18 May 2021

Queen's Gambit and the Pandemania(c)

Last year, in a post titled Queen's Gambit Staying Power (November 2020), I wrote,

The Netflix series appeared unexpectedly on my radar at one other time during the past month. Near the beginning of the month, one of my pages zoomed to first on the 'Top 10 Pages' for my domain, eclipsing the perennial leader, 'Index to the World Chess Championship' (m-w.com).

The new leader, a page I wrote in 2006, titled 'Top 10 Myths About Chess' (ditto; 'People say the darnedest things about chess'), is frequently in the top-10, but rarely leads it. At first I was baffled, but then I noticed the last myth was: '10. Women can't play chess as well as men'

Six months later, I can quantify that. The following chart shows the number of page views for each month starting 2020-01 (January 2020) through 2021-04 (April 2021).

Monthly page views on mark-weeks.com

X-axis: '1' = 2020-01, '13' = 2021-01.

That simple chart has an equally simple legend:-

As I've noted many times, the last time in Chess Stats Year-Over-Year (June 2017):-

Since chess has a seasonal bias -- peak interest in the winter, trough in the summer -- the best way to analyze a trend is with a year-over-year comparison.

That trend is partly visible in the green counts (WCC). The interest in chess brought on by the coronavirus pandemic blew a hole in the seasonal observation and it remains to be seen if the trend will reappear in the future.

The small uptick in blue pages (Myths) for 2020-03/-04 is probably due to visitors landing on another myth: '1. Chess is hard to learn'. The blue pages skyrocket in 2020-10/-11, then gradually come back to normal levels.

As for the green pages (WCC), there is a small uptick at the start of the pandemic, then a return to a normal seasonal pattern. The uptick in green for 2021-03/-04 is probably due to interest in the 2020 Candidates Tournament; Yekaterinburg (Russia).

What will the future bring? We'll have a good idea when the next World Championship title match, 2021 Carlsen - Nepomniachtchi; Dubai, XI-XII, 2021, starts near the end of the year.

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