Tuesday 22 September 2015

Chess Q&A

Australian TV Viewers are no doubt familiar with the Australian new program Q&A. Shown on the ABC, it discusses politics and current events in front of a live audience, who participate in the process. The other gimmick it uses is showing live tweets from viewers, although this is where it sometimes does go wrong. Although tweets are screened, some clever ones slip through, causing a degree of embarrassment for the show, and the ABC.
Watching the 2015 World Cup on Chess24, I see the same sort of issues happening. The comments from online spectators are a mixture of the clever, the insightful and the downright delusional, and are often more entertaining than the chess. Case in point is the ongoing Wesley So - Maxime Vachier-Lagrave game. MVL has N+2P v 4P and is certainly better, if not winning (although this may require exact play). But to read the comments, So is just one move away from drawing the game, if not actually winning the position. Clearly an influx of So fanboys has overrun the comments section, but I do wonder which game they are actually watching. Attempts by more objective spectators to bring some reality to the proceedings are brushed aside as the inevitable So victory is breathlessly, and constantly, being announced.
Nonetheless I don't object to spectators commentating on games, no more than I would try and stop what people yell at football matches. It is part of the colour and spectacle of modern chess, and if we cannot fill stadiums for tournaments, we can at least fill the internet!

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