27 April 2022

It's Not an April Fool's Joke

You've seen the publicity: Announcing The $1,000,000 Chess.com World Championship (chess.com). Now watch the trailer!

Announcing The $1,000,000 Chess.com World Championship (?:??) • '[Published on] Apr 21, 2022'

Hey, wait a minute! Now it says, 'Video unavailable; This video is private'. I watched the clip yesterday and recorded the description, which said,

With $1,000,000 in prizes, we are excited to announce the Chess.com World Championship! Prepare for open qualifiers, play-in and knockout rounds featuring the world's best chess players, and you! Take part in this record-breaking event by verifying your Chess.com profile!

Yes, the video was sort of silly. It started with an inside joke -- 'World Hess Hampionship' -- seen in Chess.com's broadcasts of the last *real* World Championship, the 2021 Carlsen - Nepomniachtchi match. If you don't get the joke, see the 'CHR' column in a post from my main blog, A Trio of World Championship Video Makers (December 2021). Sorry I can't be more specific about which round the joke appeared. It was worth a smile at the time, but that was nearly six months ago.

My guess is that someone pulled the plug on the video because the subject is serious, but the video wasn't. It's not every day a chess site announces a World Chess Championship of its own. Why would they turn around and make fun of it? As an April Fool's joke maybe, but they missed that by three weeks. A few days after the Chess.com announcement, there was a similar announcement from another online chess play site: Announcing the Lichess World Championship (lichess.org).

Are these real World Chess Championships? In my opinion, no, they aren't, but I'm just one voice in the court of public opinion that decides such matters. I think they're more like site championships. I'll come back to the subject if public opinion eventually disagrees with me.

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