22 October 2020

More Chess Sightseeing

The previous Flickr photo post, Keres' Last Move, already spawned one additional post with Soviet Era Chess Photos. A second additional post, based on the following composite photo, is also demanding to be explored.

Google image search on 'site:tripadvisor.com chess'

The 'Keres' Last Move' post mentioned 'Picture of Monument to Paul Keres, Narva (tripadvisor.com)', and it turns out there are thousands of other chess photos on the site. Most of them feature giant chess sets like the ones shown in the composite. For example, the photo in the top left is titled 'Giant chess game; we've had so much fun here with the kids', and shows the Los Abrigados Resort and Spa, Sedona, Arizona.

The page returned by the image search has the usual tags at the top of the page -- phrases like 'giant chess board', 'bali', 'vancouver mall', 'montego bay' -- aggregating related photos togther. On top of that is a feature I'd never seen before: a 'Popular topics' box, with three related tags for further exploration. The second such box is shown above, second from right in the top row, including tags 'Chess piece', 'Salzburg', and 'Max Euweplein'.

Clicking through those tags returns photos based only on that key phrase, i.e. not necessarily 'site:tripadvisor.com' and not necessarily 'chess'. How were these tags chosen? The phrase 'Max Euweplein' makes sense, because the giant chess set in the middle of the square ('plein' is Dutch for a place like a town 'square') is the most notable feature there, but what about 'Salzburg'? Those photos are mostly beautiful wide angle shots of that picturesque town in Austria. Adding 'chess' as a search term reveals the connection -- another giant chess set. The 'Salzburg' tag added to my original search must be a further example of AI in action.

A few years ago I featured another inspiration for chess tourism in Chess Sightseeing (March 2014). The next time I take a trip somewhere, I'll check Google images before I leave; just add destination to the site search for chess.

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