Pet Peeves

With the corona virus in full swing many chess players are staying home. Some are playing chess on the Internet, some are studying, and some are writing chess blogs.


Many of the newer blogs are good examples of amateurs showing off their games and writing talents.


But, on occasion, there are some errors that appear on these sites, just enough to bug me. You can call them my list of 5 Pet Peeves of Personal and Professional Blogs (PPPB).


1) Misspelled Words – There should be no excuse for any misspelled words! Run your written words through a word processor before you even think about posting! Any error in spelling, esp. ones that require simple spelling, renders your professional blog into a personal one, and a personal one into a poor one.


Some egregious examples: “playing the Too Knights Defense”, “Fisher was world champion in 1973” and one from the pre-Internet era, “Murphy was the best player of the 19th century”.


2) Incorrect and Bad Grammar. I admit, English is a difficult language to learn. And you get a break if your native tongue is not English. But you might know someone who knows the language better than you. Use that person! And if you still have problems with understanding or following the rules of grammar, then why not write your blog in your native language? You’ll do a better job at transmitting your thoughts, ideas, and insights.


3) Errors in game scores. A cardinal error. Even a person who cannot read your notes in English, or any other language you choose to write your masterpiece, he or she might get still something out of your blog, even if it is just a game score. Otherwise, they become totally lost and befuddled and are not likely to follow or promote your blog.


Use a PGN recorder. They are too many of them to go into detail, but most are free to download off the Internet. And they all make less mistakes than you!


BTW, my personal favorite, being concise and very user-friendly, is written in Spanish.


4) Mistakes in Diagrams. Even a blog reader who cannot read your blog due to spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, ignorance (of the language), and cannot follow a game because of errors there too, might still salvage something from the time invested in reading your blog. Give your reader something to appreciate!

Here’s an example (I’ve made some changes to the diagram and notes for brevity and to avoid identifying the blogger).

…after a tactical tussle, which both sides are threatening mate, White comes out ahead and while he (White) will eventually mate Black; Black can’t mate White.






There is an element of truth to what this blogger wrote. But it is misleading.


5) Gross errors in geography and other simple things. Every now and then I read about a game played in 2004 or so, in Czechoslovakia. The only problem is that Czechoslovakia stopped being a country in at the end of 1992. One might write, “Czech Republic”.


The same goes for Yugoslavia, which also broke up in 1992.

And here is one I’m still scratching my head; “the usual time control is 120 minutes or 2 hours, whichever comes first.”

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