30 January 2018

January Yahoos

In last month's December Yahoos, I repeated a sentence from 'November Yahoos'...

I wondered, 'Will a Yahoo chess story turn up in December?' As the month continued, there were at least three stories grabbing headlines.

...which might as well have been a monthly recurring question, i.e. 'Will a Yahoo chess story turn up next month?' Indeed one did, although I had to wait until the last week of January.

The headline of that first story was 'These Photos of Tournament Chess Players Redefine the Word "Focus"' and the caption said,

In 1987, Russian grandmasters Anatoly Karpov and Garry Kasparov faced off in Seville, Spain for the World Chess Championship. David Llada, then a nine-year-old boy growing up the small northern town of Asturias, remembers being captivated by a newspaper photograph of the two chess geniuses.

After passing through a stub page in sports.yahoo.com, the corresponding link eventually went to The Tortured Deep-Focus Faces of Tournament Chess Players (wired.com), a slideshow of 12 photos from David Llada's recent book The Thinkers. Chess players know that they make interesting photo subjects, and it's about time that the non-chess press agrees.

Unfortunately, the associated Wired.com article failed in its basic journalistic duty of spelling Llada's name correctly. The first few mentions of his name used the spelling 'Lloda'. While most of these have since been corrected, the sloppiness has been preserved for posterity in The Tortured Face of an International Tournament Chess Photographer (xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com). Imagine a world where journalists not only show the fascinating side of chess players, but actually spell their names correctly!

For another example of a book devoted to chess photography, see Black and White Passion (February 2016) on this blog. The photos in that book were taken by Catherine Jaeg.

The second of the 'January Yahoos' shown above was an ad, 'Curious How Your Net Worth Stacks Up?', illustrated by a set of chess pieces. While not as interesting as most of the chess ads I once collected for Chess Ads V (August 2009), it's still good to see.

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