28 February 2019

February Amazon Yahoos

For the third consecutive month, my Yahoo news feed served no chess news. Of celebrities and sports, there was plenty to choose from; of chess there was nothing. Is the problem perhaps an overall deterioration in the Yahoo news feed itself?

Maybe yes, maybe no, but Yahoo doesn't have a problem following me around the web to watch what I am doing. For the second consecutive month -- I documented the first in January Amazon Yahoos -- and lasting for several days, it served me an ad echoing what I had browsed on Amazon.

'Sponsored --$-- Amazon.com'

The three books shown are:-

  • 'Better Thinking, Better Chess: How a Grandmaster Finds his Moves'; Joel Benjamin
  • '300 Most Important Chess Positions'; Thomas Engqvist
  • 'Chess for Life'; Matthew Sadler, Natasha Regan

Those are certainly three noteworthy books, but I only recall looking at the last one. That was while preparing the first post of last month, 'Game Changer' Interview. As for the other two books, I've heard about them, but don't remember browsing their pages on Amazon. Did I click on the Yahoo ad to look at any of the books? Of course not. Why encourage creepy web behavior?

Since I don't have any mainstream media chess stories to fill out this post, I get to select my own. I'll start with a theme I introduced in 'January Yahoos', titled 'Weird Chess News'. What's weird for me is not necessarily weird for you, and vice versa, but as long I'm writing the post, I get to pick. Both of these stories are about chess in school and both are from Texas:-

If there was one single story this month that I would have liked to see get a wider audience, it was this one:-

  • Magnus Carlsen On The Ancient Appeal Of Chess And The Opportunities Of A More Modern Game (forbes.com; 'Guest post written by Magnus Carlsen') • GM Carlsen ended his essay saying, 'The excitement of playing a game of chess over a physical board -- feeling the tension as your opponent sits two feet in front of you, studying your every move -- cannot be beaten. Yet nothing would make me sadder than losing the essential benefits of chess because of a righteous refusal to adapt to change.'

Other events might have interested a wider audience. Without too much thought I came up with the Gibraltar Open; the Champions Showdown and the Cairns Cup (for women), both in St.Louis; and even the Stockfish - Leela TCEC match, an engine handcrafted by humans vs. a rapidly improving AI/NN challenger. Maybe we'll see some mainstream coverage of chess in March, but I'm not optimistic.

No comments: