Sunday, August 11, 2013

A cup full of chess

With not much to report about traditional game shows, I'll post another entry on Internet chess broadcasts. The big one running right now is the 2013 Chess World Cup.

This is a monster knockout tournament - no, they don't literally knock out monsters - with 128 of the world's best players. They're running the thing in Norway, which has experienced a chess boom thanks to a fellow named Magnus. (He's one of the very few top players not in this particular tournament, by the way.) The organizers have scraped up a total prize fund of $1.6 million, which is big money by chess standards. By my standards, too.

The Internet commentators are GM Susan Polgar and IM Lawrence Trent, both of them experienced hosts on the net. The problem is that, at least in the first few rounds, they have so many freaking games to cover. So they tend to miss some interesting happenings. But they hop around the boards as fast as they can, and they conduct postgame interviews with the players intelligently and tactfully. It helps with the English-impaired participants that they know a bunch of languages.

The two finalists get places in next year's candidates tournament to select the challenger for the world championship. They also get a fair amount of money.

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