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  1. 20 Oct '07 15:17
    Has anyone noticed how commenting style has changed in the past years?
    For example, in a commented games book written 20 years back, you can find few "?" and more "!"...in these days commentaries (especially chessbase ones, and also in the recent books)...you can see mostly "?"...and very few "!"...
    With computer help anyone can comment a game and see what was the blunder (when the computer evaluation has changed from += to -+ or so...)...
    Before they were saying stronger players win games...now they are saying weaker players lose games with blunders, and just point out the blunders...

    Do you agree ?
  2. Standard member Dutch Defense
    Stealer of Souls
    20 Oct '07 15:17
    Originally posted by vipiu
    Has anyone noticed how commenting style has changed in the past years?
    For example, in a commented games book written 20 years back, you can find few "?" and more "!"...in these days commentaries (especially chessbase ones, and also in the recent books)...you can see mostly "?"...and very few "!"...
    With computer help anyone can comment a game and see what w ...[text shortened]... r players lose games with blunders, and just point out the blunders...

    Do you agree ?
    I'm not reading this
  3. Standard member Yuga
    Renaissance
    20 Oct '07 16:46
    Originally posted by vipiu
    Has anyone noticed how commenting style has changed in the past years?
    For example, in a commented games book written 20 years back, you can find few "?" and more "!"...in these days commentaries (especially chessbase ones, and also in the recent books)...you can see mostly "?"...and very few "!"...
    With computer help anyone can comment a game and see what w ...[text shortened]... r players lose games with blunders, and just point out the blunders...

    Do you agree ?
    I don't know, but I sometimes wish that commentaries would completely remove the punctuation completely.

    They should definitely indicate an opinion about a move, especially when it is critical, but punctuation doesn't add anything to an analysis; it just tells the reader - " "!" - ooh! I like this move" and as the reader I'd think "I don't care that you like it! But why do you like it?".

    Adding a "!" or "?" or "??" would be somewhat like adding a smiley or a sad face to a college thesis paper. Well, not really...but punctuation is definitely overused as a kind of substitution for analysis.

    Stronger players win games, but people lose games because of blunders. If you always played perfect chess against Garry Kasparov, you would never lose. More important to play well than to play brilliantly.
  4. 20 Oct '07 18:18 / 1 edit
    What's more annoying is if, say you're playing white & have followed a line in a book & it ends +- with some surprisingly bold comment like "... and white is clearly winning" & you go on to lose rapidly!
    No explanaitions of how "white is clearly winning". Many openings books end lines like this, even though material & the position may in fact look relatively even.

    Hmmm... so that rook on the 1/2 open b-file means I'm clearly winning.
    Ok!

    It's obvious why this is done. Many openings books are written by IM's/GM's who often can't relate to us mere mortals who maybe can't tell the difference between "even" or "slight advantage to black" or "slight advantage to white".
    That & publishers are incredibly lazy & often skip annotation involving explaining in detail how a line is advantageous to either side.
  5. 20 Oct '07 19:15
    I once saw the following annotation: 1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nf6 3 Nxe5 d6 4 Nxf7 !!/??

    It's in Sam Collins's recent book, "An Attacking Repertoire for White."
  6. Standard member Chipotle
    Pawn Grubber
    20 Oct '07 23:53
    Originally posted by vipiu
    Has anyone noticed how commenting style has changed in the past years?
    For example, in a commented games book written 20 years back, you can find few "?" and more "!"...in these days commentaries (especially chessbase ones, and also in the recent books)...you can see mostly "?"...and very few "!"...
    With computer help anyone can comment a game and see what w ...[text shortened]... r players lose games with blunders, and just point out the blunders...

    Do you agree ?
    I think you've got a pretty good point re: computers. Being a big fan of Bronstein, Alekhine & Purdy's annotations, you can see they didn't throw out a lot of ?'s for moves that took days and weeks of GM analysis after the fact to find the error. Now, playing through a game with an engine in the background, the beep tells you about the error in seconds. On the flip side, it's hard to give !'s when you know an engine found the move quickly.

    All that said, I think Alekhine had cornered the market on !s when annotating his games. But the moves always fit a position perfectly, and were likely novelties at the time.