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Raymond Keene vs Haji Ardiansyah
"Go Ahead, Mecca My Day" (game of the day Sep-05-2010)
Jakarta (1979), ?
Nimzo-Indian Defense: Saemisch Variation (E26)  ·  1-0
ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

Annotations by Raymond Keene.      [406 more games annotated by Keene]

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Sep-05-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: Nice game and instructive annotations. Black seems to lack a coherent plan and just wibbles while Ray builds up an unstoppable kingside storm.

I wasn't so convinced by 24. Qf1, as white only attacks the h3 pawn with one piece and it is defended by one piece. Fritzie wants to play 24...Nf8 and says that white's advantage is less than one pawn (+0.92).

However, black doesn't find a decent counterplan and wilts under the pressure. So 24. Qf1 gives good pragmatic chances, but I would have stopped short of giving it an exclamation mark.

The black move that doesn't work for me is 25...Bxf5. Surely it's not a good idea to allow white to plonk a pawn on f5?

By the way, am I the only one (as usual) to feel uncomfortable with the pun? It's not my faith, but it does seem a tad disrespectful to juxtapose Islam's holiest site with Dirty Harry.

Sep-05-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  Richard Taylor: I was a little at first but I then found Hadji means pilgrimage to Mecca - if Muslims or anyone else who has religion cant chuckle a bit about their faith there is no hope for us.

Hmm...Perhaps it is a bit stupid to use it though - something a bit more subtle could have been used. But I suppose it depends how or in what "spirit" it is said...

Good game though.

Sep-05-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <Richard> I know what you mean, but a sense of humour, like a faith, is a highly personal thing. It's not really up to us to decide what other people should find funny, or should believe in.
Sep-05-10  samikd: <Once> I tend to agree. I take it perfectly sportingly when people make fun of my religion of birth ( I dont have a religion of practice) or heritage ( as long as it is good-natured, of course ) but most people are very sensitive about these things. At this very moment it seems to be that the Muslims are the most sensitive ones ...which is sometimes their fault and sometimes not. I guess we should be sympathetic about that
Sep-05-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  Willber G: I think the pun is gratuitous. So the player is a Muslim - what has that to do with the game or result?
Sep-05-10  ughaibu: The pun has a lot to do with the result, from the Dirty Harry angle.
Sep-05-10  PierreTheLion: Mr. Keene, did you realize the sociological implications of 13.Ra2 over the board or did it come up in analysis? Wonderful game and annotations as always Mr. Keene.
Sep-05-10  mortigi tempo: <Once> <but a sense of humour, like a faith, is a highly personal thing. It's not really up to us to decide what other people should find funny, or should believe in.>

Who is it up to decide then? And why should one care if it offends? Is offending someone something to be avoided? What are the consequences of not offending someone (i.e. would it be possible/realistic to criticize someone without offending them)? Is it realistic to try and not offend all people? (If you were to single out one group for special treatment it would be unfair.) Do muslims really need people to watch out for them in their "best interest" so that they don't have to deal with the anger that this may or may not cause?

I really could go on but I'll leave it at that.

It's just a pun. No censorship necessary.

Sep-05-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  acirce: Odd pun to say the least. What, just because Ardiansyah has performed Hajj, a religious duty that millions of Muslims do every year, it seemed apt to use it? I doubt we'll see a GOTD pun making fun of Christian or Jewish faith/practice in a similar way.

But it would have been OK if it had at least been funny.

Sep-05-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: In Chinese Chess the 'cars' mostly drive via 2nd rank to the other part of the board.
Sep-05-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <mortigi tempo> I think there's a parallel with the Peter Zhadinov argument over at World vs Natalia Pogonina.

Peter Zhadinov - Natalia's husband - signs up with the world team. And that means that he can see all of our debates, plans, analysis. He can't see anything wrong with this, and cannot understand why anyone should object to it.

But the vast majority of the world team are annoyed by his actions. We can't help feeling that he might use this information to help his wife. However much he argues that we shouldn't be annoyed, he cannot change how we feel.

And that is the bottom line. If someone is offended by something, then it is offensive. There is no point in trying to get inside someone's head and argue that they should feel differently.

Put it another way - right now, there is a diplomatic argument brewing about a woman in Iran who has been sentenced to stoning because of an extra-marital affair. And I found that to be totally abhorrent and wrong. You can argue all you like that this is the law of the land that she lives in, and we need to respect their religion. I consider it to be wrong, and no-one will change my point of view. Don't try telling me that I should lighten up or make a joke of it.

So sure, it's just a pun. But it is bound to offend some people and you cannot argue that they should not be offended. That just isn't your choice to make. We cannot "correct" people's feelings to make them more like our own.

My beef is that it doesn't have to be this way. There are so many potential puns out there that we really don't need to pick one that plays on religious beliefs. Why can't we have a bit of respect?

Sep-05-10  kellmano: <Once> One big fat difference. In the situation you describe someone gets cruelly murdered, with a pun no-one does.

And of course Christian practices get made fun of in the same way, for about a month, at Christmas. I hate to sound so right-wing, I'm honestly not, but as a commited liberal I cannot not oppose the shouting down of jokes. It bothers me deeply.

Sep-05-10  Starf1re: <Wilber G> did you read the annotations? Both rooks are developed in the traditional "Arabic" fashion. That development and its promeninent mention in the analysis probably has just as much to do with the pun as the outcome.
Sep-05-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: C'mon it's just a pun. If you don't like puns generally or in principle, do not read them.
Sep-05-10  okba1: what an uggly and weak game by both players
Sep-05-10  ThatsTriflin: Not sure whether I agree or disagree on the pun issue, but it is a little weird to defend it on ideological grounds, ie the sanctity of a good joke. Doesn't that only lend weight to the arguments against said pun?

In the pun's defense, it isn't only a reference to the faith of the player but also to the content of Mr. Keene's annotations, which I found very entertaining. Wonderful for a casual player like me!

Sep-05-10  Milesdei: Nothing in the Constitution guarantees me the right not to be offended by someone else's speech. The pun is not gratuitous in the context of Mr. Keene's analysis.
Sep-05-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: 30. B-a4 skewers the rooks, wins the exchange. Is the mating combo pretty much forced at this juncture, so white ignores the opportunity on the queenside?
Sep-05-10  mrbiggs: Puns are intrinsically gratuitous.

Enlightening annotation, and something to think about for how The World v WGMNP.

As an aside, I feel like the acronyms for the GM get worse every game we play...

Sep-07-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Someone has a KEENE sense of humor-or is it humour?
Apr-28-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  ray keene: just saw all these comments-wd have replied earlier if i had spotted so much interest

let me make the following points:

1) i didnt choose the pun-i supplied the game and the notes-i think it refers to the name Hadji, meaning that my opponent had made the trip to Mecca.I am sure no disrespect was intended by anyone!

2) <once> suggests 24...Nf8 as a defence-i wd be interested to see how fritz continues after 25 Nf5-pls let me know!

Apr-28-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  ray keene: i had a cunning piece sac in mind after ...Nf8 met by Nf5 so i will be very interested to see what the analysis engines have to say about blacks chances of survival!
Oct-30-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  lost in space: hey <once>, Ray is waiting since ages for your answer! He will see this as an offense - I guess.
Oct-30-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  ray keene: no offence-wd just like to know some time
Oct-30-12  Shams: Surely <GM Keene> has access to a chess engine?

Variation: <24...Nf8 25.Nf5> Shredder 12 [18/55] +0.86 25...Bxf5 26.exf5 Nh7 27.g4 Qh4 28.Rg3 Ng5 29.Bd3 f6 30.Be3 Rc7 31.Rb2 Rce7 32.Rc2 Rb8 33.Bc1 Rbe8 34.Bxg5

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