Sunday, April 15, 2012

Chess Duels and Character Sets

As some folks (or at least Howard G., according to my recollection) mentioned here previously, Yasser Seirawan's Chess Duels is quite a fun read. I eventually bought the Kindle app e-book version, and particularly enjoyed the Fischer-Byrne-table-patzer and the Fischer-Quinteros-Rubinetti-lunch anecdotes. I seem to remember Howard mentioned one anecdote he found particularly entertaining, although it may not have been one of those (buy and read the book!).

Anyway, as I was reading I was surprised to see a location spelled differently from what I'd always seen it listed as:

I'm curious about the print version, if any blog readers have access to it. Is the missing ć printed (the location name should be Nikšić)? Or does the print version also have cut-off proper nouns, including our old friends Gligori and Ljubojevi?

For those interested in the underlying technicalities, I suspect the book was originally produced using the Microsoft Windows 1252 ("MSWIN1252") character set, which lacks the ć character, but does have the š character (Nikši). However, knowing that at least one other print book (the wonderful historical fantasy Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell) underwent mild changes on its way to being a Kindle e-book, I suppose there is a small chance that the original text of Chess Duels was somehow shoehorned into MSWIN1252 for the Kindle version.

1 comment:

Ken said...

Ah, it seems my memory of ć appearing in other printed books was mistaken. Accent marks were absent (e.g., in Niksic) from Kasparov's The Test of Time. They're also absent from our own Dave Vigorito's far more recently published Volume 2 of Attacking Chess: The King's Indian (e.g., for Bogdan Lalic).

Well, some day I still hope to see a print version of Chess Duels to see what the ć situation is there. Perhaps by that date I'll also actually have gone over the games in the book....