06 December 2022

How Many for Carlsen? For Niemann?

For the second time in less than two months we have a REAL YAHOO, reported by Yahoo.com in person. The previous sighting was Really Big Stereotypes (October 2022; 'real Yahoo -- a mainstream news source reporting on a chess story').

Unfortunately, I bungled the screen capture and lost the top portion of the Yahoo headlines. You'll have to believe me that the top headline said, 'Nobody thought case against Fox would get this far'.

The five bottom headlines said,

- Christie's niece injured 6 cops during arrest: Officials
- Vandals open fire on power stations, knock service out
- 'Want me to strip fully naked, I'll do it': Global chess melee
- Deadline for REAL IDs fast approaching
- Trump's recent dinner represents 'alarming' shift

That third headline sits beneath a photo of Hans Niemann, the player who has quickly become one of the most recognizable personalities in chess, after GMs Carlsen and Kasparov. The headline led to this article:-

  • 2022-12-04: He's the Bad Boy of Chess. But Did He Cheat? (yahoo.com; The New York Times, David Segal and Dylan Loeb McClain) • 'The day before he beat the greatest chess player in the world, Hans Niemann was a curly-haired 19-year-old American known only to serious fans of the game and mostly as an abrasive jerk. Everyone, it seems, has a story. Like that time in June, when he’d lost in the finals of a tournament in Prague, then stood in the ballroom of the hotel where the event was held and ranted against the city and the accommodations.'

Yahoo suspended its comments for a few years because of the vile exchanges between intolerant camps on the political left and right, but they're back with a vengeance. Although a few of the commenters on this story are well informed, whether informed or not, the number of Carlsen supporters are probably balanced by the Niemann supporters.

Most commenters are just there trying to write something clever. My favorites had to do with the length of the article. For example:-

Longest chess article ever. • Raise your hand if you read the entire article. • This chess article is longer than most chess games. • Is this article available in paperback? • Wouldn't it be nice if stories of importance got this much print? • Not sure if watching chess or this article is more boring. • I wonder if they have a Readers Digest condensed version of that story. • This may just be the longest article I can remember seeing over anything this trivial.

And there were dozens more like that among the hundreds of comments the story attracted. The most recent of this blog's monthly news summaries was Disappearing Yahoos (November 2022). There I wrote,

Cheating mania continued into November. Of the 75 chess stories flagged by Google, seven focused on aspects of cheating.

I'll be back at the end of the month with the December edition. I expect to see more about the biggest chess cheating story ever.

[While preparing this post, I also returned to another recent post on the same subject, Steamin' Niemann (November 2022), that featured three videos from the legal community and added two more.]

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