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Date: 04 May 2008 11:14:40
From: lumecas
Subject: The Euphemism in Botvinnik
Hello to all the friends chess players:

We invite them to visit our blog

http://comentariosdeajedrez.blogspot.com

We recommend the new articles on:

1. The Euphemism in Botvinnik

Best regards from Gij=F3n - Asturias - Spain

Luis M=E9ndez Castedo
Pedro M=E9ndez Castedo




 
Date: 07 May 2008 19:45:05
From: [email protected]
Subject: Re: Ludek Pachman
POLITICAL PAWNS

"Gens Una Sumus" -- we are all one -- is the motto of FIDE, the
world chess body. Yet the tradition that chess should be above
politics eroded during the Cold War.

At the 1974 Chess Olympiad in France each team signed a pledge to
play against any other country. Then Rhodesia and South Africa were
expelled for purely political reasons and FIDE started down a slippery
slope. In 1986 Israel was banned from the Olympiad in the United Arab
Emirates.

FIDE also voted not to accredit an international tournament if a
master played against the wishes of his own chess federation. In
effect, this destroyed a standard of excellence and reduced players to
mere political pawns.

In an open letter Czech grandmaster Ludek Pachman recalled his
imprisonment "with a broken skull and backbone, hovering between life
and death, after a six-week hunger strike." His crime? Protesting the
Soviet occupation of his homeland.

His book "Checkmate in Prague: Memoirs of a Grandmaster" (1975) is
a vivid chronicle of his Kafkaesque battle with bureaucracy, arrest
and "trial."

Upon his release Pachman settled in Solingen, West Germany and
organized an international tourney in 1974. But at the last moment he
was excluded when both Russia and East Germany threatened to withdraw.
After that shameful incident Pachman was admitted to the West German
chess team and moved to Berlin where he died at 78 in 2003.

He noted: "I consider myself forced to leave the club and the town
and to settle down elsewhere. Players want to devote themselves to
their beautiful game and are entitled to their desire to have no
interference from the uproar of this world. I was no longer invited to
big matches. Others are not prepared to separate chess from politics.

"In my initial disillusionment I wanted to give up chess and look
for a different vocation, but I have decided against this. It is not
so easy to write off 30 years of one=92s life and I am convinced that I
am still able to play well. Furthermore, it would only prove that
boycotts, blackmail, and arrogant despotism would emerge victorious.

"The day after tomorrow demands might be made that all masters
must acknowledge only one ideology or one religion. Freedom and
justice are usually destroyed in small steps.

"For this reason I turn to chess friends with a request: to prevent
situations like this one in Solingen in the future and to give me the
opportunity to be defeated at the board instead of being boycotted."

(Reprinted from EVANS ON CHESS, courtesy of the author.)






[email protected] wrote:
> THE WAY IT WAS
>
>
> >This, from a Soviet defector, supports the notion that
> Botvinnik was, at least to some extent, controlling chess
> information in Russia.> -- Taylor Kingston
>
> There was also force or its threat -- in one
> form or another -- employed by both Botvinnik and
> Karpov during their reigns. Those who refused to
> contribute to the "collective" could be punished.
>
> One handy weapon, which could lead to outright
> starvation of one's family, was loss of ration cards.
> Dogs and cats disappeared from the streets of Moscow
> in the late 1940s. You did as Botvinnik wished or
> your children might die from malnutrition. Times were
> not quite so dire during Karpov's time, but Soviet
> citizens did not eat well back then, either.
>
> Concerning Bogatyrchuk, there was a nasty attack
> on him by "Ludek Pachman" in the British Chess
> Magazine when Pachman was still a dedicated
> Stalinist. Interestingly, the English in the attack
> was excellent; and from Pachman's anguished written
> appeals after the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia,
> we know that he wrote pidgin English. His book
> CHECKMATE IN PRAGUE: THE MEMOIRS OF A
> GRANDMASTER (1975) written after he was thrown
> in prison for breaking with the party line still makes
> for interesting reading. Pachman also was the target
> of a Soviet boycott and spent his last days in Berlin.
>
> So, then, Bogatyrchuk was a defector who
> prompted the Soviet propaganda machine into action
> in an attempt to discredit him. In fact, it was an
> example of the kind of stuff offered here recently by
> Juergen, our jerkin' gherkin, when attacking Korchnoi.
> The very fact of the bogus attacks on Bogatyrchuk
> lend his testimony considerable plausibility.
>
> Yours, Larry Parr
>
>
> [email protected] wrote:
> > On May 7, 6:48?am, David Richerby <[email protected]>
> > wrote:
> > > <[email protected]> wrote:
> > > > A particularly relevant quote from the Winter article is this,
> > > > written by Bohatirchuk in 1949:
> > >
> > > > "[Botvinnik's] trainer (now perhaps a whole retinue of trainers)
> > > > works out theoretical novelties for him and tests them in play with
> > > > other masters; publication of these trial games is forbidden until
> > > > Botvinnik uses that particular variation."
> > >
> > > > This, from a Soviet defector, supports the notion that Botvinnik
> > > > was, at least to some extent, controlling chess information in Russi=
a.
> > >
> > > Sure but that's standard stuff, surely? ?Doesn't every top-ten player
> > > do that, except that these days, the trial games are probably against
> > > the computer?
> >
> > Well, it was not standard for most masters in Botvinnik's day,
> > whether Soviet or Western, to have "a retinue of trainers." So in that
> > sense he enjoyed a special privilege. As far as secret trial games are
> > concerned, yes, that was and is quite common. I cited the passage only
> > because, in saying "publication of these trial games is forbidden," it
> > provided some support, however minor, to the notion that Botvinnik was
> > controlling the flow of chess information.


 
Date: 07 May 2008 18:51:04
From: [email protected]
Subject: Re: The Euphemism in Botvinnik
THE WAY IT WAS


>This, from a Soviet defector, supports the notion that
Botvinnik was, at least to some extent, controlling chess
information in Russia. > -- Taylor Kingston

There was also force or its threat -- in one
form or another -- employed by both Botvinnik and
Karpov during their reigns. Those who refused to
contribute to the "collective" could be punished.

One handy weapon, which could lead to outright
starvation of one's family, was loss of ration cards.
Dogs and cats disappeared from the streets of Moscow
in the late 1940s. You did as Botvinnik wished or
your children might die from malnutrition. Times were
not quite so dire during Karpov's time, but Soviet
citizens did not eat well back then, either.

Concerning Bogatyrchuk, there was a nasty attack
on him by "Ludek Pachman" in the British Chess
Magazine when Pachman was still a dedicated
Stalinist. Interestingly, the English in the attack
was excellent; and from Pachman's anguished written
appeals after the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia,
we know that he wrote pidgin English. His book
CHECKMATE IN PRAGUE: THE MEMOIRS OF A
GRANDMASTER (1975) written after he was thrown
in prison for breaking with the party line still makes
for interesting reading. Pachman also was the target
of a Soviet boycott and spent his last days in Berlin.

So, then, Bogatyrchuk was a defector who
prompted the Soviet propaganda machine into action
in an attempt to discredit him. In fact, it was an
example of the kind of stuff offered here recently by
Juergen, our jerkin' gherkin, when attacking Korchnoi.
The very fact of the bogus attacks on Bogatyrchuk
lend his testimony considerable plausibility.

Yours, Larry Parr


[email protected] wrote:
> On May 7, 6:48?am, David Richerby <[email protected]>
> wrote:
> > <[email protected]> wrote:
> > > A particularly relevant quote from the Winter article is this,
> > > written by Bohatirchuk in 1949:
> >
> > > "[Botvinnik's] trainer (now perhaps a whole retinue of trainers)
> > > works out theoretical novelties for him and tests them in play with
> > > other masters; publication of these trial games is forbidden until
> > > Botvinnik uses that particular variation."
> >
> > > This, from a Soviet defector, supports the notion that Botvinnik
> > > was, at least to some extent, controlling chess information in Russia.
> >
> > Sure but that's standard stuff, surely? ?Doesn't every top-ten player
> > do that, except that these days, the trial games are probably against
> > the computer?
>
> Well, it was not standard for most masters in Botvinnik's day,
> whether Soviet or Western, to have "a retinue of trainers." So in that
> sense he enjoyed a special privilege. As far as secret trial games are
> concerned, yes, that was and is quite common. I cited the passage only
> because, in saying "publication of these trial games is forbidden," it
> provided some support, however minor, to the notion that Botvinnik was
> controlling the flow of chess information.


 
Date: 07 May 2008 05:31:50
From:
Subject: Re: The Euphemism in Botvinnik
On May 7, 6:48=A0am, David Richerby <dav.[email protected] >
wrote:
> <[email protected]> wrote:
> > A particularly relevant quote from the Winter article is this,
> > written by Bohatirchuk in 1949:
>
> > "[Botvinnik's] trainer (now perhaps a whole retinue of trainers)
> > works out theoretical novelties for him and tests them in play with
> > other masters; publication of these trial games is forbidden until
> > Botvinnik uses that particular variation."
>
> > This, from a Soviet defector, supports the notion that Botvinnik
> > was, at least to some extent, controlling chess information in Russia.
>
> Sure but that's standard stuff, surely? =A0Doesn't every top-ten player
> do that, except that these days, the trial games are probably against
> the computer?

Well, it was not standard for most masters in Botvinnik's day,
whether Soviet or Western, to have "a retinue of trainers." So in that
sense he enjoyed a special privilege. As far as secret trial games are
concerned, yes, that was and is quite common. I cited the passage only
because, in saying "publication of these trial games is forbidden," it
provided some support, however minor, to the notion that Botvinnik was
controlling the flow of chess information.


 
Date: 06 May 2008 23:02:42
From: help bot
Subject: Re: The Euphemism in Botvinnik
On May 6, 8:19 pm, [email protected] wrote:

> "[Botvinnik's] trainer (now perhaps a whole retinue of trainers)
> works out theoretical novelties for him and tests them in play with
> other masters; publication of these trial games is forbidden until
> Botvinnik uses that particular variation."
>
> This, from a Soviet defector, supports the notion that Botvinnik
> was, at least to some extent, controlling chess information in Russia.
> It also jibes with what I said about secret training games.


The original, sweeping claim was that MB controlled
*all* information in Russia. Hearsay evidence that MB
controlled certain info regarding his own opening
repertoire comes up just a wee bit short, don't you
think?


-- help bot




 
Date: 06 May 2008 22:59:27
From: help bot
Subject: Re: The Euphemism in Botvinnik
On May 6, 5:13 pm, SBD <[email protected] > wrote

> Wow bot, you are usually FOS but on the level of a "delightful
> blowhard ala Bogo" versus "jackass blowhard ala P Innes," to paraphase
> TK himself, but this time you really crossed the line.
>
> Flower up that prose a little and you will be Chess Two in no time.

Prose? (What, not /poetry/?)

Hey, I writes in plain English, I does. While that
other bloke, Phil IMnes, writes in gibberish only a
nother-nutter can understand. Maybe you can
answer the question TK ducked: why the special
attention paid to MB? Both the rat pack and TK
seem to be in cahoots on this one; I wouldn't want
to brand TK a mindless parrot or accuse him of
mindless parrotry or brown-nosing without first
giving him a chance to explain his, um, parrotry
and brown-nosing. (One of these days I may
write up a nice refutation of his brown-nosing in
his famous articles regarding the alleged tossing
of games, but not today.)

Got an alternate explanation (a rational one, I
mean) for the constant asides to "Western" stuff
while TK is supposedly discussing other issues?
It looks like a duck, and it walks like a duck, but
can it quack? Looks to be rabid anti-Soviet bias
infiltrating, well, just about everything. (Me? I like
Russia. In fact, I keep reading about how it has
all sorts of natural resources "we" need, like oil
and gas. I say "we" buy 'em out; just borrow a
few trillion dollars from the Arabs or the Chinese.
Hey-- it worked with Alaska.)


-- help bot





 
Date: 06 May 2008 22:45:07
From: help bot
Subject: Re: The Euphemism in Botvinnik
On May 6, 4:08 pm, [email protected] wrote:

> > > Even allowing, for the sake of argument, Bronstein's interpretation
> > > of 1948-51, I don't see anything unethical in this. However, what the
> > > Spanish writers seem to be implying, or believe that Bronstein is
> > > implying, is that Botvinnik used his position and connections to gain
> > > preferential access to others' games
>
> > This "interpretation" escapes me; I cannot read
> > Spanish,
>
> Then you might be well advised to avoid commenting from ignorance.
> Not that that has deterred you in the past.

As far as ignorance goes, one would be hard-
pressed to top the act of writing a letter praising
Larry Evans' biased speculations, and only then
researching the issue, then writing again to
register a flip-flop.


> > This "question" would seem to apply to *all* of
> > the Russian world champions; why then is Mr.
> > Botvinnik being singled out here?
>
> It's quite simple. The link given in the original post deals with
> Botvinnik, therefore my comments deal with Botvinnik.

That only explains why Mr. Botvinnik has been
singled out by Mr. Kingston in this particular
thread. My question was not that limited; in fact,
I asked why both TK *and* the Evans ratpackers
have decided to single out MB for their special
attentions, and that question obviously pertains
to a number of different threads, over a period of
some time. (I am "explaining" this, not for the
benefit of the dishonest poster TK, but for others
who may not be aware.)

The lack of an honest answer tells a revealing
tale, not unlike lipstick on one's collar... .


-- help bot




 
Date: 06 May 2008 17:19:04
From:
Subject: Re: The Euphemism in Botvinnik
On May 6, 11:10=A0am, [email protected] wrote:
> On May 6, 12:20=A0am, help bot <[email protected]> wrote:
>
> > On May 4, 3:33 pm, [email protected] wrote:
>
> > > =A0 You then interpret this to mean "Es decir, Botvinnik controlaba to=
da
> > > la informaci=F3n en el ajedrez ruso de la =E9poca y de forma privilegi=
ada
> > > seg=FAn sus intereses." (That is to say, Botvinnik controlled all
> > > Russian chess information during this period in a privileged manner to=

> > > serve his own interests.)
> > > =A0 This is undoubtedly true to some extent, but I do not think that w=
as
> > > the only meaning of Bronstein's statement. There was, I think, also
> > > genuine admiration for and acknowledgement of Botvinnik's deep study
> > > of the openings, which was accomplished to a great extent by hard
> > > work, not just by controlling information.
>
> > =A0 Is there any information on just how all this was
> > supposedly accomplished? =A0I would imagine (but
> > have no way of knowing) that controlling ALL such
> > information was a daunting task, worthy of a small
> > army of men; apparently, Mr. Botvinnik was a real
> > "one-man army", in more ways than one.
>
> =A0 I know for sure of two ways in which Botvinnik "controlled
> information" about his opening repertoire, though neither could be
> considered at all unethical. One, he simply did not play publicly for
> long periods of time. For example, he did not play a single serious
> public game between winning the world championship in 1948, and his
> first defense of the title against Bronstein in 1951, nor between
> losing the title to Smyslov in 1957 and reclaiming it in 1958. Two, he
> would often have secret training matches, the games of which would not
> be published.
> =A0 Bronstein believes Botvinnik avoided playing in 1948-51 "because he
> did not want to reveal his opening secrets to his challenger."
> Perhaps, though Botvinnik simply says he was busy working on his
> doctoral dissertation, and that rather than reaping any advantage from
> the layoff, the lack of practice hurt him in the match (see
> "Botvinnik's Best Games," vol 2, pp. 11-12).
> =A0 Even allowing, for the sake of argument, Bronstein's interpretation
> of 1948-51, I don't see anything unethical in this. However, what the
> Spanish writers seem to be implying, or believe that Bronstein is
> implying, is that Botvinnik used his position and connections to gain
> preferential access to others' games, and perhaps limit publication of
> his own games, or suppress Soviet publication of games Botvinnik
> considered important, e.g. TNs he might use from foreign games. I'm
> sure the former is true, the latter I don't know.
> =A0 Again, I would not consider the former course unethical, any more
> than I'd consider it unethical for a wealthy American player to buy
> more chess books and magazines than a player with little money could.
> The latter kind of action runs counter to Western ideals of a free
> press and free circulation of information, but wouldn't bother a
> Soviet mind-set like Botvinnik's. Heck, probably wouldn't bother many
> Western players, if they had the power. But whether Botvinnik actually
> excercised that kind of control, I couldn't say.
>
> > =A0 The one thing which all these Botvinnik-bashers
> > cannot ever seem to do, is "fit" his powerful chess
> > moves into their biased accounts in a way that
> > makes any rational sense. =A0For instance, the
> > dregs who maintain that all the other Soviet
> > players were "ordered" to throw their games, fail
> > to account for the fact that non-Soviets were also
> > losing to him at the very same time. =A0When that
> > sort of heavy bias creeps in, logic and reason go
> > out the window.
>
> =A0 There is no doubt that Botvinnik was a great player in his own
> right. The question is whether he would have risen quite so high for
> so long without state support, preferential treatment, and unethical
> behind-the-scenes dealings (e.g. pressure on Keres).
>
> =A0 Here's a fairly relevant article by Edward Winter from 2003:
>
> =A0http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/extra/pachman.html

A particularly relevant quote from the Winter article is this,
written by Bohatirchuk in 1949:

"[Botvinnik's] trainer (now perhaps a whole retinue of trainers)
works out theoretical novelties for him and tests them in play with
other masters; publication of these trial games is forbidden until
Botvinnik uses that particular variation."

This, from a Soviet defector, supports the notion that Botvinnik
was, at least to some extent, controlling chess information in Russia.
It also jibes with what I said about secret training games.



  
Date: 07 May 2008 11:48:36
From: David Richerby
Subject: Re: The Euphemism in Botvinnik
<[email protected] > wrote:
> A particularly relevant quote from the Winter article is this,
> written by Bohatirchuk in 1949:
>
> "[Botvinnik's] trainer (now perhaps a whole retinue of trainers)
> works out theoretical novelties for him and tests them in play with
> other masters; publication of these trial games is forbidden until
> Botvinnik uses that particular variation."
>
> This, from a Soviet defector, supports the notion that Botvinnik
> was, at least to some extent, controlling chess information in Russia.

Sure but that's standard stuff, surely? Doesn't every top-ten player
do that, except that these days, the trial games are probably against
the computer?


Dave.

--
David Richerby Electronic Crystal Composer (TM):
www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~davidr/ it's like a pupil of Beethoven but
it's completely transparent and it
uses electricity!


 
Date: 06 May 2008 14:13:19
From: SBD
Subject: Re: The Euphemism in Botvinnik
On May 6, 2:37 pm, help bot <[email protected] > wrote:

Wow bot, you are usually FOS but on the level of a "delightful
blowhard ala Bogo" versus "jackass blowhard ala P Innes," to paraphase
TK himself, but this time you really crossed the line.

Flower up that prose a little and you will be Chess Two in no time.



 
Date: 06 May 2008 13:08:24
From:
Subject: Re: The Euphemism in Botvinnik
On May 6, 3:37=A0pm, help bot <[email protected] > wrote:
> On May 6, 11:10 am, [email protected] wrote:
>
> > =A0 Even allowing, for the sake of argument, Bronstein's interpretation
> > of 1948-51, I don't see anything unethical in this. However, what the
> > Spanish writers seem to be implying, or believe that Bronstein is
> > implying, is that Botvinnik used his position and connections to gain
> > preferential access to others' games
>
> =A0 This "interpretation" escapes me; I cannot read
> Spanish,

Then you might be well advised to avoid commenting from ignorance.
Not that that has deterred you in the past.

> =A0 This "question" would seem to apply to *all* of
> the Russian world champions; why then is Mr.
> Botvinnik being singled out here?

It's quite simple. The link given in the original post deals with
Botvinnik, therefore my comments deal with Botvinnik.



 
Date: 06 May 2008 12:58:38
From: zdrakec
Subject: Re: The Euphemism in Botvinnik

>
> =A0 There is no doubt that Botvinnik was a great player in his own
> right. The question is whether he would have risen quite so high for
> so long without state support, preferential treatment, and unethical
> behind-the-scenes dealings (e.g. pressure on Keres).
>
> =A0 Here's a fairly relevant article by Edward Winter from 2003:
>
> =A0http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/extra/pachman.html- Hide quoted text=
-
>
> - Show quoted text -

A truly fascinating article, whatever one thinks of Botvinnik.
Personally, looking over "Half a Century of Chess", I find his play to
be just beautiful, at least where I semi-understand it. Was it
Bronstein who said that Botvinnik "drives huge nails into the board",
or something to that effect? Do you have the correct quote?

Regards,
zdrakec


 
Date: 06 May 2008 12:37:12
From: help bot
Subject: Re: The Euphemism in Botvinnik
On May 6, 11:10 am, [email protected] wrote:

> I know for sure of two ways in which Botvinnik "controlled
> information" about his opening repertoire

Whoa there! The original claim did not limit Mr.
Botvinnik's "control of information" to his own
opening repertoire; it clearly stated that he was
in control of *all* "Russian information". That's
a far cry from what you are discussing.


> Bronstein believes Botvinnik avoided playing in 1948-51 "because he
> did not want to reveal his opening secrets to his challenger."

And yet, it was in the *endgame* that he was
beaten, judging from the controversy which has
been discussed at length here.


> Perhaps, though Botvinnik simply says he was busy working on his
> doctoral dissertation, and that rather than reaping any advantage from
> the layoff, the lack of practice hurt him in the match

We cannot rely on mere hearsay; neither Mr.
Bronstein nor Mr. Botvinnik can be taken as
infallible gods, who always gulp down a glass
of truth serum before expounding on chess.


> Even allowing, for the sake of argument, Bronstein's interpretation
> of 1948-51, I don't see anything unethical in this. However, what the
> Spanish writers seem to be implying, or believe that Bronstein is
> implying, is that Botvinnik used his position and connections to gain
> preferential access to others' games

This "interpretation" escapes me; I cannot read
Spanish, but it does seem that TK is first
transcribing, and then "doctoring" to suit his own
preferences. This reminds me of another such
case, in which the facts were given no chance in
the hands of Taylor Kingston.


> his own games, or suppress Soviet publication of games Botvinnik
> considered important, e.g. TNs he might use from foreign games. I'm
> sure the former is true, the latter I don't know.

Well, it would of course be useful to present any
facts which support the bizarre theory that MB
"controlled all Russian information". Speculation
is quite another matter.


> Again, I would not consider the former course unethical, any more
> than I'd consider it unethical for a wealthy American player to buy
> more chess books and magazines than a player with little money could.

> The latter kind of action runs counter to Western ideals

Western ideals, eh? I think I detect a whiff of
ideological slant here; are we ready for another
round of Commie-bashing fun? Good. You may
proceed... .


> of a free press

[Guffaw.]

I don't know how it is where Mr. Kingston lives,
but around here the Republican party clearly
controls the mainstream press-- except of course
for those outlets which are controlled by their
hated enemies, the lunatic Left (AKA the
Democrats).

I don't call that "free"; I call it pitiful. I suppose
there may be a few who are not clearly on one
side of this feud or the other; naturally, those folks
are attacked by *both* feuding clans, for refusing
to join up with either propaganda "army".


> and free circulation of information, but wouldn't bother a
> Soviet mind-set like Botvinnik's. Heck, probably wouldn't bother many
> Western players

There's that slant again. It's all a matter of
Cold War politics, for some folks.


> if they had the power. But whether Botvinnik actually
> excercised that kind of control, I couldn't say.

Well, TK certainly had no difficulty putting
the words into other people's mouthes, with
his funky "translation".


> > The one thing which all these Botvinnik-bashers
> > cannot ever seem to do, is "fit" his powerful chess
> > moves into their biased accounts in a way that
> > makes any rational sense. For instance, the
> > dregs who maintain that all the other Soviet
> > players were "ordered" to throw their games, fail
> > to account for the fact that non-Soviets were also
> > losing to him at the very same time. When that
> > sort of heavy bias creeps in, logic and reason go
> > out the window.

> There is no doubt that Botvinnik was a great player in his own
> right. The question is whether he would have risen quite so high for
> so long without state support

This "question" would seem to apply to *all* of
the Russian world champions; why then is Mr.
Botvinnik being singled out here?


> preferential treatment, and unethical
> behind-the-scenes dealings (e.g. pressure on Keres).

Oh, we could talk about back-room deals, but
that would seem to turn the spotlight on Gary
Kasparov, I think. Again, why is one particular
person being targeted here? And how was he
selected?


> Here's a fairly relevant article by Edward Winter from 2003:
>
> http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/extra/pachman.html

Mr. Winter has lots of articles. Why is it that
Taylor Kingston (not to mention the ratpackers)
wishes to single out Mr. Botvinnik?

In his articles, Mr. Winter very often "targets"
Raymond Keene, and this can be explained by
the fact that RK is the most prolific English-
language writer on EW's side of the pond. It is
especially easy to explain when you note that
Mr. Keene's "work" keeps EW fully employed,
so to speak.

What I would like to know is exactly how and
why Mr. Botvinnik has been "selected", out of
the whole lot of former world champions, to
receive the "special attentions" of the Evans
ratpack and Mr. Kingston. If they were truly
interested in ethics, there would be no need for
frequent "injections" of slant-talk; in fact, it just
clouds the (ethics) issue, and changes the
subject from ethics to Cold War politics and
their own Russian-bashing biases.


-- help bot




 
Date: 06 May 2008 08:10:06
From:
Subject: Re: The Euphemism in Botvinnik
On May 6, 12:20=A0am, help bot <[email protected] > wrote:
> On May 4, 3:33 pm, [email protected] wrote:
>
> > =A0 You then interpret this to mean "Es decir, Botvinnik controlaba toda=

> > la informaci=F3n en el ajedrez ruso de la =E9poca y de forma privilegiad=
a
> > seg=FAn sus intereses." (That is to say, Botvinnik controlled all
> > Russian chess information during this period in a privileged manner to
> > serve his own interests.)
> > =A0 This is undoubtedly true to some extent, but I do not think that was=

> > the only meaning of Bronstein's statement. There was, I think, also
> > genuine admiration for and acknowledgement of Botvinnik's deep study
> > of the openings, which was accomplished to a great extent by hard
> > work, not just by controlling information.
>
> =A0 Is there any information on just how all this was
> supposedly accomplished? =A0I would imagine (but
> have no way of knowing) that controlling ALL such
> information was a daunting task, worthy of a small
> army of men; apparently, Mr. Botvinnik was a real
> "one-man army", in more ways than one.

I know for sure of two ways in which Botvinnik "controlled
information" about his opening repertoire, though neither could be
considered at all unethical. One, he simply did not play publicly for
long periods of time. For example, he did not play a single serious
public game between winning the world championship in 1948, and his
first defense of the title against Bronstein in 1951, nor between
losing the title to Smyslov in 1957 and reclaiming it in 1958. Two, he
would often have secret training matches, the games of which would not
be published.
Bronstein believes Botvinnik avoided playing in 1948-51 "because he
did not want to reveal his opening secrets to his challenger."
Perhaps, though Botvinnik simply says he was busy working on his
doctoral dissertation, and that rather than reaping any advantage from
the layoff, the lack of practice hurt him in the match (see
"Botvinnik's Best Games," vol 2, pp. 11-12).
Even allowing, for the sake of argument, Bronstein's interpretation
of 1948-51, I don't see anything unethical in this. However, what the
Spanish writers seem to be implying, or believe that Bronstein is
implying, is that Botvinnik used his position and connections to gain
preferential access to others' games, and perhaps limit publication of
his own games, or suppress Soviet publication of games Botvinnik
considered important, e.g. TNs he might use from foreign games. I'm
sure the former is true, the latter I don't know.
Again, I would not consider the former course unethical, any more
than I'd consider it unethical for a wealthy American player to buy
more chess books and magazines than a player with little money could.
The latter kind of action runs counter to Western ideals of a free
press and free circulation of information, but wouldn't bother a
Soviet mind-set like Botvinnik's. Heck, probably wouldn't bother many
Western players, if they had the power. But whether Botvinnik actually
excercised that kind of control, I couldn't say.

> =A0 The one thing which all these Botvinnik-bashers
> cannot ever seem to do, is "fit" his powerful chess
> moves into their biased accounts in a way that
> makes any rational sense. =A0For instance, the
> dregs who maintain that all the other Soviet
> players were "ordered" to throw their games, fail
> to account for the fact that non-Soviets were also
> losing to him at the very same time. =A0When that
> sort of heavy bias creeps in, logic and reason go
> out the window.

There is no doubt that Botvinnik was a great player in his own
right. The question is whether he would have risen quite so high for
so long without state support, preferential treatment, and unethical
behind-the-scenes dealings (e.g. pressure on Keres).

Here's a fairly relevant article by Edward Winter from 2003:

http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/extra/pachman.html


 
Date: 05 May 2008 21:20:04
From: help bot
Subject: Re: The Euphemism in Botvinnik
On May 4, 3:33 pm, [email protected] wrote:

> You then interpret this to mean "Es decir, Botvinnik controlaba toda
> la informaci=F3n en el ajedrez ruso de la =E9poca y de forma privilegiada
> seg=FAn sus intereses." (That is to say, Botvinnik controlled all
> Russian chess information during this period in a privileged manner to
> serve his own interests.)
> This is undoubtedly true to some extent, but I do not think that was
> the only meaning of Bronstein's statement. There was, I think, also
> genuine admiration for and acknowledgement of Botvinnik's deep study
> of the openings, which was accomplished to a great extent by hard
> work, not just by controlling information.


Is there any information on just how all this was
supposedly accomplished? I would imagine (but
have no way of knowing) that controlling ALL such
information was a daunting task, worthy of a small
army of men; apparently, Mr. Botvinnik was a real
"one-man army", in more ways than one.

The one thing which all these Botvinnik-bashers
cannot ever seem to do, is "fit" his powerful chess
moves into their biased accounts in a way that
makes any rational sense. For instance, the
dregs who maintain that all the other Soviet
players were "ordered" to throw their games, fail
to account for the fact that non-Soviets were also
losing to him at the very same time. When that
sort of heavy bias creeps in, logic and reason go
out the window.


-- help bot




 
Date: 04 May 2008 12:33:46
From:
Subject: Re: The Euphemism in Botvinnik
On May 4, 2:14=A0pm, lumecas <[email protected] > wrote:
> Hello to all the friends chess players:
>
> We invite them to visit our blog
>
> http://comentariosdeajedrez.blogspot.com
>
> We recommend the new articles on:
>
> 1. The Euphemism in Botvinnik
>
> Best regards from Gij=F3n - Asturias - Spain
>
> Luis M=E9ndez Castedo
> Pedro M=E9ndez Castedo

An interesting little article. One could easily find many more
instances of "euphemism" in Botvinnik's writings. I take it that "The
Sorcerer's Apprentice" has been translated into Spanish? The passage
you cite is on page 17 of the English edition, rather than page 22 as
you give.

Regarding your second euphemism, you quote Bronstein as saying:

"Botvinnik es el primero en la teor=EDa ajedrec=EDstica, lo que
aprendemos hoy , =E9l lo aprendi=F3 ayer y lo que aprendamos ma=F1ana el lo
ha aprendido hoy." (Botvinnik is supreme in chess theory; what we
learn today, he learned yesterday, and what we will learn tomorrow, he
has learned today.)

You then interpret this to mean "Es decir, Botvinnik controlaba toda
la informaci=F3n en el ajedrez ruso de la =E9poca y de forma privilegiada
seg=FAn sus intereses." (That is to say, Botvinnik controlled all
Russian chess information during this period in a privileged manner to
serve his own interests.)
This is undoubtedly true to some extent, but I do not think that was
the only meaning of Bronstein's statement. There was, I think, also
genuine admiration for and acknowledgement of Botvinnik's deep study
of the openings, which was accomplished to a great extent by hard
work, not just by controlling information.