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Chess Grandmaster playing in Premier League
Here's a bit of sports trivia - can anyone think of a chess grandmaster currently playing for an English Premier League team ???!!!
Emre Can?
Wikipedia states that there are two Emre Cans. One plays for Liverpool; one is a Chess Grandmaster.

Seems unfair to look up Wiki, but a press report I saw states that an 'education chief' is recommending that students be allowed to use Google during exams. Where will it end?
I don't know George; with knowledge literally at your fingertips these days it's arguably as important a skill to be able to obtain answers to questions quickly via searching as it is to otherwise remember the stuff. Internet searches are a key part in learning how to learn. Perhaps it's not such a bad idea in some circumstances? Big Grin
Hi Andrew

My question was rhetorical. I endorse the spirit of your comment: ‘not such a bad idea in some circumstances.’ I would go even further: it could be really excellent and worthwhile. However, the difficulty is not access but supervision, control or judgement and understanding. You are much more qualified than I to comment on the technical aspects, but by itself data need not be knowledge. (‘Raw’ data makes the point.) In the context of exams, there would need to be invigilation, I think. I am confident the relevant education authority would set what it deemed to be acceptable parameters. Perhaps, the ‘curriculum’ would be restricted to some degree - testing factual knowledge or understanding, perhaps - even search capability: scientific or mathematical, for instance, rather than the Humanities?

But, my primary concern relates to what might be termed the ‘halo’ effect. Google is, I think, a freely accessible search engine with huge range. It is a commercially driven organisation, is it not? Profit, not academic standards or integrity, is its driving force. Does anyone monitor its ‘library’ to ensure accuracy, reliability and truthfulness? How would the educational stamp of approval be interpreted - that Google comprises data to be assessed or interpreted, or as vouching condonation and authority? Nor, let’s remember, is the academic world free of plagiarism. What price, then, how ‘lay’ consumers would use Google? With implicit trust? If it’s on Google it must be OK?

But useful? Yes, I’d say so. Just look at chess itself, all these DVDs and ebooks. Marvellous! Much more accessible than W. A. Fairhurst’s Glasgow Herald chess columns, which introduced me to chess.

But at least these chess items come with a brand name that marks them as bona fide. When it comes to, say, linguistics, it is a very different story. For example, we witnessed imperfect understanding of how literary devices operate (and are contrived) in a recent thread on this Noticeboard, where they threatened to divert attention from the real, substantive theme. Thus, it was claimed that an idiom could not also be an oxymoron. When I searched Google, I found at least one online dictionary recognised the phrase in question as an idiom. But another did not. Nor did this latter dictionary recognise a second phrase as an idiom! Yet, both phrases are acknowledged as such. At least one onlooker pounced on a perceived oversight, missing it had elicited a pun in retort. In all these cases, the underlying cause was failure to take context into account. So, it seems access to Google does not guarantee insight or understanding.

No, like speed-reading, Google affords a useful tool, but it’s one that needs to be used with discretion. Is its data meaningful or appropriate to the context at issue? An experience from the past will illustrate this. On a speed-reading course, each participant was given a double-sided typescript with a view to assessing reading-speed and comprehension. Silence fell as the test began. After a brief period, there was a titter followed at intervals by suppressed sounds of laughter. The reason, of course, was that the very last bullet point instructed the reader to ignore all other instructions, put down their writing implement, fold their arms and await further instruction. The Latin oxymoron Festina Lente sprang to mind.

To conclude, two anecdotes to demonstrate that an open mind may be more rewarding than blind faith in Google.

First, speaking recently on BBC Radio 4, the veteran sports broadcaster, John Inverdale, demurred when complimented on his youthful looks. He said that it was ‘A bit of an oxymoron’ to link him to such a view. So, an aural and visual figure of speech linking an association of ideas instead of simply a mere pair of words.

Second, writing in her Radio Times TV column (11-17 April), a favourite critic of mine, Alison Graham pleaded with her readers: ‘Spare us the lazy clichés.’ The article was titled ‘Not another field day.’ Nor did she restrict her groans to the printed word, demonstrating the manifold forms that clichés on TV could take, including camera shots and filming. Rhetorically, she asked ‘What is a field day?’, adding ‘Please don’t write in; I can use Google just like anyone else.’ And that’s the point. Using Google can displace the need to think, know and understand! Can the ‘education chief’ overcome that kind of naïvety?
Cliches ?

I always avoid them like the plague
I can't believe some of the recent responses to what was a light hearted pub quiz type posting! Maybe some people using this site should take up dominoes or backgammon if playing chess is too stressful....

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