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Poll closed Question: What was the Opening Book of the Year for 2013?
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*** This poll has now closed ***


The King's Gambit ~ Shaw    
  23 (32.4%)
The Open Spanish ~ Mikhalevski    
  6 (8.5%)
The Panov-Botvinnik Attack ~ D'Costa    
  0 (0.0%)
Kotronias on the King's Indian, V. 1: Fianch    
  4 (5.6%)
GM Repertoire 12: The Modern Benoni~ Petrov    
  3 (4.2%)
Playing the French ~Aagaard & Ntirlis    
  14 (19.7%)
The Ultimate anti-Grunfeld...~Svetushkin    
  2 (2.8%)
A Practical White Rep. w/ 1.d4 &2.c4~Kornev    
  4 (5.6%)
GM Repertoire 14: The French Defence v 1~Berg    
  0 (0.0%)
The Perfect Pirc-Modern ~Moskalenko    
  3 (4.2%)
GM Repertoire 14: The French Defence v 2~Berg    
  5 (7.0%)
Cunning Chess Opening Rep. for White~Burgess    
  7 (9.9%)




Total votes: 71
« Last Modified by: Smyslov_Fan on: 02/12/14 at 16:31:48 »
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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) John Shaw wins 2013 Opening Book of the Year! (Read 59344 times)
Smyslov_Fan
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Re: John Shaw wins 2013 Opening Book of the Year!
Reply #177 - 03/04/14 at 16:39:28
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I am locking this thread now.

If people are interested in discussing the meaning of "N" they can create a new topic.

I will probably split off parts of this discussion to new threads later. I don't have time right now.
  
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Jacob Aagaard
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Re: John Shaw wins 2013 Opening Book of the Year!
Reply #176 - 03/04/14 at 16:33:01
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I know I should stay out of this for my own sanity, but let us take it blow by blow. Where should we start?

Buecker did send ME the issues of Kaissiber some years back, as I remember it, it had a lot to do with books sent to Kaissiber for review; but honestly, I do not remember the details. Stefan was very kind and helpful at that point, but I see now that it was a poisoned chalice and I wish I had not accepted them. 

John did not go through everything from that magazine, because he does not speak German. Any idea of violation of copyright is pure nonsense. He did check a great number of sources and have credited them where they he used the material to write the book.

The idea that we should have a big advantage over other publishers because we do not respect copyright is ridiculous on so many grounds that I get lost in them. But let us take a few of them.

* Anyone who checks the chess literature to the extent we do, will know that a lot of books are refuted years in advance. Why? Because they ignore main sources. Do we at times miss sources? Sure, we do. Most recently of the important ones: Attack with Black by Aveskulov for the Trompowsky book.

* Plagiarism is a strong word. Actually it is libelous unless proven, which in this case it cannot, as it is entirely ficticious. It is a key part of copyright law and infers a deliberate copying of other people's material without accreditation. There have been numerous cases of novels where the content is close, but where there is no clear indication that the novelist had written the proposed source. Most famous probably the JK Rowling case.

If you use someone else's work without their permission (even when you believe you have the permission) it is a violation of copyright. (Although there are some exceptions, mainly to do with facts, but let us ignore this for now.)

However, if you reach the same conclusions based on independent work, it is not plagiarism. In our case, analysis of the same positions with the help of engines, will often reach similar outcomes.

Let us compare chess with academia, which I think makes a lot of sense. There is just no way that you will find that top academics will not publish their own work without reading every possible source. It just cannot be done.

Buecker's accusation includes the ludicris assertion that John somehow wrote the King's Gambit quickly to make money. Anyone who wants to think that through and know anything about anything, will laugh until they pass out.

In the same way, when writing about the King's Gambit, you just cannot carefully check 15,000 pages of analysis (and have a life). You have to make tough choices of what is useful and what is not.

And here we come to the crux of the matter. John looked at Kaissiber, but it was just not a main source of information. Buecker clearly understands this and has taken it personally and his constant attacks on John (and now me also) are nothing less than a case of personal slight run amok.

The fact that the moderator has not removed some of the most obscene comments or asked Buecker to rephrase it in a way that would not leave ChessPublishing open for libel suits are beyond me. Sure, we would never sue, but I don't refrain from breaking the law just because I might get caught. I also consider it common decency. You can argue that libel is a civil matter, but this does not really avoid my request for civility.

About the vote on our blog (which I am happy to see is no longer referred to as manipulated). 44% agrees with Buecker's definition. I am sure that he has called on all his friends to vote, which probably means that 44% independently voted for a different definition than we use...



  
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Re: John Shaw wins 2013 Opening Book of the Year!
Reply #175 - 03/04/14 at 16:08:21
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Stefan, are you 100% sure that you are the first that has fotographed this particular bird in that particular place? Have you consulted all the possible sources before making such a claim?  Smiley

In my experience that has to do with the books i have co-authored at QC, there is a constant strive for checking as many sources as possible. If this was not done properly this time with the KG book, as John Shaw said, it is something that can be corrected in the re-print. From that point, to going into a debate about copyrighting chess analysis (hasn't that issue been solved decades ago?) and manipulation of online polls at the QC blog, we have a big "logical jump" imho.

Also, i haven't seen Stefan (or in fact anyone else) raising such strong arguments against the use of "N" so many years that the "Grand Master Repertoire series" is alive (since 2008 as i seem to recall).

This is definately an interesting discussion and i think that i don't need to express my respect to Stefan's contributions to this foroum, but it really has become very akward to continue reading this thread. I too think that it should be closed.
  
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Re: John Shaw wins 2013 Opening Book of the Year!
Reply #174 - 03/04/14 at 15:26:57
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brabo wrote on 03/04/14 at 14:49:04:
I believe we should ask ourselves if it is ok to write a book without consulting the vast literature of chess. Especially about the kings gambit there exists a huge amount of material.


This is an important point. In the theory of the King's Gambit, the amount of theoretical analyses, old or new, is relatively large. In comparison, modern openings regularly seen in tournaments can't look back on such a long history. Thus, the approach as described by Shaw (focusing on the database) may probably not result in so many omissions as in the King's Gambit.

brabo wrote on 03/04/14 at 14:49:04:
From a book of the Quality chess standard and of which years of work is included we should expect that literature is consulted and credited [...]


Exactly. Jacob Aagaard and company have an impressive track record of publishing fine books. It is strange that they do not strive for quality in every respect, including research and copyright. In my opinion, it would clearly give them an enormous competitive advantage over other chess book publishers.

50 percent of their blog visitors have expressed their opinion in the poll that staring at the screen to check your database should not be enough for a "Quality" publisher.
  
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Re: John Shaw wins 2013 Opening Book of the Year!
Reply #173 - 03/04/14 at 15:10:02
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Stefan Buecker wrote on 03/04/14 at 12:55:24:
Is this the modern way to do "research" for an openings book?

indeed, which modern openings book doesn't?
  
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Re: John Shaw wins 2013 Opening Book of the Year!
Reply #172 - 03/04/14 at 14:58:49
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I am in favour of locking this thread.

While I do think that Stefan has some grounds for being unhappy, some of his accusations are off the mark (the real meaning of 'N', the phrasing of the poll --- splitting the opinion you are supposed to push does not increase its likelihood of winning). 

Discussing concrete examples (e.g analysis being copied (p.85-89 in Shaw's book) from Kaissiber which he sent upon request) in a separate thread would make much more sense than the current discussion.

I simply think that writing a book on the opening theory of the kings gambit which is historically accurate is simply beyond the power of any one man or woman so some shortcuts have to be taken and some mistakes will be invariably made (which may very well explain the example cited above).
  
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Re: John Shaw wins 2013 Opening Book of the Year!
Reply #171 - 03/04/14 at 14:50:02
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Stefan Buecker wrote on 03/04/14 at 14:37:23:
Grin  Grin  Grin

I am totally convinced by your wonderful arguments
  
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Re: John Shaw wins 2013 Opening Book of the Year!
Reply #170 - 03/04/14 at 14:49:04
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[quote author=07272127273422460 link=1389074811/168#168 date=1393939390]
As majority of Buecker's slandering of my collegue and my company has been based on his superior understanding of the N-word, I can understand why he would fear an open and honest vote on it and immediately put it into disrepute. [/quote]

This statement is clearly unnecessary and counterproductive. I believe we should ask ourselves if it is ok to write a book without consulting the vast literature of chess. Especially about the kings gambit there exists a huge amount of material.

Arguments not to consult
- It is not easy and probably very expensive to acquire all those materials
- Lot of these old materials are likely flawed as based without engine support

Arguments to consult
- Even if analysis is built on own force, we still need to check properly if it has not been written earlier as otherwise we risk to violate the copy rights (not fully clear if this is here the case as some literature is very old, written in different countries,...)
- From a book of the Quality chess standard and of which years of work is included we should expect that literature is consulted and credited even if it is unclear that a legal obligation exists.

I don't think polls can solve such dilemma but I do agree with Stefan that at least some reflection is needed about this matter.
  
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Re: John Shaw wins 2013 Opening Book of the Year!
Reply #169 - 03/04/14 at 14:37:23
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Jacob Aagaard wrote on 03/04/14 at 13:23:10:
For the last three weeks I have seen Stefan Buecker question the character of one of the most moral people I know.

Untrue, I have just criticized the way in which The King's Gambit is crediting its sources (or rather not). It is impossible for me to decide who is responsible for the violation of copyrights, Shaw or Aagaard, who has edited and contributed to the book. From my view the jury is still out. It may well be Jacob Aagaard himself who has invented the phrase "technically, this is not a novelty,..."

In his latest blog entry at Quality Chess, Aagaard writes:

Quote:
Therefore you will frequently find in our books a N and a comment saying that another person has analysed this in xxx publication.


If only...

Grin  Grin  Grin
  
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Re: John Shaw wins 2013 Opening Book of the Year!
Reply #168 - 03/04/14 at 13:23:10
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I would like to have a short say before we end this, please.

For the last three weeks I have seen Stefan Buecker question the character of one of the most moral people I know.

I have been asked not to react to it anywhere by John, as it only affected me indirectly. Instead I have seen him agonise over the slandering of his character; yet sticking to his early commitment not to get into a big online fight, though it continued without him.

Between Buecker's various libelous comments, he does bring up an interesting question: What is a novelty? He clearly has a different definition than I do. So I thought it was interesting to see what people coming to our blog thought; as there is a big overlap between with this forum.

I put up three clear definitions, without any explanation, not to influence the vote. To Buecker this equals "manipulation", because I do not link to this debate. Obviously, with no argument coming from either side, this is not the case. And not surprisingly, people did not let themselves be manipulated.

There is a division between those wanting to include computer games on the "played in a game" side of the argument, but looking beyond that, it is a small majority. Let's call it 50-50 to be nice.

As majority of Buecker's slandering of my collegue and my company has been based on his superior understanding of the N-word, I can understand why he would fear an open and honest vote on it and immediately put it into disrepute. I just hope that the rest of this forum understand that when we have 500 novelties in a book, we do not add an N to 10-20 random positions to boost sales. Rather it is Buecker that did not like the King's Gambit book and slowly accelerated out of the orbit of reason in his arguments.

On a final note, I think the moderator should remove obvious libelous posts. Not because anyone would want to sue, but just to keep a certain baseline of decency.
  
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Re: John Shaw wins 2013 Opening Book of the Year!
Reply #167 - 03/04/14 at 12:55:24
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GMTonyKosten wrote on 03/04/14 at 11:37:03:
[...] everyone has had plenty of time for debate and to make any points they wanted to make so perhaps we should lock it now? Undecided

Sure. Just a last remark. Maybe an example from another field would have been better to explain the basics of copyright law. Not all of us are writing chess books, but I guess we all have a smart phone. So when you are out in the park and see a bird, you can take a picture. Would you assume that it is legal for Quality Chess to grab your photo from your web site and publish it in their next book on the Bird Opening, after photoshopping your photo, to make it more family friendly?

My goal in this thread, as explained in one of my earlier comments:

Stefan Buecker wrote on 02/22/14 at 22:30:17:
What I want is to have Quality Chess spell out, exactly, how seriously they are taking the copyright in opening literature.


John Shaw hasn't gone into more details, but he has admitted the following:

Quote:
[...] but our database does not have this game (that’s how I see if a move is a novelty or not).


Is this the modern way to do "research" for an openings book? You can just ignore the vast literature of chess, all what counts is your own database (no matter how large or small)? An author like Shaw apparently does not even need to look into the Bilguer/Handbuch to check whether a move is actually new or not. There are people here at the Chesspub forum who believe that there is nothing wrong at all with this approach from John Shaw and Jacob Aagaard. - My advice to those members: When it comes to a discussion of copyright issues, just close your eyes, and the problem will soon go away. 
[Note to John Shaw: My photograph below is copyrighted.]


  
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Re: John Shaw wins 2013 Opening Book of the Year!
Reply #166 - 03/04/14 at 12:54:50
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Stefan Buecker wrote on 03/04/14 at 10:07:27:
Your third option "Not previously played, mentioned or suggested by anyone" is ridiculously broad, apparently to discourage votes.

It didn't seem ridiculously broad to me; it seemed like one reasonable possible definition (with the implicit "to the author's knowledge" added to the end of course).

If the wording was meant to discourage votes, it didn't work; that choice won the poll.
  
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Re: John Shaw wins 2013 Opening Book of the Year!
Reply #165 - 03/04/14 at 11:37:03
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Congratulations to John for his victory. I found the thread very interesting myself, but I think everyone has had plenty of time for debate and to make any points they wanted to make so perhaps we should lock it now? Undecided
  
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Re: John Shaw wins 2013 Opening Book of the Year!
Reply #164 - 03/04/14 at 10:47:16
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Stefan,

“I cannot understand how you can defend the illegal practice of plagiarism in general, in particular your broad branding of ideas as your own which they are not.”

You cannot understand this because I do not defend plagiarism, and the suggestion that I do achieves a new level of hostility from you.

We give an “N” sign as meaning a move has not been played before in a tournament game, as far as we know. It is not “branding” an idea. That is your definition.

And with that, I am done with you.
  
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Re: John Shaw wins 2013 Opening Book of the Year!
Reply #163 - 03/04/14 at 10:07:27
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John Shaw wrote on 03/03/14 at 14:59:39:
I stayed out of it while the vote was open, [...]

Hello John,

thanks for your reaction. I can understand that you remained silent during the poll. Any comment on my previous remarks on your book would be much appreciated. I might eventually debate some of the analytical findings in your book, but for now I'll focus on the N matter. 

I cannot understand how you can defend the illegal practice of plagiarism in general, in particular your broad branding of ideas as your own which they are not. If you call me cynical, what do you call the ongoing poll on the site of Quality Chess on the definition of "N" for novelty? This manipulative poll is deeply cynical, in my opinion. There is no background information for the online visitors. Surely some would have voted differently if they were aware of this thread. Your third option "Not previously played, mentioned or suggested by anyone" is ridiculously broad, apparently to discourage votes. What is missing? It is not the abstract "mention by anyone" what this debate is about. You have avoided to credit sources in your own bibliography, on p. 8. Why do you have a bibliography at all if you decide to ignore the books? And when you are writing something like "technically, this is not a novelty", you are clearly aware that someone else has found the idea before you. Is it really too painful for you to give the name and the source of the earlier author, instead of using this kind of tortured language? Let me quote what Ametanoitos has written below:

Quote:
It has happened me to be a co-author in two books and both times when there was an "N" that i knew that had been suggested elsewhere i mentioned it in the text as well as i put the source at the bibliography section.

Thanks, Ametanoitos. This is what the readers of a chess book are expecting from an author. Not every author, not even every QC author, is handling the N in the same way as John Shaw does.

If QC would take its customers seriously, it would have phrased the question in the N poll differently: "Do you want Quality Chess authors to take the copyright seriously and credit all their sources properly, including ideas published in books or articles?"
  
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