31 January 2023

First Yahoos of 2023

The first Yahoos post of the New Year marks also the start of the third full year of Yahoos. (For an explanation of Yahoos, see the footnote to this post.) Let's start with the usual overview of news sources reporting in the current month.

This month we had 92 stories from the current month and 6 stories repeating from previous months, making 98 stories total. In 2022, only two of the 12 monthly posts had more stories in the current month.

Eight news sources, shown in the chart on the left, had more than two stories in the month, accounting for 44 stories total. That leaves 48 sources with a single story.

Just as in every post for the past two years, Chess.com accounted for the lion's share of the stories, with ChessBase a distant, although respectable, second. The other six sources had two stories each, just enough to make this month's honor role. The stories for two of those sources -- 'Evanston RoundTable' and 'Paducah Sun' -- were about regional high school championships.

As for an overview of the biggest chess stories, I'll continue this post as soon as I can. A year ago I wrote a couple of posts summarizing previous months:-

That second post, in February, took a look at a new trend in Yahoos, when Google News started repeating previous month stories in the current month. It might be worth taking a 2023 look at both ideas.

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


Later: If I could retitle this post I would use 'Deja Deja Vu Yahoos', echoing last month's Deja Vu Yahoos (December 2022). Three themes from that post continued in January:-

  • The hijab story
  • The Hans Niemann lawsuit
  • 'A fabulous month for Chess.com'

On the hijab story, I noted 'none of the nine news sources was a chess site'. In retrospect that was probably a consequence of the story occurring at the end of the old year.

Another story, also inspired by clothing, made the news during the month.

  • 2023-01-10: Iranian Chess Arbiter Clashes With FIDE Over Human Rights Attire (chess.com; Peter Doggers) • 'The Iranian international arbiter Shohreh Bayat was reprimanded by the International Chess Federation (FIDE) for wearing pro-human rights clothing at the 2022 Fischer Random World Chess Championship in Reykjavik. While FIDE considered it "unprofessional," Bayat pointed out that a dress code for arbiters does not exist.' • Q: What was the infraction? A: 'A T-shirt with the slogan "Women, Life, Freedom".'

For the last several months of 2022, stories about the Niemann lawsuit were swinging between the farcical and the serious. In January they swung between the farcical and the ridiculous.

For Chess.com, the hits just kept on coming.

One of Chess.com's hits was a sucker punch. In fact, the first story here wasn't returned by Google News, but it helps to understand the second story.

Out with the old? Somehow I doubt it. Those stories are all going to continue in 2023. In with the new? Here's one story worth watching.

  • 2023-01-30: Russian Chess Federation moves to Asia (chessbase.com) • 'The Russian Chess Federation has advised the European Chess Union that they have applied for membership of the Asian Chess Federation, and that they intend to withdraw from the ECU as soon as they have been admitted.'
  • 2023-01-30: Statement of the European Chess Union (europechess.org) • 'Hereby expresses its position on the possible transfer of the Russian Chess Federation (RCF) to the Asian Chess Federation (ACF)' [...] 'Zones can only be amended by International Chess Federation (FIDE) and only FIDE can decide matters concerning its own regulations.'

There were other January stories that I would have liked to pursue, but I have to stop somewhere. Maybe they will still be topical in February.

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