The English Language

A section to discuss matters not related to Chess in particular.
soheil_hooshdaran
Posts: 2014
Joined: Tue Nov 05, 2013 5:24 pm

The English Language

Post by soheil_hooshdaran » Thu Mar 27, 2014 3:05 am

Hi.

What does 'rigor' mean in:

Though some uninformed people feel that there is only one correct way to play chess, the experienced chess fanatic comes to realize that every player has his or her unique style of play, each as valid as any other. Some players excel in a purely logical approach to chess, breaking each game down and analyzing it with the rigor of scientists. Others rely on delicate maneuvers and subtle positional understanding, imbuing their games with clarity and depth and rendering each game with the artistic flair of classical musicians. The style that has always appealed most to the public, though, is that of the crazed, attacking maniac. This type of player delights in sacrificing his pieces and pawns in an all-out effort to drag down the enemy King as quickly as possible.

?Thanks in advance

Andy Stoker
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Re: rigor

Post by Andy Stoker » Thu Mar 27, 2014 7:14 am

I think that the word "rigor" (or "rigour" as the English spell it) in this context refers to detailed calculations and evaluations of positions - as a computer plays ... calculating as many variations as possible and analysing all the positions that result ... making no assumptions, taking nothing for granted, not content to accept general assessments of the position.

Here's a quotation from the great Cuban which might help:
"If chess is considered an exact science it is obvious that there must exist only one correct way of playing, whatever that is, and it solely remains to find it. If it is considered an art, then there must be various ways, and the choice is completely dependent upon the individual characteristics of the player. He will naturally favour the kind of play in which his talent is most at home." Capablanca (1927)

John McKenna
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Re: rigor

Post by John McKenna » Thu Mar 27, 2014 5:42 pm

Andy Stoker gives the source (Capablanca) of his quotation but soheil_hooshdaran does not. What was the source, please?

Here is a book about it (rigor/rigour). The word is often used to indicate mathematical thoroughness. E.g. a rigourous proof.

Perfect Rigor (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2009), Masha Gessen

And, a review by Tom Stoppard -

In 2000 the Clay Mathematics Institute, a non-profit organisation based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, offered £1m – each – for the solution of seven problems that had continued to resist the best efforts of the best brains. Two years later, a Russian mathematician, Grigori Perelman, proved the Poincaré conjecture, which people had been working on for 98 years. Then he refused the million dollars. He felt insulted and betrayed. Perelman and the world of Soviet maths training make a fascinating, moving tale, and in Perfect Rigor (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), Masha Gessen tells it brilliantly.
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

soheil_hooshdaran
Posts: 2014
Joined: Tue Nov 05, 2013 5:24 pm

Piece

Post by soheil_hooshdaran » Sun Mar 30, 2014 3:49 am

Hi.
Sometimes it refers to chessmen in general and sometimes to chessmen other than pawn, right?

examples:
In his 'Play Wining Chess', GM Seirawan wrote(p.75):
"One Move per Piece
This brings us to a very useful principle:
Don't move a piece twice in the opening.
Only when all your pieces are developed should you move one of them a second time, in an effort to build up a decisive attack. When you move the same piece twice in the opening, you lose time."

However, on page 76, just one page later, after 1.e4 d5 2.exd5:
"Is he violating the principle of not moving a piece twice in the opening? "

or on page 108, after 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3. Nc3, he wrote:
"White continues to develop pieces and put pressure on the center."

How can one decide which meaning is intended?

Thanks in advance

soheil_hooshdaran
Posts: 2014
Joined: Tue Nov 05, 2013 5:24 pm

little

Post by soheil_hooshdaran » Sun Mar 30, 2014 9:49 am

Hi.
What does 'little' mean in:
Clearly the weakest man on the board. the little pawn may seem unimportant. (from Play Winning Chess)

?Thanks in advance

Mike Gunn
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Re: little

Post by Mike Gunn » Sun Mar 30, 2014 11:47 am

Small.

Mike Gunn
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Re: Piece

Post by Mike Gunn » Sun Mar 30, 2014 11:49 am

By the context.

John McKenna
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Re: Piece

Post by John McKenna » Sun Mar 30, 2014 12:27 pm

soheil_hooshdaran>How can one decide which meaning is intended?<

Mike Gunn>By the context.<

Expanding Mike's correct but curt response -

Normally the 32 chessmen - 16 black and 16 white - are differentiated in words as pawns, minor pieces (bishops & knights), major pieces (rooks & queens) and the two kings.

So, in game scores and variations it is easy to determine - if any one of the letters N,B,R,Q,K is used it indicates a piece is being moved and where there is no letter at all it indicates a pawn. That the writer uses 'piece' instead of 'pawn' is an idiosyncrasy (a characteristic of though or behaviour peculiar to an individual or group) - one that some will consider lazy and annoying. Given the context and a little though it should not be hard to understand what he means and that there should be no real problem with way he uses the word 'piece' to mean both pieces and pawns.

I agree that the examples you have given above may also cause some readers a little bit of confusion because the writer takes the liberty of using the word 'piece' too loosely. Hence it could be termed a loose piece of writing.
Seirawan, like a great many modern American citizens of foreign origin (born 1960 in Damascus to a Syrian father and English mother) probably chooses to ignore some of the the nuances and niceties of the English language at times for reasons of expediency.

You write like a person of foreign origin who is also somewhat ignorant of the semantics of English but I suspect you are not totally of either persuasion.

That begs the question - what does soheil_hooshdaran mean (by asking seemingly trivial questions)?

For example - does it mean that you are, like Seirawan, born of Eastern parentage but you are educated and living in the West and that you are now, unlike Seirawan, finding the idiosyncrasies of the English language and Seirawan questionable?
Last edited by John McKenna on Mon Mar 31, 2014 9:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

Michael Flatt
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Location: Hertfordshire

Re: Piece

Post by Michael Flatt » Sun Mar 30, 2014 1:53 pm

I would agree with Mike Gunn's simple answer. There is no other precise answer.

soheil_hooshdaran, if I recall correctly, has asked related questions on chess terminology and English usage in an earlier thread, in which he explains his particular interest.

John McKenna
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Re: Piece

Post by John McKenna » Sun Mar 30, 2014 2:37 pm

Michael Flatt wrote:I would agree with Mike Gunn's simple answer. There is no other precise answer.

soheil_hooshdaran, if I recall correctly, has asked related questions on chess terminology and English usage in an earlier thread, in which he explains his particular interest.
First, Michael Flatt, I would not call Mike Gunn's answer precise. (Edit: Perhaps you meant to use the word concise.)
Brief, yes, and to the point but being so it lacks precision, which is what I tried to provide.

Second, yes Michael, you recall correctly, but do you recall the exact and complete context in which that was revealed -

soheil_hooshdaran>

Post subject: Bank account
Posted: Tue Nov 12, 2013 1:24 pm

Hello. I am a chess translator from Iran.
I want to know what does it take to open an international bank account in GBR so that I ask say, Everyman chess, to open an account in a branch of an Iranian bank there so that I can transfer them money securely to them.<

Now, when I read that I start to think I'd better start reading between the lines...

And so when I see the following -

soheil_hooshdaran>
Post subject: little
PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2014 9:49 am

Joined: Tue Nov 05, 2013 6:24 pm
Posts: 12

Hi.
What does 'little' mean in:
Clearly the weakest man on the board. the little pawn may seem unimportant. (from Play Winning Chess)

?Thanks in advance<

I feel as if, instead of ending up in a sublime state of Persian poesy, things have been reduced to next to nothing by a veritable prince of poetasters.

Mike's reply below is an absolutely appropriate response.

Mike Gunn>Small.<

However, being brief and to the point it, too, is not entirely precise -

"little: (adjective) amounting to a small (!) quantity, small in comparison to related forms, small in condition, or scope, narrow, mean, not much, small in relation to duration, brief, trivial." (Edit: Longman Pocket English Dictionary)

The last - as in a trivial pawn - is sometimes used in chess literature.
To find a for(u)m that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now. (Samuel Beckett)

soheil_hooshdaran
Posts: 2014
Joined: Tue Nov 05, 2013 5:24 pm

Re: Piece

Post by soheil_hooshdaran » Tue Apr 08, 2014 12:25 pm

'Soheil' in my given name, Hooshdaran is my family name.

Michael Flatt
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Re: Piece

Post by Michael Flatt » Tue Apr 08, 2014 12:53 pm

Soheil,

Your facility in written English appears rather good from what I have seen on this forum. So, I am puzzled by the apparent difficulty you are having interpreting very simple and basic aspects of written English.

Is it necessary to focus so much on the exact meaning of a particular word which I believe could be readily gleamed from a good English dictionary? Published standard English dictionaries, I suggest, would be rather more useful than the simplistic online versions.

In understanding or translating a passage may I suggest that it may help to consider the text as a whole rather than specific words? Also, referring to a chessboard or relevant diagram would assist greatly in gaining an overall understanding of the text.

soheil_hooshdaran
Posts: 2014
Joined: Tue Nov 05, 2013 5:24 pm

lack of

Post by soheil_hooshdaran » Sun Apr 13, 2014 6:35 pm

Hello.
What does the following terms mean?
lack of space
lack of development
lack of mobility

Do they mean complete lack of, or not having enough of something? Is there a more relaxed version of these expressions?

Thanks in advance

User avatar
IM Jack Rudd
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Location: Bideford

Re: lack of

Post by IM Jack Rudd » Sun Apr 13, 2014 6:38 pm

Normally, not having enough.

Paul Douglass
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Re: lack of

Post by Paul Douglass » Sun Apr 13, 2014 7:17 pm

Nice to see a sincere reply off a moderator.
Paul Douglass

"Every time I win a tournament I have to think that there is something wrong with modern chess." - Victor Korchnoi

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