Wednesday, January 08, 2014

False notes

Everybody knows Chessgames.com, right? It's a site with a lot of chess games.

A lot of annotated chess games, come to that. For instance, there's a load here annotated by everybody's favourite chess columnist.

Including this one. Botvinnik-Euwe, world championship 1948, presented to us complete with...


...notes by International Grandmaster Raymond Keene.

Or so it says. He is, of course. They're not, of course.

Let's take a look at the introduction:


"He considered the following to be his best game." And so he did. It says so here, for instance.

Where's here?


Which is where you'll find all the other Chessgames.com notes, on pages 161 to 163.

1. White's move fourteen.

Chessgames.com:

My Great Predecessors:

Well, that couldn't be much more blatant, could it?

2. Black's move fourteen.

Chessgames.com:

My Great Predecessors:

Nor that. Nor any of the following.

3. Black's move sixteen.

Chessgames.com:

My Great Predecessors:

4. White's move eighteen.

Chessgames.com:

My Great Predecessors:

5. Black's move twenty-one.

Chessgames.com:


My Great Predecessors:

(That should be "breathe", the verb, not "breath", the noun. Do pay attention while you're plagiarising, Ray.)

6. White's move twenty-two.

Chessgames.com:

My Great Predecessors:

That's your lot. Six notes. And every word of all six notes taken exactly from the original.

No adaptation, no nothing. Pure copying. Pure plagiarism.

What was that again?


But they're not, are they, Chessgames.com?

UPDATE 13 January: the plagiarised annotations now seem to have been removed (see comments box below).

[Thanks to Pablo Byrne]

[Ray Keene plagiarism index]
[Plagiarised by Ray Keene index]
[Ray Keene index]

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

MGP II dates from 2003 and the earliest comments on the game at chessgames.com are from 2005. There's also a reference to an update on the notes to mention the World Championship tournament of 2007. It does seem to have taken a long time for anyone to cross check annotations against the MGP series.

Any comment at the chessgames.com site on the similarity of notes to those in MGP would presumably be deleted.


RdC

ejh said...

There's also a reference to an update on the notes to mention the World Championship tournament of 2007.

So there is. More on that tomorrow.

Any comment at the chessgames.com site on the similarity of notes to those in MGP would presumably be deleted.

Maybe. Maybe not.

Laurent S said...

I think a short mail to the publisher (Everyman Chess) is the best way to deal with this problem...

Laurent S said...

Btw. great blog : I loved your Christmas series on rook endgames :-)

ejh said...

I think a short mail to the publisher (Everyman Chess) is the best way to deal with this problem...

I have no reason to think so.

ejh said...

"Dear Everyman Chess

I was just wondering whether you made any agreement with Ray Keene to allow him to pass off other people's work as his own, for no good reason that anybody can think of, and why you've not mentioned this agreement in the six months that articles have been running detailing his plagiarism. I also wondered whether that agreement covered examples of plagiarism that do not involve your publications.

Yours etc"

Jonathan B said...

I loved your Christmas series on rook endgames :-)

Thanks
- the compiler of that series

Ashish said...

Are you a GM? I didn't think so. Obviously you cannot fathom the subtlety, not to mention finesse, involved in replacing the ellipsis with a period in your first example. What may seem to you a minor change, alters, indeed reverses, the entire meaning. Did you not read _Eats, Shoots & Leaves_?

GM Keene has performed such a delicate and important task, it brings tears to my eyes, and yet you defile his toils with these calumnious charges of plagiarism. For shame.

Anonymous said...

Well said, Ashish and let's not forget that Keene got his title the patriotic way, representing England. His credentials are impeccable: he worked as a second at world championship level and wrote a book on the match. He even looked after Kramnik's trophy for many years after the London "braingames" match.

John Cox said...

I know that last comment was a joke (at least I assume it was), but in case any innocent readers of this blog are misled, Mondo of course got his title the patriotic way, by representing England, sitting out several of the matches where he would have had to play Black, and downing tools once he had obtained the requisite score for fear that a loss would prevent him reaching the norm. This was because another GM was more important to English chess than a slightly better performance in some piddly world team championship, which his critics at the time failed to understand until he movingly explained it in his great work 'Becoming a Grandmaster'.

ejh said...

Was that the first place he'd published that explanation? I only ask because if it was, it might be the only piece of original work in the book.

Jonathan B said...

I just accidentally deleted a comment from Angus.

It was a link to Raymondo's shop in Streatham.

Anonymous said...

I think it's fair to note that chessgames.com cleaned up the game annotations: http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1032171

ejh said...

Yes, it is. Although what's now there is odd - are there no annotations in Battle of Bonn? (I've not read it.)