07 March 2013

Adorjan's 'Presumption of Innocence'

In my post Is Adorjan OK?, I listed the three titles in the 'Black Is OK!' series by GM Andras Adorjan, along with their dates of publication. In this post, I'll call them BOK1, -2, -3 in the order of publication: 'Black Is OK!' (BOK1), 'Black Is Still OK!' (BOK2), and 'Black Is OK Forever!' (BOK3).

There was a 16 year gap between BOK1 and BOK2, and only one year between BOK2 and BOK3. The difference between BOK1 and the other two books is substantial; there is little similarity between them. BOK2 and BOK3, however, look like two volumes of the same work; they are very similar in style and substance.

BOK1 starts with eight chapters, each dealing with a specific opening variation for Black, followed by two chapters of games covering many openings. Most of the games feature Adorjan playing Black, and many predate the formulation of the 'Black Is OK!' concept.

BOK2 and BOK3 are a mixture of chapters on different topics. A few of the chapters cover a specific variation, but most chapters are either essays without games or a collection of games that illustrate a specific topic. Some of the chapters were written by authors other than Adorjan. At the heart of both books is a chapter titled 'BLACK IS OK or the Presumption of Innocence in the Game of Chess'. I have seen several different versions of the BOK2 chapter with slight differences between them, one of which is available on GMsquare.com: Presumption of Innocence.

In 2006, I was on a mailing list maintained by GM Adorjan and, along with other documents, received another version of 'Presumption of Innocence'. It carried the letterhead shown above (along with contact info) and started as follows:-

Dear Chessfriends - It is just 18 years since my book ‘BLACK IS OK!’ has been published by Batsford (1988). By the end of the year 2004 there is another work is supposed to appear by the same Publisher, Author under a slightly different title: ‘BLACK IS still OK!’ This second volume is by no means another updated, enlarged (224 pages) opus. On the contrary: it has close to nothing of the ‘first-born’. The past 15 years brought more than enough new experience, material, anyway I don’t sell something twice.

What I would like to have is as much as possible opinions of the subject. Any kind and the more personal is the better! The players’ strength doesn’t matter for as in the chessboard anybody may find a good move. Even by chance! There are no ‘good’ or ‘bad’ answers – who is to give marks? – since we all searching for the TRUTH in the darkness...

Below you find my essay to give food for thought. I would be most grateful, if you’d share it with your readership. [...] Some may think, it’s purely a theoretical dispute. No, it does have practical importance and use. We play every second game in our life with BLACK!

Based on the date mismatches, I guess it was first distributed in 2003. At the end of the essay was a questionnaire with four questions:-

1. Which colour do you prefer?
2. What is the logical outcome of a game if both sides play perfect?
3. Is there any difference between the statistics of top-level games and games played by mediocre or very weak players?
4. How does the type of the tournament (correspondence, rapid, junior, senior, open, round-robin) influence the balance?

You can find the same questions along with the suggested answers on the GMsquare.com page I already mentioned. I'll come back to the topic in a future post.

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