Everybody loves Friday! The end of the week and a time to slow the pace and relax. Especially in the spring-time…going for those long walks without having to bring your coat and boots. Enjoy your weekend!
Aleister Crowley ( 12 October 1875 – 1 December 1947), born Edward AlexanderCrowley,and also known as both Frater Perdurabo and The Great Beast, was an influential English occultist, mystic and ceremonial magician, responsible for founding the religious philosophy of Thelema. He was also successful in various other fields, including mountaineering, chess and poetry, and it has also been alleged that he was a spy for the British government. In his role as the founder of the Thelemite faith, he came to see himself as the prophet who was entrusted with informing humanity that it was entering the new Aeon of Horus in the early twentieth century.
THE CANADIAN CHESS NEWS LETTER
(A short critique)
I have to confess that I had not taken a close look at this pdf newsletter before, having limited myself to a quick glance now and then. But given that Tony Ficzere has been producing this monthly item for some time now, I felt that it was fair for me to actually do a critique on it. After all, we are on a learning curve, aren’t we?
First , let me congratulate Tony on his effort! I found some things excellent and some things less than excellent…but I found NOTHING really bad, or entirely silly or out of place. I think that the idea of putting in the rating lists is a good idea. I think the idea of putting in a list of the CFC leadership (plus contacts) is also excellent. Now the membership can contact those who are responsible…
What I thought could be improved on is the blurb on what the CFC is:
Is it too difficult to make clear that Canada is a founding member of FIDE (1924) and is a zone? And what is this thing about 1964? In this very same issue of the newsletter it is made clear that Canada sent a team to the Buenos Aires Olympiad in 1939–one of Abe Yanofsky’s games from that event is reproduced in full! While the above blurb is not misleading or incorrect, it is inaccurate and omissive. An outsider is given the impression of a distorted timeline.
I also like the across Canada coverage and tournament announcements! I think that any magazine (or whatever) that does NOT let the membership know what is happening across Canada is failing to fulfill one of its most important roles. Tournament players need this kind of information. And some of the games played in recently completed tournaments is a welcome touch.
I found that there was a lot of filler in this issue, some of it borrowed from old ‘En passant’s. Is this really necessary? Day’s article is interesting but Cohen’s work is infantile ( no chess historian should want to display such subjectivity). And the Masters’ Forum is a relic from the past! In this day of large databases, to continue a practice from the 1970’s where most of the fun is that the panel is supposed to be unaware of the players’ identities and then to guess their strengths, is just silly!
Besides, one of my own games is the subject of this month’s Forum and each of the panel no doubt knew that I played this game even if they did not look at their databases–the game had been previously published in several other magazines.
And this semi-farce allowed my old rival from Quebec (Jean Hebert) to playfully stick a little pin in my tush when he naughtily wrote
”These players have a solid strategic base, but limited tactical abilities (and inclinations) which is what makes the difference at the upper echelons of chess. I would rate these players between 2150 and 2300 CFC.”
In truth I was an IM with a FIDE rating of 2450 at the time! (CFC ratings then, like today, were inaccurate and at times laughable.) On the comical side, the game was introduced by Tony as being an ‘old’ game. I grant that any game played in 1976 may be looked upon as being old, but in this current newsletter Tony actually publishes more than just a couple of other games even older!
One final clarification before moving on: Tony: in 1975 I became an IM. And when you write about my achievements, not only do you omit that I won the Canadian Championship (open and closed) a zillion times but you fail to mention that I was twice a candidate for the world championship! I point this out not for my own ego or sake, but instead to make clear that as editor you should want to inform and enlighten your readership. Is it too difficult to be accurate? To dismiss this as ”…he won a number of strong international tournaments throughout his career.” robs the Canadian reader of his chess heritage.
Finally, let me end on this item: why is my blog not mentioned in the list of Canadian Chess links? I understand that I often criticize the policies of the CFC on this blog and this may appear to be unwelcome if you are an elected officer of the CFC, but the last time I checked Canada was a democracy and had a Charter of Rights.
My blog is the most widely read Canadian chess site on the web, and is also internationally respected. I average daily more than 100 times the traffic than atleast one other blog that is mentioned in the newsletter! For many CFC members, my blog is the only real source of information on what is happening in Canadian chess politics. Is this fair? Does this make sense?
However, all in all, a fine job Tony!