Saturday, July 4, 2020

Chess adapts to the new online, distanced world

What a lovely story The Guardian is running about events in the main international chess tournament this week, the Chessable Masters:

Magnus Carlsen in another major final hardly rates a headline at the moment, such is the world champion’s dominance over his rivals. The 29-year-old Norwegian was at the height of his skills as he defeated America’s world No 2 and China’s world No 3 at the $150,000 Chessable Masters this week and so put himself in pole position for his fourth tournament victory in three months


[But] his semi-final against China’s Ding Liren will be remembered for a unique incident which put the match in the record books.

Ding had an easily drawn ending in their first game, but with a minute left he was disconnected and awarded a zero under the rules. The online audience of more than 50,000 showed their disappointment in the only available outlet, the comments page.

Game two, with Ding as White, opened 1 c4 e6 2 g3 Qg5? 3 Bg2 Qxd2+?? 4 Qxd2 and Carlsen resigned. He explained: “I have immense respect for Ding as a chess player and as a human being, and … I think it was the right thing to do.”

The real world may throw up roadblocks, but in the international family of Chess, may fair play and civility always prevail!

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