28 April 2010

Zonals 1978-81 & 1981-84

Continuing with More Zonal Resources, where I discovered that I had overlooked Informants as a source of clippings, I added events from four Informants to my pages on World Chess Championship : Zonals:-

Together with the first batch, these new clippings cover somewhat less than half of the new Informant references I have at hand. I'll tackle the rest as soon as I can.

21 April 2010

Anand - Topalov News Sites

Since the opening ceremony for the Anand - Topalov match takes place today, it's a good time to post a note on useful news sources for the match. First, there is the official site Anand-Topalov.com. Unfortunately, my reservations as to the site's impartiality and fairness that I expressed shortly after the site first opened (see Holding Your Breath) haven't decreased.

A glance at the site's home page reveals two news items -- 'Communication from the Organizing Committee' and 'Official answer of the Bulgarian Chess Federation' (BCF; I've circled the items with an oval) -- related to Anand's travel difficulties and his subsequent request for a postponement. Both items are negative responses by Bulgarian officials to Anand's request. The request itself is buried as an attachment to the BCF document.

A more balanced site would have presented one news item on Anand's struggle with the volcano's impact on travel followed by one with statements from match responsibles. Furthermore, both responses by the Bulgarians are as unaccommodating as they can be without being openly hostile. There is absolutely no sympathy shown to Anand for his travel situation, a case of force majeure that stranded many thousands of travelers around the globe and affected millions more. The Organizing Committee said,

This chess event has exceptional meaning not only for the chess community all over the world but also for Bulgaria as a country. Therefore the whole organization of this event is under the direct leadership of the Bulgarian Prime Minister - Mr. Boyko Borisov who is also the Chairman of the Organizing Committee.

There is not a word about the 'exceptional meaning' to Anand, who is World Champion and one of two central persons in this drama. Are Bulgarians such hard-hearted people that they react to Anand's trials without any note of sympathy? I don't think so. There are many ways to say 'No!' without being nasty about it.

If the official site continues with its unofficial bias, where can we go for unbiased news? Another site with strong ties to the Bulgarians is Chessdom.com. They frequently have news from Bulgaria before other sites, are less overtly biased, and have an index page with links to all stories related to the match:-

The site hasn't learned that good journalism requires reports to be dated, but we can always hope. A few other important news sites often have index pages related to major chess events, which are presently missing for the latest match (I'll add them if they become available).

Those last two are particularly interesting because they always have tons of comments by the game's keenest fans. Besides the main chess news sites, many good chess blogs will have informed commentary on all aspects of the match. The blogs I follow are listed on my Blogger Profile, also linked as About Me on the top right corner of all pages on this blog.

With all of that ace reporting to look forward to, it should be a real spectacle. Enjoy the match!

14 April 2010

More Zonal Resources

Thanks to a couple of tips from Massimiliano Orsi, a correspondent from Italy with an interest in the zonals, I added a few new images to my pages of zonal clippings. The first tip was for:-

The second tip was a reference to zonals in an Informant from the 1980s. I realized that although I had already noted many zonal references in old Informants, I had never checked them against my list of clippings. After developing the appropriate database query, I identified Informant references for missing clippings in an early cycle:-

I'll follow this up with subsequent cycles. It's always great to discover that other people are interested in the zonals!