15 November 2016

World Championship Hubbub

We chess players love to gripe about the lack of chess news in the mainstream press. I've seen more than a few such complaints about the ongoing 2016 Carlsen - Karjakin World Championship match, but from where I'm sitting the coverage has been better than usual.

My primary sources for mainstream news of all kind are Yahoo News and Yahoo Finance. I start my day by browsing the headlines and reading any stories that interest me. I'm always pleased to see a chess story and usually bookmark it for possible use in a blog post. Examples from this year include Chess @ Yahoo Finance (May 2016; 'Inside the high-stress world of pro chess') and More on Chess and Alzheimer's (July 2016)

In the last week I've bookmarked four stories (more if you count any story that repeats the following day). The following composite image shows their Yahoo News index headlines in chronological order.

It's interesting to note that the stories are carried under a number of sections : Technology, Sports, World, and Sports again. This underscores one of the attractions of chess -- it has an impact on many aspects of everyday life.

As for the stories themselves, I'll summarize each one. One of the current quirks of Yahoo News is that the headline link first goes to a Yahoo stub page which does little more than provide a link to the original story on another source. I'll skip the stub and will provide the link to the original story.

2016-11-07: Microsoft to Protect 'Mozart of Chess' From Russian Hackers (pcmag.com) • 'The name Magnus Carlsen may not mean anything to you, unless of course you're a chess fan. The 25-year-old Norwegian is the reigning World Chess Champion, achieved after becoming a chess grandmaster at the age of 13. But while he is a prodigy and has been dubbed the "Mozart of chess," he also has a problem and has called upon Microsoft to help solve it.'

2016-11-09: Chess lawsuit set for moves in federal court on Thursday (seattletimes.com, after the Associated Press) • 'NEW YORK (AP) -- Arguments over a lawsuit aimed at restricting who can instantly reveal moves at the World Chess Championship will be heard on Thursday, a day before the games begin. A federal court judge set the hearing to decide whether to block some websites from immediately relaying players' moves when they begin Friday in New York.'

2016-11-11: Magnus Carlsen defends his title as chess champion (cbsnews.com; the first day of the match) • 'The game requires stamina, endurance, and strategy. It’s now routinely taught in schools around the world. At the championship level, the objective isn’t just winning -- it’s demolishing your opponent. Magnus Carlsen is the best in the world, and starting Friday, he will defend that title at the World Chess Championship in New York City.'

2016-11-13: Here’s what to expect at the World Chess Championship (nypost.com; by GM Andy Soltis) • 'Bobby Fischer wouldn’t recognize the world championship chess being played at the Fulton Market Building this month. Champion Magnus Carlsen and his challenger, Sergey Karjakin, play longer, more intense games than in Fischer’s era. They calculate better and err less often than players of the past.'

For the last two of those main stories, Yahoo had additional links to other stories. Here are the headlines, which should be enough to locate the original article:-

  • Chess star Karyakin: symbol of geopolitical divides -- AFP
  • Norwegian, Russian to square off in World Chess Championship -- Associated Press
  • World Chess Championship becomes a celebrity affair in New York -- New York Post
  • Even the world chess champion can't escape the spectre of Donald Trump -- The Huffington Post

There might be some robotics involved in allocating those additional stories, because I noticed the following when seeing a headline story for a second time:-

  • La Crosse chef set to compete in World Food Championships -- WQOW Eau Claire

All in all, it doesn't equal the media attention given to the 1972 Fischer - Spassky World Championship match, but I'm not complaining!


I also used the 'Hubbub' idea in a recent post drawn from Yahoo News reports on the Women's World Championship: Hijab Hubbub (October 2016).

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