18 May 2016

Stats for Index Pages

When I looked at correspondence chess a few weeks ago in CC 2016, I decided,
Before I update my page, I'm going to look at some statistics to measure the interest in this topic. It might be sufficient to provide ZIP files as I now do for the World Chess Championship : Computer Chess.

I've had a new stats package running on the site since last summer -- see New Stats for M-W.com (October 2015) for setails -- which is enough time to account for temporary anomalies. I set the time period to cover six months (November 2015 - April 2016), loaded those results into a database, and analyzed them. The following table shows the results for each of the main index pages.

Since the page receiving the most views is the site's main index page, I calculated views on the other pages as a fraction relative to that index page. For example, the table shows that the page covering events for 'FIDE 1948-1990' gets 18 views for each 100 views that the main page gets.

Views per 100
'Main Index' Pages
Main Index 100 WCC-INDX.HTM
FIDE 1948-1990 18 WCC-INDY.HTM
Computers 6 WCC-COMP.HTM
Correspondence 4 WCC-CORR.HTM

I was happy to see that women's events and zonals received a decent number of views and this was confirmed by the stats for the individual pages in those topics. Stats for the pages on correspondence chess showed fewer views, indicating less interest in that topic. I'll stop creating separate pages for new events in World Chess Championship : Correspondence Chess and will provide ZIP files only.

11 May 2016

2015-2016 Women's Grand Prix, Batumi

I added the crosstable and PGN for the third event in the 2015-2016 Women's Grand Prix, held at Batumi (Georgia). The previous event was 2015-2016 Women's Grand Prix, Tehran.

I'm not sure what happens next in this Grand Prix series. My page, 2015-2016 FIDE Women's Grand Prix, gives the rules as they were announced in August 2015. The fourth and next event was to be the last. It is listed on the FIDE calendar as:-

Women's FIDE Grand Prix Series; Chengdu, China; 1-Jul-2016 to 15-Jul-2016

Under 2016, the calendar also lists, without start or end dates, another event:-

Women's FIDE Grand Prix Series; Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia

This supports a curious article posted on Chess-news.ru, that I give here via Google Translate: Grand Prix women's new member, the new rules. Among other news, it mentions,

On the FIDE Presidential Board, held in Moscow during the Candidates Tournament, it was decided to change the format already ongoing series and instead of originally planned four stages to organize five.

This is confirmed by List of Decisions of the 2016 1st quarter FIDE PB (fide.com; 13 April 2016):-

1PB-2016/14. To recommend the bid of the Khanty-Mansiysk for 2020 Olympiad, 2019 World Chess Cup, 2018 Women’s World Chess Championship and 2016 Women’s Grand-Prix tournament for the approval, should there be no other bids at the deadline.

As far as I can see, none of this has been documented in FIDE's 'Handbook > D. Regulations for Specific Competitions > 09. Regulations for the 2015-2016 Women's FIDE Grand-Prix'. Business as usual at FIDE?

04 May 2016

Correspondence Chess 2016

Hmmm. It seems the last time I looked at correspondence chess was Small Projects for 2015 (January 2015), where I already had two World Championship finals to add to my page on the World Chess Championship : Correspondence Chess. Since that post another final has ended, meaning that I am seriously behind on ICCF events. Here's a recap of the current status, including new events, with links to ICCF.com:-

Before I update my page, I'm going to look at some statistics to measure the interest in this topic. It might be sufficient to provide ZIP files as I now do for the World Chess Championship : Computer Chess.

27 April 2016

2016 Carlsen - Karjakin

I added a new page for the 2016 Carlsen - Karjakin title match, scheduled for November in New York. This was the next-to-last action from the post Moscow Candidates - My Resources. The last action -- 'Review title match resources' -- can only be done as the start of the match approaches.

I did set up a Google news alert for chess carlsen karjakin, but need to check whether it is accessible without a login. [Later: It isn't.] Two useful items flagged by the alert were:-

This past month FIDE also issued Bids for the World Chess Championships 2018 as an XLS spreadsheet. The title is somewhat misleading, as it includes only restricted World Championships. One nuance of which I wasn't previously aware is the naming of the FIDE championships for young players:-

  • World Cadet 2018 (U8-U10-U12),
  • World Youth 2018 (U14-U18),
  • World Junior 2018

Nearly all of the bids for these and the other three events are for European venues.

20 April 2016

Hou Yifan Recaptures a Title She Never Lost

I added the crosstable and PGN to my page on the 2015 Hou Yifan - M.Muzychuk Title Match. Should I change that title? The match, originally scheduled for 2015, was delayed until 2016, perhaps because of FIDE's all-too-typical fumbling when it comes to arranging anything.

At the beginning of the month, Chessbase.com ran a piece titled Interview with Hou Yifan by Dagobert Kohlmeyer. The Women's World Champion confirmed,

Initially, the match was supposed to take place in October 2015, but then got rescheduled to March 2016.

Later she mentioned an issue that I touched on last year in A Pseudo World Championship ('When is a World Chess Championship not a *real* World Championship?').

The current Women's World Championship system seems to be unfair. And I believe I'm not the only one who thinks like this. It would be good if the current system changed to a more reasonable format. I am sure, a "real" World Championship Match would attract much more attention.

Last month I officially made a proposal to FIDE to change the format of the Women’s World Championship. I suggested three reasonable alternatives but the answer I received seems to indicate that my proposal was not accepted. The main reason why they want to stick to the current system is the fact that it is easier to find sponsors if you call the knock-out tournament "World Championship". If you called it "World Cup" it would be extremely difficult to find sponsors.

Trivia question: When was the last time FIDE ran a women's event outside of the former Soviet Union? In fact, you don't have to go too far back. The first leg of the 2015-2016 FIDE Women's Grand Prix was held in one of the swankiest places on earth, Monte Carlo (Monaco), and the second was held in one of the most controversial, Tehran. The previous title match, 2013 Hou Yifan - Ushenina, took place in Taizhou (China).

If the sponsors are there, perhaps the problem with the 'World Cup' (aka 'World Championship') is the size of the event. Or perhaps it's its checkered history for determining a winner. If we give it a grandiose title, does everyone overlook the obvious?

13 April 2016

Moscow Candidates - Wrapup

I ended my previous post, Moscow Candidates - My Resources, with a few follow-up actions. First, I added the tiebreag regulations to my permanaent page on the 2016 Candidates Tournament. Then I added the names of the eight players to my Index of Players. As I did for the previous event, Khanty-Mansiysk Candidates - Wrapup (April 2014), here is a list of noteworthy resources from two of the chess world's premier news sites.

Rd. Chessbase Chess24
R0 Opening ceremony at the Candidates 2016
R1 Anand the first to score Round 1 Commentary
R2 Nakamura implodes, Karjakin strikes! Round 2 Commentary
R3 Aronian beats Topalov Round 3 Commentary
R4 Super Sergey! Round 4 Commentary
R5 Fabiano’s Benoni! Round 5 Commentary
R6 Anand beats Svidler, Aronian wins Round 6 Commentary
R7 Nakamura beats Topalov Round 7 Commentary
R8 Caruana is back! Round 8 Commentary
R9 Anand beats Aronian Round 9 Commentary
R10 Caruana wins, joins lead Round 10 Commentary
R11 Vishy Anand, the comeback man! Round 11 Commentary
R12 Young guns forge ahead! Round 12 Commentary
R13 It's Karjakin or Caruana! Round 13 Commentary
R14 Sergey Karjakin is the new Challenger! Round 14 Commentary Part 1, Part 2
  Candidates closing ceremony revisited

This current post is the last in a series that stretches back more than a month:-

Finally, here are related posts from my main blog:-

All in all, the tournament was a great show -- plenty of suspense, drama, off-board antics, and really great chess. Like the rest of the chess world, I'm already looking forward to the World Championship match later this year!

06 April 2016

Moscow Candidates - My Resources

I added the crosstable, cumulative score, and PGN file to my page on the 2016 Candidates Tournament. The cumulative score is reproduced below.

Still to be done:-

  • Document the tiebreak rules
  • Update the index of players
  • Summarize the action from major chess news sources
  • Create a new page for the Carlsen - Karjakin title match
  • Review title match resources

World Championship cycles are becoming complicated affairs.