< Earlier Kibitzing · PAGE 35 OF 35 ·
|Apr-28-16|| ||Tabanus: Stolen from the web, and modified:
"We like to break up complicated situations into simple(r) ones, and then to take the pieces and put them together in various ways. Many lessons may be learned from this procedure. However, we cannot claim that this approach, the assembly of fragments, exhausts reality."
|Apr-28-16|| ||luftforlife: <Tab>: Well-put. And see this post and the whole related discussion: Edward Winter (kibitz #11).|
Here's a description of a baseball player that seems apropos:
"[A]lthough he possessed a stunning array of native athletic abilities he was never going to be a halfway decent major league ballplayer because all of those attributes were deeply and irrevocably flawed <and because there was no sense of balance or coordination between the flawed and the unflawed components. Which is to say that if you are starting out to construct a large cantaloupe, the best thing to have is a small cantaloupe and not a collection of large cantaloupe parts. More often than not the parts don't fit.>"
Brendan C. Boyd and Fred C. Harris, The Great American Baseball Card Flipping, Trading and Bubble Gum Book (Boston: Little, Brown & Co., second printing, 1973), 140-41.
|Apr-29-16|| ||Tabanus: <luft> For many old tournaments it's hard to find the parts in the first place. Then, after having collected all the parts, what to do next? I don't know :) 1) One may take pictures of the parts (say, newspaper columns) and show them to the public. 2) Or transcribe the text and display this. Or 3) just display links to other pages with those parts, or 4) do nothing, or 5) pick the parts that go into a pgn only, or 6) ... write a subjective summary. I suppose 7) objective summary is impossible. Oh, never mind :)|
|Apr-29-16|| ||luftforlife: <Tab>: I think we rise to these challenges with aplomb, though some frustration is well-nigh inevitable. In some ways, I think the Internet, with its webpages and fora, is just right for certain projects. I do benefit from Edward Winter's Chess Notes, and I do benefit from the game-collections and tournament-pages here. Certainly I benefit from your work, wherever it appears. You favor hard data and rigorous analysis, and I appreciate your scholarship and your historiography. |
Determining how best to present collected archival material can become something of a conundrum, and sometimes site-limitations (as here), or the vagaries of country-to-country availability (e.g. trying to provide universal access via links to Google Books), deny us a handy or optimal answer. For example, I wanted very much to show (not just to cite to) both out-of-copyright photographs featuring Ernest Saunders taken ten years apart and published in the ACM; there isn't a ready way for a member not an editor to do that here, but that's fine (member-uploads would take up server-space, raise copyright issues, and possibly present security risks). I know you would help, of course, and you did helpfully upload one version of one of those photos, so no worries. :) Ed Winter does wonders with his scans (though I don't believe his proprietary interest in them to be well-founded), and they work well for him, and for others, and they fit the online format quite well.
I do enjoy quoting and excerpting text faithfully, and I do derive satisfaction from gathering and citing sources in a scholarly way, towards the end of furthering understanding. Citations, including those in Source tags, demonstrate validity (the bona fides of one's research), offer verifiability (fact-checking -- especially useful with game-scores), and facilitate further research in primary and secondary sources. It makes sense to me to include in a Source tag a cite to your helpful Manitoba Free Press data (which I could not readily access, but which were vital to the PGN header -- especially in light of the partial revelation of the upload-submission vetting process in <cg>'s kibitz to <MissS.> that you so helpfully linked) -- and to cite as well to The Montreal Witness, which I was able to consult, and which was the original source from which Checkmate freely borrowed with attribution.
I definitely appreciate your scholarly approach in all matters, and I'm grateful for your sharing philosophical insights as well. :) And it is fun and rewarding working with you to improve our own and everyone's understanding of a player such as Ernest Saunders. I do hope his games make it in, for they are, of course, part of the essential corpus of his chess legacy; the biography is vital, for sure, and certainly interesting in its own right, but I'm with you: whether we're working on a bio, a game-collection, or a tournament-page, we need the games, for they are the alpha and omega of why we care about the player, and of their contributions to the realm of chess.
|May-01-16|| ||Tabanus: <luft> Editors cannot upload pictures. I'd have to send a picture link to CG by mail, or post the link in their forum, and then hope for the best. I have done that many times (headshots found on the net, the last one being of Charles Henry Wheeler), but on one occasion CG made a headshot from a group picture that I sent in. On Saunders I agree that we need the games, but I won't wait for them for months. I'm not that interested in "singular" chess games any more :) (which is a shame) but if I had planned to make a report on one of the Canadian championships, the situation would be different.|
|May-01-16|| ||Tabanus: But that's me. I have enjoyed making tournament reports, and some decent ones as well, I believe, even if written by a "patzer", but now is probably the time to let it go. Good luck to the next TI event supplyer (and I hope you will be one!) -- and CG's tools for doing such are fine.|
|May-01-16|| ||luftforlife: <Tab>: Thanks for your messages. Yes, I gathered even editors have to follow the process you had outlined; didn't mean to suggest otherwise. I I figured an editor might have a better chance than an ordinary member or user of having a photograph uploaded, but I'm not sure about that. |
I don't yet have all the games from any of the Canadian Championships about which I'd really like to write. Even if my submissions are uploaded (which of course would be welcome), I think I'd probably wind up creating incomplete game-collections, which might still be worthwhile and might still be well-received by others. I gather having a complete set of games from a tournament is a sine qua non of having one's game-collection approved by voting as a TI event, but I may be wrong in this regard.
I do hope to create game-collections, and to have at least some of them accepted as TI events. I appreciate your offer to help me to learn about formatting if and when I have sufficient games for a given event to warrant creating a game-collection.
Hope you're doing well. :)
|May-01-16|| ||Tabanus: <luft> Same to you :) I'm fine, and now a small fishing trip. The sun is finally back, and it's no less than 12 oC! |
I have found the writing process as interesting as the games. I like to gather information and find out things, probably as a consequence of my profession (job). Also I have picked events which have all the games (or most of them), often collected from before by someone else (suenteus, Hesam7 etc.). Having only some the games is of course perfectly fine, as long as a decent effort has been made to find the ones available. I'll gladly try to help.
|May-01-16|| ||luftforlife: <Tab>: Glad you are well, and have a small fishing trip before you, with good weather too. :) Here it is cold and rainy for this time of year, and that suits me well at present. I'm not quite ready to let go of winter; last summer was glorious, but brutally hot. I do enjoy outdoor activities, and I get out often, but hibernation has its appeals too.|
I love the writing process myself, and I marvel at how well you amass data so quickly and weave together the threads of information into a rich tapestry of chess history. The well-told narrative with its fascinating details brings the whole tournament to life, and animates the engagements of the players. I find your TI entries engrossing and edifying, as I do a few other members' entries as well.
Again I appreciate your help in all areas, and I'm looking forward soon to making more, and more substantial, contributions. It all takes time -- amalgamating the research, running down leads, double-checking facts, correcting errors, finding games, buttoning-up details, making discoveries, and, as you've pointed out before, research is learning. I love it myself, and I know you do, too. The research leads to the writing; some sources are just begging to be quoted and excerpted. As the pieces fit together to form a coherent whole, some in background, some in foreground, the real story emerges -- sometimes a story one didn't expect. All of this to me is joyful. :) More soon.
|May-02-16|| ||luftforlife: <Tab>: Good news! I received today a friendly e-mail message from Daniel Freeman welcoming me to the editorial fold. :) Thanks for your support, your collegiality, and your friendship. I'm really looking forward to our continued collaborations. Cheers.|
|May-02-16|| ||Tabanus: <luft> Great news, and really what I expected :) I think you can look forward to years of joy/fun. Perhaps you will tire up in the end (like me), but no reason to think about that now! Tip (not that you need it): use simple words and few adjectives, send in batches rather than single games :)|
|May-02-16|| ||luftforlife: <Tab>: Thanks! I appreciate the tips, and I'll follow them. Good advice. :)|
|May-02-16|| ||luftforlife: <Tab>: So I perused all that you uncovered on Harold Saunders, and, of course, I found no middle name or initial. John Saunders's contributions didn't reveal one either. He did quote from a death notice in the [London?] Times dated July 15, 1950, published two days after Harold's death; I tried to find an obituary, but I could not access the necessary resources. Perhaps you might have access? A thorough obituary might prove dispositive. I tried a few Canadian resources (including a regional archival source linked into an official national governmental database) to find a copy of his birth certificate, or at least some record of his birth (beyond what you'd already discovered), but I had no luck.|
|May-02-16|| ||Tabanus: <luft> I have not seen a trace of middle name anywhere. I was looking for The Times obituary also, but could not find it. Oh, the advice: I learned long time ago about the trick of no adjectives, it works! :) I'm pretty sure it makes the text more "impressing", not the opposite.|
|May-02-16|| ||luftforlife: <Tab>: Thanks for searching for the Times obituary, and for some evidence of Harold Saunders's middle name. I'll keep digging. :)|
You're right about adjectives. Ernest Hemingway called Ezra Pound "the man who had taught me to distrust adjectives as I would later learn to distrust certain people in certain situations." Michael Reck, Ezra Pound: A Close-Up (New York: McGraw-Hill Book Co. 1973), 41.
In The Elements of Style, for generations now a standard guide to writing well in English, The New Yorker staff-writer and children's-books author E.B. White prescribed the following:
"Write with nouns and verbs, not with adjectives and adverbs. The adjective hasn't been built that can pull a weak or inaccurate noun out of a tight place. This is not to disparage adjectives and adverbs; they are indispensable parts of speech. . . . In general, however, it is nouns and verbs, not their assistants, that give to good writing its toughness and color."
E.B. White, Chapter V, "An Approach to Style," William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White, The Elements of Style (New York: Macmillan Pub. Co., third ed. 1979), 71-72.
White went on to counsel avoidance of use of qualifiers:
"<Rather, very, little, pretty> -- these are the leeches that infest the pond of prose, sucking the blood of words." Id. at 73.
I fall prey to these maladies more often than I should do. Thanks for reminding me of the rigors of clean, spare expository writing.
Good writing is a habit, and a discipline, and, while exacting, and difficult to accomplish, it is worthy of, and it rewards, the constant vigilance it demands. You are right: eschewing adjectives often makes prose stronger -- more muscular, more impressive, more effective -- not weaker. Thanks again for the sound advice. :)
|May-03-16|| ||Tabanus: <luft> Memory is failing me. I did find the obituary in The Times, but only after John Saunders found it. And correctly transcribed it, as I see it now.|
Good to see that Hemingway and E. B. White thought the same ;) If only I knew as many English nouns and verbs as them.
|May-03-16|| ||luftforlife: <Tab>: Take heart. :) Not sure your memory is failing you, though mine is surely failing me. I did see John Saunders's quotation from the death record of Harold Saunders published in the London Times on July 15, 1950, but unless I've completely missed it, I've yet to read the obituary. Not sure how this worked in mid-twentieth-century London, but in the 'States, leading newspapers usually publish two (sometimes three) items after a noted person dies: the death notice; the obituary; and, sometimes, one or more memorial recollections or encomiums. I figured the obituary would be more fulsome in its disclosures than the death notice was. Did you find it, and post it in a kibitz? I can't find it here, but then my own close-reading skills may have atrophied. :-O|
You write well -- better than do most native English speakers, that's for sure. What's more, you're a gifted detective, storyteller, and historian, and those qualities shine through all your prose.
I highly recommend The Elements of Style: it's brief, easy-to-read, informative, and enjoyable. It's more than just a guide to grammar and usage; it's also a worthy guide to developing and refining one's own writing style. It's an enduring and valuable resource, and I consult it regularly.
|May-03-16|| ||Tabanus: <luft> I have a "Manual of Style" somewhere, I'll try to find it :) Else, I rarely buy books now. The "obituary" -- it was the death notice I saw. I just looked more in The Times but cannot find any real obituary. Probably the war caused failing memories.|
|May-03-16|| ||luftforlife: <Tab>: What's interesting is that Harold Saunders seems to have been the most formidable player of the Saunders Brothers, and the most prominent, yet, in some ways, we know less about him than we do about Ernest Saunders (who was top man in Toronto for a while, and who was no slouch himself). Weird that there was no obituary for Harold Saunders. I wonder where the Dutch got their information -- possibly from Harold Saunders's club secretary, who forwarded his information prior to his overseas tournament appearances?|
|May-04-16|| ||Tabanus: <luft> Hmmm. Who knows. There could be something muffins here. What if the one who died in 1950 is not the chess player Saunders? Why did he start playing so late, compared with his brothers? In England, several "Harold Saunders" died each year, it was a very common name.|
|May-04-16|| ||luftforlife: <Tab>: Muffins? :) I've never heard that before. Yes, it is a bit funky that Harold started so late, but perhaps he deferred competitive chess until he'd become successful in his career. I did see offhand online references to a Harold E. Saunders, born in 1890 and deceased in 1961, who had been casually described as a bridge-player and chess-competitor, but those references did not pan out; in actuality, they were references to a United States Naval Captain who became a renowned naval architect, and who did not play chess competitively.|
|May-04-16|| ||Tabanus: <luft> And another "Harold E. Saunders" in London was a Salvation Army captain at age 21. Certainly not him. I'm 99,99% sure we have the right man - the stockbroker! "Muffins" = translated from Norwegian slang "muffens" = something suspicious :)|
|May-04-16|| ||luftforlife: <Tab>: I'll have to watch those "blueberries" in my muffins from now on! ;-) I'm with you on the stockbroker.|
|May-05-16|| ||luftforlife: <Tab>: Thank you for your kibitz in the Bistro. My memory is no longer perfect, but it's still eidetic, and your quotation was directly in point, and apropos. Thanks for the support, and for locating and quoting the language you did. :) Frankly, I just don't have the stomach for that stuff here; it's just a waste of time for me: fruitless, endless, counterproductive, and, in the end, just upsetting. I'm used to representing, and sometimes defending, clients in court who attorn to my authority to act on their behalf -- who make me their "attorney-at-law" -- and to citing to cases and statutes in legal briefs I submit on their behalf, but I shouldn't have to, and certainly prefer not to, defend myself here at all, let alone spend my time locating passages from past exchanges so I may cite them in my own unnecessary defense. Thanks again for speaking up as you did; certainly I didn't prompt you to do so, but I'm glad you did so. :)|
|May-06-16|| ||Tabanus: <luft> Your'e welcome. I have quarreled with this guy for years, but he only gets worse. And now even I have lost my interest in the Bistro, and in biographing. I think CG should do something, e. g. state what the Bistro is for, and what it's not for. Perhaps the Bistro should be reserved for members only.|
< Earlier Kibitzing · PAGE 35 OF 35 ·
100% Cotton Chess Puzzle Shirt