27 December 2023

C31 Zonal Clippings

Following last week's post, C31 Zonals Indexed (December 2023), I created a new page titled, World Chess Championship : (C31) Zonals 2022-2023 (m-w.com). The code 'C31' follows my convention for numbering the World Championship cycles.

I then added clippings for about half of the C31 events already listed on the index page, The World Chess Championship Zonals (also m-w.com). I'll add the other half of the events for the next post on this blog.

For the equivalent post in the previous cycle, see C30 Zonal Clippings (January 2022). Documenting that cycle also required two posts.

Still to do: Create a 'C31 Qualifiers' page and add it the appropriate pages.

20 December 2023

C31 Zonals Indexed

A few weeks ago, in C31 Zonals (November 2023), I identified zonals++ for the current cycle, and wrote,
The table above is enough to proceed with populating the 22 events on the [zonals] index page.

The address of that index page is The World Chess Championship Zonals. For the equivalent post on the previous cycle, C30 Zonals Indexed (January 2022), I developed some statistics about the zonals for the cycle compared to previous cycles. For this post, I'll have to settle for displaying the section of the index page relevant to C31.

The last six columns are internal controls used to maintain the consistency of the database.

13 December 2023

Rogues' Gallery

On my main blog I've been experimenting with AI Comic software. The most recent post in the series, Fischer vs. Carlsen (December 2023), explained,
For this post, I used the tool to see how well it drew World Champions, both past and present. [...] The AI likenesses were generally acceptable, although sometimes barely. I'll look at that in another post, maybe on my World Championship blog.

The following composite image is assembled from 18 times '[Name] plays chess', where '[Name]' is one of the World Champions. Each execution of the command created a 'comic' page with four panels and I picked the best panel to include with the composite.

AI Comic Factory

The likenesses are in chronological order and start with Paul Morphy in the upper left corner. He is followed by Wilhelm Steinitz, after whom they run left to right, top to bottom through Ding Liren in the bottom right corner.

Most of the likenesses resemble their real life champions. The worst match is probably Max Euwe in the upper right corner, which doesn't resemble the Dutchman at all. The first five Soviet Champions, who all appear on the second row before Fischer, are only so-so. Petrosian in the yellow jacket and Spassky to his right are barely recognizable.

The best likenesses are the six most recent champions on the last row. Karpov and Kasparov look much older than when they were in their prime. Kramnik, next to them, deserves a better likeness, but I ran out of time. [NB: Where's Topalov?]

If I find the time, I'll try to do better for Euwe, Petrosian, Spassky, and Kramnik. It might also be interesting to try the same exercise with Women World Champions.

06 December 2023

World Championship eBay Auctions

In a recent post on my main blog, Fischer - Spassky Top Items by Price (December 2023), I wrote,
So many years of following Top eBay Chess Items by Price (March 2010) [...] My short list for this post had a dozen items, any one of which could have been featured for the post. By coincidence, the three most expensive items on the list were all related to the 1972 Fischer - Spassky match.

That started me wondering how many earlier eBay posts featured an auction related to the World Championship. There's no easy way to count these using the search available on this public-facing blog, but the private site to create blog posts, Google's Blogger.com, allows for search on multiple tags/labels, e.g. 'eBay and WCC'. I found 49 posts with those tags, including 'Fischer - Spassky Top Items'.

I loaded the control info about the 49 posts into a database and sorted on number of views by descending order. Following are the top five posts ranked by apparent popularity. I say 'apparent', because the number of views depends on factors external to the post. The oldest posts, for example, appeared before blog statistics were introduced on Blogger.com. During the period 2012-2018, posts were affiliated by Chess Club Live (CCL), which greatly boosted their viewing stats. Here's the list of no.1-5:-

  • 2013-03-03: 1972 Fischer - Spassky Poster
  • 2013-11-24: Carlsen - Anand, Signed Board • 'The Carlsen - Anand World Championship match ended just two days ago, so I [...] looked for Carlsen - Anand items.'
  • 2016-02-23: The Real Bobby Fischer? • 'While I was studying the [Darrach] book I was reminded of the many press photos that appeared in the news before, during, and after the 1972 match. I gathered as many of these as I could find and started to sort them. I found close to 100, of which 30 are shown in the following composite photo.'
  • 2008-02-05: Halldor Petursson Cartoons
  • 2016-07-12: Chess Champion Trading Cards • 'Svijet Sporta card[s] from Yugoslavia in 1980-1981. 'Svijet Sporta' translates to 'Sports World' in English.'

Three of those five posts were related to the 1972 Fischer - Spassky match. Among the posts ranked no.6-10, two were related to the same match. I suppose this all stems from Fischer's mystique, especially among Americans.