28 July 2022

Candidate and Olympiad Yahoos

In last month's Yahoos post, The New No.2 Yahoo (June 2022; see the footnote below for an explanation of 'Yahoos'), I ended asking,

How high will the Madrid Candidates figure on the list of July Yahoos? We'll find out in a month.

A month has passed and we have an answer. Let's look first at the usual statistics. The chart below shows the Google News sources with more than a single story for the month.

This month Google delivered 101 stories, of which 71 were from the current month and 30 from previous months. Of the 40 sources in the current month, eight accounted for two or more stories.

The top source continued to be Chess.com, followed by the same 'New No.2' identified in June, the New York Times (NYT). Of the seven NYT stories, five were puzzles. Really, Google, you think that's news?

Back to the question about the Madrid Candidates tournament, I counted about a half-dozen stories. This includes derivative stories like these two from world class chess journalists:-

The handful of Madrid stories was overshadowed by more than a dozen stories about the 2022 FIDE Olympiad, which starts today. This might be because the Google news results tend to favor the most recent stories. For the current month, I calculated that 25% of the stories were no more than a day old, while 60% were from earlier in July, with the rest from the last days of June.

Back to the chart, of the four 'Indian Express' stories, three were about the Olympiad, which takes place in Chennai, India. One of them was about a non-participant:-

Add this to the news that two chess powerhouses are not participating:-

I expect that next month's Yahoos' post will also be dominated by the Chennai Olympiad, which runs through 10 August. One other story deserves special mention. It appeared twice under source 'CNN'.

It looks to me like the robot was playing a four board simul. One of the CNN hosts says irately,

This is like the Terminator! There are movies based on this. The robot attacked the kid. Does the robot need to be put down?

A professor from the University of Michigan laughs at the suggestion. Would he laugh if it had been his son? I have to ask: Why are robots even playing in human chess tournaments? We already know that chess engines are much better than the best human players.

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

No comments: