H.E.Atkins

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Richard Bates
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Re: H.E.Atkins

Post by Richard Bates » Tue Jan 11, 2011 6:54 pm

There is a reason why the word "arguably" was invented.

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JustinHorton
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Re: H.E.Atkins

Post by JustinHorton » Tue Jan 11, 2011 7:00 pm

Arguably "developed" rather than "was invented".
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Keith Arkell
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Re: H.E.Atkins

Post by Keith Arkell » Tue Jan 11, 2011 7:02 pm

Adam Ashton wrote:But that was my point :? . No one ever refers to Roger Bannister as a crap runner do they? Or says that Stanley Mathews was useless. Generally people respect that these guys participated in a different era and don't apply todays standards to them as it's obviously unfair. So I think your statement that his games are 'rubbish' is pretty disrespectful and clearly inconsistent with what you've just written above.

I vote that profits from the book should now go towards a statue for HE Atkins :)
You seem to be intentionally or unintentionally missing my point. There is a big difference between what you are saying (ie ''rubbish'' in an absolute sence) and what I am saying (ie ''rubbish'' compared to modern day GMs such as Mark and Glenn). I have made a big point of qualifying my use of the word by using analogies. Surely you can see my point with the aeroplene example? 1920 aeroplanes were rubbish compared to today's but were necessary,and a great achievement at the time. Equally Bannister's time of 3 mins 59 is rubbish COMPARED TO todays times of 20 seconds faster. It's that word ''COMPARED'' . Ok I could have said instead ''far weaker than''. Obviously Bannister,Atkins,the wright Brothers... were geniuses at what they did,and if you think I am disrespecting them then you are completely missing my point. I'm rubbish compared to Kasparov,but it doesn't mean I'm rubbish in an absolute sense(I hope).

John Moore
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Re: H.E.Atkins

Post by John Moore » Tue Jan 11, 2011 7:06 pm

Sorry Richard - arguably H E Atkins was a damn sight better than Vera M.

Keith Arkell
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Re: H.E.Atkins

Post by Keith Arkell » Tue Jan 11, 2011 7:10 pm

If you want to nit pick then ok I could have replaced the figure of speech ''rubbish'' with ''of a much lower standard than from an objective perspective'' if that is your problem :roll:

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David Shepherd
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Re: H.E.Atkins

Post by David Shepherd » Tue Jan 11, 2011 8:12 pm

To be fair I don't think sub 4 mins is in the category of "rubbish" even compared to todays top runners (eg 2010 American Road race champs was won in 4:04). Ok its slightly off the top pace but still for example well inside the womens record.

As someone who suffered the misfortune of going for a training run at university many moons ago with someone that ran at that pace I can assure everyone its not rubbish by any standard :-( . I still remember the pain- big big mistake trying to out sprint him, huge mistake :-( :-(

But I think Keiths point is valid.

Alex Holowczak
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Re: H.E.Atkins

Post by Alex Holowczak » Tue Jan 11, 2011 8:47 pm

David Shepherd wrote:To be fair I don't think sub 4 mins is in the category of "rubbish" even compared to todays top runners (eg 2010 American Road race champs was won in 4:04). Ok its slightly off the top pace but still for example well inside the womens record.
It's also much more difficult to run on the road than a track. The surface is less springy. A track is guaranteed to be flat, whereas a road course could have changes of altitude; the course may average out at being slightly uphill.

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David Shepherd
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Re: H.E.Atkins

Post by David Shepherd » Tue Jan 11, 2011 9:03 pm

Yep road will be slower (but more mile races than on track as track is normally 1500m) - but sub 4min on track is still fairly decent even today, particularly given the track he ran on was not as good as the modern tracks.

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Re: H.E.Atkins

Post by Alex Holowczak » Tue Jan 11, 2011 10:20 pm

David Shepherd wrote:Yep road will be slower (but more mile races than on track as track is normally 1500m) - but sub 4min on track is still fairly decent even today, particularly given the track he ran on was not as good as the modern tracks.
I seem to remember watching mile races on the track - there's a special line marked out just before the start line - they run over 1609m, so 4 laps and 9m.

Anyway, I think I'm responsible for taking this thread off-topic...

Adam Ashton
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Re: H.E.Atkins

Post by Adam Ashton » Tue Jan 11, 2011 11:15 pm

You seem to be intentionally or unintentionally missing my point. There is a big difference between what you are saying (ie ''rubbish'' in an absolute sence) and what I am saying (ie ''rubbish'' compared to modern day GMs such as Mark and Glenn). I have made a big point of qualifying my use of the word by using analogies. Surely you can see my point with the aeroplene example? 1920 aeroplanes were rubbish compared to today's but were necessary,and a great achievement at the time. Equally Bannister's time of 3 mins 59 is rubbish COMPARED TO todays times of 20 seconds faster. It's that word ''COMPARED'' . Ok I could have said instead ''far weaker than''. Obviously Bannister,Atkins,the wright Brothers... were geniuses at what they did,and if you think I am disrespecting them then you are completely missing my point. I'm rubbish compared to Kasparov,but it doesn't mean I'm rubbish in an absolute sense(I hope).
No I understand what you are saying. However you CAN'T compare Atkins play to that of modern day players such as Mark and Glenn. It's unfair to do so. You should be comparing Atkins to his peers(and if you wish to compare Atkins to Mark and Glenn then you should be looking at their relative standings amongst their peers). All the examples you give above actually support my point. When was the last time you heard anyone say that spitfires are comparatively crap compared to the F22?! Doesn't really need stating does it as the comparison is ridiculous. If you were to compare the spitfire to a German WW2 plane then all would make sense.

Bearing this in mind your original statement comparing his play to Mark/Glenn and calling it rubbish was a bit unkind imo that's all I was saying. Hope I have made it clearer now. Will continue discussion at NCL if you really must :)
Last edited by IM Jack Rudd on Tue Jan 11, 2011 11:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Fixing QUOTE tags

Sarah de Lisle
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Re: H.E.Atkins

Post by Sarah de Lisle » Wed Jan 12, 2011 12:03 am

Changing the subject - does anyone remember the HE Atkins tournaments every year in Leicester - they were absolutely brilliant.

Keith Arkell
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Re: H.E.Atkins

Post by Keith Arkell » Wed Jan 12, 2011 12:23 am

I totally agree that it's unfair,and incidentally also rather pointless, to compare objective strenghts across generations. Obviously! I mean,nobody disputes that standards must continuously rise,even if it's not always linear. I've made that clear numerous times on other threads,and always made a point of giving huge credit to earlier pioneers.
If this was eg an article for a mag rather than a forum then,as I said in my last posts,I would have have said something like ''he was not that strong by today's standards''. If I wanted to disrespect Atkins then I would not have written ...
''won the British Ch 9 times in 11 attempts,was awarded the IM title,and was actually ranked around 7 in the World at one point,despite being an amateur''.

Whenever I write about these kind of issues,I make it absolutely clear that the player's achievements should only be measured in the context of how they performed relative to their contemporaries - ie within the limitations of the historical period during which they were active.

However,I began this thread because I was presented with a dilemma: I was writing about the Atkins Memorial tourney in Leicester in '79 and,en passant, said that Mark and Glenn are the STRONGEST 2 players to emerge from Leics. I was then presented with Atkins' fantastic achievements(of which I admit to having been at least partially oblivious). So then I was forced to compare across generations: Atkins' far more impressive list of achievements versus his objectively lower standard of chess(which wasn't his fault of course,but was simply because he was a century behind).

Ok Adam,to be continued at the 4NCL,with the limit being the amount of time it takes me to down the pint that you buy me :wink:

Keith Arkell
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Re: H.E.Atkins

Post by Keith Arkell » Wed Jan 12, 2011 12:25 am

Hey Sarah :) Missed your post when I posted,but snap!

Sarah de Lisle
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Re: H.E.Atkins

Post by Sarah de Lisle » Wed Jan 12, 2011 12:34 am

I think that is when I first met you and Mark...I was only about 11 and VERY scared of such luminaries.

Happy days; they don't make 'em like that any more. We used to stay in a B and B round the corner that was £7 a night....now that wasn't quite as luxurious as the playing hall.

Keith Arkell
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Re: H.E.Atkins

Post by Keith Arkell » Wed Jan 12, 2011 1:01 am

Don't think I was much of a luminary - I was 18 and about 170.Think I used to commute with Nigel McSheehy from Brum. I also remember Debbie and John Andersson there. Venue was great though wasn't it?

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