Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Predecessors III: Alekhine-Bogoljubow 1929

Four weeks ago today - 5 June 2013 - Ray's Times column annotated the game Alekhine-Bogoljubow, the fifth game in their 1929 world championship match. Here's the column.

If you were just looking idly at the column you might notice the small curiosity that the player of the Black pieces has his name spelled one way in the introduction

and another way in the notes.

Can you think why this might be?

Course you can.

It's because only the introduction is original. The notes are plagiarised from a very familiar source.

Here's Alekhine-Bogolujubow in Garry Kasparov's My Great Predecessors, Part One (Everyman, 2003) where it appears on pages 410 to 412.

Let's go through it note by note.

1. White's move seventeen.

My Great Predecessors:

Plagiarised almost word-for-word, albeit Ray has substituted "the best way" for "the only way" and "a" for "the". (I assume Alekhine's notes are from his Best Games, which I don't possess.)

2. Black's move twenty-one.

My Great Predecessors:

Every word of Ray's is plagiarised from my Great Predecessors.

3. Black's move twenty-three.


My Great Predecessors:
Ray's cut out the analysis and crowbarred in an "after which". After which, it's plagiarism word-for-word.

4. White's move twenty-six.

My Great Predecessors:

This time "and represent the" steps in for "A worthy" and Ray omits the exclamation mark. Everything else, plagiarism word-for-word.

5. Black's move thirty.

My Great Predecessors:

There is an additional "finally", but other than that, it is as you see.

6. Black's move forty-four.

My Great Predecessors:
Curious that Ray should omit Kasparov's improvement on Sozin. He hasn't omitted much else.

So there you have it. Ray doesn't just plagiarise wholesale in the Spectator. He does it in the Times as well.

But that's not all. This wasn't the first time that Ray had covered this Alekhine-Bogoljubow encounter in the Times. He also wrote about it on 28 May 2010.

All this looks terribly familiar, doesn't it? (We appreciate you may find scrolling a pain around here. We recommend you look at this in two windows, since seeing the same thing more than once is kind of our theme for today.)

There's an original note to White's seventh which doesn't appear in My Great Predecessors or the later Times article. After that, though, the déjá vu begins.

This note, for instance, to White's seventeenth, is the same as the plagiarised note above, except for having "c5-square" where he previously had "square c5".

And we already know this one (note: we're not running them in exactly the right order)

and this one.

He's made a start on disguising the next one, but abandoned the attempt (except for changing "the" into "his") halfway through.
But this one is new:

I say new, but only in the sense of we haven't seen this particular plagiarism above, since Ray didn't annotate White's twenty-second. Because it's not all that new.

His note to Black's twenty-third, meanwhile, lifts a slightly different selection of material to his choice above, but it's lifted all the same.

This leaves only the final note, where Ray's plagiarism, intriguingly, includes GK's improvement (45.Rg3) which he omitted in his plagiarism last month.

Mind you, although he includes the improvement, he omits GK.

This is pure plagiarism. Ray Keene knows this, since not only is Ray Keene a professional journalist, but one with a history of plagiarism.

He was at it last month. He was at it in 2010. How long, you may ask - particularly if you're new to Ray - has he been getting away with it?

The answer is that he's been getting away with it as long as anybody can remember.

More on Friday.

[Thanks to Sean and Jonathan]

 [Ray Keene index]
 [Ray Keene plagiarism index]


Richard James said...

For the record, Alekhine's note to White's 17th move reads:

"The only way to keep the positional advantage, as 17. P-Kt5 would cede the important square QB5, and 17. R-QKt1 would have permitted a promising counter-attack starting by 17. ....Kt-Q4!"

Everything else in GK's notes is original (or at least not copied from AA).

Note also the strange 'non-chess' usage in "Black is totally stalemated" (meaning that he doesn't have any good moves) which seems a bizarre choice of word by the translator of a chess publication.

A question: do you have any knowledge/opinion on how much that appears under the name of RDK is written by him and how much is written by BAJ or AN Other? (Of course RDK is responsible for anything that appears under his name, regardless of who 'wrote' it.)

ejh said...

On that question, I have an opinion, but no actual knowledge. Given the absence of knowledge, I tend to reserve the opinion for private communications.

The "totally stalemated" is Sozin, but where it was written, and by whom it was translated, I do not know.