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The Chess Variant Pages

This page is written by the game's inventor, Charles Daniel.

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Jeremy Good wrote on 2009-06-07 UTC

Wow, Matthew, that was impassioned! Your feelings about this must have been building up for a while. Others have felt the need to lash out at George Duke in similar ways. Perhaps he deserves a bit of it?

George Duke, I think, ought to be tolerated here as a critic and he ought to be allowed to enjoy the privileges of being a critic on this site. Of course, I don't always agree with his criticisms (e.g., I happen to really love Pocket Mutation Chess, he regards it as Poor), but I enjoy reading quite a few of his comments. I appreciate the fact that he has a point of view, a perspective, that he wishes to convey. I appreciate all the effort that goes into that.

Suppose this were a site about movies and people were encouraged to leave comments about various movies. Why shouldn't different people attend screenings in theaters and come back and rate the movies according to their personal taste? The film industry wouldn't survive if all filmmakers banded together and insisted that any movie should not be judged unfavorably by any one else. One can envision such an approach being undertaken by an authoritarian country with regard to its own propaganda.

Why shouldn't George Duke be allowed to give his opinion on any chess variant he wants and make what ever cultural cross-references he wants? If George Duke wants to take the time to go through many of my chess variants and rate them as 'Poor' even if I consider the ones he rates as 'Poor' to be excellent, should I take such huge offense? Of course not. Actually, I'd just be pleased that someone took the time to assess them. As I read George Duke's posts, I don't see them as being 'increasingly vitriolic' - far from it. Let the critic have his say. Of course not everyone is interested in what a critic has to say and not everyone chooses to listen to criticism, let alone take it seriously. I would like to encourage George Duke to continue his survey and thank him for his work.

Certainly George Duke has had to endure a great deal of really superficial criticism of his own chess variants work. Why should you not tolerate his criticisms of others as well? I appreciate the fact that many people are hostile towards George for attempting to introduce copyrights into an area which they would prefer to be 'open source' but I can't begrudge him that. There is some controversy over this and I'm not addressing it here because I don't have the background to do so.

But I consider George Duke to be a talent. It's a sign of how parochial and stingy our contemporary society is that it apparently can't afford to be patron or paying consumer to original chess variants inventors like George Duke. Perhaps we will yet find a way though, to reward great chess variant inventors one day. For their hard work and contributions. I think George's willingness to consider and discuss a multitude of variants on this site is an indication of his generosity of spirit. Maybe I am being too kind here and I will regret these words, but I am not angry, like you.

Looking forward to playing your Renn 2 with you, though I happen to know that Eric Greenwood had a Renn 2 of his own (which I think I can send to you; it was my own negligence in posting it that caused the snafu - he and I couldn't agree on what piece icons to use in representing a preset for it, as I recall). Hopefully he will appreciate your efforts and see them as homage, but if not, I suppose it's your right. Perhaps you've spoken with him about this already, more recently than I have. I miss talking with him. Perhaps shall try to see if the last number he gave me still works. Hopefully he'll be back on site soon.

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