Sunday 18 September 2022

Grumpy old man

 In looking for articles for this blog, I usually have a few rough guidelines. They should be about chess (but not always), I should find them interesting (even if you do not), I try and avoid 'clickbait' (which I can usually do), and there should be at least one game on the front page.

So I went looking for an interesting game from recent events, and have run into an issue. While a lot more chess is being played and recorded than at any time previously, there is a lot more chaff to sift through. A lot of the online games (even played by strong players) are decided by blatant mistakes, or attempts to trick opponents into pre-moving the wrong response. This is both a function of the time controls (blitz or bullet), but also due to the method of play. In the case of a couple of OTB events I looked through, the data seemed incomplete, in that there were an enormous number of games lasting less than 10 moves, but finishing in unclear positions. I assume data entry issues in this case.

As a result I came up short, but I have also resisted the urge to return to an earlier time. As an avid book collector (and reader), I appreciate more and more the printed word, in so much as there is a degree of quality control before publication. Having just started to read Keres' book on the 1948 World Championship, I am struck by the amount of description he has put into every game, versus the somewhat sterile centipawn evaluation that newer players are familiar with.  

Of course this makes me sound like a grumpy old man (hence the title), but for newer players, grabbing an older tournament book and playing through the games and notes still has a lot going for it.

1 comment:

PA said...

" appreciate more and more the printed word, in so much as there is a degree of quality control before publication. "

Yes I agree. But this is visible exactly because the digital approach as taken over and publishers have adapted to the "faster, less accurate, delivery". Only then one can see the difference. And that is pervasive in every field.

I think that the initial digital works were fine, as there was still a strong comparison to paper based news, now it is different.

Still quality is out there, only it is more difficult to find among, as you say, increasing amounts of lower shared quality. This lower shared quality was there also before, but it was not as cheap to share it, and therefore it was not distributed.