10 February 2015

Chessgames.com and the Odd Lie

For this post I intended to return to the exciting topic of Blog Maintenance, with an update on transferring my personal bookmarks to the Diigo.com cloud. The transfer itself went without a hitch and I ended up with around 6000 bookmarks in a strange land that had the potential to be far more public than I ever intended. Edward Snowden showed us that the web is anything but private, and if you're contemplating a similar transfer, watch out what you place in the cloud. Notes related to security or to your private garden are two areas that require particular concern. The less said here the better, so I'll shut up.

While I was checking the results of my bookmark transfer, I discovered a few other uses of chess on Diigo and noted them for a future post. This being that post I returned to my notes and discovered that the resources were of no real interest to anyone, especially not to me. What to write about? Perhaps the ~1200 bookmarks collected in 2014 might provide some food for thought. After looking at collections of links for various web domains and deciding 'not this, not that', I came to Chessgames.com. Plenty of food there.

One particularly interesting page on Chessgames.com is Chess Statistics. The site's stats are useful not so much for '# of games in database: 741,415' or '# of games with kibitzing: 116,840', nor for questions like 'Which players most often make winning sacrifices?' No, I originally bookmarked the stats page as a guide to 'Which CG pages have the most kibitzing?'. In other words, which Chessgames.com pages are most interesting to Chessgames.com members? The following table shows the stats as of today.

'Which pages on Chessgames.com have the most kibitzing?'

These are not the subjects I would have expected to see. Wesley So and Kenneth Rogoff at no.1 and no.2, well ahead of Magnus Carlsen and Bobby Fischer at no.4 and 5? Garry Kasparov down at no.16, just ahead of the famous Odd Lie ('Number of games in database: 42, Years covered: 1954 to 1988'; First kibitz: 'Now THIS is a GREAT name!'). Chesshistory.com's favorite whipping boy -- Raymond Keene -- at no.30? Now THIS is REALLY food for thought.

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