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Poll closed Question: ChessPub Book of the year 2019
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*** This poll has now closed ***


Keep It Simple 1.d4: Christof Sielecki    
  8 (17.4%)
The Modern Defence: Cyrus Lakdawala    
  1 (2.2%)
Opening Repertoire the Ruy Lopez: J. Doknjas    
  0 (0.0%)
Playing the Najdorf: David Vigorito    
  8 (17.4%)
The Modernised Dutch: Adrian Demuth    
  2 (4.3%)
Fight 1. d4 with the Tarrasch: V. Kotronius    
  3 (6.5%)
The Safest Grunfeld Reloaded: A. Delchev    
  4 (8.7%)
The Modern Scotch: Khalifman & Soloviov    
  1 (2.2%)
Opening Repertoire: The Sicilian Najdorf: Doknjas    
  2 (4.3%)
GM repertoire Sicilian Taimanov: Pavlidis    
  6 (13.0%)
New Repertoire for Black and White: Kaufman    
  5 (10.9%)
Squeezing 1.e4 e5: Khalifman and Soloviov    
  6 (13.0%)




Total votes: 46
« Created by: RoleyPoley on: 07/11/20 at 21:33:54 »
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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) ChessPub Book of the year 2019 (Read 4104 times)
Stigma
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Re: ChessPub Book of the year 2019
Reply #35 - 09/15/20 at 00:23:47
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I'm a bit baffled myself that my view should be at all hard to understand (whether you agree with it or not).

But if I need to be even more specific:
In a jury people discuss and try to persuade each other before deciding. With wholly independent voting, on the other hand, they're expected to make their own independent choices without undue influence, and there are some (large or small) rules or social conventions that limit how much people try to influence each other.

I'm not claiming there are no borderline cases - these are really just idealized, pure systems while reality is often messy. I don't even have very strong opinions on which ideal is better. But the ChessPub Book of the Year has been basically an independent vote for as long as I can remember (granted, with some hiccups like that Twitter incident, but limiting the vote to already registered users seems to have helped). Hence the poll results being hidden while voting is ongoing - it's really not a mystery at all. If people could see the results so far before casting their vote, they could for instance realize their first choice was likely a "wasted vote" and go for their second choice with real winning chances instead. That would no longer be an independent choice.

If you want to change it into more of a discussion-based (hence jury-like) system, that's a perfectly valid view. But the point is this year it was still an independent vote. And so it was still best not to criticize the nominees in the same thread while voting was open.
  

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an ordinary chessplayer
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Re: ChessPub Book of the year 2019
Reply #34 - 09/14/20 at 22:01:18
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Stigma wrote on 09/14/20 at 20:55:51:
My objection was on principle. I would have the same view no matter which of the books was criticized in the thread with the still open poll. Though possibly I wouldn't have bothered mentioning it if the comments had been less harsh.

Why do you think the results are hidden until the poll closes? I thought it obvious the point of that is people should vote independently and not based on what others have plumped for. If everyone discusses their decision during voting, you basically have a kind of jury instead.

It's okay, I don't mind being baffled.

For the mystery of why the poll results were hidden, it's not something I worried about. Usually these things have a reason, like in a previous year the poll results were visible, it caused some sort of "problem", and the solution was to hide the poll results next year. Okay whatever, there are always some children misbehaving on the internet, do what you have to do.

As for people (maybe not) voting independently, that also makes no sense to me, since I always do that anyway, whether or not I have discussed things with others! I do find though that in evidence-based procedures it's valuable to listen to what others think, simply because there isn't enough time to evaluate all the evidence myself. So if someone can summarize their own take on the evidence, I can use that information to improve my own decision, before coming to my own conclusions.

I still don't see your distinction between independent voting and "a kind of jury instead". Juries weigh the evidence and then agree or not. It makes sense if they agree, because they are all looking at the same evidence, and it makes sense if they don't agree, because they are voting independently. So what are you driving at with this juries vs independent voting thing?
  
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Stigma
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Re: ChessPub Book of the year 2019
Reply #33 - 09/14/20 at 20:55:51
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My objection was on principle. I would have the same view no matter which of the books was criticized in the thread with the still open poll. Though possibly I wouldn't have bothered mentioning it if the comments had been less harsh.

Why do you think the results are hidden until the poll closes? I thought it obvious the point of that is people should vote independently and not based on what others have plumped for. If everyone discusses their decision during voting, you basically have a kind of jury instead.
  

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an ordinary chessplayer
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Re: ChessPub Book of the year 2019
Reply #32 - 09/14/20 at 19:01:38
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Stigma wrote on 09/14/20 at 16:47:08:
But if the majority here are all for discussing the nominees in the poll thread, I defer to that, even though it feels wrong to me as it blurs the line between independent votes and a jury.

I'm baffled. I'm not at all sure why independent votes are necessarily different from a jury. Lacking that knowledge, I naturally also don't understand why independent votes would be better. Nor did I see where the poll requested that people vote independently rather than as a jury, although if it was obvious to everyone else I suppose it could go without saying....

I actually thought your initial objection was a polite way of saying you didn't like the unnecessarily harsh comments made regarding one of the nominees, but now I don't know.
  
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Re: ChessPub Book of the year 2019
Reply #31 - 09/14/20 at 16:47:08
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Dink Heckler wrote on 09/14/20 at 07:19:30:
You'd think we were voting for a world government the way some of you are banging on about influencing the polls and whatnot. Given the stakes involved, I think we can allow discussants a little bit of latitude.

I understand the stakes here are small of course. I just care about fair processes and enjoy a good discussion of principles.

But if the majority here are all for disussing the nominees in the poll thread, I defer to that, even though it feels wrong to me as it blurs the line between independent votes and a jury.
  

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Re: ChessPub Book of the year 2019
Reply #30 - 09/14/20 at 07:19:30
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You'd think we were voting for a world government the way some of you are banging on about influencing the polls and whatnot. Given the stakes involved, I think we can allow discussants a little bit of latitude.
  

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Re: ChessPub Book of the year 2019
Reply #29 - 09/14/20 at 05:08:46
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First. Congratulations to winners!

Imo. It is good to be able to discuss nominees. A realistic scenario has to be that a book gets nominated, this peaks interest from someone and only at that point the book gets reviewed and any criticism detected.

Also good to keep poll threads nice and orderly though. An idea is to allow obvious criticism of books in a nomination thread but not in the voting thread. Another is to have very obvious links to any chesspub threads (if existing) on the books gathered together somewhere very visible for those who vote.

Have a nice day.
  
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Re: ChessPub Book of the year 2019
Reply #28 - 09/14/20 at 02:02:36
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Congratulations to the well-deserved winners!

Sielecki was on my personal shortlist, and I'm sure Vigorito would have been too if had read his book.

Straggler wrote on 09/13/20 at 13:29:53:
Campaigning on election day, at the polling station or anywhere else, is prohibited in order that people who vote early should be no less well informed than those who vote late.

Is that really the only reason? You're probably talking about people who vote early on election day. But with the amount of seriously early voting going on, both by mail-in and at designated early voting locations, that point becomes kind of moot. People may be voting days or weeks early based on the information they have at that point.

To my mind an even more important reason for keeping a polling site apolitical is to give people the peace and quiet to think through their vote one last time and make sure the choice really is their own, without being disturbed by anyone trying to influence them at the last minute. But I admit I'm not a political scientist.
« Last Edit: 09/14/20 at 03:05:59 by Stigma »  

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Re: ChessPub Book of the year 2019
Reply #27 - 09/13/20 at 16:54:34
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First, congratulations to the joint winners. I could have safely voted for either of these two books without even reading them. (I do have other books by these two authors.)

Straggler wrote on 09/13/20 at 13:29:53:
an ordinary chessplayer wrote on 09/13/20 at 04:58:21:
In defense of Lakdawala I say that, while I'm personally not a fan of his writing style, from what I've read he is by some measures a good writer.

What measures would those be, out of interest? How would you answer the criticisms at http://streathambrixtonchess.blogspot.com/2015/12/bobbins.html, for instance? I respect your opinion and I'm genuinely curious.

I think Mr. Horton would agree that the errors he identified could have been easily rectified with proofreading, editing, and revising. The last example, though -- "The king implies a query through his gaping, open mouth." -- is a real head-scratcher. Instead of the usual "unclear" scrawled in the margin, I can imagine the editor indicating "WTF?". Except I don't think there was an editor. Lakdawala's biggest flaw is that his books are rushed. To a large extent the blame falls on the publisher. There are other issues in play, not least of which is a writer of Californian English being reviewed by a reader of British English. I've said before that I don't like the flowery non-chess stuff in a chess book, but I recognize there are readers with precisely the opposite values. For them, a typical theory book is too dry, whereas Lakdawala is more inviting.

Straggler wrote on 09/13/20 at 13:29:53:
But surely this poll is more than just a popularity contest. Isn't it meant to identify the book that forum members honestly believe to be objectively best?

I find it easier to discuss objectivity when the criteria being evaluated are clearly spelled out. How much does the cover art count? Because if it's 100%, then I can make my pick just by browsing on amazon.com.
  
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Re: ChessPub Book of the year 2019
Reply #26 - 09/13/20 at 13:29:53
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Stigma wrote on 09/13/20 at 00:33:27:
I feel it's poor form to discuss which nominees are bad or which one you voted for in the very same thread as the poll before the poll is closed.

This is akin to election rules in force in many countries that you don't campaign at the polling site, or even anywhere on election day. It's an admirable principle IMHO.

Most of the nominated books already have their own threads on ChessPub where their qualities or lack thereof are freely discussed. I don't mind discussions continuing there of course.

Campaigning on election day, at the polling station or anywhere else, is prohibited in order that people who vote early should be no less well informed than those who vote late. How likely is it that someone might be discouraged from voting for Lakdawala's book by a post made yesterday in this thread, but not by a post made yesterday in the thread about that book?

an ordinary chessplayer wrote on 09/13/20 at 04:58:21:
In defense of Lakdawala I say that, while I'm personally not a fan of his writing style, from what I've read he is by some measures a good writer.

What measures would those be, out of interest? How would you answer the criticisms at http://streathambrixtonchess.blogspot.com/2015/12/bobbins.html, for instance? I respect your opinion and I'm genuinely curious.

an ordinary chessplayer wrote on 09/13/20 at 04:58:21:
if it were to win I would not be completely shocked, since there are many many players out there who might find this right up their alley.

Obviously lots of people must like Lakdawala's books, because they sell well. But surely this poll is more than just a popularity contest. Isn't it meant to identify the book that forum members honestly believe to be objectively best? I can't see even Lakdawala's mum seriously claiming that one of his crowd-pleasing rush jobs is actually better than a book by Vigorito or Sielecki.
  
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Re: ChessPub Book of the year 2019
Reply #25 - 09/13/20 at 12:10:42
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Two excellent books there. Worthy winners, both.

Agreed, next time round people justify choices. Rather than risk some author's mum nominating their offspring's random guff, and having that in there.

Yeah, watch Narcos (Mexico) Season 2 for the dangers (on a slightly larger scale) of discussing candidates and numbers while voting is ongoing. Fair point there.
  
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Re: ChessPub Book of the year 2019
Reply #24 - 09/13/20 at 10:26:45
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I've closed the poll, finally (!), congratulations to the deserving joint winners: David Vigorito for Playing the Najdorf and Christof Sielecki for Keep It Simple 1.d4.
  
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Re: ChessPub Book of the year 2019
Reply #23 - 09/13/20 at 04:58:21
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I do appreciate your sentiment regarding the recent criticisms, that they were a little misplaced and/or mistimed.

Actually I can go further. In defense of Lakdawala I say that, while I'm personally not a fan of his writing style, from what I've read he is by some measures a good writer. Also his books are decent and I usually learn some things from them. So I presume the nomination was not for a laugh, as suggested, and if it were to win I would not be completely shocked, since there are many many players out there who might find this right up their alley.

I had in mind that the person nominating the book would be required to write a paragraph in support. It would for the most part preclude nominating a book "for a laugh". I suppose if there is an existing thread then a sentence and a link could suffice, depending on what's in that thread.
  
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Re: ChessPub Book of the year 2019
Reply #22 - 09/13/20 at 00:33:27
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@an ordinary chessplayer:

To clarify, I should have written something like:
I feel it's poor form to discuss which nominees are bad or which one you voted for in the very same thread as the poll before the poll is closed.

This is akin to election rules in force in many countries that you don't campaign at the polling site, or even anywhere on election day. It's an admirable principle IMHO.

Most of the nominated books already have their own threads on ChessPub where their qualities or lack thereof are freely discussed. I don't mind discussions continuing there of course. (If any of them arent't already discussed in a thread, that's a clear sign there's not enough interest in that book to give it any chance of winning anyway).

A presentation of each book when the poll is posted is a nice idea. But someone would have to take time to collect or write those presentations. The last couple of years it's been a struggle to even get the poll up and running, so it may not be a good idea to raise the bar.
  

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Re: ChessPub Book of the year 2019
Reply #21 - 09/12/20 at 13:32:45
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I agree. All attempts to influence the vote should be done via proper channels, like Twitter. Smiley

But seriously, I don't agree. I didn't vote, for the simple reason I haven't read any of the candidate books. But if I were voting, I think I would want discussion of the books to affect my choice. Maybe there are reasons for not discussing books, but is this one of them?

In fact I would like to see things move in the other direction. Maybe any nomination should be accompanied by at least a paragraph stating what was good about the book and why it's worthy of being voted for. Pros and cons should be discussed! A simple principle of equal time should keep things on track. (We should of course realize that in the beginning, when nothing has been discussed, then any discussion will necessarily be unequal.)
  
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