Talk:Chess Life

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Blacklist of USCF Sales[edit]

Taylor Kingston is involved with USCF Sales and is the perpetrator of the blacklist. Naturally, he will deny that it exists. However, it is easy to veryify that there is auch a blacklist. Just call USCF Sales and try to order a book by any author on the blacklist. You will find that you will not be able to order the book. Yet, call Barnes & Noble or any reputable bookstore and you will find that you will be able to purchase books by these authors.

Sam Sloan Sam Sloan 19:08, 22 December 2005 (UTC)

This is clearly not true. For some of the listed authors all their books are simply out of print, and you will not get them directly from Amazon or Barnes & Noble (Sam Sloan is clearly one of them). And at least one author (Keene) is listed in the catalogue. There might be other reasons why there are no books of these authors deliverable by USCF Sales, you are just assuming that there is such a blacklist, you have no proof, and it is definitely not an established fact. Rook wave 04:42, 24 December 2005 (UTC)

Please stay to proven and verified information. You really should have a look at this page: Wikipedia:Verifiability. Rook wave 23:14, 22 December 2005 (UTC)

The "Blacklist" seems to be more of a theory than anything else, perhaps the article can be re-written to reflect this. --DaiTengu 04:22, 28 December 2005 (UTC) The issue of this blacklist was debated at the USCF Executive Board meeting in Minneapolis in May and again at the USCF Delegates Meeting in Phoenix in August. It is being debated again on the chess politics and email groups. There is no serious doubt that the blacklist exists. The issue is whether Hanon Russell who took over USCF Sales last year has the right to blacklist authors for political reasons.Sam Sloan 04:30, 28 December 2005 (UTC)

On 27 Dec 2005 20:20:37 -0800, "Louis Blair" <lblai@blackburn.edu> wrote:

>Sam Sloan wrote (Wed, 28 Dec 2005 04:00:51 GMT): > >> Louis Blair has just tried to delete this entry from Wikipedia >> eight times. I have no idea why Louis Blair is doing this. > >_ > "Wikipedia should only publish material that is verifiable"

A Wikipedia Administrator has just solved this problem by posting {{POV}} which means "The neutrality of this article is disputed."

I have no objection and am quite satisfied with this solution. Naturally, Taylor Kingston and Hanon Russell are going to dispute that they have blacklisted some of the most popular chess authors, even though it is obvious to everybody else that they have.

What mystifies me is why has Louis Blair objected so strongly to the inclusion of the name of Anatoly Karpov on the list. A search of Amazon shows that Anatoly Karpov has written 63 chess books. (This includes books that are just in the process of publication and are not out yet.) If a former World Chess Champion has written 63 chess books and NONE of them are for sale on chesscafe.com aka USCF Sales, it is obvious that Karpov has been blacklisted.

Sam Sloan Sam Sloan 17:43, 28 December 2005 (UTC)


I'm a chess outsider here, I play occasionally, but I don't know anything about the politics that go on inside the "Chess Community", nor do I care to get in to it. The only thing I'm concerned about is Wikipedia. I posted the nutrality link for 2 reasons.

1. Mr. Sloan is on the supposed "blacklist", and therefore is not a nutral party to this argument. 2. I'm concerned that the blacklist is not verifiable. If it's not, it has no place on Wikipedia. --DaiTengu 21:31, 28 December 2005 (UTC)

Thanks to DaiTengu for his observation that gets to the heart of the matter. Not only are Sam Sloan's claims unverifiable, but he uses false information to justify them. It is, for example, false to claim that no Anatoly Karpov books are sold by USCF sales. Most Anatoly Karpov books are out of print and/or out of date. Chess 4 Less (another seller of chess books) currently offers Elista Diaries by Karpov & Henley, a 1996 book listed by Amazon as out of print. Apparently, Chess 4 Less still has some copies remaining in stock. The only other Karpov book that I can find at Chess 4 Less is The Semi-Open Game in Action, a 1988 book that Chess 4 Less is now trying to sell for $7.50 ("MASSIVELY REDUCED"). No "blacklist" theory is needed to explain why the USCF is not currently selling these items. Can Sam Sloan identify a single specific Karpov book where it can plausibly be argued that the USCF should be selling it? Can Sam Sloan identify a single specific person other than himself who believes that Karpov is being "blacklisted" by the USCF? -- Louis Blair

Responding to Louis Blair above I am in contact with ALL of the authors on this blacklist, with the sole exception of Karpov, and they all state that they have been blacklisted. Eric Schiller even made a presentation on this subject at the USCF Executive Committee meeting in Minnesota in May, 2005. This entire matter is currently under consideration by the USCF Executive Board. Louis Blair has debated this issue extensively with another blacklisted author on rec.games.chess.politics . By the way, nobody seems to know who Louis Blair is or what his interest is in this subject. Sam Sloan 09:19, 29 December 2005 (UTC)

My current objection is to the listing of Karpov. Sam Sloan says nothing about his misinformation about Karpov. He does not identify even one specific Karpov book that the USCF should supposedly be selling. He does not identify even one specific person other than himself who believes that Karpov is being "blacklisted" by the USCF. He does not dispute any specific statement of mine. My interest in this subject is the same as that of DaiTengu: If a statement is not verifiable, it has no place on Wikipedia. Recently (from Wed, 28 Dec 2005 17:31:48 +0000 (UTC) to Wed, 28 Dec 2005 18:29:45 +0000 (UTC)), an instructive exchange took place at rec.games.chess.politics between Sam Sloan and Taylor Kingston (mentioned by Sam Sloan above as "the perpetrator of the blacklist"):

"I have had no involvment ever with USCF Sales, except for buying the occasional book." - TK
"kindly explain why when I look at the chesscafe.com website I see the words 'Taylor Kingston
& Hanon Russell' prominently displayed at the top." - SS
"It's the 9th Annual ChessCafe Holiday Quiz. I wrote most of it, Hanon Russell the rest. Been
doing that for eight years now. Has nothing to do with USCF Sales." - TK

To those trying to make a judgment in this matter, I suggest looking at www.chesscafe.com and seeing that what it actually says there is "Holiday Quiz by Taylor Kingston & Hanon Russell". Apparently, as Sam Sloan tries to defend his unverifiable claims, we can expect more unverifiable supposed information. -- Louis Blair

Karpov has 63 books for sale on amazon.com. None of them are listed for sale on USCFsales.com or on chesscafe.com . It is obvious that Karpov is blacklisted because of his involvment with Ron Henley and Paul Hodges. However, by way of compromise and to save bandwidth, I am willing to take Karpov off the list of blacklisted authors, if that will satisfy Louis Blair.
Regarding Taylor Kingston - There have been hundreds of postings on this issue over on rec.games.chess.politics . I do not believe that it is a good idea to move that debate over to here. Suffice it to say that Taylor Kingston writes book reviews for Hanon Russell aka USCF Sales. He has written more than 100 book reviews and invariably he has attacked all the books written by authors on this blacklist. Everybody knows that Taylor Kingston and Hanon Russell are like hand and glove. For them to claim that they have no connection with each other is ridiculous. Sam Sloan 11:16, 29 December 2005 (UTC)

Anyone can look right above and see that what Taylor Kingston wrote was not a denial of a connection with Hanon Russell. (Quite the opposite, in fact. "... for eight years ...") What TK denied was involvment with USCF Sales (except for buying the occasional book). Sam Sloan now writes without mentioning his previous perpetrator-of-the-blacklist accusation. He doesn't discuss his report of "Kingston & Hanon Russell" that turned out to be "Holiday Quiz by Taylor Kingston & Hanon Russell".

Sam Sloan also now chooses not to mention his previous attempt to have us believe that one cannot order a book by Karpov from USCF sales. As for Amazon supposedly showing 63 chess books "written" by Anatoly Karpov, I just did an Amazon search for Anatoly Karpov books and indeed 64 results were announced, but, if one goes through the list, one sees that it includes things like Karpov's Caro Kann: Closed System (announced for May 28, 2006), Elista diaries: Karpov-Kamsky 1996 (out of print), Ajedrez Infantil Por Karpov (Spanish), and Anatoly Karpov: His Road to the World Championship (not by Karpov). Sam Sloan continues to refrain from trying to identify even one specific book by Karpov that the USCF should supposedly be selling right now. Nor does he identify even one specific person other than himself who believes his supposedly "obvious" claim about Karpov being "blacklisted" by the USCF. It might seem silly to continue to argue the point since Sam Sloan has, at last, dropped Anatoly Karpov (and also Sam Sloan himself) from his list, but, since he continues to defend the Karpov claim (and attack Taylor Kingston) here, the opposing points must also be emphasized here.

Ron Henley is still on the list. At Amazon, one can find Archangel! (1993), King's Indian Attack! (1993), The Spanish Exchange! (1994), The Dragon! (1993), The ChessBase University and BlueBook Guide to Winning with The King's Indian Attack! (1993). None of these books are sold by Chess 4 Less (another seller of chess books). As previously mentioned, Elista diaries by Karpov & Henley is listed as out of print. Again, no "blacklist" theory is needed to explain why the USCF is not currently selling these Ron Henley items. Again, can Sam Sloan identify a single specific Henley book where it can plausibly be argued that the USCF should be selling it? -- Louis Blair

A rebuttal to Sam Sloan's parade of nonsense:

Sloan wrote: "Taylor Kingston writes book reviews for Hanon Russell aka USCF Sales." -- No, I write book reviews for www.ChessCafe.com. ChessCafe and USCF Sales are not the same entity. I began writing for ChessCafe in 1998, at least five years before Hanon Russell was granted the USCF book & equipment business.

Sloan wrote: "[Kingston] has written more than 100 book reviews and invariably he has attacked all the books written by authors on this blacklist." -- A blatant falsehood. While I have indeed written over 100 reviews for ChessCafe, only two of these have dealt with books by authors on Sloan's list. One review was unfavorable, the other favorable, as readers may see for themselves at www.chesscafe.com/text/reapp.txt. I know of no "blacklist," and have never had any part in creating one, of chess writers or anyone else.

Sloan wrote: "Everybody knows that Taylor Kingston and Hanon Russell are like hand and glove." -- More nonsense. I am only one of dozens of contributors to ChessCafe, and far from the most important. Other than contributing reviews and articles, I have no role in the site, and none at all in the B&E business, i.e. USCF Sales.

Sloan wrote: "For them to claim that they have no connection with each other is ridiculous." -- Neither I nor Hanon Russell have ever made such a claim. The ridiculous thing is for Sloan to say that we have. What we deny is ever having collaborated on any sort of blacklist.

The plain facts concerning Sloans "blacklist" are these: 1. The blacklist does not exist. 2. Some writers on Sloan's list (e.g. Evans, Keene) are in fact currently carried by USCF Sales. 3. Some writers' works (e.g. Karpov, Henley) are mostly out of print. 4. Some writers' works are mostly of very poor quality (e.g. Keene and especially Schiller); these books are not worthy of inclusion on the USCF catalog.

Mr. Sloan has a long history of wild inaccuracy, mendacity, and irresponsible allegations. He is primarily an attention-seeker, not a scholar or serious journalist. In many cases, he is in no way an authority on the subject about which he writes, this being a particularly glaring example. His recent spate of "contributions" to Wikipedia seriously detract from the site's credibility and reputation. -- Taylor Kingston, 29 December 2005

The best lack all conviction; the worst have two convictions (after Yeats)[edit]

  • Convicted felon Sam Sloan wrote in the edit summary, 11:23, 29 December 2005 Rv Billbrock again. Billbrock will violate the 3RR rule soon. He has attacked me hundreds of times over on rec.games.chess.politics He was asked to leave that group and did so. Now he has moved here.) Heh. OK, we'll let the statements of the specialfriend http://www.ishipress.com/daa.htm to http://www.ishipress.com/lim.htm young http://www.samsloan.com/pokeplot.htm girls] stand unchallenged. See [[1]] for a related discussion of Sam Sloan's attitude towards NPOV. Further, less controversially, if authors are banned by USCF Sales, why is that covered in the Chess Life article? More properly belongs in the USCF article. If one must spread alternate versions of reality, then at least spread them in a more systematic fashion. Billbrock 01:52, 30 December 2005 (UTC)

Taylor Kingston writes above, "I have had no involvment ever with USCF Sales, except for buying the occasional book." However, this is disingenuous. ChessCafe and USCF Sales are effectively the same organization. Both are owned by Hanon Russell. Not concidentally, every author on the Blacklist has been attacked in "book reviews" by Taylor Kingston published on the ChessCafe website. Everybody knows that Taylor Kingston is the attack dog for Hanon Russell. All you have to do is go to see and read the hundreds of personal attacks written almost daily by Taylor Kingston on chescafe.com and rec.games.chess.politics

As to the existence of the blacklist, all of these authors were sold by the USCF up until Hanon Russell signed a contract taking over the rights to the USCF B&E business. The fact that Hanon Russell immediately stopped selling books by these authors, who are the most popular chess writers in the world, shows the vindictiveness of Hanon Russell. It would not matter and be none of our business if Hanon Russell would merely pay the more than $200,000 he agreed to pay under the contract he signed, but now that Hanon Russell refuses to pay because "sales are down" it becomes very much our business. Sam Sloan 00:34, 2 January 2006 (UTC)

WP:NOR Billbrock 02:40, 2 January 2006 (UTC) No source provided other than the c.f. & s.f.t.y.g.'s original research; therefore deleted. Sloan is advised to seek non-meatpuppet third opinion (i.e., Wiki admin) before restoring. Billbrock 03:38, 2 January 2006 (UTC)

A large number of people write for ChessCafe. (Stefan Bucker, Hans Ree, Bruce Pandolfini, Karsten Muller, Tim Harding, Mark Dvoretsky, Yasser Seirawan, Susan Polgar, Gary Lane, etc.) Would Sam Sloan expect us to believe that all of these people are involved with USCF Sales? Sam Sloan claims that Henley, Keene, Schiller, Parr, and Schultz have all been attacked by Taylor Kingston in book reviews, but can he identify a specific attacking book review for each of these individuals?

When Hanon Russell took over the USCF book-selling business, the headquarters of the operation moved from New York to Connecticut. It was not considered worthwhile to move all of the stock to the new location. In particular, it was natural to leave behind books that were out-of-date. This, no doubt, accounts for some authors disappearing from the catalog at that time. Again, to take Ron Henley as an example: Can Sam Sloan identify a single specific Henley book where it can plausibly be argued that the USCF should currently be selling it?

Sam Sloan's notion of "the most popular chess writers in the world" is absurd. To choose one example of a way to get some idea about this sort of thing, one can go to www.wholesalechess.com and look at their list of "Chess Books Recommended Library of classics and must-read chess books!" No books by Henley, Keene, Schiller, Parr, or Schultz are on their list.

It is good to see that the supposed blacklist has been removed. Sam Sloan's unverifiable (to put it mildly) statements should be removed from this location, as well. -- Louis Blair

No original research[edit]

First off, let me state that I have absolutely no knowledge of the USCF or Chess Life and am only looking at this as an outside observer. In short, Wikipedia policy is clear: No original research. If Sam Sloan is basing his contribution of a blacklist based on conversations (newsgroup or otherwise), emails, or his own suspicions that such a blacklist exists, that is by definition original research and is not allowed. However, if he were to cite reliable sources that declare its existence, then its mention may be included. This is non-negotiable. If Sam Sloan continues his attempts to include this in the article against the consensus formed by other editors on this page, I will reluctantly have to impose a block. howcheng {chat} 06:37, 3 January 2006 (UTC) Billbrock 04:50, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

Thank you! Edited accordingly. I have let the NPOV tag stand for the time being. Billbrock 04:50, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

I am a delegate representing the Great State of New York in the United States Chess Federation. Bill Brock, on the other hand, has no position in the USCF. His only notability is that he attacks Sam Sloan all the time, hundreds of times in Newsgroup postings. The issue of the blacklist is not based upon suspicions or idle chatter, convesations or emails. It is in the minutes of official business of the United States Chess Federation. The blacklist was discussed and debated at the meeting of the USCF in Minnesota in May and in Phoenix in August. I do not appreciate Howcheng threatening to block me based upon a complaint by Bill Brock who is a complete nobody in the world of chess. Sam Sloan 06:45, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

Mr Sloan, please note that Wikipedia is an encyclopedia and therefore is not suitable for original research. The official minutes of the USCF are a primary source and therefore may not be used as references in compiling the article. Encyclopedias are by definition tertiary sources, reporting only what others have felt important to report. If you can cite any reliable secondary sources (see WP:RS for examples), then by all means reinstate the blacklist to the article. Your standing in the USCF is of absolutely no relevance here. I have absolutely no stake in this article or Tom Dorsch. I don't even play chess (although I was in my high school's chess club -- I was the worst one there). My only goal here is to have all contributors comply with Wikipedia policies. The so-called "threat" to block is completely within the blocking policy (either under the "Excessive reverts" or "Users who exhaust the community's patience" clauses). In my talk page you also stated that I deleted Tom Dorsch on the complaint of User:Billbrock, which is incorrect; the article was deleted as a result of the deletion policy and follows the procedures outlined in the guide to deletion. If you disagree with its deletion, you may take it to deletion review where other administrators will review it. Regards, howcheng {chat} 07:13, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
Better to be a complete nobody in the world of chess than [balance of original text redacted to comply with WP policy]. Billbrock 20:56, 4 January 2006 (UTC) redacted Billbrock 06:19, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

Contributors section[edit]

I added a Contributors section for notable contributors to Chess Life. My idea is to include only people who wrote regularly or at least semi-regularly, and whose columns or other contributions were well known enough to became associated with Chess Life in readers minds. The ideal entry would be the author's name, years of writing for Chess Life, and the name(s) of the column(s) written. Unfortunately none of my initial entries have all of that information. Also I have never been a regular reader of Chess Life and have not seen any of the issues at all before about 1979, so the list needs a lot of expansion. Perhaps a better section title would be "Columnists"? All of the notable contributions (outside of editors who are already listed in the appropriate section) that I am familiar with are in columns, so I don't know if the more specific term would be better. 165.189.91.148 16:38, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

Chess Life Editors[edit]

Just added exact dates that all Chess Life editors served, going back to December 1966. Can anybody take it back farther than that? -- Burke Devlin 03:27, 24 July 2007 (UTC)

  • Thanks to a nearby college library I was able to check paper copies of April 1962 through 1966. If CL had only two editors before that as our article indicates, we have it covered pretty well now. We may want to amend some of Burt Hochburg's tenure, as after the merge to form CL&R he was listed for a while as "Executive Editor" with Roger Cox as the "Managing Editor". I don't know if that's worth recording, so I'll give it some thought. Quale 08:55, 31 August 2007 (UTC)

Contributor?[edit]

Wasn't Luděk Pachman a regular contributor to Chess Life? Bubba73 (talk), 01:14, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

Yes he was, added to article. Bubba73 (talk), 06:18, 15 February 2008 (UTC)