Chess magazines' coverage of chess literature scandals

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Paul McKeown
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Re: Chess magazines' coverage of chess literature scandals

Post by Paul McKeown » Thu Mar 13, 2014 9:15 pm

@Jonathan - thanks. I understand your motives; I also understand your loyalty.

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Re: Chess magazines' coverage of chess literature scandals

Post by Alex Holowczak » Thu Mar 13, 2014 9:20 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:That might not have been enough to set things off, had not someone compared the relative lack of publicity for the BUCA championship to the relative excess for the Oxbridge match.
The relative lack of publicity for the BUCA Championship is probably down to its organiser not inviting someone like John to cover it in the detail that Mutkin did for the Varsity Match. In context, we had 100 players in West Bromwich, and we had 1 1/2 members of staff involved in it. The Varsity Match had Messrs Sedgwick, Saunders, Mutkin and Keene involved, and that was with just 16 players. (Plus me if you count the post-match grading.) The reason being: They can afford to have the staff, the fancy venue, and the press reporter, whereas we have to muddle through the best we can.

John could do the photos, the games-inputting, web presentation and the Forum posts. David could do the arbiting. I don't know what Mutkin and Keene do in an executive role on the day, but they are clearly involved in pre-match organisation. By contrast, I had to do all of that for BUCA (save for games-inputting that was passed on after the event). We had 5 rounds in 2 days in 2 sections this year, rather than 1 match. When one of the teams didn't turn up on time for BUCA, I was the one that had to wander out to West Bromwich High Street to flag them down. If Oxford were late for Varsity, it wouldn't fall on David Sedgwick to wander onto The Mall, phone in hand, in a desperate bid to navigate them from Green Park station.

This isn't meant to come across as a sob-story. It shows how important someone like Mutkin is in providing the funding for all the extra staff. I can't justify spending however much money it would cost to bring up someone like John for the day.

I for one wish I had the time that weekend to read one of Ray's columns, even if I didn't get around to reading 1500 of them.

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Re: Chess magazines' coverage of chess literature scandals

Post by Jonathan Bryant » Thu Mar 13, 2014 9:22 pm

Geoff Chandler wrote: Or is it because they don't support your quest....?
I don’t have a quest Geoff. Other than to write what I want to write.
Geoff Chandler wrote: Have you ever submitted a piece to either mags with the stuff you want in it?
In 2010 I sent a version of the Simon Williams interview that appears on the blog to the BCM. That it appears on the blog tells you that it wasn’t accepted for publication.

The same year I sent something that was part of my Bill Hartston interview to CHESS. That wasn’t accepted either, but I didn’t publish it on the blog yet. One day, maybe.

Neither of these would I class as the type of material that we’ve been discussing. I did once get approached by somebody connected with a chess magazine to ask what I knew about something. I replied by suggesting an article for their magazine on the subject. I didn’t get a response to that.

Aside from that, the response of the magazine folk on this thread - not to my surprise - does not encourage me to send material in. I think there’s that ‘not upsetting anybody’ risk that you mentioned earlier, and the stuff I’d like to write about risks upsetting people.

There’s also the blog. I don’t have enough time for that as it is now. Writing for somebody else would limit my time even further. Of course assuming that even if a magazine did want to publish something on one of the areas that interests me, there’s no reason to think that they’d want me to write it.

Geoff Chandler wrote: I pulled the name Rotherham out of the air. I don't know if they have a 3rd team.
Actually I've just checked. There is a Rotherham Juniors Chess Club.
Sorry, but from a writing point of view, I don’t give a rats arse about them either. I’d have nothing to say. Actually not 100% true. I do like the fact that they have a Ron Atkinson playing for them.


Geoff Chandler wrote: Can I get a mention on:

http://keenipedia.com/keenenumber/
I’ve no idea who runs that site. It isn’t us. They made some minor mistakes about the S&B material when they first put the site up. They corrected them when we pointed it out, though.

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IM Jack Rudd
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Re: Chess magazines' coverage of chess literature scandals

Post by IM Jack Rudd » Thu Mar 13, 2014 9:30 pm

There seem to be a lot of calls for magazine coverage of local league chess played by relatively low-rated players. I have no idea whether the demand for this actually exists, though; do people want to have coverage of local league chess in general, or merely local league chess that's of some significance to themselves?

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Re: Chess magazines' coverage of chess literature scandals

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Mar 13, 2014 9:32 pm

Jonathan Bryant wrote: It seemed (and seems) like an odd set of priorities to me and the perfect example of chess journalism failing to be journalism.
Journalists seem to have their own "Laws of Journalism". One of them tries to prevent copying other people's work.

This was a case recently
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/media ... 54706.html

Wiki, admittedly not the most reliable of sources
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_pl ... Journalism

Magazines go on about it
http://www.newstatesman.com/newspapers/ ... plagiarism

An old essay writing technique was to have the words of expertise in front of you, but then summarise or rewrite so that the expression was original even where the ideas were not. But that's a method dating from before Ctrl-C and Ctrl-V.

You wouldn't really mind old games being endlessly recycled if the notes were updated in the light of new discoveries.

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

Post by John Saunders » Thu Mar 13, 2014 10:49 pm

Alex Holowczak wrote: The relative lack of publicity for the BUCA Championship is probably down to its organiser not inviting someone like John to cover it in the detail that Mutkin did for the Varsity Match. In context, we had 100 players in West Bromwich, and we had 1 1/2 members of staff involved in it. The Varsity Match had Messrs Sedgwick, Saunders, Mutkin and Keene involved, and that was with just 16 players. (Plus me if you count the post-match grading.) The reason being: They can afford to have the staff, the fancy venue, and the press reporter, whereas we have to muddle through the best we can.

John could do the photos, the games-inputting, web presentation and the Forum posts. David could do the arbiting. I don't know what Mutkin and Keene do in an executive role on the day, but they are clearly involved in pre-match organisation.

It shows how important someone like Mutkin is in providing the funding for all the extra staff. I can't justify spending however much money it would cost to bring up someone like John for the day.
Alex, you're a good lad who does a lot for chess in this country - so, don't worry, I'm not going to have a go at you! But you're making a couple of assumptions here. The reason I do the photography at the Varsity match is because I love chess history and tradition, and want to be associated with it. Henry Mutkin invited me originally (in about 2000, I think) simply because he wanted to have a few photos as a memento of the occasion. I did it for nothing - and still do. I don't get paid a cent for my services at the match. I give Henry a complete set of photos afterwards and I also make the photos available to whichever mag I happened to be working for, for which I might get paid a few quid.

As for keying the games, there's only eight of them so it's a trivial task which I do simply because I lug a laptop with me and may as well do it. Again, done for nowt. Done for love. I'm passionate about the match as it has been going longer than any other regular chess fixture worldwide, and Henry does it for love, too.

And, of course, he puts his hand in his pocket. He's a chess sponsor. He does it because he himself played in the Varsity match in the 1950s and is sentimental about it. Henry is probably one of the nicest people you could ever wish to meet. One of the things that made my blood boil a few days ago was when a couple of mindless forumites started making facetious comments about a photo which was linked to here from Twitter, which happened to include Henry (though they probably didn't realise this). The mindless forumites bandied about terms such as 'shysters' to describe the people in the photo, even though they could probably only recognise two or three people in it. Luckily Henry has too much sense to read this forum so he will be (and hopefully will remain) oblivious to this silly slur. A small example of the damage that can be done by ignorant people at this forum.

One of the mindless forumites I refer to was Justin Horton, indulging his facetious side (at least it makes a change from pomposity and sanctimony, I suppose). I should add that he also wrote knocking copy on the Varsity match a day or two before it took place as he did last year (or maybe the year before). It was a really vile piece of gratuitous negativity. Someone who is very well-known and well-respected in the chess community described Horton's article to me as an "uncouth attack on the match. Shameful that he's an Oxford historian with no sense of tradition."

None of the above is directed at you, Alex. You're definitely one of the good guys and more power to your elbow for all the excellent work you do. I just needed to get a bit more off my chest!

As for BUCA, if the event took place somewhere near me, I might be able to come and take a few photos but I'm retired and not really looking for other volunteer jobs. Done lots of match captaincy, hon.sec. jobs for clubs in my days as an amateur player rather than professional scribbler. (My health and fitness aren't great and I need to get out more!) For me, the link with tradition and history is the big attraction of the Varsity match, which I'm afraid you can't offer me. There are a few other chess photographers around and you could have a word with them. Ray Morris-Hill? John Upham? Or maybe somebody as yet unknown who could make a name for himself.
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John Saunders
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Re: Chess magazines' coverage of chess literature scandals

Post by John Saunders » Thu Mar 13, 2014 10:58 pm

Jonathan Bryant wrote:In truth I’ve had next to nothing to do with the plagiarism series.
Could one of the S&B guys be trying to sidle away from the flak? Justin's starting to look very lonely suddenly. How long before Angus dives down a rabbit hole?
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Roger de Coverly
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Re: Chess magazines' coverage of chess literature scandals

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Mar 13, 2014 11:13 pm

IM Jack Rudd wrote:There seem to be a lot of calls for magazine coverage of local league chess played by relatively low-rated players. I have no idea whether the demand for this actually exists, though; do people want to have coverage of local league chess in general, or merely local league chess that's of some significance to themselves?
I think it's a question of archiving. If websites could be trusted to retain historic material when they relaunch, then printed backup is unnecessary. Notes of who won particular events can get more interesting with the elapse of time. You may recall the effort, using past magazines, that went into reconstructing the list of BUCA winners.

If you are interested in the early chess career of a particular player or individual, documentation of where they played "before they were famous" is valuable. Otherwise, the details of who played and who won is of interest only to the participants and their local rivals.

The BCM in the late 1960s used to give extensive coverage, if in a small font, to all the participants in Congresses it reported on. The explosion of chess activity in the 1970s rendered that obsolete, so reports on the thousand plus Islington tournaments only recorded the prize winners and near prize winners. Equally BH Wood's Chess used to devote a page or two to the Sunday Times Schools Championship, documenting the progress of the local knock-out stages.

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Re: Chess magazines' coverage of chess literature scandals

Post by John McKenna » Thu Mar 13, 2014 11:18 pm

Paul McKeown wrote:
John McKenna wrote:The result of these individual bitter personality battles is that they rally supporters and opponents who then engage in a struggle - often along class, cultural and political dividing lines - that can continue long after the original dichotomy, even after the original protagonists are gone sometimes.
Holy Cosmos, Robin!

You'll have to carry out an in depth classification of class, cultural and politics by debater, to enlighten us, then.
Almost missed you completely there, Batman, at the foot of a page in the torrent of Gothamite verbiage.

Who do you suggest I start with?

Tell you what, I will start with your feminine heroine this weekend.
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

Paul McKeown
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Re: Chess magazines' coverage of chess literature scandals

Post by Paul McKeown » Thu Mar 13, 2014 11:26 pm

John McKenna wrote:your feminine heroine
Judit Polgar?

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

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Mar 13, 2014 11:47 pm

John Saunders wrote:One of the things that made my blood boil a few days ago was when a couple of mindless forumites started making facetious comments about a photo which was linked to here from Twitter, which happened to include Henry (though they probably didn't realise this). The mindless forumites bandied about terms such as 'shysters' to describe the people in the photo, even though they could probably only recognise two or three people in it.
The shyster comment came on the Sunday morning, several hours after the match had been concluded.

Bottom line, if you don't want adverse comments, don't be photographed with dubious characters, or if you are, make sure they aren't published worldwide. There were some who thought, rightly, that the publicity should concentrate on the players rather than notorious self-publicists.

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Re: Chess magazines' coverage of chess literature scandals

Post by Geoff Chandler » Thu Mar 13, 2014 11:59 pm

Hi Jack,

They should advertise for a 'feeder' from every league to supply pics, news, tables and games
or hit the net and lift what they can. :)

Give me 18 months in charge. They will forget all about Carlsen and co.
But they sure as hell will know that Ron Atkinson plays for Barnsley. (pay attention JB.)

Hi JB.

If you got them to correct what you wrote then you must have a contact. Get me on at 5.
You get me on with 5 and I'll give you that endgame blunder in the Barnsley - Rotherham match for your blog.
(you could do with some chess on it.) ;)

You can hardly blame the mags for this ‘not upsetting anybody’ approach, especially in this day and age.
Advertisers might walk, subs cancel. Their duty is to stay in business.

I've no idea about your Hartston interview in 2010 but CHESS did one with him by Sean Marsh in 2009.
Favourite chess book: "Bronstein's book on the 1953 Candidates' tournament.......the original Russian edition."

Bloody Hell. What a swot.

Why can't he just be happy with the English version like the rest of us?
I got mine as a 1979 Christmas present from my sister, I'm going to give it back and demand the Russian Edition.

Nine copies. One for me and one for each member of the Rotherham Junior Chess Club.
Ten copies! Let's have one for Barnsley's Ron Atkinson as well.
(they won't cost much, I know a man at 'The Times' who can knock off a quick dozen or so.)

Well this has been fun. I've been waiting for Justin to appear so I can catch a gobfull of abuse.
But I must get my blitz fix and earlier on I posted a blog and already I have a couple of
questions from the lads sitting in my PM box

I love answering them, I really do. But my heart hits my boots when the opening line is:

"My computer says that instead of......."

The Duck is back.

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

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Fri Mar 14, 2014 12:15 am

John Saunders wrote:
Jonathan Bryant wrote:In truth I’ve had next to nothing to do with the plagiarism series.
Could one of the S&B guys be trying to sidle away from the flak? Justin's starting to look very lonely suddenly. How long before Angus dives down a rabbit hole?
I don't think it has ever been a secret that EJH has written most of the Keene-related stuff on that blog - are you maybe seeing something that isn't there?
"Set up your attacks so that when the fire is out, it isn't out!" (H N Pillsbury)

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

Post by John Saunders » Fri Mar 14, 2014 12:24 am

Roger de Coverly wrote: Bottom line, if you don't want adverse comments, don't be photographed with dubious characters, or if you are, make sure they aren't published worldwide. There were some who thought, rightly, that the publicity should concentrate on the players rather than notorious self-publicists.
That is so ridiculous a statement that it's hard to know where to start. But perhaps the first thing to do is quote it so you can't go back and edit it.

'Dubious characters'... 'notorious self-publicists' - who are you talking about it? Spit it out, Roger. And what precisely do you mean by 'dubious' and 'notorious? Don't be mealy-mouthed. Do you mean people who commit copyright infringement? That could be rather more than one person, couldn't it?

How would someone make sure the photo wasn't published? I took the photo and was under the impression that all the people in it were perfectly happy to appear in the same shot with each other. "There were some who thought" is a real de Coverly special - one bloke on the forum voiced that opinion. I thought at the time that it was an astonishingly stupid opinion, born out of ignorance of the circumstances under which photographs were taken and uploaded to the web. The photos were uploaded in the chronological order in which they were taken. Simple as that. And, from the order in which the photos appeared on Twitter, the forumite in question concocted the notion that the match was more about the guests than the players. Laughable! Probably the silliest conspiracy theory of all time.

So what you are saying is that it was the match sponsor's own fault for associating with these people, and so he can expect to be trashed on this forum, are you? I'm afraid I find that view little short of despicable and one which could potentially cause damage to chess in this country.
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IanDavis
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Re: Chess magazines' coverage of chess literature scandals

Post by IanDavis » Fri Mar 14, 2014 12:31 am

Who are the directors of Chess and Bridge Limited?

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