31 October 2017

October Yahoos

Has it been nearly three months since Yahoo last found a newsworthy chess story? The last one I posted was about Fabulous Fabiano (August 2017), and this month there were two more.

The first story was picked up by many mainstream news sources, probably because it was distributed by the Associated Press. Most of the AP story appeared in the Yahoo summary above.

2017-10-02: Chess player fired by Iran over headscarf joins US team (foxnews.com; AP)

TEHRAN, Iran – An Iranian news agency says a woman who was kicked off the national chess team for attending an international competition without wearing an Islamic headscarf has joined the U.S. team. The semi-official ISNA news agency reported Monday that Dorsa Derakhshani, who refused to wear the headscarf, known as a hijab, during a February competition in Gibraltar, has joined the U.S. national team. Since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, Iran has required women to wear the hijab in public places.

The second story was a feature. It was frequently shared on social media, where the level of skepticism was considerable.

2017-10-28: This NYC chess hustler makes $400 a day (nypost.com)

Six years ago, Ambakisye Osayaba made his big move -- he quit his part-time city job cleaning Central Park and began playing chess full-time. Now he earns up to $400 a day, taking on all comers from a 2-by-2-foot fold-out table, chairs and chess board he rolls in a metal shopping granny cart every morning to the southwest strip of Union Square Park. "It’s the best living I’ve ever made," said Osayaba, 59, known by the initials T.C., which stand for "teaches chess."

Back to the first story, the chess press provided a more comprehensive report: US Chess Welcomes Dorsa Derakashani, IM and WGM (uschess.org). And no, it hasn't been a three month lapse since the last of the 'Fabulous Fabiano' Yahoo reports. It was two months between the last Caruana story and the first story in this post. In the meantime there were several Kasparov stories. Good thing we have Garry to take up the slack.

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