Monday, February 15, 2010

Chiv Chat

  • Adam Raoof is "writing a short guide to starting your own chess club for the ECF and would welcome your advice and experiences". You can email him to let him know yours, or alternatively let him know via the EC Forum. For my part, I'd say that if at first you don't appear very high up on google searches, start a blog to go with your club. In fact, start a blog anyway. Why not?

  • On the subject of chess clubs and the internet, check out Kingston Chess Club's website. It's really good: easy to use, plenty of interesting content, annotated games, articles, the works.

  • Via Ryan Emmett -and then moments later via a Philosopher- a petition for the much-needed reform of UK Libel Law. Go sign it now, before I prattle on at length in the next bullet point about how bad UK libel law is and you forget to do so.

  • It's bad. Really bad. London's full of libel-tourists, here to launch law suits left right and centre- whilst international crooks hunker down in these parts, safe from exposure by journalists under the protection of our laws. Run into a specialist libel law firm and you'll have to spend thousands of pounds on legal advice just to answer their letters, innocent or not; if guilty, you'd better hope you committed the libel in one of the American states that allow you to sue back for three times the amount, thanks to the status freedom of speech holds on the other side of the pond.

  • What's this got to do with chess? Tenuously, for one thing Simon Singh is behind the petition - and he wrote a nice review of the book The Mechanical Turk - The Chess Playing Machine That Fooled The World. For another, I have to say I'm amazed that there aren't libel law suits all over the place in the UK chess scene. Or is everyone watering down their opinions? If so, imagine what will be said if the laws are repealed.

  • Dutch chess player and writer Arne Moll certainly didn't pull his punches when he negatively reviewed Viktor Moskalenko’s Revolutionize Your Chess over at Chess Vibes; now GM Moskalenko has hit back. The arguments in the comments seem set to continue. For my part, I think reviewing chess improvement books is virtually impossible - since you have to follow the book's advice to do so fully, but any improvement from doing so would at a minimum take months to manifest itself.

  • Still, I suppose I managed to be a total grump way-back-when I had time for chess by (1) following the advice in Jonathan Rowson's books and subsequently actually improving my chess, and then (2) giving his books a pretty negative review anyway. I intend to soon sell off my chess books, those probably included; but I have to say, after reading Moskalenko's reply I'm actually tempted to buy his. Review copy anyone?


Jonathan B said...

I'll have Chess for Zebras. Ta.

Also, re the libel issue - we have some experience of this issue ourselves of course.

Anonymous said...

How incredibly refreshing to see a review of a chess book which is negative at all!

Ryan said...

I just hope the Libel Law petition has some positive effect...

John Foley said...

Thanks for the mention of Kingston Chess Club. We are a small but enthusiastic group and want to give an insight into the activities and interests of members of a typical suburban chess club. Our members have a diverse range of chess interests - not just playing but its literature and history, its books and its cameraderie.

Acknowledgement to Michael Bennett's website design concept which is also to be found at Hendon Chess Club

It is great to see Streatham and Brixton produce such a consistently topical and lively club website.

ejh said...

How incredibly refreshing to see a review of a chess book which is negative at all!


Comment Moderator said...

RE: libel law

Anonymous said...

I see Dennis MacShane supports the Libel Reform Campaign.

Many years ago my Dad stood (and lost) against Mr. McShane for Presidency of the NUJ - this was after Mr MacShane had been fired by the BBC for calling a phone-in programme under a false name and accusing an MP of being a "crook".

Hope I got that right (gulp).


Anonymous said...

Sorry, I forgot a vital detail in my last comment. The programme which Dennis MacShane called using a false name was one for which he worked.