Magnus Carlsen : 60 Memorable Games

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John Upham
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Magnus Carlsen : 60 Memorable Games

Post by John Upham » Thu Jan 14, 2021 12:37 pm

Richard James has reviewed "Magnus Carlsen : 60 Memorable Games" :D

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Magnus Carlsen : 60 Memorable Games
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MJMcCready
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Re: Magnus Carlsen : 60 Memorable Games

Post by MJMcCready » Thu Jan 14, 2021 8:33 pm

Why was the book written in the first place? How do we differentiate between publications which are clearly trying cash in on Magnus's success(es) and publications which are instructive and educational? Obviously it helps if the targeted readership & methodology are explained in the preface (should one exist) as that often indicates motive and how much effort was put into the process of writing. As a genre chess theory/literature is generally sloppy, so I think its only fair that unauthorized accounts of the current world champion should be treated with suspicion, especially given the track record Soltis has.

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Re: Magnus Carlsen : 60 Memorable Games

Post by John Upham » Thu Jan 14, 2021 8:41 pm

MJMcCready wrote:
Thu Jan 14, 2021 8:33 pm
Why was the book written in the first place? How do we differentiate between publications which are clearly trying cash in on Magnus's success(es) and publications which are instructive and educational? Obviously it helps if the targeted readership & methodology are explained in the preface (should one exist) as that often indicates motive and how much effort was put into the process of writing. As a genre chess theory/literature is generally sloppy, so I think its only fair that unauthorized accounts of the current world champion should be treated with suspicion, especially given the track record Soltis has.

What is the track record of Andrew Soltis?
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MJMcCready
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Re: Magnus Carlsen : 60 Memorable Games

Post by MJMcCready » Thu Jan 14, 2021 8:46 pm

Where to start. Look at the introduction to Soviet Chess, full of personalized insults, such as the Soviets being 'the world's greatest liars' yet it tries to pass itself off as an academic publication, well at least it has the pretentions as such. Chess players should stick to chess theory and only that, when the content crosses into research-based content they should steer well clear rather than go and make a mess of it, which is almost always the case.

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Re: Magnus Carlsen : 60 Memorable Games

Post by NickFaulks » Thu Jan 14, 2021 11:35 pm

John Upham wrote:
Thu Jan 14, 2021 8:41 pm
What is the track record of Andrew Soltis?
I don't think any other author has produced such a large number of well written chess books ( I can only speak for English language ).
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MJMcCready
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Re: Magnus Carlsen : 60 Memorable Games

Post by MJMcCready » Thu Jan 14, 2021 11:52 pm

Well if you can defend the introduction to Soviet Chess I am all ears. It seems to me that the motives for writing are not likely to be expressed in the publication linked here, and if I were to guess, GM Soltis is helping to propagate a literary culture where failed GMs try to profit from the success of others by writing about them. If its not that, then its likely to be something equally deplorable. The fact that he's cashing in on a well known title by virtue of omitting a pronoun suggests that personal profit and integrity go hand in hand here, which is typical in chess literature. He's not the first to try to profit from others who succeeded where he couldn't personally, and I'm sure he won't be the last...

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Re: Magnus Carlsen : 60 Memorable Games

Post by Roger de Coverly » Fri Jan 15, 2021 1:08 am

John Upham wrote:
Thu Jan 14, 2021 8:41 pm
What is the track record of Andrew Soltis?
An important idea in the Dragon Sicilian carries his name (That's playing .. h5 as a response to h4 in the Yugoslav Attack)

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MJMcCready
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Re: Magnus Carlsen : 60 Memorable Games

Post by MJMcCready » Fri Jan 15, 2021 4:17 am

And that's perfectly fine, chess theory is what chess players should stick to.

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Re: Magnus Carlsen : 60 Memorable Games

Post by MSoszynski » Fri Jan 15, 2021 12:49 pm

MJMcCready wrote:
Thu Jan 14, 2021 8:46 pm
Where to start. Look at the introduction to Soviet Chess, full of personalized insults, such as the Soviets being 'the world's greatest liars' yet it tries to pass itself off as an academic publication, well at least it has the pretentions as such. Chess players should stick to chess theory and only that, when the content crosses into research-based content they should steer well clear rather than go and make a mess of it, which is almost always the case.
So that others can begin to judge, here is but a part of the Introduction:

This book is an attempt to explain how Soviet chess evolved during the tumultuous decades of 1917 to 1991. Inevitably, I have had to rely to a large extent on Soviet sources. This has its pitfalls. First, Russians have always been among the world’s most accomplished liars, particularly about matters relating to the government. “In no other state do political words stand in such contrast to reality as in Russia,” Count Mikhail Speransky, a 19th century reformer said. Second, in the Soviet era, providing an inaccurate, flawed or downright wrong impression was elevated to an art form. “Propaganda” was a positive word, and chess, like propaganda, became an instrument of state policy. Even in the final decade of the Soviet Union, “there was no line between chess and politics,” Karpov said. “They were one and the same.” Finally, there are differing accounts from objective observers of even some basic facts. For example, the fate of Alexander Ilyin-Genevsky.

And finally, skipping a paragraph:

Some of the facts of what happened during the three quarters of a century of Soviet chess will have to be sorted out in the 21st century. But the achievement of the Soviet players — in the face of extreme hardships and isolation, contending with a government that often seemed filled with fanatics, scoundrels and incompetents — cannot be denied.

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MJMcCready
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Re: Magnus Carlsen : 60 Memorable Games

Post by MJMcCready » Fri Jan 15, 2021 3:19 pm

Thanks, my point exactly. When chess players cross into content which is academic and constitutes discourse they usually go horribly wrong immediately. Thanks for drawing attention to that.

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Re: Magnus Carlsen : 60 Memorable Games

Post by JustinHorton » Fri Jan 15, 2021 5:13 pm

MJMcCready wrote:
Thu Jan 14, 2021 8:33 pm
How do we differentiate between publications which are clearly trying cash in on Magnus's success(es) and publications which are instructive and educational?
By reading and evaluating them, I suppose, do you have a better idea?
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Re: Magnus Carlsen : 60 Memorable Games

Post by John Upham » Fri Jan 15, 2021 6:57 pm

JustinHorton wrote:
Fri Jan 15, 2021 5:13 pm
MJMcCready wrote:
Thu Jan 14, 2021 8:33 pm
How do we differentiate between publications which are clearly trying cash in on Magnus's success(es) and publications which are instructive and educational?
By reading and evaluating them, I suppose, do you have a better idea?

It would seem that MJM is advocating not reading but evaluating by looking at the cover and and noting the author.
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Re: Magnus Carlsen : 60 Memorable Games

Post by Nick Grey » Fri Jan 15, 2021 11:21 pm

Richard, John, Nick, Roger and Justin. Thanks. I enjoy clear and well written chess books by Soltis. Aimed at our level of rating. So on my buy list. Hope to see all of you in 2021.

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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: Magnus Carlsen : 60 Memorable Games

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Tue Jan 19, 2021 6:17 pm

May be relevant, spotted on Nigel Short's twitter feed:

https://twitter.com/nigelshortchess/sta ... 55841?s=20
Nigel Short
@nigelshortchess
16 Jan
Great game by
@MagnusCarlsen
! Sod the computer evaluation. We are not automatons.
Which game is he referring to, does anyone know? (Apologies if it is obvious.)

John McKenna
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Re: Magnus Carlsen : 60 Memorable Games

Post by John McKenna » Tue Jan 19, 2021 6:56 pm

Christopher Kreuzer wrote:
Tue Jan 19, 2021 6:17 pm
May be relevant, spotted on Nigel Short's twitter feed:

https://twitter.com/nigelshortchess/sta ... 55841?s=20
Nigel Short
@nigelshortchess
16 Jan
Great game by
@MagnusCarlsen
! Sod the computer evaluation. We are not automatons.
Which game is he referring to, does anyone know? (Apologies if it is obvious.)
I do believe it was on Saturday in relation to Carlsen-Firouzja (one for Magnus' next 60 memorables) -

viewtopic.php?f=31&t=11419&start=30#p259181
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