Timothy D. Harding (Chess Writer and Historian) by Edward Winter

Timothy D. Harding (Chess Writer and Historian)

Edward Winter

(2020)

Firstly, we reproduce C.N. 11819 (posted on 24 October 2020):


11819. A quiz question

Name the person who has written all the following:

(In his magazine he published a different version of the review, but still with only one specific reference to our book’s contents: ‘The “Knaves” of his title would seem to include Ray Keene and Eric Schiller but I had to smile at his exposure of the latter’s cheap and unfounded remark about one of my books in the item on page 271.’)

‘... looks very like Chess Notes, especially the (I won’t say undeserved) attacks on Ray Keene and Eric Schiller without which no article by Edward Winter would these days be complete. I am far from defending the hack-work of these guys but it is making Winter sound like a vinyl LP stuck in a groove. I also see that he is at the same lark on the Inside Chess website’;

(The above ignored, inter alia, the fact that in a personal message we had already told him regarding Raymond Keene: ‘I invite you to note how often his name has even been mentioned in C.N. since my column began in New in Chess about a year and a half ago. Answer: not once.’ Further details will be provided in due course on this point, and all the others in the present C.N. item.)

‘The kind of historical-biographical chess writing which essentially consists of snippets (even if they are arranged into “threads”) cannot in the end make any great contribution to chess history, consisting as it largely does of minor corrections to the record, a bit of debunking, a lot of hobby-horse-riding, some settling of scores and the occasional answer to readers’ questions’;



The answer to the ‘quiz question’ is, of course, Timothy Harding. Sources for all material are given below and, for ease of reference, throughout the present article the bullet points have now been numbered.

***

(1)

Sources: the Spring 1999 book reviews section (an article no longer on-line) at T.H.’s Chess Mail website, and page 55 of his printed magazine Chess Mail, June 1999.



(2)

Source: http://www.chessmail.com/austin.html (also no longer on-line), posted circa January 2000.



(3)

The passage quoted came from the February 2000 on-line edition of T.H.’s Chess Mail website, in this review of issue 31 (Autumn 1999) of Jonathan Manley’s magazine Kingpin:

kingpin

Below, in legible format, are the comments on our five-page Forum article:

kingpin

The Forum feature in Kingpin which T.H. was ‘a bit surprised to see’ in February 2000 had been appearing for a decade, having started in issue 16 (Spring 1990). C.N. began in New in Chess in the 5/1998 issue. Between the Forum and C.N. there was no overlap of material or conflict of interest.



(4)

It was at the correspondencechess.com website (yet another outlet no longer available on-line) that T.H. claimed in early 2000 that we had been sacked as a Chess Café columnist. In an e-mail message dated 10 February 2000, the owner of the Chess Café, Hanon Russell, asked him to correct his misstatement. When reporting back that he had done so, T.H. explained that he had written his words after seeing us praised on-line. Hanon Russell’s further replies to T.H. (a Chess Café columnist at the time) included the following: (a) ‘I don’t know why you have this juvenile obsession with Winter. All it serves to do is diminish you, not him, as a respectable journalist.’ (b) ‘You don’t like anything or anybody that praises Winter. Too bad. Get over it.’ (c) ‘You need to learn to toughen up and take the good with the bad, without throwing a temper tantrum every time you are criticized.’ (In this context, attention is drawn to the Postscript to the present article.)



(5)

Source: A Tale of Two Conferences by T. Harding at the Chess Café, October 2005. The relevant passage from the article:

harding



(6)

Source: page 40 of Battle at long range by T.H. (2009).



(7)

Source: an e-mail message dated 19 August 2012 from T.H. to Olimpiu G. Urcan (a longstanding contributor to C.N. and, at the time, also a Chess Café columnist).



(8)

Source: two posts by T.H. dated 7 November 2018 in the thread ‘Eric Schiller (1955-2018)’ in the obituary section of the English Chess Forum.



(9)

Source: page 292 of British Chess Literature to 1914 by T.H. (Jefferson, 2018).



(10)

Source: page 292 of British Chess Literature to 1914 by T.H. (Jefferson, 2018).



(11)

Source: post by T.H. dated 15 September 2020 in the chess history section of the English Chess Forum. The claim that we have made ‘many and unfair attacks’ on his work remains unsubstantiated, by him or by anyone else.

***

Postscript: Anyone inclined to use a word such as ‘vendetta’, ‘obsession’ or ‘feud’ is invited to consider this question: with the exception of point 9 (which was briefly referred to in C.N. 10815), where, until now, have we ever taken up publicly any of these criticisms of us that T.H. has published over the past two decades?



Latest update: 30 October 2020.

To the Chess Notes main page.

To the Archives for other feature articles.







Copyright: Edward Winter. All rights reserved.