Tuesday, December 07, 2021

Nice Chess Writing

Maybe you know, but the World Chess Championship is taking place is Dubai right now, the defending champion Magnus Carlsen of Norway against Russian grandmaster challenger Ian Nepomniachtchi. Through eight games, Carlsen was up by 2 points. 

Here is how Oliver Roeder introduced his article about game 9 for fivethirtyeight.com, which I think is just beautiful:

Wonderful writing. 

However Nepomniachtchi lost game 9, and it's now clear Carlsen will retain his title. Carlsen just turned 31 on Nov 30. He was ranked #1 in the world at age 19, and became world chess champion in 2013 at age 22. (Only Gary Kasparov was younger, by about 5 months.) 

The current game 6 was the longest world championship game in history, 136 moves. It seems most think it wiped Nepo out psychologically, and perhaps physically as well.

Match is best of 14 games, with Carlsen now up 6-3. So the result seems to be a given at this point. I wish Carlsen, with his good looks and cool Gen Z personality, was bringing some growth to chess in the US, but we're probably too fucked up of country to hope for that now.

* I was chess champion of my high school, way back when we still dressed halfway decently and the world still had hope, except for the fear of global nuclear war and the end of all life on Earth. Also won a round robin tournament in my hometown among about 50 people when I was 16, beating a bunch of old men (viz. those now my age) and a too-smart little 13-year old Asian kid in the last game, for the tournament win, when everyone else was looking in over our shoulders, when he made a tiny mistake (I thought) around move 11 and I thought for 20 minutes, all those people hovering over us, then moved deep into his territory and tore him apart in a couple more moves. Maybe one of the best moments of my life. You know how those are, when you're 16. Wish I still had my written record of the game. My parents picked me up and I had a trophy and they didn't even notice or ask about it, and me, being 16, didn't say a thing.


Dano said...

" It is now all but guaranteed that Carlsen will retain the mantle he has held since 2013 — and cement his status as the greatest chess player of all time."

He's certainly up there in the top 10....but the greatest??



David Appell said...

Yeah, I don't think I'd agree with either.

Nice catch -- I missed that when I read the 538 article.

David Appell said...

This New Yorker article also calls Carlsen "perhaps the greatest player of all time"