30 November 2021

World Championship Yahoos 2021

This month's Yahoos post harks back to the previous World Championship that I covered in World Championship Yahoos (November 2018). The footnote below explaining Yahoos says, 'top-100 (or so) stories from the past month', but this month there was a change in the Google News algorithm. It still returned 100 stories, but I noticed that many were published well before the month of November. Here's the oldest, from almost eight months ago:-

Before you get too excited about that news, note the date. It is, in fact, the 'updated' date, the 'published' date was one day earlier. Oh, OK. After eliminating all stories dated before November, I ended up with 82 real Yahoos.

The chart shows the breakdown of those 82 Yahoos. Not shown are the 35 news sources that had a single story

Another unusual feature of the month was the precipitous drop in stories from Chess.com, which has been averaging around 40 stories a month for the last six months. Is this an anomaly -or- a harbinger of future Yahoo activity?

As for stories about the World Championship in Dubai, I didn't notice any in-depth stories explaining the event to the general public. I'm sure they're out there somewhere; they just weren't flagged by Google News. The best story I could find -- and it's very good -- was:-

  • 2021-11-15: Know The Challenger: Ian Nepomniachtchi (chess.com) • 'It is amazing how all contemporary world champions were born somewhere on the outskirts of the giant empire rather than in its greatest cities and chess centers, such as Moscow or Leningrad [now Saint Petersburg].'

One mainstream news source was ramping up to full coverage. The Guardian had a number of good background stories, one of them by the incomparable Leonard Barden (the Alireza Firouzja story):-

That last story, by 'Sean Ingle in Dubai', looks like continuing coverage of the Carlsen - Nepo match. In each of the last few World Championship matches, I've discovered at least one professional, non-chess journalist who provided an outsider's view of the match. Will the Guardian continue the trend?

All might not be rosy around the chess boom brought on by the events of the last two years. I noticed two stories about chess games that aren't played on chess boards. What do I mean? Consider these:-

Maybe that is rosy after all. Maybe I'm wearing smoke colored glasses and just need to replace them with rose colored glasses. I'll wait for December Yahoos before making an appointment with an optician.

[Yahoos (mainstream news stories about chess) are derived from Google News top-100 (or so) stories from the past month.]

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