Wednesday, June 20, 2007

How's Wikipedia For You?

From an interesting interview with David Glickman of Boylston Chess Club, and its well-known chess blog:
There have been a couple of attempts to include articles in Wikipedia on chess blogs or the Knights Errant and in each case the Wikipedia community (I affectionately refer to them as “Pinheads”) has decided to remove them. Clint Ballard ran into the same problem when he tried to post an article on his controversial BAP chess tournament scoring system.

It seems that the free, open Encyclopaedia isn’t as free or open as we’ve been led to believe. I’m reminded of a quote from Orwell’s “Animal House” [sic]: “All animals are equal but some are more equal than others.”
This, I have to say, is not the first time I've heard complaints about a clique dominating wikipedia's chess content.

I have a few quibbles from my direct experience too. For instance, it's coming up to a year since I tagged with a query the article on sacrifice in chess - which to me has some rather odd parts - and as yet no response, correction, talk; nothing. Although I had more luck with my query about the French Defence page, which after four or so months served to correct the erroneous statement that Kasparov beat Short in the Exchange Variation. (In fact they drew.)

Enough nitpicking. After all, it could be worse, so perhaps we ought be grateful. How are the wikipedia chess pages for you?


David Glickman said...

Only now do I realize the horrible, but silly, mistake of referring to Orwell's piece as Animal House rather than Animal Farm. This is obviously a symptom of my formative years coinciding with the 1980's.

NotACat said...

If you think there's a problem with that page, why don't you go in and correct it yourself?

Sometimes it works better just to announce your changes on the talk-page then apply them. Just sitting around waiting for someone to happen upon your comments is polite (a lot more polite than certain dog foods I could mention) but in the long run not so very successful (as you've discovered ;-)

If anybody gives you grief, just stay calm, don't actually call anybody a "pinhead" (outside your head, that is ;-) and you can call me if you need.

Tom Chivers said...

Hi Phil,

The reason I wouldn't do that any more (but have done so a few times) is I have seen several of my friends do that, and then get called sock-puppet spammers by the chess people there already. I am referring to people I know individually, have a pint with, and so forth - so I know for a fact the immediate knee-jerk accusations from the 'established' chess wikipedians were all incorrect. But they were strong enough to force them out of wikipedia. So I don't see the point with people like that around.

Thanks for your comment though and link to your page.

dg - happens to the best of us, I see it's corrected in the original now!

Tom Chivers said...

Well, it's not this bad...

Anonymous said...

I recently chanced across the article on the Grob, in which one Nick Pelling claims credit for a line that noone of any importance has ever played.

So I removed the relevant paragraph. And now, I have to admit, I find I'm rather disappointed that noone wants to argue with me about it.

Anonymous said...

Mostly I am happy that Wikipedia has so much chess content -there is information there I would not have gleaned from many paper publications. I was pleasantly surprised to see the Vera Menchik page corrected recently, having reported some incorrectness over a year ago.

I'm still disappointed about the "everywhere girl" situation though. I think she deserves the entry.