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The Moves That Matter by Jonathan Rowson

Posted: Thu Dec 19, 2019 10:38 am
by Geoff Chandler
Jonathan Rowson's The Moves That Matter is reviewed in the Times Literary Supplement by Justin.

Re: The Moves That Matter by Jonathan Rowson

Posted: Thu Dec 19, 2019 12:08 pm
by JustinHorton
Incidentally Geoff one of your old pages came in handy while I was researching my piece.

Re: The Moves That Matter by Jonathan Rowson

Posted: Thu Dec 19, 2019 8:40 pm
by Geoff Chandler
Hi Justin,

Glad to hear I have helped but please careful lifting stuff from one of my old pages....I copy most of it from Raymond Keene. ;)

Re: The Moves That Matter by Jonathan Rowson

Posted: Sun Dec 22, 2019 6:46 pm
by John Moore
Reading Justin's review made me think that Jonathan Rowson is heading in the same direction as his Scottish grandmaster colleague, Paul Motwani, who produced some right old rubbish in his books in between some excellent game annotations.

Re: The Moves That Matter by Jonathan Rowson

Posted: Sun Dec 22, 2019 7:21 pm
by NickFaulks
Geoff Chandler wrote:
Thu Dec 19, 2019 10:38 am
Jonathan Rowson's The Moves That Matter is reviewed in the Times Literary Supplement by Justin.
Well written self-parody is usually enjoyable, above all for the writer.

Re: The Moves That Matter by Jonathan Rowson

Posted: Mon Dec 23, 2019 5:23 pm
by John Moore
I see from the current issue of New in Chess magazine that there is a review of The Moves that Matter. The magazine only arrived this morning so I haven't yet read that section.

Re: The Moves That Matter by Jonathan Rowson

Posted: Mon Dec 23, 2019 10:06 pm
by Kevin Thurlow
Amazon UK has some reviews also.

As I said elsewhere (by mistake), New In Chess publishes an extract from the book, not a review.

Re: The Moves That Matter by Jonathan Rowson

Posted: Tue Dec 24, 2019 9:59 am
by MJMcCready
NickFaulks wrote:
Sun Dec 22, 2019 7:21 pm
Geoff Chandler wrote:
Thu Dec 19, 2019 10:38 am
Jonathan Rowson's The Moves That Matter is reviewed in the Times Literary Supplement by Justin.
Well written self-parody is usually enjoyable, above all for the writer.
I have bought that text and begun reading it. The review, I thought, is rather pedantic since it focuses so much on minor details and inaccuracies, and in doing so bypasses the normative aspects of the text; the richness of the text, the purpose of writing and writing process too. It's unforfunate that errors exist but what is to be gained by making such a big deal out of the odd inaccuracy? Why weren't they referred to in context instead of plucked out of the air at random? What can possibly be achieved by an approach like that? Thankfully, the author found it rather amusing and somewhat missing the point. But if the reviewer disliked the publication as much as he states, why on earth review it in the first place? It read more like a rant than a review, whichever it was, ist told me a lot more about the reviewer than the text itself.

Re: The Moves That Matter by Jonathan Rowson

Posted: Tue Dec 24, 2019 10:16 am
by JustinHorton
MJMcCready wrote:
Tue Dec 24, 2019 9:59 am
But if the reviewer disliked the publication as much as he states, why on earth review it in the first place?
What a bizarre thing to say. Do you imagine that reviewers read the books before they are contracted to review them?

Re: The Moves That Matter by Jonathan Rowson

Posted: Tue Dec 24, 2019 12:20 pm
by MJMcCready
You were not forced to write it, you chose to write it the way that suited you and you have not identified your purpose for writing a review. Claiming you were contracted to and thus had to is a poor excuse in my opinion. Do you honestly believe what you wrote says more about the publication you reviewed than yourself? To call that a review really is streching things, it really is given there's no mention of style, genre and literary and stylistic devices. It left me with a sense that you either don't like the author personally or just don't like reading per se, or thirdly you don't like reading what Rowson writes. Did you stop to think that's how you come across?

Sorry Justin, I know you have written much great stuff before but that review of yours needed much more care put into it.

Re: The Moves That Matter by Jonathan Rowson

Posted: Tue Dec 24, 2019 12:21 pm
by JustinHorton
MJMcCready wrote:
Tue Dec 24, 2019 12:20 pm
you have not identified your purpose for writing a review.
What does this even mean?

Re: The Moves That Matter by Jonathan Rowson

Posted: Tue Dec 24, 2019 1:54 pm
by MJMcCready
It means what is says and only that. Did you write it to discourage the public from buying it? Did you write it because the richness of the text itself makes it accessible to so many? Was it you wanted to illustrate how the writer's style has developed over time? So much of the publication is absent in your review its hard to understand what your motive was for writing it? It reads like you don't think its worth buying and want to foreworn the public. To me that is perplexing because Rowson is well-educated and has a lot to say. He has clearly poured his heart and soul into that publication, and to my mind deserves credit for it. Anything rewritten ten times -as he claimed it was -will most likely contain some errors but I fail to see how they detract from the publication. As we all know, when a project is so engaging, fatigue will inevitably creep in. I thought you were being unnecessarily harsh to draw attention to such matters. There is much good in what Rowson writes yet you said so little about that.

Re: The Moves That Matter by Jonathan Rowson

Posted: Tue Dec 24, 2019 2:14 pm
by JustinHorton
I wrote it because the publication asked me to write it. It was a professional undertaking. Anything else is your imagination.

Re: The Moves That Matter by Jonathan Rowson

Posted: Tue Dec 24, 2019 3:50 pm
by John McKenna
What's written, immediately above, is in the 'Woodstein' vein.

https://www.nytimes.com/2005/06/03/poli ... y-lap.html

Justin 'Woodward' H always gives us the bald facts, man.

Jon 'Bernstein' B will probably be along, at some point in time, to back up with the figures and stats from his eveready note pad.

The bare truth, with fully sourced attributions included, whenever possible, must be told.

[NB: MJM is probably in possession of an overactive imagination, w.r.t this topic, and others, aided and abetted by frequenting and lingering about in foreign climes.]

Re: The Moves That Matter by Jonathan Rowson

Posted: Tue Dec 24, 2019 4:12 pm
by MJMcCready
Imagination is a poorly chosen term, interpretation is better. Some of us have spent a life in acaedmia and have stood before others to defend what we have written. The first question you are usually asked is to define your purpose for writing, followed by a definiton of the terms you employ. If you can't question what you do, you shouldn't question others. What is the purpose of a review? What was the review written for and for whom? These are basic questions that define purpose and the first points that any informed reader will look for.

John, if you feel like you are up for it, you are welcome to explain yourself with opinion that is rationally informed. I take it you have read The Moves that Matter and see where I am coming from right?