Alas Poor Smithy

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Alas Poor Smithy

Postby liam stephens on Fri Apr 20, 2007 7:09 pm

[u:2079e3686b][b:2079e3686b]ALAS POOR SMITHY[/b:2079e3686b][/u:2079e3686b]

In the light of present controversies it might be instructive to look at one from the past which apparently lasted in excess of 10 years!

In a book entitled The Game of Draughts dating from 1942, the author refers to a letter of his which states:

I can now inform readers that for nearly ten years I have been encircled by “Poison Gas” methods of controversy difficult to reply to, calculated to fray tempers, and raise temperatures steeply. If, in my reply to Mr Smith , I have, in my readers’ opinions, succeeded in keeping within a few degrees of zero, I am more than satisfied. In the words of the late Mr. Justice Swift I honestly record that in this booklet “ I extenuate nothing nor set down aught in malice.”
I have had infinite patience with Mr. Smith on account of his serious illness in January, 1941, and have done everything possible to avoid this impasse and the exposure of what I hope everyone, after full consideration, will agree are correctly described as “Hitlerian and Japanese Poison Gas” methods of controversy.

Yours faithfully,

John A. Balmford.

Apparently Balmford held some eccentric and bizarre ideas on the The Theory of the Move equating it with the Move to Win and with other fanciful ideas, that did not find favour with the ruling bodies of the day, so it seems.

It is quite amazing, the large no of treatises on the Move that have appeared over the years, including titles such as Sivett’s Infallible Method , and Brown’s Universal Rule, among others. Many of them are almost all indigestible and reminiscent of the Ptolemeic System of “Spheres within Spheres” used to describe the motion of the planets by the early Astronomers of Ancient Greece.

Even the seminal work of John Patterson published in Anderson’s Second Edition, the most rigorous and elegant presentation I have seen, does not make for light reading.

Tom Wiswell, I believe, had the best system - Pair off the pieces.
liam stephens
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Re: Alas Poor Smithy

Postby Lindus Edwards on Fri Apr 20, 2007 9:55 pm

Alas, poor Smithy. I knew him well Liam! A man of infinite jest.
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Lindus Edwards
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