Do you believe in God

A section to discuss matters not related to Chess in particular.
Simon Spivack
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Re: Do you believe in God

Post by Simon Spivack » Thu Jun 16, 2011 8:19 am

George Szaszvari wrote:How wonderfully coy of you, Simon! You yourself expanded on what was earlier postulated in this thread on a matter
raised by several other posters here discussing Jews in chess, with the inevitable reference to anti-Semitism.
Those who turn to page eight of this thread will see that I was answering a question about strong Jewish chess players. Robert Dale was asking why there are so many, which Jack Rudd and I took to mean for the past as well as the present. I gave an indication that a big majority of the very strongest Russian chess players of today are not obviously of Jewish origin.

Neither Hitler nor Lenin was a strong chess player.

A man's ethnic origins are a matter of supreme indifference to me. Do we have things in common? Do we get on? Those are the sorts of things I value. If we have a similar background, then it is likely that we will have a subject to share, but that is all the allowance I make for ethnicity.
George Szaszvari wrote:Adolf was mentioned as a leading anti-Semite of modern history who was very probably part Jewish himself.
This irrelevancy was brought up by George. He is quite entitled to believe any theory going, but that doesn't mean that others have to engage in a conversation about it. There may be better Internet groups for that sort of thing.
George Szaszvari wrote:... it was of interest to the run of the subject then under discussion, which might have spawned yet another sub-thread, tending to be of interest to people of my age (and older) and background, but nobody seemed able or willing ("Adolf fatigue"...?)
It was of interest to George. It has no bearing on why there are, or were, so many strong Jewish chess players.

George is perfectly entitled to start a thread on whether Hitler was part Jewish. I'd consider it to be in extremely poor taste and I certainly will not post to it. He might, however, consider giving proper references from serious authors, not that there are any for this.
George Szaszvari wrote:Although Vladimir Ilich was supposed to have played chess
There is no "supposed" about it. He did. He was no grandmaster. Given it is not something of interest to me, at least not at the moment, I don't propose to chase up the references. As I recall, it is mentioned in Adam Ulam's book on Lenin, although whether it is in the index must be doubtful. If it is not in the index, it is best to start reading from early in the biography, when Lenin was a teenager, or possibly early twenties: he played chess against family members. There may be on the Internet somewhere a photo of Lenin playing against Maxim Gorky on Capri.

George Szaszvari
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Re: Do you believe in God

Post by George Szaszvari » Thu Jun 16, 2011 8:00 pm

Simon Spivack wrote:Those who turn to page eight of this thread will see that I was answering a question about strong Jewish chess players.
And don't forget your reply also contributed to the anti-Semitism discussion. About half of that posting, perhaps?
Simon Spivack wrote:A man's ethnic origins are a matter of supreme indifference to me. Do we have things in common? Do we get on? Those are the sorts of things I value. If we have a similar background, then it is likely that we will have a subject to share, but that is all the allowance I make for ethnicity.
That's fine, Simon, and I agree with your outlook, as I believe the vast majority also do on this forum.
George Szaszvari wrote:Adolf was mentioned as a leading anti-Semite of modern history who was very probably part Jewish himself.
Simon Spivack wrote:This irrelevancy was brought up by George. He is quite entitled to believe any theory going, but that doesn't mean that others have to engage in a conversation about it. There may be better Internet groups for that sort of thing.
Irrelevant? Several posters were expanding on anti-Semitism by the time I chimed in with this:

While orthodox Jews throughout history tended to try to keep the faith by by procreating within their group,
there were also conversions into Judaism from without, as well as less orthodox Jews simply dropping their
religious attachments and melding into Gentile society, or even by intermarriage with Gentiles, sometimes
keeping some Judaic traditions intact, and sometimes becoming Gentile (like Josephine Sarah Marcus, Wyatt
Earp's post Tombstone "common law" wife), with a lot of grey areas of co-existence in between. When looking
into and discussing ethnic backgrounds with friends and acquaintances over the years, I found that most
supposed "Gentiles" have all kinds of surprisingly interesting ancestral links, not least this Judaic connection.
Don't forget that one of the greatest anti-Semites in history, Adolf Schickelgruber, was part Jewish himself.


Readers will observe that the Adolf reference alludes to the widespread Judaic links in Gentile ancestry (besides
neatly tying into the anti-Semitic aspect.) The real point of bringing up the Vladimir Ilich revelation was that it
was another great example of Judaic ancestral links in a Gentile's family tree. Furthermore, anyone who doesn't
wanna discuss it doesn't have to.

I have fond memories of you as a good chess friend, Simon, and I want to keep it that way, and it is not my
intention to hurt, so please accept my apologies for bringing stuff up that clearly upsets you. I'll do my best
to avoid directly referencing your postings in my replies and postings from now on whenever these touchy
subjects arise.

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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: Do you believe in God

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Thu Jun 16, 2011 9:48 pm

Simon Spivack wrote:There is no "supposed" about it. He did. He was no grandmaster. Given it is not something of interest to me, at least not at the moment, I don't propose to chase up the references. As I recall, it is mentioned in Adam Ulam's book on Lenin, although whether it is in the index must be doubtful. If it is not in the index, it is best to start reading from early in the biography, when Lenin was a teenager, or possibly early twenties: he played chess against family members. There may be on the Internet somewhere a photo of Lenin playing against Maxim Gorky on Capri.
Not to drag the thread too far off topic, but on the subject of Lenin playing chess, I linked to some photos from a Russian photo agency in this thread, including some of Lenin:

http://www.ecforum.org.uk/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=2628

Typically, the site has been restructured, so the links in that thread take you to the Russian language pages (OK for some, but not for most), rather than the English ones.

But I went looking and found some more Lenin "chess" pictures (he was playing Bogdanov at Gorky's residence):

http://visualrian.ru/en/site/gallery/#9360
http://visualrian.ru/en/site/gallery/#597208
http://visualrian.ru/en/site/gallery/#754152
http://visualrian.ru/en/site/gallery/#753959

That last one does say:

"From the series "The Youth of Ilyich" (1889-1893)."

So that is the period to look for in biographies.

And a "chess table with a secret drawer to keep illegal documents in":

http://visualrian.ru/en/site/gallery/#744884
http://visualrian.ru/en/site/gallery/#745083

Possibly the uncertainty George refers to was over whether Hitler and Lenin played chess, as covered here:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/cult ... Lenin.html

So we've come back to Hitler, and therefore should carry on talking about belief in God.

George Szaszvari
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Re: Do you believe in God

Post by George Szaszvari » Fri Jun 17, 2011 12:18 am

Christopher Kreuzer wrote: Not to drag the thread too far off topic, but on the subject of Lenin playing chess, I linked to some photos from a Russian photo agency in this thread, including some of Lenin....
...Possibly the uncertainty George refers to was over whether Hitler and Lenin played chess...
Nice one Christopher. Actually the references to the historical figures in question were about Jewish ancestry being
more widespread in Gentile family trees than might be generally supposed, making the history of Gentile anti-Semitism
all the more ironic, and not, in Adolf's case, as someone who might have played chess. Like most chessplayers of my
generation I was familiar with the frequent references to Vladimir Ilich and chess in Soviet chess literature (with one
or two accompanying famous photos,) and I wrote "supposed" because I wasn't sure how far his chess playing interest
or ability had been stretched for propaganda purposes.

Anyway, getting back to the topic "do you believe in God?", let me just add to all the wasted bandwidth :shock:
that God, Yahweh, Ain-Soph, Allah, Brahman, or whatever ya wanna call the ultimate universal power/intelligence,
manifest or unmanifest, is a matter of personal experience, i.e. consciousness, not argument, proof, or anything else.
Now, to all you debunkers, go put that in your pipes and smoke it! :wink:

Simon Spivack
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Re: Do you believe in God

Post by Simon Spivack » Fri Jun 17, 2011 10:42 am

My patience has finally snapped.
George Szaszvari wrote:Adolf was mentioned as a leading anti-Semite of modern history who was very probably part Jewish himself.
Repeating this anti-Semitic lie, the post-war version of which stems from Hans Frank, doesn't make it true. This lie was comprehensively debunked by Professor Ian Kershaw, an infinitely more substantial figure than the detritus relied upon by George.

Stories about Hitler's alleged Jewishness date back to the 1920s. They fall down because Jews were not allowed into Styria at the time. It takes a certain mind to jump to the conclusion that the father of an illegitimate child must be a Jew when there were no Jews in the province.

George's revelation (sic) belongs in a romper room. Perhaps he can listen to Prussian Blue in concert whilst posting there. People who repeat this anti-Semitic lie are either mad, stupid, ignorant or anti-Semitic. Perhaps we should start a sub-thread to identify how many of these boxes George ticks?

George Szaszvari
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Re: Do you believe in God

Post by George Szaszvari » Fri Jun 17, 2011 6:37 pm

Simon Spivack wrote:My patience has finally snapped.
George Szaszvari wrote:Adolf was mentioned as a leading anti-Semite of modern history who was very probably part Jewish himself.
Repeating this anti-Semitic lie, the post-war version of which stems from Hans Frank, doesn't make it true. This lie was comprehensively debunked by Professor Ian Kershaw, an infinitely more substantial figure than the detritus relied upon by George.

Stories about Hitler's alleged Jewishness date back to the 1920s. They fall down because Jews were not allowed into Styria at the time. It takes a certain mind to jump to the conclusion that the father of an illegitimate child must be a Jew when there were no Jews in the province.

George's revelation (sic) belongs in a romper room. Perhaps he can listen to Prussian Blue in concert whilst posting there. People who repeat this anti-Semitic lie are either mad, stupid, ignorant or anti-Semitic. Perhaps we should start a sub-thread to identify how many of these boxes George ticks?
I feel very sorry for you, Simon.

Robert Dale
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Re: Do you believe in God

Post by Robert Dale » Fri Jun 17, 2011 7:36 pm

We seem to be proving "Godwin's Law" (As an online discussion grows longer the probablility of a comparison involving the Nazis or Hitler approaches 100%) Before George and Simon upset each other too much, it might be good to get back to chess!

Regarding my question about the number of good Jewish chess players, yes, I suppose I was thinking in the past. Was it just a temporary phenomenon? Why is it less so today? Boris Alterman is doing some good work with Israeli juniors. Will there be a new generation of Israeli GMs?

I guess the answer to the original question is that there is no particular correlation between chess and religious belief. Chess players are simply human beings with the same range of belief and nonbelief as the rest of mankind.

George Szaszvari
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Re: Do you believe in God

Post by George Szaszvari » Fri Jun 17, 2011 9:31 pm

Robert Dale wrote:We seem to be proving "Godwin's Law" (As an online discussion grows longer the probablility of a comparison involving the Nazis or Hitler approaches 100%) Before George and Simon upset each other too much,
God(win) forbid! :wink:
Robert Dale wrote:....it might be good to get back to chess!
Notwithstanding this is the Not Chess forum :P
Robert Dale wrote: ....Chess players are simply human beings with the same range of belief and nonbelief as the rest of mankind.
Simply human beings? Humanoid life forms, perhaps, but doesn't the game seem to attract a disproportionate number
of introverted types, even social misfits, if not yer actual complete fruitcakes.... look at the number of nutty world
champions, the most embarrassing being Fischer. For all the great publicity he gave to chess in 1971-72, he undid
all that good work with his subsequent bizarre ravings (just like some posters in these forums).... and as for Fischer's
Jewish Hungarian ancestry.... Aaaaaaarrrrrgggghhh :lol: :lol:

PeterTurland
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Re: Do you believe in God

Post by PeterTurland » Fri Jun 17, 2011 10:26 pm

George Szaszvari wrote:
Robert Dale wrote:We seem to be proving "Godwin's Law" (As an online discussion grows longer the probablility of a comparison involving the Nazis or Hitler approaches 100%) Before George and Simon upset each other too much,
God(win) forbid! :wink:
Robert Dale wrote:....it might be good to get back to chess!
Notwithstanding this is the Not Chess forum :P
Robert Dale wrote: ....Chess players are simply human beings with the same range of belief and nonbelief as the rest of mankind.
Simply human beings? Humanoid life forms, perhaps, but doesn't the game seem to attract a disproportionate number
of introverted types, even social misfits, if not yer actual complete fruitcakes.... look at the number of nutty world
champions, the most embarrassing being Fischer. For all the great publicity he gave to chess in 1971-72, he undid
all that good work with his subsequent bizarre ravings (just like some posters in these forums).... and as for Fischer's
Jewish Hungarian ancestry.... Aaaaaaarrrrrgggghhh :lol: :lol:
I don't believe in god, instead I believe in chess.

George Szaszvari
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Re: Do you believe in God

Post by George Szaszvari » Fri Jun 17, 2011 11:17 pm

PeterTurland wrote: I don't believe in god, instead I believe in chess.
Er, yes, sure, whatever you say, Peter ....

PeterTurland
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Re: Do you believe in God

Post by PeterTurland » Fri Jun 17, 2011 11:40 pm

George Szaszvari wrote:
PeterTurland wrote: I don't believe in god, instead I believe in chess.
Er, yes, sure, whatever you say, Peter ....
Just to make things clear I'm crap at god.

George Szaszvari
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Re: Do you believe in God

Post by George Szaszvari » Sat Jun 18, 2011 12:42 am

PeterTurland wrote:
George Szaszvari wrote:
PeterTurland wrote: I don't believe in god, instead I believe in chess.
Er, yes, sure, whatever you say, Peter ....
Just to make things clear I'm crap at god.
Not true, Peter! We, all and everything, are existing "in God". You are no more
crap at existing (whether manifest or otherwise) than anyone or anything else.

Keith Arkell
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Re: Do you believe in God

Post by Keith Arkell » Sat Jun 18, 2011 12:55 am

George Szaszvari wrote: look at the number of nutty world
champions, the most embarrassing being Fischer.
The others being?...

John Moore
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Re: Do you believe in God

Post by John Moore » Mon Jun 20, 2011 8:55 pm

Steinitz had mental health problems - Alekhine was an alcholic - Tal was an alcholic.

John Moore
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Re: Do you believe in God

Post by John Moore » Mon Jun 20, 2011 8:56 pm

Wish I could spell alcoholic

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