06 December 2016

Last World Championship Hubbub

Tomorrow I'll be wrapping up the 2016 Carlsen - Karjakin match on my World Chess Championship blog, which should be one of the last posts in the current cycle, C27: 2015-16. That gives me one last opportunity to squeeze in another post on this current blog. After World Championship Sizzle (the tiebreaks) and Closing Ceremony, what could I write about that might interest a few people? I could mention the report on Karjakin and Kasparov lock swords after match (chess24.com), which started,

Garry Kasparov was almost alone in failing to praise Sergey Karjakin after the World Championship match, describing the challenger as "drab".

Given ex-World Champion Kasparov's long-standing habit of kicking people when they're down or his hateful obsession with anyone even remotely supportive of his sworn enemy, Vladimir Putin, this is a dog-bites-man story. I could also mention the matched pair of Reuters Breakingviews opinion pieces:-

  • One-knight stand (video) • 'Chess officials were hoping this year's world championship would kick off a lucrative new effort to commercialize the sport.'
  • Chess: a 1,500-year-old startup that doesn't scale (opinion) • 'A fresh attempt to popularize the game using this year's championship between Magnus Carlsen and Sergey Karjakin is destined to be checkmated.'

While this is more of a man-bites-dog story, there really isn't anything new in the analysis. No, I think I'll go with the most recent Yahoo News stories, last seen in World Championship Fizzle, my post on the final long game of the match (if you can call a half-hour game 'long'). It's probably the only chance I'll ever get to use a photo of a jet engine in this blog.

The first story pictured was in the Sports section; the second was in the Finance section, which still happens to be the best part of the slowly crumbling Yahoo empire.

2016-12-01: Magnus Carlsen wins third world chess title; 'The games were watched by about six million people around the world' (bbc.com) • 'Magnus Carlsen of Norway has won the World Chess Championship for the third consecutive time after defeating challenger Sergey Karjakin of Russia. Carlsen, 26, sealed victory following a series of tiebreakers at the finals held in New York. Karjakin tied against Carlsen in 12 regular rounds but was beaten in the final phase of four quickfire games.'

2016-11-30: ‘We haven’t captured the magic’: Chess missed out on a massive opportunity (finance.yahoo.com) • 'For the past two weeks, the FIDE World Chess Championship has been going on in New York City, and on Wednesday the event culminates in a thrilling tiebreaker of "rapid blitz" games. But most Americans, even those living in New York City, are likely unaware.'

The Yahoo Finance piece was written by Yahoo's Daniel Roberts, the same journalist featured in my previous post, The Money Game (May 2016), where he interviewed GM Maurice Ashley. I don't want to end this series of posts on the Carlsen - Karjakin match with a thumbs-down story ('most Americans are likely unaware'), so I'll slip in those two sub-stories shown under the BBC report.

Given that the match started on 11 November, I spent three and a half weeks covering it. Who said chess was slow?

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