31 May 2018

(No) May Yahoos

It had to happen sooner or later. After April Yahoos marked 'the seventh straight month of chess in the mainstream press', the streak ended in May. The only oblique reference to chess was a Kasparov vs. Putin story.

'Kasparov on Putin's meddling: '"I told you so".'

This story had as much to do with chess as the five stories listed beneath it:-

  • And the winner of 'American Idol' Season 16 is...
  • Kylie Jenner tweet made some investors a fortune
  • New wrinkle in Clinton email controversy
  • Sen. Rubio: 'There aren't 63 better quarterbacks'
  • Notable info missing from Meghan Markle bio

For the record, here's the Kasparov/Putin article:-

While Garry is always as entertaining as he is outspoken, this is a chess blog, not a blog for Russian politics. A few years I devoted a full post to the subject in Geopolitical Yahoos (October 2014), and I could have featured similar stories at the end of last year in November Yahoos and December Yahoos.

I like these end-month news roundups, but what to do when there are no Yahoos? Let's try Google News Search: 'q=chess'. Of the more than 100 headlines returned by the search, I picked out five stories for this post:-

  • 2018-05-10: Garry Kasparov Talks Artificial Intelligence, Deep Blue, and AlphaGo Zero (fortune.com) • 'Despite losing at chess to the IBM Deep Blue computer more than 20 years ago, Garry Kasparov is a big believer in artificial intelligence. The former world chess champion is now an author and speaker who is trying to counter some of the more alarmist beliefs over the rise of AI technologies, typically exemplified in Hollywood movies in which robots rise against their human creators.'

So I ended up anyway with another Kasparov story, this one on his third favorite subject after chess and Putin. What will the not-so-genial GM say once he realizes that AI was the enabling technology that gave Putin the power 'to meddle in American elections'?

Here are three more stories that would have made good Yahoos. All of them highlight secondary aspects of chess.

The story I would have most liked to see featured in Yahoo was the outcome of the U.S. Championship. Here's the version by Leonard Barden.

  • 2018-05-04: Chess: Sam Shankland surprise US champion ahead of Fabiano Caruana (theguardian.com) • 'Sam Shankland is the new US champion after a bravura performance where the Californian 26-year-old outscored America’s elite trio of Fabiano Caruana, Wesley So and Hikaru Nakamura, who between them had won the previous three titles.'

May Yahoos continue in June. If not, we'll have more Google News.

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