17 November 2016

World Championship Notes and News

That makes two consecutive posts -- World Championship Hubbub (on this blog) and Carlsen - Karjakin, the First Week (on my World Chess Championship blog) -- where I managed not to use most of the material I collected during the days leading up to the big match. First, let's look at the broadcast team located in New York, using the official video from game one.

Left to right:
Sergey Fayfer, World Chess Digital Director;
Knut Skeie Solberg, Host;
Peter Doggers, Director of Content for Chess.com;
GM Judit Polgar
Kaja Marie Snare, Agon’s ace world championship reporter

The members of the team have different levels of understanding about chess and chess history. Host Solberg occasionally asks some very basic questions, like 'Can you explain castling?'. Digital Director Fayfer said,

If we look back at the 1972 World Championship where Bobby Fischer and Boris Spassky played, the broadcast was literally from a peephole. People were watching this fantastic match through a not-so-great quality broadcast.

There was, of course, no broadcast in 1972. Some filming was done, but most of the material has never been released. The Norwegians -- Solberg and Snare -- are blatantly biased toward countryman Carlsen, usually referring to one player as 'Magnus' and the other as 'Karjakin'. Even with these flaws the format seems to be successful and the broadcasting team works well together, largely thanks to GM Polgar; see Queen of NY: Judit Polgar talks about analysing the match (chessbase.com):-

Q: Why do you think you were chosen as commentator for the World Chess Championship? • A: I think in the last ten years or so chess commentary has become more interesting and entertaining than ever. More and more strong players are happy to explain the games and events to an audience of chess amateurs to help them to understand and enjoy the games much better. Why the organizers chose me is a question for Agon (smiles). However, while I will be a new face as a commentator I am a well-known personality in the world of chess.

On this blog she has already been featured twice this year: Polgar Global Chess Festival (February 2016) and Nearly Two Decades Later (May 2016; about 'Chess Kids' 1996, a documentary). GM Polgar performs best when she exchanges ideas with another master level chess player. The segment from game one where she discussed the evolution of chess with GM Rogoff (formerly with the IMF, now with Harvard) was one of the highlights.

Back to the material I've collected, the world's best chess journalists have been working double-time.

On top of the material collected in the 'Hubbub' post, the non-chess press has also produced some noteworthy articles.

As for social media, I couldn't possibly begin to collect all of the material flying around the web, but some people are more ambitious. This next resource is maintained by Eric van Reem, formerly a member of GM Anand's World Championship team.

  • 2016-11-06: Here I go again... (chessintweets.com); 'Having a two-year break from world championship blogging was actually quite nice, but let’s go on with the blog!'

The two year wait since we last saw a World Championship match has everyone raring to go.

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