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Wang Hao vs Wesley So
"How So?" (game of the day Jul-01-2010)
World Junior Championship (2007), Yerevan ARM, rd 8, Oct-11
Zukertort Opening: Sicilian Invitation (A04)  ·  1-0
ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jul-02-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <BobCrisp: You sound like an absolute wuss >

So what would you have me do instead?

1. Complain to Chessgames.com about apparent racism, when I appear to be representing a minority view here? That's why I tolerate the puns.

2. Join in with the jokes about Johnny Foreigner, knowing that some people may find it offensive? That's why I don't use similar puns myself.

I prefer to stick up for my principles whatever happens. Even if that means I get called "an absolute wuss" or worse.

Do you really think that my stance is the most cowardly of all the options open to me? I don't.

<JohnBoy> You're missing the point. Laughing at someone because they have a foreign name which you think sounds a bit funny is not far from making jokes about the colour of their skin. There's no comparison with foreign words which accidentally sound rude.

Jul-02-10  JohnBoy: <Once> - hardly missing the point. Maybe sticking to a different point. That being we are playing with the sounds of their names - accidentally having meaning in our languages like the towns - rather than making fun of the players for having ordinary names in their settings. Such, agreed, would be rather nasty. But to me it is not happening here.
Jul-02-10  JohnBoy: If <Once> feels the puns are offensive, then he/she has every right to say so. I reserve the right to say that I do not share this feeling.

(Must I ad the PC slash? Is it safe to say "he" since most chess players I know are male and I am making an appeal to statistics?)

Jul-02-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jim Bartle: <Join in with the jokes about Johnny Foreigner, knowing that some people may find it offensive? That's why I don't use similar puns myself.>

Many, many jokes are made from the names of players from the United States and other countries with strong chessplayers.

Jul-02-10  gargle: This name-sensitivity wittering is pretty ridiculous. From this (Game Collection: Game of the Day, 2010) page, I count for the month of January 2010 alone, seventeen games whose joke-names are direct puns on peoples' names. Then there are four or five more where there's a more subtle name-joke. Poor Radjabov got picked on twice. Should there be a special rule against doing it specifically to East Asians?
Jul-02-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: Maybe I am being oversensitive. In my day job if I made jokes about a foreign name I would probably get sacked. Or taken to court, or both. Perhaps it's a British thing.

But as I said earlier, I have raised this in the past. Few agreed with me then, so I've stopped complaining about it. Just wanted to agree with <kingfu> that I don't like it either, but am prepared to tolerate it.

I guess it's all about seeing the other person's point of view. I have a normal run-of-the-mill English name - "Reeve" - a norman french word meaning a sherriff. But if chessgames continually made fun of my name, I don't expect that I would be too happy about it. And that is why I don't like jokes focussed on apparently strange-sounding foreign names.

In the end, we all need to find where our own personal balance is. For example, I can't get too excited about the "he"/"she" debate and those who get hot under the collar when we talk about words like "mankind" or "humanity".

<JohnBoy: If <Once> feels the puns are offensive, then he/she has every right to say so. I reserve the right to say that I do not share this feeling.> Very well said, sir! I agree 100%.

Jul-02-10  theagenbiteofoutwit: It's hard for me as a 21st century resident of the United States to share your definition of foreign, <Once>. Our chess champion's last name is <Kamsky> and our highest rated player is named <Nakamura>. Our President's last name is <Obama>, I drew a friend named <Chitianyan> at the chess club last nigh, etc.

It seems to me as if you are the one that has an ethno-centric view of the world when presume the authority to apply a definition of what is "foreign" and what is not.

Jul-02-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jim Bartle: <Just wanted to agree with <kingfu> that I don't like it either, but am prepared to tolerate it.>

You don't see the irony of siding with a person called <kingfu> on this issue? His name makes fun of Asians more than this pun does. My opinion is they're both in innocent fun and not demeaning in any way.

Jul-02-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  Marmot PFL: When you are a public figure it comes with the territory. They used to call the president Shrub, now its Nobama.
Jul-02-10  JohnBoy: <theagenbiteofoutwit> - the UK is much more culturally homogeneous that the US. Hence I understand the position of <Once>. And there are plenty of folks here in the US who would argue to the death on the side of <kingfu> and <Once>. They are the folks who would put me away for cultural insensitivity in cases like the following...

I am a mathematics professor and had an immigrant student, apparently (by physical appearances) from the subcontinent. His last name was "Thengone". I routinely come across names I cannot accurately pronounce and have to ask for help - so I said is that like "First here - then gone-baby-gone?" (lousy film reference). This was done in front of a class full of 20 year olds. He could have become angry with me, but I am glad he did not. He laughed and said I was correct. We are now friends and I am trying to help him get in to a bioengineering grad program.

These things are way too often a clash of sensitivity levels - which reflect our vastly different backgrounds. Sounds like <Once> is in a setting where homogeneity makes <Johnny Foreigner> feel particularly excluded...

Such lack of variety is rare in SF or LA or NYC. But a good friend (Armenian heritage & name) lived for a while in Oklahoma and was asked directly "You ain't one of them A-rabs are you". He never felt at home there. If this had happened on the job I am sure he could have taken action.

Jul-02-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <theagenbiteofoutwit> The USA and the UK are sometimes very different places. The UK has been guilty in the past of having a very sexist and racist media and culture. And we have our own cultural ambassador in the shape of Prince Phillip who once asked a caucasian living for a long time in China if she was worried that it would make her eyes change shape! Honestly, you couldn't make it up...

So perhaps we are approaching this from a different cultural point of view.

Like you, I have several friends with non-anglo saxon names. Heck, the Mem had a Polish maiden name. And I have long since learned (as I suspect you have) that it doesn't do the friendship much good if you make fun of their names.

If ever you get to meet the president, will you call him "Mr President" or "sir", or will you make up a <humorous> play on his name? And if you did, do you think he would be impressed?

<Jim Bartle> <kingfu>'s handle doesn't bother me. I didn't choose to side with him - it just so happened that we share the same point of view.

<JohnBoy> Again, I find myself in 100% agreement with you! Nicely put.

Jul-02-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jim Bartle: Kingfu's name doesn't bother you, but "How So" does? Take a look at Game of the Day Archive, and you'll find plays on people's names most days.
Jul-02-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  Marmot PFL: <And we have our own cultural ambassador in the shape of Prince Phillip who once asked a caucasian living for a long time in China if she was worried that it would make her eyes change shape! Honestly, you couldn't make it up...>

Wow, that's almost as bad as wearing Nazi uniforms.

Shrub once asked the president of Brazil if they had any blacks there. Yes they do, and today they are unhappy...

Jul-02-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jim Bartle: "Shrub once asked the president of Brazil if they had any blacks there."

The answer is no, to judge by Brazilian telenovelas.

Jul-02-10  kingfu: Sorry, folks. I did not mean for this to turn into a racial debate.

I picked the name kingfu because of my admiration for Bruce Lee and David Carradine and Asia! And I play for mate in Chess.

Unfortunate that they both died under mysterious circumstances. Best left for X-Files after Bobby's post-mortem paternity test. I believe Fischer is not dead. He is playing checkers with Elvis on The Grassy Knoll.

I wonder if Bruce Lee played chess? There is Chinese Chess where there is no Queen! There are pieces like rooks that are the weapons. I watched and tried to understand when two of my Vietnamese friends were playing a game. Control of the middle of that board is important as well. It is called The River.

I am very happy to see Asia produce many great Chess players.

I just wish that the game of the day at ChessGames would be based on something other than names. That is all.

Here is a good pun:

Life is OVA before it begins!

A fun pun! And especially poignant now that I am 60 years old.

A fun pun on a bun like Nathan's hot dogs in Coney Island. Riverbeast, where are the good hot dogs in Manhattan?

My memories grow longer as my days grow shorter.

Is that a pun as well? Or just observation?

When you were children, do you remember the odd smell of your Grandparent's house? What was that kind of bad smell?

My biggest fear is that I will be too pungent in my old age!

Jul-02-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jim Bartle: <My memories grow longer as my days grow shorter.>

Amen to that.

Jul-02-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: Ah, that's what I like to see - consensus is breaking out. No-one is saying that these puns are overtly racist, although some of us feel a little uncomfortable about them. Not uncomfortable enough to want to complain or to go elsewhere, but just enough to wish we could find puns that didn't play on peoples' names.
Jul-02-10  kingfu: We should always be opun to new ideas.
Jul-02-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  Jim Bartle: Without using players' names we will never have another "Michael Rohde Boat Ashore":

Rohde vs Seirawan, 1988

Jul-02-10  kingfu: Like in this game, A Sicilian:

"It's not personal, Sonny, it's business!"

"Make him an offer he can't refuse."

0-1!!!! Who refuses resignation?

Jul-02-10  kingfu: I am not saying to never use names. But, we can do more.

For example: The band Primus came on the scene with their song called , "I Want To Be a Fisherman."

This could be the theme for the Alekhine's Defense Fisher sprung on Spassky in 1972.

Who could refuse 1-0 , either!

Jul-03-10  JohnBoy: More to the point, <kingfu>, is that what we have here are hardly puns. They are just goofy names for games. You propose something on the order of meaningful names. Would be nice - but probably a paradigm shift on the order of leaving the USA Today crossword puzzle for that of the London Times.
Jul-03-10  SugarDom: Fisherman for Fisher. Wasnt that a play on Fischer's name? What gives?

We're supposed to make puns on the name. That's the whole thing about.

Aug-28-11  Nina Myers: Absolutely awesome game!
Dec-09-12  hellopolgar: Wang Hao is a tier higher than Wesley So.
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