Chess Notes

Edward Winter

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3 October 2015: C.N.s 9510-9513

Thomas Rayner Dawson

A selection of feature articles:

Steinitz v von Bardeleben
An Indian Copying Mystery
A Unique Chess Writer
Attacks on Howard Staunton

Archives (including all feature articles)

9510. St Louis, 2015

As mentioned in C.N. 9368, we show recent signed items from our collection only occasionally. The latest addition, a photograph taken during the first round of the Sinquefield Cup in St Louis on 23 August 2015 and signed by all ten participants, has kindly been sent to us by Yasser Seirawan:

st louis sinquefield

9511. ‘According to Wikipedia ...’

To state the obvious, or what ought to be, great wariness is required over ‘community’ websites which, instead of trying to get matters correct from the outset, allow individuals, usually unnamed, to post whatever they choose. The onus is placed on others to try to make rectifications if they can be bothered.

In the particular case of Wikipedia, the quality of chess entries varies enormously (C.N. 5919 named two good ones, and there has been considerable overall improvement to the site since then). Discernment remains essential, and quoting Wikipedia is not a step to be taken lightly.

In C.N. 8110 (see Chess: The Need for Sources) a correspondent pointed out that in The Immortal Game by David Shenk (New York, 2006) ‘details of Spassky’s chess career are attributed to a Wikipedia entry’. Recent books with no qualms about citing Wikipedia include Miguel A. Sánchez’s volume on Capablanca (C.N. 9456); see pages 509 and 527. From the latter page:

‘According to Wikipedia ... But according to the more reliable version of Andy Soltis in ...’

McFarland books really should do better than that.

In Players and Pawns (C.N. 9500) the endnotes offered by Professor Gary Alan Fine include one on page 241 which gives a Wikipedia link combined with a reference to an atrocious book by Larry Evans, This Crazy World of Chess. On page 256 the Professor refers to Wikipedia for information about Claude Bloodgood.

On page 9 of Carlsen move by move (London, 2014) the vastly over-published Cyrus Lakdawala even quoted Wikipedia on matters of opinion:

‘Wikipedia says of Carlsen’s opening play: “He does not focus on opening preparation as much as other top players, and plays a variety of openings, making it harder for opponents to prepare against him.”’

The most glaring example found so far of a chess book’s lazy use of Wikipedia is on page 11 of Chess Openings for Dummies by James Eade (Hoboken, 2010):

‘According to Wikipedia, The Oxford Companion to Chess lists 1,327 named chess openings and variations.’

9512. Jottings on a wonderful study (C.N. 9508)

Joose Norri (Helsinki) notes an article by T.G. Whitworth about the 1922 study on pages 69-70 of EG issue 69 (July 1982): ‘Kubbel – A Case of Lèse Majesté?’.


9513. Speyer/Speijer v Lasker match

From Jan Kalendovský (Brno, Czech Republic) comes the front page of the Dutch publication De Revue der Sporten, 7 January 1909:

speyer speijer Lasker

The position is recognizable as from the second match-game, a draw played on 27 December 1908.

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Copyright: Edward Winter. All rights reserved.