Sunday, July 03, 2005

On the Internet, your mistakes are forever

A week back Dennis Monokroussos pointed out that occasional BCC Weblog guest blogger Howard Goldowsky erred in a letter which was published in a Chessbase item on the Adams-Hydra match:
The second amusing point was the claim that sprinters top out at 10 m.p.h. We humans are slow, but not that slow: even top marathoners exceed 10 m.p.h., while the sprint record is at least 27 m.p.h....
Well, it just so happens that I decided to play in the BCC Summer Open this weekend (I almost never play weekend tournaments anymore due to family commitments) instead of hanging out with a gaggle of relatives on Cape Cod. Who decided to play in their first BCC tournament in many years? That's right, Howard Goldowsky. It was great to add an in person connection to what has been to date a virtual acquaintance only.

In any case, I mentioned Dennis' post to Howard and he provided the following background: According to Howard, he had dashed off the letter to Chessbase and never expected it to be published (certainly not in the company of Nunn, Levy, Sonas, and Mig). He admits that he didn't check his facts on the speed of sprinter but just threw in a number to make his analogy. It didn't take long for him to receive his first (irate) e-mail indicating his error. As a result, Howard sent off an e-mail to Chessbase asking them to correct (or remove) his letter, but they have not responded. He said that he is continuing to receive e-mails on the error but in spite of repeated attempts to contact Chessbase he remains unable to correct it.

The moral that I take away from this saga is to assume that anything you write can be published by someone else on the web forever. Write with care.

On a separate note, Howard and I got to meet over the board in the second round. I will try to analyze the game and post it here soon.

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