30 November 2017

November Yahoos

Last month's October Yahoos had two stories and this month's could have had as many as four. On top of the two shown below, GM Kasparov figured in two others, but not for chess.

The first story was widely reported because it's about Magnus and because the premise is decidedly silly. For a typical angle from the chess press, see Frederic Friedel's Beating Magnus after a month of training? (chessbase.com).

2017-11-17: When an Amateur Challenges a Chess Grandmaster (finance.yahoo.com; The Wall Street Journal)

Self-described "obsessive learner" Max Deutsch challenged grandmaster Magnus Carlsen to a game of chess. What could possibly go wrong? [EOM; the video is the article]

One of the reasons I follow these Yahoo stories is to read the comments. Here are a few of the better ones.

  • 'So in the end, a person who has massive experience and competency in some field is better than someone who thinks he can just learn it? Sounds about right.'
  • 'Chess is sort of like composing or cooking. In all three cases a complete novice can memorize and copy the moves of an expert with really good results, but to be able to master any of them to the point where you can create a masterpiece all by yourself takes many years of practice.'
  • 'Magnus Carlsen is not just "a grandmaster". He is the world champion, and possibly the strongest chessplayer in history.'
  • 'Put this guy up against the dudes in Washington Square Park and see what happens. Those guys can play.'

The second story might be a seismic geopolitical shift or it might be FIDE's usual stumbling around with its foot stuck in the trash basket. We'll know by the end of December.

2017-11-28: Israeli chess players could make history at Saudi tourney (yahoo.com; AFP)

Jerusalem (AFP) - Israeli chess players could make history by participating in a tournament in Saudi Arabia after the international chess governing body on Tuesday said it was pushing to allow it to happen. A spokesman for the Israel Chess Federation told AFP seven players had filed requests for visas to participate in the games to be held in Riyadh on December 26-30 as part of the world rapid and blitz chess championships.

For the corresponding FIDE announcements, see:-

  • 2017-11-09: World Rapid and Blitz Announcement • 'FIDE is pleased to announce that, under the aegis of the General Sports Authority of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the 2017 King Salman World Rapid and Blitz Chess Championships will be held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia between the 26th and 30th December 2017.'

  • 2017-11-14: King Salman Rapid & Blitz 2017 – Historic Agreement • 'FIDE is pleased to announce that we have reached an agreement with the organisers that the dress code for the event will be dark blue or black formal suits, with white shirts, either open necked or with a tie, for men and dark blue or black formal trouser suits, with high necked white blouses for women.'

It took two weeks for the mainstream press to catch wind of the story, but the dress code angle isn't a barnburner. Will a Yahoo chess story turn up in December?

No comments: