...I should move on to the forthcoming 2018 Carlsen - Caruana World Championship match, but I have one more post on the election. While I was collecting material, I found a set of election reports in an unexpected place, rec.games.chess (rgc). Twenty years ago, rgc would have been a first choice for chess reports of any kind -- see An Early Digital Clock (August 2015) on my main chess blog for one example -- but it's not 1998 anymore, it's 2018. The reports were by Sam Sloan, the same person I once featured on that same blog in Sam Sloan and Gulf News (July 2014). Sloan has a unique angle on chess reporting, which some might liken to Gonzo journalism. As Wikipedia explains,
Gonzo journalism is a style of journalism that is written without claims of objectivity, often including the reporter as part of the story via a first-person narrative. The word "gonzo" is believed to have been first used in 1970 to describe an article by Hunter S. Thompson, who later popularized the style. It is an energetic first-person participatory writing style in which the author is a protagonist, and it draws its power from a combination of social critique and self-satire. It has since been applied to other subjective artistic endeavors. Gonzo journalism involves an approach to accuracy that concerns the reporting of personal experiences and emotions, in contrast to traditional journalism, which favors a detached style and relies on facts or quotations that can be verified by third parties.
In Sloan's first report,
- 2018-09-26: Batumi Chess Olympiad 2018 First Press Report,
I am here at the World Chess Olympiad in Batumi Republic of Georgia in the visitors gallery. The first round is about to begin. It is 24 September. There is no WIFI in the visitors gallery or on the playing floor. This is no doubt an anti-cheating measure because otherwise I could look at the games from here, find the best move on my laptop computer and then acting as an accomplice signal the right move to a player down below. There was also a drug-sniffing dog being led of a leash. No doubt this is an anti-drug measure although there is no known instance of a drug being used to improve a chess players performance.
For the record, here are Sloan's other reports in chronological order. They are a mixture of reporting on the Olympiad and on the FIDE elections:-
- 2018-09-26: Batumi Chess Olympiad 2018 Round Two Press Report; 'I woke up this morning [and] could not remember where I was.'
- 2018-09-26: Batumi Chess Olympiad 2018 Round Three Press Report
- 2018-09-27: Batumi Chess Olympiad 2018 Round Four Press Report
- 2018-09-28: Batumi Chess Olympiad 2018 Round Five Press Report
- 2018-09-29: Batumi Chess Olympiad 2018 Free Day Press Report; 'Back in the Good Old Days on the Free Day a giant blitz tournament was held in the playing hall. I wonder why that tradition has not been continued.'
- 2018-09-30: Batumi Chess Olympiad 2018 Round Six Press Report; 'I spent almost the whole day attending FIDE meetings at the Sheraton Hotel where some shocking facts came out.'
- 2018-10-01: Batumi Chess Olympiad 2018 Commission Meetings Press Report
- 2018-10-01: Batumi Chess Olympiad 2018 Round Seven Press Report
- 2018-10-03: Batumi Chess Olympiad 2018 Round Eight Press Report
- 2018-10-03: Arkady Dvorkovich of Russia won the election for FIDE President over Georgios Makropoulos by a vote of 103 to 78 [EOM]
- 2018-10-03: Batumi Chess Olympiad 2018 Round Nine Press Report
- 2018-10-04: FIDE Elections for FIDE Vice-President; 'Today there are elections for FIDE Vice President. I have never fully understood what powers a FIDE Vice President has but that does not stop them from being hotly contested.'
- 2018-10-04: Batumi Chess Olympiad 2018 Round Ten Press Report October 4, 2018
- 2018-10-05: In the World Chess Olympiad in Batumi, October 5, 2018, China has won both Olympiads on secondary tie-breaking points.
In case there's any doubt, the reports are Sam Sloan's thoughts, not mine.