14 March 2019

Celebrity Chess Players

Curious about which chess players have celebrity status, I asked the oracle. It told me which celebrities play chess. It also drew a picture for me, captured below.

Google search on 'chess celebrities'

That link goes to Chess Playing Celebrities (imdb.com), where 50 people are listed. Some of them I've never heard of, but most are bona fide celebrities. Beneath the search box displayed above is some small print that says, '(?) About this result', and that leads to Featured snippets in search - Search Console Help (support.google.com). There I learned,

When a user asks a question in Google Search, we might show a search result in a special featured snippet block at the top of the search results page. This featured snippet block includes a summary of the answer, extracted from a webpage, plus a link to the page, the page title and URL.

So that box is called a search 'snippet'. The page also explains how page owners can prevent their content from appearing in snippets -- a copyright notice is not sufficient -- and ends with a Q&A exchange:-

Q: Is this part of Knowledge Graph? • A: No, this is a normal search result, emphasized with special layout.'

Knowledge Graph? It turns out it's the box that Google displays to the right on the first page of search results, so that you don't have to click on any of the results. Wikipedia starts its explanation of Knowledge Graph by saying,

The Knowledge Graph is a knowledge base used by Google and its services to enhance its search engine's results with information gathered from a variety of sources. The information is presented to users in an infobox next to the search results.

The article goes on to complain that this particular Google feature leads to 'Declining Wikipedia article readerships'. So Wikipedia takes content from all over the web and Google takes content from Wikipedia and no one goes to the original content. Is there no honor among thieves?

Meanwhile, I still don't know which chess players have celebrity status. Maybe none of them do.

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