27 October 2022

Chess960 Mania

Last month's Yahoos post (see the footnote for an explanation of Yahoos) was Cheating Mania (September 2022). It followed a course not seen in previous Yahoos:-

Unlike all previous posts in the Yahoos series, this month requires two charts to present the base statistics, shown below. On the left are the counts derived from Google News, similar to the chart in last month's Olympiad, Business, and Political Yahoos (August 2022). On the right are counts from a special supplement, linked from the Google News results and called 'Full Coverage'. These stories were 100% about the cheating scandal.

For the current Yahoos post, once again we have two charts -- Left: Base statistics, Right: Full coverage. This month the 'Full Coverage' is about an event I've been following on my chess960 blog, seen last week in 2022 FWFRCC Qualifiers (October 2022; 'FIDE World Fischer Random Chess Championship'). The final stage of the event is currently taking place in Iceland.

I'll continue to cover the FWFRCC final on that blog, incorporating Google's 'Full Coverage' into the next post. For this current post let's focus on the left chart.

This month Google News returned 101 stories, of which 83 were from the current month and 18 were repeats from previous months. Of the 83 current month stories, five sources accounted for more than two stories, a total of 33 stories, as shown in the chart on the left. Once again, Chess.com was the largest single source of chess stories.

In last month's 'Cheating Mania', I observed, 'Of the [78] Google News stories, 17 were about cheating.' The cheating story continued bigtime in October. Of the 83 stories, 10 were about cheating, three of those from Chess.com.

The biggest cheating story was flagged by Google from an obscure source called the 'Lebanon Democrat', which declined to give me a copy. The page it gave me said,

451: Unavailable due to legal reasons • We recognize you are attempting to access this website from a country belonging to the European Economic Area (EEA) including the EU which enforces the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and therefore access cannot be granted at this time.

It turned out the original story was from the Associated Press (AP), available from multiple news sources. Here's one:-

Back to this month's chart on the left, the 33 stories were a mixed bag. The two 'chess' stories from the 'Chicago Sun-Times' had nothing to do with chess. They were about football. One of the 'New York Times' (NYT) stories was also about football, although with significant chess content. I featured it last week in a post Really Big Stereotypes (October 2022; 'The original NYT story can be found at "Forget Madden..." [nytimes.com]').

The NYT has been a leading source of Yahoos since The New No.2 Yahoo (June 2022), always because of their chess puzzles. This is the first month since June that none of their puzzles appeared on Google News.

As for the other 50 sources with a single story, several of the stories made my short list -- partly for their quirkiness -- but none was particularly compelling on a revisit. The best of the bunch was about the All India Chess Federation (AICF):-

  • 2022-10-27: Chess federation claims pests destroyed records (thebridge.in) • 'The [AICF] has claimed that records pertaining to a Right to Information (RTI) Act query by a player were destroyed by pests at its headquarters here, leading to a rebuke from the Central Information Commission.'

The Niemann lawsuit; the NYT puzzles; AICF pest control; will Google's 'Full Coverage' become a mainstay of chess news? There's plenty to look forward to in next month's Yahoos post.

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

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