2018 World Championship in London

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Alex Holowczak
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Re: 2018 World Championship in London

Post by Alex Holowczak » Thu Nov 22, 2018 12:27 pm

JustinHorton wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 9:58 am
So you might find the same for a 16-game match of course, but hey.
My whole argument is that you won't - sports organisations are not lengthening their matches. It seems entirely illogical to me that while many sports are shortening their formats (or at least, not lengthening them) for TV and for sponsorship, chess would entertain doing the opposite and expect the sponsorship situation to improve.

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Re: 2018 World Championship in London

Post by Alex Holowczak » Thu Nov 22, 2018 12:39 pm

Paul Cooksey wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 12:23 pm
The causality between formats and mass audiences is not proven, and in my opinion these assumptions most likely wrong. The difference between chess and popular televised sports is not the format of the matches. It is that chess is not a visual spectacle easily understood by most people. From a TV viewing figures point of view the problem is the game not the format. Unless you believe the 600 million number is a potential TV audience.
I don't think I'm arguing that there is a causality between formats and audiences. My main problem with the format is the inbuilt protection for the World Champion. In Europe, even players rated over 2700 have to play a Continental, a World Cup, and a Candidates tournament just to get into the World Championship match, while the World Champion gets a bye through all of that to the match itself. That's far too much protection. Why shouldn't the World Champion have to enter the process earlier to demonstrate his continued standing as World Champion?
Paul Cooksey wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 12:23 pm
What chess has is strong appeal to a small audience, who are willing to subscribe to chess24, pay for premium tickets, etc. I'd rather celebrate chess as the best game in the world and try to grow from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands. Chess.com really impress me as innovators. But I think the people like AGON trying to transform chess into a fourth rate spectator sport are fantasists not innovators.
We've seen that the lure of the World Championship has encouraged people to spend £45-70 on a ticket for half an hour in the commentary room and half an hour looking at the match, but not much else. The commentary room at the London Chess Classic is heaving at weekends and you get permanent access, albeit the tickets are cheaper. There is a demand for on-site commentary and a model that sells tickets to see it - which exists despite the same being freely available online. It seems natural to me from a business perspective to use that as a potential source of income to support the events.

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Re: 2018 World Championship in London

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Nov 22, 2018 12:44 pm

Alex Holowczak wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 12:27 pm
My whole argument is that you won't - sports organisations are not lengthening their matches. It seems entirely illogical to me that while many sports are shortening their formats (or at least, not lengthening them) for TV and for sponsorship, chess would entertain doing the opposite and expect the sponsorship situation to improve.
We're still living with Kirsan's attempts from twenty years ago to destroy world championship chess. One strand was a knock out format, which fails to attract wider interest as witnessed by its inability to attract sponsors independent of the Olympiads and the lack of live audiences in the venues. The other was the attempt to reduce world championships to the same playing time as an evening league game. Perhaps the Kalmyk Republic was late to get TV, so the concept of edited highlights was unknown.

The concept of champion v challenger as also seen in boxing, is able to attract worldwide and national audiences with a reasonable degree of reliability. There's also a history of this format going back to Victorian times. The fine tuning of twenty years ago of abolishing adjournments, postponements and adding increments was a break from the past.

Would restoring the champion's right to retain the title in the event of a drawn match make a difference? It should mean that a challenger had to make winning attempts.

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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: 2018 World Championship in London

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Thu Nov 22, 2018 1:02 pm

Alex Holowczak wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 12:39 pm
We've seen that the lure of the World Championship has encouraged people to spend £45-70 on a ticket for half an hour in the commentary room and half an hour looking at the match, but not much else. The commentary room at the London Chess Classic is heaving at weekends and you get permanent access, albeit the tickets are cheaper. There is a demand for on-site commentary and a model that sells tickets to see it - which exists despite the same being freely available online. It seems natural to me from a business perspective to use that as a potential source of income to support the events.
Slight correction. The timed slots are in the game room only as far as I know. When I was there (on the Monday, same as David S, though I failed to see him) there were no timed slots for the commentary room, you just tried to get in when you could. It was good to see Demis Hassabis talking near the start of the game in the commentary room. I also had no problems getting access to the game room for later half hour slots. I spent 60 mins in the game room, and the rest of the time sat in front of one of the less crowded areas in front of a TV screen, or wandering around the venue. I think it was worth the money, though I should really have gone to the press conference afterwards for full value for money. It wasn't the best venue, but it was OK. I don't remember the set-up at the Riverside Studios in Hammersmith being that much better. Weekends definitely more crowded than during the week.

EDIT: PS. I can't afford to go again, but has anyone looked at how quickly tickets have sold (i.e. are they still available) for the last four games that I think were the ones they were holding back, and what the current prices are? And is anyone going to buy tickets for the tie-breaks, if they are on sale yet?

EDIT 2: Helpfully, the ticketmaster site still says for rounds 10, 11 and 12: "Sales will be open after the end of the 3rd and 4th round." And you can't click on any links for those rounds. See here. Is there going to be an empty venue today?? OK, this is the link that works, see here. Quite why the other page still exists is not clear. Tickets for today not available (less than 24 hours). Round 11 (£75) not available. Round 12 (£75) still available. No sign of tickets for any tie-breaks.

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Re: 2018 World Championship in London

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Thu Nov 22, 2018 1:20 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 12:44 pm
Would restoring the champion's right to retain the title in the event of a drawn match make a difference? It should mean that a challenger had to make winning attempts.
ISTR that the consensus was "draw rights" plus a match of just 12 games favoured the reigning champion just a bit too much?

We would need 16 or even 24 game matches before it was brought back IMO.

And as already mentioned the general trend is against that sort of thing.
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JustinHorton
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Re: 2018 World Championship in London

Post by JustinHorton » Thu Nov 22, 2018 1:24 pm

Alex Holowczak wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 12:27 pm
JustinHorton wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 9:58 am
So you might find the same for a 16-game match of course, but hey.
My whole argument is that you won't - sports organisations are not lengthening their matches. It seems entirely illogical to me that while many sports are shortening their formats (or at least, not lengthening them) for TV and for sponsorship, chess would entertain doing the opposite and expect the sponsorship situation to improve.
Even to the extent this is true (and I really wouldn't make too much of it) one of the consequences is that a lot of competitions have declined rather than grown in public prestige. This doesn't matter much if your starting point is that anything that increases the overall sponsorship take is good, and/or that the opinions of fans can be disregarded, but neither is a view I much care for.
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Re: 2018 World Championship in London

Post by JustinHorton » Thu Nov 22, 2018 1:37 pm

Matt Mackenzie wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 1:20 pm

And as already mentioned the general trend is against that sort of thing.
There is also the question of how much you can generalise to chess from general trends (and they are only general trends) in sport elsewhere. Other competitions in sport aren't the world chess championship, just as other conpetitions in sport aren't the Copa del Rey or the Giro d'Italia or the Kentucky Derby. All these competitions have somethong in common, and perhaps another general trend is to consider what they have in common rather than what separates them, but again, it's only a trend.
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Re: 2018 World Championship in London

Post by John Upham » Thu Nov 22, 2018 1:45 pm

Paul Cooksey wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 12:23 pm
It is that chess is not a visual spectacle easily understood by most people. From a TV viewing figures point of view the problem is the game not the format. Unless you believe the 600 million number is a potential TV audience.
How would you characterise the difference in the presentation of Poker on TV and chess on TV ?

Would you say that many more people understand how to calculate the strength of a poker hand and compare the hands between the players ?

Poker is subsumed in impenetrable jargon and yet achieves many more TV hours.

I would assume that Poker is not easy to understand for the average person (whoever that is).

Maybe the concept of getting the best hand and convincing the other players is much easier to understand than checkmating a king ?
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Matthew Turner
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Re: 2018 World Championship in London

Post by Matthew Turner » Thu Nov 22, 2018 2:34 pm

It is simpler than that. Gambling companies pay to produce poker programmes

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Re: 2018 World Championship in London

Post by Alex Holowczak » Thu Nov 22, 2018 2:39 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 12:44 pm
Alex Holowczak wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 12:27 pm
My whole argument is that you won't - sports organisations are not lengthening their matches. It seems entirely illogical to me that while many sports are shortening their formats (or at least, not lengthening them) for TV and for sponsorship, chess would entertain doing the opposite and expect the sponsorship situation to improve.
We're still living with Kirsan's attempts from twenty years ago to destroy world championship chess. One strand was a knock out format, which fails to attract wider interest as witnessed by its inability to attract sponsors independent of the Olympiads and the lack of live audiences in the venues. The other was the attempt to reduce world championships to the same playing time as an evening league game. Perhaps the Kalmyk Republic was late to get TV, so the concept of edited highlights was unknown.
It's hard to tell what the impact of that format was, because there were two competing World Championships at that time, the PCA and FIDE. So there would have been a bit of a consumer crisis too, particularly given Kasparov wasn't involved in it. I think the main problem with it might have been the 128-player format meaning the costs of running it would be too high; hence my idea of 32. It's not too dissimilar in length from the Grand Prix. That also struggled to attract sponsorship, but that was the qualifier for the qualifying tournament, and none of the top players played in it (in some cases because they had already qualified). There aren't very many organisations who appear to want to sponsor qualifying competitions. Despite this, the Grand Prix qualifying route ran for several years.
Roger de Coverly wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 12:44 pm
The concept of champion v challenger as also seen in boxing, is able to attract worldwide and national audiences with a reasonable degree of reliability. There's also a history of this format going back to Victorian times. The fine tuning of twenty years ago of abolishing adjournments, postponements and adding increments was a break from the past.
I'm not convinced boxing is a great example of the status quo arrangement working. Firstly, the way you compete for the World Championship is to find a promoter who is able to run and promote the match for you on your behalf; an Eddie Hearn or a Don King. In fact, it's not too dissimilar from the Russian proposal they put in Baku that if you can raise the prize fund, you should have the right to challenge for the world title. It was discussed on here, and I remember the boxing comparison was drawn then. That was a very unpopular idea.

And even then, which of the four (?) different World Championships would you be competing for? How many organisations purport to run a World Championships in boxing?

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Re: 2018 World Championship in London

Post by JustinHorton » Thu Nov 22, 2018 2:59 pm

Matthew Turner wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 2:34 pm
It is simpler than that. Gambling companies pay to produce poker programmes
Yes
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"Yes, but I prefer a game with a better chance of cheating."

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John McKenna
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Re: 2018 World Championship in London

Post by John McKenna » Thu Nov 22, 2018 3:16 pm

JustinHorton wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 7:07 am
Anyway, did anybody go yesterday and come across these villains?
Villains?

A raffish rogue flanked by sartorial scoundrels, more like.
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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: 2018 World Championship in London

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Thu Nov 22, 2018 3:35 pm

Another Sicilian for game 10. A reminder that there is a rest day tomorrow. Then game 11 on Saturday. Then another rest day. Then game 12 on Monday. Apparently, commentators think Carlsen missed chances yesterday in game 9. He was also sporting an eye injury:

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2018/ ... en-caruana


'I blew it': Bruised Magnus Carlsen rues Game 9 draw with Fabiano Caruana

Carlsen misses winning chance in Game 9 – as it happened
‘No concussion’: Carlsen’s physician downplays eye injury
Best-of-12-games match knotted at 4½-all after nine draws

etc.

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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: 2018 World Championship in London

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Thu Nov 22, 2018 4:55 pm

Quite a sharp and unbalanced position (currently at 20...e4). Anyone thinking that we might see a win today?

EDIT: Carlsen blinks first (computer says 23...Qg5 is close to losing). But will Caruana find the best moves?

Thomas Rendle
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Re: 2018 World Championship in London

Post by Thomas Rendle » Thu Nov 22, 2018 6:08 pm

Can we agree, once and for all, this isn't a dull match that needs fixing?

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