15 April 2020

Yekaterinburg Candidates - Video Commentary

A few days ago on my main blog, I featured a video showing GM Anand on the Lockdown. I introduced the topic saying,
As I prepared the short list for this month's video feature, I found two themes repeated again and again. By coincidence, they echoed the two words in the title of last month's news highlights: Coronavirus Candidates (March 2020). I'll look at the 'Coronavirus' side in this post, then look at the 'Candidates' side on my World Championship blog. Another theme that cropped up repeatedly was 'streaming'.

The 'Candidates' theme and the 'streaming' theme fused in a series of live commentaries from the main chess news sites, each commentary covering a round in the Candidates tournament. With only a little effort I put together four such series of streams from the four Youtube channels shown in the following table. It's a logical continuation of the previous post on this blog, Yekaterinburg Candidates - Intermezzo.

Chess.com Chess24 FIDE chess STLChessClub
Rd.1 Rd.1 Rd.1 Rd.1
Rd.2 Rd.2 Rd.2 Rd.2
Rd.3 Rd.3 Rd.3 Rd.3
Rd.4-1Rd.4-2 Rd.4 Rd.4 Rd.4
Rd.5 Rd.5 Rd.5 Rd.5
Rd.6 Rd.6 Rd.6 Rd.6
Rd.7-1Rd.7-2 Rd.7 Rd.7 Rd.7
PostponedRadjabov Stopped Postponed Adjourned

That last set of videos covers the abrupt termination of the tournament with a choice of words to describe the decision: Postponed, Stopped, Adjourned. It's too early to say which word will best describe the ultimate fate of the tournament, because the planet is nowhere near a solution to tame the coronavirus that caused it. I'll go with 'Stopped', after everyone agrees that the year 2020 should be forgotten and summarized by an asterisk, with all future plans for 2021+ advanced by one year. 'World Title Match 2020': No; 'World Title Match 2021': Yes!

The table doesn't show who were the various commentators, so it's worth noting that World Champion Carlsen was listed in the titles of four Chess24 videos: Rd.1, Rd.4, Rd.5, Rd.7. This shouldn't raise any eyebrows after we recall 'Smart Is the New Sexy' (September 2019), where 'I remembered an announcement from a few months ago, Chess24 and Play Magnus join forces (chess24.com; March 2019)'. That was exactly one year before the Candidates Tournament.

Given (1) seven rounds in the tournament plus a round diagnosing its termination, (2) multiplied by four sources, and (3) assuming four hours per stream -- this results in approximately 128 hours (8 x 4 x 4) of video viewing. If I watch all of this in one week I'll have just enough time for sleep to fill the 168 hours (24 x 7) in the week. I'd better get started as soon as I post this.

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