Trying to make a SUN type pun of the lads name is not needed.
The evidence the lads are presenting is good enough, no need to go this far.

and signed it Geoff Chandler.

(Though some of the evidence in the other cited examples is recyling and not plagarism.
There is a case for one mag seeking an apology or what ever from another mag but that is their matter. )

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Re: Chess magazines' coverage of chess literature scandals

Post by Geoff Chandler » Wed Mar 26, 2014 10:42 pm

JB has been in touch - my comment got posted.
The delay is because anyone can post and it might get them into legal bother
so they run a quick check over it to make sure a nutter does get through. (I made it) :o

So here is my comment:

Hi

I am not too sure if the original piece was entirely written by Ian. The note after move 25 in the original:

"Ian Wells thought 25...QB3 intending 24. N-B4 B-K5 would have been better."

Did Ian write as the 3rd person?
I know some writers do but it is not very common.

I think:

"Notes based on those by Ian Wells."

May well be comments made by Ian Wells and either B.H.Wood wrote the major part of the piece or RDK did.

In the later copies the note after move 25 is:

"After the game Ian Wells suggested..."

Which give the impression that this was comments made by Ian to RDK at the end of game analysis.

It's most likely re-cycled stuff by Keene but it did appear in
two different publications so someone should contact either publication and let them know.


I'm not too fond of the Sun type heading of this piece. The evidence you are presenting is
clear enough there is no need to go into sensationalism by trying to make a pun out of the lad's name.

Geoff Chandler

Wed Mar 26, 09:32:00 pm 2014

And I've got a reply. (looks like they agree, Ian possibly did not write it).

Now a question.

Have the S & B lads sent their evidence to any of the magazine/papers involved and what was their response?

If this has been mentioned before somewhere, sorry, I cannot recall or find it.

Has the response been apathetic?

I know I don't care much but I suppose someone has to.....eventually.

Stewart Reuben
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Re: Chess magazines' coverage of chess literature scandals

Post by Stewart Reuben » Wed Mar 26, 2014 11:19 pm

I am not sure whether you realise Ian Wells died tragically in Brazil while still a teenager. I expect this would inhibit how anybody wrote about comments he may have made.

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Re: Chess magazines' coverage of chess literature scandals

Post by Geoff Chandler » Thu Mar 27, 2014 12:17 am

Hi Stewart,

I know, I met Ian's father about a year after the accident, he was in my shop in Edinburgh.
A tragic loss to his family as well as to Chess.
That is the reason I was not too fond of the heading I but do understand this is a personal feeling.
Others I'm sure will see nothing wrong with it.

Chris Rice
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Re: Chess magazines' coverage of chess literature scandals

Post by Chris Rice » Thu Mar 27, 2014 4:59 am

Isn't the heading Wells, Wells, Wells a twist on the Duffy song "Well, Well, Well"? It's a great song, can't see that it's disrespectful to the memory of Ian Wells. Have a listen http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R6UwmJRkjBs

I played Ian Wells when he was 11 at correspondence chess. I was about 14/15. I don't think I've still got the game score. I do remember he was Black though and beat me easily and then told me what I should have done. A really nice kid and a tragic loss to the game.

stevencarr

Re: Chess magazines' coverage of chess literature scandals

Post by stevencarr » Thu Mar 27, 2014 7:48 am

Chris Rice wrote: I played Ian Wells when he was 11 at correspondence chess. I was about 14/15. I don't think I've still got the game score. I do remember he was Black though and beat me easily and then told me what I should have done. A really nice kid and a tragic loss to the game.
It really was a loss to the British game, on top of the personal tragedy involved.

He could have been another Michael Adams. He smashed up Kotov in a match.

Gordon Cadden
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Re: Chess magazines' coverage of chess literature scandals

Post by Gordon Cadden » Thu Mar 27, 2014 10:27 am

Gordon Cadden wrote:GM John Nunn was responsible for editing Robert Fischer's "60 Memorable Games". He was eminently qualified, as most players would have agreed.
Fischer stopped attending school at 12 years of age. I cannot recall Fischer ever using Algebraic Notation.
Of course Fischer should have been consulted, but since he was on the run from the United States Authorities, for Tax Evasion, and tearing up a US Passport on television, it might have been a problem making contact.
I should have said that he stopped wanting to attend school at 12 years. David de Lucia is in possession of his high school notebooks in History, Mathematics, Biology, English, Science and Geometry.
He achieved poor exam results at Erasmus High School. His mind was elsewhere.

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

Post by Roger de Coverly » Fri Mar 28, 2014 11:47 pm

Readers of the ECF's ChessMoves for Jan/Feb 2014 may have noted a brief reference to the Streatham blog/Private Eye allegations in a more general piece about the propensity of authors and publishers to recycle old material under new titles.

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