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  1. #1
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Stop Chess Spam!

    Inspired by the success of Stop Forum Spam, from time to time I will use this thread to out people in the chess scene who have engaged in excessive and/or dishonest spamming, so those who wish to can block them from their emails.

    To start with I have just blocked the address <affiliate@chess-teacher.com> after receiving four identical (except for minor differences in title) emails from them, that were also more or less identical to six others sent over three months. I believe I'm getting them because I'm the email contact for issues for this forum.

    It's especially distasteful that their spams all open with the same automated comment: "I’ve just observed your website and found it very nice and instructive. You have very nice graphical design and simple structure! You have a lot of categories and for that reason you provide great help to your audience. Please accept my congratulations!"

    This seems to be connected with the "Remote Chess Academy" that has posted here now and then.
    Last edited by Kevin Bonham; 26-05-2014 at 08:46 PM.

  2. #2
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    New In Chess <mailing@newinchess.com> have sent me 15 unsolicited commercial emails since 7 Jan. What qualifies them for inclusion in this list is that the footer of this email says "You are receiving this email because you are a New In Chess customer". That statement is not true, has never been true, and never will be true if they carry on like that.

  3. #3
    Illuminati Bill Gletsos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham View Post
    New In Chess <mailing@newinchess.com> have sent me 15 unsolicited commercial emails since 7 Jan. What qualifies them for inclusion in this list is that the footer of this email says "You are receiving this email because you are a New In Chess customer". That statement is not true, has never been true, and never will be true if they carry on like that.
    Same here
    The Force can have a strong influence on the weak-minded.

  4. #4
    CC International Master ElevatorEscapee's Avatar
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    I've received a couple of emails lately from "Sunny Chess Help", claiming to be coach "Aleks Apostolov", with a zip file attachment (which I haven't opened) supposedly to an online resume.

    It may be a genuine attempt by this gentleman to acquire more coaching students, but it just struck me as a little odd.

    Dear Chess colleague,

    My name is Coach Aleks and I have been teaching chess since 2008. I provide online chess lessons as well as any admin task that chess club may need done - online. I would love to help your organization if there is any need for my services. Bellow is my bio and attached is my resume. Thank you.

    "Coach Aleks has been teaching Chess since 2009 in Phoenix, AZ and online since 2011. His students have won the Best of Phoenix, the Governors Cup of Arizona as well as many other tournaments. Having Arts in Teaching Philosophy - Bachelor degree, the patience and love for teaching as well as the knowledge of the game, makes him perfect Coach for K-12 students. Teaching online has been his specialty and he has developed his methods that focus on the child. His methodical approach makes sure he understands every students in depth as an individual and is reflected in the enthusiasm that students show for learning the game. He lives in Phoenix with his wife Aleksandra and son Ivan and they are enthusiastic Suns fans as well as regulars at all local chess events."
    (hilighting mine)

    Maybe I can get him to do the tea/coffee/milk roster?
    "On my chess set, all the pawns are Hamburglers" ~ Homer Simpson.

  5. #5
    Reader in Slood Dynamics Rincewind's Avatar
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    I'm disappointed Coach Aleks and his wife Aleksandra didn't call their son Aleks Jnr. The postman would love it.
    So einfach wie möglich, aber nicht einfacher - Albert Einstein

  6. #6
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Something I have wondered for some time in connection with these and other spammy emails is whether there is a spammier word in the English language than "webinar". Virtually every email I ever receive that contains this alleged word is spam of some kind or other. I also suspect that many "webinars" are not actually online seminars but rather online video monologues.

  7. #7
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Two other staples of the chess spam world are:

    1. Pin collectors. These guys are absolutely fanatical.
    2. People who want to tell you about (and sell you) some really dumb variant they've invented that they think will replace normal chess within ten years if only strong chessplayers will give it a go. (We get a lot of these on this forum too.)

  8. #8
    CC Grandmaster Denis_Jessop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham View Post
    Two other staples of the chess spam world are:

    1. Pin collectors. These guys are absolutely fanatical.
    2. People who want to tell you about (and sell you) some really dumb variant they've invented that they think will replace normal chess within ten years if only strong chessplayers will give it a go. (We get a lot of these on this forum too.)
    Even the greatest fall for the lure of type2. Capablanca developed a chess variant that he saw as avoiding what he thought were too many draws. It has rarely, if ever, been seen again. At least Bobby Fischer has had some recognition for his bizarre variant.

    DJ
    ...I don't want to go among mad people Alice remarked, "Oh, you can't help that," said the Cat: we're all mad here. I am mad. You're mad." "How do you know I'm mad?" said Alice. "You must be," said the Cat ,"or you wouldn't have come here."

  9. #9
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    monica yang <monica92yang@gmail.com>

    This person sends out unsolicited chess spam for Chinese chess clocks. However she has apparently never heard of Bcc:, meaning that if anyone replies-to-all to her messages then those she has already spammed will get another pointless email.

  10. #10
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    I received a Chessbase "newsletter" (which consists entirely of product ads) to my gmail account, issue 25. I have never received this newsletter before and don't believe I ever subscribed to it, though Chessbase would have this email address on file for Fritz registrations many years ago. However the especially annoying feature of this spam was the timing, 3:26 am Australian time, which woke me up because my phone is connected to gmail (I'll have to disable that again if I can remember how.)

  11. #11
    CC Grandmaster Capablanca-Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham View Post
    2. People who want to tell you about (and sell you) some really dumb variant they've invented that they think will replace normal chess within ten years if only strong chessplayers will give it a go. (We get a lot of these on this forum too.)
    Ah yes, a non–chess-playing lawyer in the US asked me for advice because he had a client who wanted to commercialize a new chess variant with an extra piece, and the lawyer wanted to know if it would be a waste of their time and money to try. I told him his instincts were right, and mentioned that if even Capablanca couldn't popularize a variant with two extra pieces, then what chance would they have? Real chessplayers know that chess is plenty hard enough already, and most of us like the fact that it has centuries of literature and culture behind it.
    “The destructive capacity of the individual, however vicious, is small; of the state, however well-intentioned, almost limitless. Expand the state and that destructive capacity necessarily expands, too, pari passu.”—Paul Johnson, Modern Times, 1983.

  12. #12
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Chessplus (a variant involving merged pieces that makes various completely mutually contradictory claims for itself) has just spammed me without my permission only two days after emailing me at the same address in my capacity as ACF rep.

    (Variant promoters seem unaware that we are the Australian Chess Federation, not the Australian Supplanting Chess Federation.)

  13. #13
    CC International Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Capablanca-Fan View Post
    Ah yes, a non–chess-playing lawyer in the US asked me for advice because he had a client who wanted to commercialize a new chess variant with an extra piece, and the lawyer wanted to know if it would be a waste of their time and money to try. I told him his instincts were right, and mentioned that if even Capablanca couldn't popularize a variant with two extra pieces, then what chance would they have? Real chessplayers know that chess is plenty hard enough already, and most of us like the fact that it has centuries of literature and culture behind it.
    It's a bit like trying to sell soccer balls to Rugby League players.

    It's true that there are chess variants which attract some following, such as shuffle chess (rebadged with Fischer's name), transfer/bughouse and suicide, but these have the advantage that they can be played with standard chess equipment rather than buying a whole new set. Transfer is (unfortunately) especially suited to chess clubs as most homes don't have two sets and clocks.

    I think the reason these things keep coming up, though, is that for the promoters, or at least the smart ones, the market is not chess players. Partly it's people who imagine that owning the set will make them look intellectual, and smarter than chess players since the games are usually more apparently complicated than chess. Mainly though the target is the educational tat market, aiming to sell the games to Grandma as a present for the grandkids.

  14. #14
    CC International Master Kaitlin's Avatar
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    I never knew that! .. I'm going to start calling it Shuffle Chess ☺


    ... educational tat! .... rofl ... I luv it.... can't wait for a chance to use it
    Last edited by Kaitlin; 06-06-2017 at 12:35 PM.
    .. this Caketin is full of little spiders and watermelon seeds.....

    ..Chess is all about fear and psychology

    ..Chess is like an exam..... you havent studied for

    ..If you're good at Chess it means you are very intelligent and could potentialy do great things
    ..... but that you might have wasted that playing way too much chess

  15. #15
    CC International Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaitlin View Post
    I never knew that! .. I'm going to start calling it Shuffle Chess ☺
    Fischer didn't invent "Fisher" random chess, but he proposed some changes to shuffle chess, such as the castling rules and stopping both Bishops being on the same colour. He argued that this would give a chess-like position but eliminate opening theory. Alternatively it could lead to the creation of another 959 sets of theory; we'll find out when people start playing it.

    Ivanchuk recently took the more radical approach of playing draughts, thereby also eliminating middlegame and endgame theory.

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