NABOKV-L post 0020682, Mon, 6 Sep 2010 13:47:49 -0600

Re: Botkin]
Beginning with Lenin in 1920, the USSR establishment took chess extremely
seriously, and exploited the sport politically. Despite Botvinnik's bona
fides as a grandmaster, allegations have been raised (and not conclusively
answered) that great pressure was brought to bear on the Estonian Paul Keres
to lose his 4 games with Botvinnik in the 1948 World Championship
Tournament; the same sort of allegations exist about Botvinnik's defeat of
the Jewish Grandmaster David Bronstein in the 1951 World Championship match
(Bronstein was a brilliant player, but managed only one draw from the last 2
games of the 24-game match and Botvinnik was allowed to keep his title with
a score of 12-12 under the World Chess Federation rules of the day).

On Mon, Sep 6, 2010 at 12:47 PM, Nabokv-L <> wrote:

> -------- Original Message -------- Subject: Re: [NABOKV-L] Botkin Date: Mon,
> 6 Sep 2010 13:22:20 +0100 From: Stan <> <> To:
> <> <>
> <SNT112-W2753120A28C570947337CBE88F0@phx.gbl><SNT112-W2753120A28C570947337CBE88F0@phx.gbl>
> For what it's worth (un pet de lapin?) Mikhail BOTVINNIK (1911-95) was a
> leading Soviet Chess Grandmaster, becoming World Champion first in 1948. I'm
> sure the startling near-anagram has been spotted by others. Remove VIN ( =
> I, VN!) and out comes our two-faced deceiver.
> Jansy, methinks, reads too much into the literal string-matches with the
> letters KIN. It's such a common diminutive suffix (catkin, bumpkin,
> bod[t]kin), unrelated (except to devout monists!) to the KIN in
> kinship/kithship or PushKIN.
> BTW JM: delighted you are reading Ian Stewart, FRS, and hope some real
> mathematical osmosis will inspire you. You should next read his How to Cut a
> Cake - and other Mathematical Conundrums. And not just because Ian quotes
> one of my songs (Lemma 3 Very Pretty) as a sign that mathematicians can have
> plain-daft FUN!
> I was pleased to see one recent contributor reminding us that Pale Fire is,
> after all, a SATIRE, and to many of us, possibly the greatest such since
> Swift in stretching that fuzzy genre in so many sublime directions. E.g., we
> have Shade, a not-that-great fictional, academic poet using inappropriate
> prosody to ponder Life's major and minor ontologies. VN has Shade pen both
> the greatest lines since Keats, and the funniest doggerel since McGonnigal.
> Lurking behind CK's quasi-scholastic nit-picking, 'must-have-the-last-word'
> commentary is the Elephant-in-the-Room: a WARNING against similar LitCrit
> excesses in dissecting Pale Fire, the novel. The sweet paradox is that VN
> himself, with those 4-volumes on Onegin, was the master of ultra-zealous,
> mind-boggling exegesis. (Paraphrasing an earlier quip on Keatsian
> scholarship, 'Not one of Pushkin's Laundry Lists must go unexamined!') I
> trust that this encourages MORE and BETTER Pale Fire analysis?
> Stan Kelly-Bootle
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