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Elaine Saunders Pritchard vs Jutta Hempel
Radio game (1967) (exhibition), rd 2
King Pawn Game: Damiano Defense (C40)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Dec-03-04  azaris: What a waste of stamps!
Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: Perhaps it was a Damiano theme tournament where Black had to play 2 ... f6?! and lose.
Dec-03-04  weary willy: I think this was Elaine Pritchard - and not by correspondence but in the studios of BBC, when the old "Third Programme" ran a chess programme.

Pity we don't get more chatty chess current affairs programme on radio or TV.

May-04-05  aw1988: <azaris> Lol!
Mar-28-06  Necessary Truths: 6. ... d5 doesn't lead to mate, at least not right away.
Mar-28-06  cyclemath: Hempel's paradox concerns black, as it happens.

Mar-28-06  Necessary Truths: The problem with Hempel's Paradox is the very first sentence is false:

"When numerous people over thousands of years observe something like the law of gravity, we tend to believe that it is true with very high probability."

This is NOT a rational reason to or method of believing something to be true. To see why, try to imagine deducing, "So-and-so existed 1200 years ago and observed this," BEFORE you independently observe the fact that things fall.

A rational reason to believe in the Law of Gravity would be:

1. You have (yourself) observed that things fall toward other things with mass.


2. In the (very rare) situation that you have not observed this (such as you have lived on a space station with no windows your entire life), you have the option of taking the word of someone else so long as: a. You trust their reputation for knowing things like this (you have to have observed at least some reason for that trust), b. It does not conflict with any observations you have made yourself, and c. It does not imply too many things you have NOT observed (you need to judge for yourself how much is too much).

Probability does not come into issues of true/false until a VERY high level of abstraction; when there are a large number of unknowns and/or a significant degree of potential error in the measurements.

For more detailed versions of the Law of Gravity (such as, All things fall at the same rate due to the force of Gravity; or All things accelerate at 9.81 m/sec^2 near the surface of the Earth so long as you discount friction from the air) you would have the exact same standards as before, only with a greater number of observations necessary before you could rationally claim these to be true.

With the example of, "All ravens are black," all you need to ask yourself is 1. Have I ever seen a raven that was not black? and 2. Have I seen enough ravens to convince myself of a pattern here?

If and when you do see a non-black raven you are free to change what you rationally believe; but UNTIL you see one (or have another rational reason to believe one exists) you do not have a reason to even suggest that maybe, 'Not all ravens are black." (Because as far as you've ever observed they ARE all black).

The fundamental points here are:
1. Knowledge is contextual. You do not have to take into account observations you MIGHT make in the future or what other people have observed; only what observations you HAVE made. It is already implied in everything you say that 'what you know to be true' is within the context of 'what you have observed up to this point'.

2. Probabilty is a high level abstraction and does not apply to simple statements of an observational nature, only other high level abstractions.

Mar-28-06  cyclemath: <The problem with Hempel's Paradox is the very first sentence is false:

"When numerous people over thousands of years observe something like the law of gravity, we tend to believe that it is true with very high probability."

This is NOT a rational reason to or method of believing something to be true.>

The reasoning may or may not be rational, but I don't think the statement is false. When people observe many examples of a particular phenomenon, and never observe a counterexample, they do indeed tend to think that the particular phenomenon always happens. Moreover, that is just preamble. Hempel takes it as read that there exists a hypothesis about some observable phenomenon, such as 'all ravens are black', or 'when you drop something heavy it falls'. He then goes on to remark the 'paradox' arising with respect to the phenomenon from the logical equivalence of 'A implies B' and 'not-B implies not-A'.

The Wikipedia article is not necessarily the best exposition of Hempel; it's just the first one that comes up on Google. There are many others for the interested enquirer to explore.

Mar-28-06  azaris: The proposition "all ravens are black" is false. Proof:

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: I don't see what the paradox is, it's just sort of unusual way of thinking. You are sitting with God up in heaven and you say "Hey big guy, is it true that all ravens are Black?" So He says, "Well, let's find out, shall we?" and he procedes to divide all objects into the universe into two groups: black things, and non-black things.

Then He explains to me that I should go through the enormous set of non-black things, and look for ravens. If I exhaust the entire set without finding a raven, then I know that all ravens are black.

I now have a finite job in front of me. The first thing I find is a red apple. OK, there's one non-raven. I set it aside. The next object, a purple cow. Unusual indeed but not a raven so I set it aside. Eventually I exhaust the entire set and I know for certain that all ravens are black (or I run into the abino raven azaris mentioned above.)

When I've exhausted 50% of the set, my confidence that "all ravens are black" has gone up considerably, but I'm still not certain. When I've exhausted 99% of the set my confidence goes up further. But even if there is ONE object that I haven't checked, it can't claim 100% certainty: my confidence would "only" be N-1/N where N=the # of non-black things in the universe!

So the conclusion is that every red apple or white snowflake I come across increases my confidence of the truth of the 'all ravens are black' hypothesis.

Mar-29-06  azaris: The history of philosophy and logic is full of "paradoxes" that are not really paradoxes but rather ways of keeping idle men busy pondering useless trivialities. Very much like chess.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: One of my favorite paradoxes is the "Genie bottle" paradox. It goes sort of like this:

There's this magical bottle, and if you buy it from somebody, a genie (or djinni if you prefer) comes out of the bottle and says "Hi I'm the Genie of the Bottle and I want to lay down some ground rules:"

1. For the next 24 hours I will grant you any wish you want, as many times as you like. These wishes however may not alter these rules in any way.

2. If you fail to sell the bottle within 24 hours, I will strip you of all wishes and consign you to a plane of Hell for all eternity.

3. If you sell the bottle at a profit, or even at the break-even point, I will consign you to an even HOTTER plane of hell of all eternity. You must sell the bottle at a financial loss to avoid Hell.

4. All sales with the Genie bottle must be in US currency, with whole numbers of cents; fractional pennies are not allowed. Giving it away for free is not selling it.

5. The person you sell it to must be informed of these 5 rules, and must understand them.

The question which elicits the paradox is: "What is the least amount of money you would pay for the Genie bottle?"

Let's say you buy the Genie bottle for $10,000 US Dollars. After spending a day wishing for huge pile of cash and whatever else your greedy heart desires, It would be trivial to find somebody willing to pay you $9,999.99. So would you pay $10,000 for a Genie Bottle? Of course you would!

But let's say somebody says "Here's a Genie bottle for 1 cent." If you read the rules carefully you'll notice that to accept this offer would necessarily consign you to a plane in Hell. Therefore, you say "Thanks but no thanks."

Therefore, there must be some exact number between 1 penny and 10 thousand dollars which is the mininum that you would pay. What is it number and how do you arrive at it?

Mar-30-06  azaris: <Sneaky> I suppose it's a version of the unexpected execution paradox. No one will buy the bottle for 1 cent, so no one will buy it for 2 cents, and so forth. By induction no one will ever buy the bottle.
May-19-09  PhilFeeley: This is supposed to be the game of a prodigy?
Oct-18-10  Katu: Sneaky: the problem leaks in some holes.

1. Buy it for 2 cents and sell it to an atheist.
2. Buy it for 2 cents and sell it to a sinner or someone who wants to kill himself. 3. Buy it for 2 cents and use your last wish to convince the Genie himself to buy it back for 1 cent.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: Could you get away with selling it to an atheist? They wouldn't believe in Genies either.
Oct-18-10  Katu: It comes out of the bottle so it's easy to prove it exists.
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Jutta played the Latvian Gambit on a regular basis. It seems to me that her 2nd move was the result of a postal move error, 6766 (f7-f6) instead of 6765 (f7-f5).

We've all been there. :D

Premium Chessgames Member
  roberts partner: Whiteshark's comment above is completely wrong. As already pointed out by weary willy above, this was not a postal game but was played by radio by arrangement with the BBC World Service and a German radio station. The white player was not DB Pritchard but his wife Elaine Pritchard. Elaine was also a girl prodigy in the late 1930s when she won the world girls and British womens titles and performed well against Alekhine and Spielmann in simuls. So the objective of the radio programme was to find out how the two prodigies compared. The first game, with Jutta Hempel white, is also on's database with the wrong attribution to David Pritchard as the white player. As can be seen from that game, Jutta played to the standard of a weak club player and was crushed quickly by Elaine's king-side attack. In the second game above Jutta really did play 2...f6 and lost like a beginner. When the move came through from the German announcer, Elaine shook her head and shrugged. There was even more astonishment in the BBC studio at Black's third move. Afterwards father Hempel could only say that Jutta was nervous on the big occasion. But of course she had already had successfully coped even more demanding situations. I should add that leading German players of the time like Lothar Schmid and Rudolf Teschner expressed scepticism about Jutta's claimed expolits. The respected Deutsche Scachzeitung edited by Teschner never publicised her results unlike the rival Deutsche Schachblatter which was her major chess publicity outlet.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: I had the pleasure of knowing both David and Elaine. I can well imagine that Elaine would have been disappointed and embarassed when her opponent played 1...f6. She liked to win but she was also one of the kindliest people that you could ever hope to meet.

The problem with Sneaky's "paradox" is that assumption is flawed. There does not have to be an exact value at which you would buy the bottle. It would depend on your own risk tolerance and the gullibility of your intended victim ... sorry, the person you intended to sell it to.

So when you first read the rules you need to assess the chance of being able to sell the bottle to someone else. If the cost is still high, that's not a problem. If it's getting a bit low, you need to think about who you know who is, shall we say, a bit dim. Or perhaps very greedy.

Not really a paradox, more an exercise in understanding human nature.

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <roberts partner> Thank you for correcting me! Nice story! :D

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