Best of the Web: Week 22

Hi everyone!

The Candidates are over, and the next World Championship will be a rematch between Carlsen and Anand. Browsing the internet before the match, I didn't find any top-level commentator that gave Anand the slightest chance of winning the Candidates Tournament. I even found a funny, if slightly insulting, article by GM Alex Yermolinsky where he gave Anand o% chances of winning. However, I am unable to share it with you since it has been taken down and replaced by this boring summary. In any case, saying that Anand's win was a shocker is an understatement. Congrats Vishy! You can find interesting articles on Chessbase and Europe-Échecs (for Francophones).

Speaking of Magnus Carlsen, he recently held an AMA (Ask Me Anything) on reddit. I found this little gem amongst his answers:

Q: What do you think of Nakamura joking with calling you Sauron on Twitter?

A: I've never actually watched Lord of the Rings... if I had, and Nakamura had been a better chess player, I might have been more insulted.

Other interesting answers included Carlsen saying his favorite game was a victory by Anand with the black pieces against Kamsky (1994), or that he can still play very solid chess when he is drunk... You can find the full AMA here and a selection of the most interesting questions and answers on Chessbase (I highly recommend the Chessbase article, the reddit page is just too messy). It's great to see the World Champion reaching out to fans this way. Keep it up, Magnus!

Along completely different lines, I found this great article on Chessbase recently, where the author, a scientist named Seth Kadish (who holds a PhD in geoscience), presents chess data in a visually appealing way. Frankly, I've never seen this approach to presenting chess data, and it's well worth a look.

Other news includes the release of "Four corners", a South African movie about gangs in Cape Town in which chess is an important element. The film has good reviews on IMDb (8.3/10), but IS NOT appropriate for children ("uncompromising violence", according to this critic). You can find more information on the movie's official website, IMDb, and of course: ChessBase! 

In order to end on a happier note than gang violence, I am going to recommend NM GargleBlaster's latest blog post ("GargleBlaster" is a reference to the Hichiker's Guide to the Galaxy, for those of you who, like me, hadn't understood), in which he goes on an absurd rant about the existentialist issues of Schrödinger's cat Pickle the Seventh, and the ensuing chess problem posed to Pharaoh Ramenhotep by Fnord the Phoenix. Yes, it is absurd. However, it features a neat problem, so feel free to skip the text (unless you want to be left wondering what just happened to the part of your brain responsible for logical thinking), and check it out!

 See you soon!