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Why There Shouldn't Be a Chess World Champion 284

An anonymous reader writes "An article at Slate makes the case that the time has come to stop crowning World Chess Champions. This week, challenger Magnus Carlsen is trying to take the title from reigning champion Viswanathan Anand. Despite currently holding the title, Anand is very much the underdog, which only serves to illustrate why the current system is broken. The article suggests measuring greatness the same way tennis does. Quoting: 'Here's what Carlsen should do: Beat Anand for the title, and then work with FIDE to institutionalize four big tournaments as chess's Grand Slams, simultaneously eliminating the title of world champion. Corporate funding for even major chess tournaments can come and go with frustrating regularity, meaning FIDE itself has to get involved. Perhaps the grand slam tournaments could be located in three cities permanently—Moscow, Amsterdam, and a Spanish locale such as Linares would be natural picks—with a fourth that would rotate from year to year. This would give chess the same clear and predictable yardstick for greatness that golf and tennis have instead of the extremely crude world champion benchmark.'"
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Why There Shouldn't Be a Chess World Champion

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  • by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Wednesday November 06, 2013 @03:46AM (#45343085) Homepage

    In tournaments it's about who can pick the most points from the weakest players, of course you'd like to win every time but if you're facing Carlsen I think most players will be more than happy to draw and try to outpace him on the rest. The world championship is intended to be a hardcore duel between the two best players, you have to defeat your opponent to win you can't skirt around it. The issue is twofold, one to get the opportunity to play you must win the candidates tournament meaning you must be pretty damn good in tournaments anyway and second by the time another championship comes around many expect the current champion to fall. Unlike many other sports the chess ranking is far more important than "points" collected from tournaments in other sports, so it's hard to make a single tournament be all that important. There are already several long-standing tournaments that usually have most of the top ten players, they're not going to get bigger even if the world championship went away.

  • by Dodgy G33za ( 1669772 ) on Wednesday November 06, 2013 @05:22AM (#45343423)

    At the risk of sounding sexist, I wonder if it is because men seem to have more of a tendency to become single minded/obsessive about things. I don't know whether it is just more socially acceptable, but I note that men are far more likely to be the ones that have all consuming hobbies.

    As to whether this is a product of the way society is structured or nature I have no idea.

  • Re:locations (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mrxak ( 727974 ) on Wednesday November 06, 2013 @06:19AM (#45343589)

    Well, and the whole football name criticism is a bit disingenuous as well. There is no such sport as "football." That's merely a common shortening of the name of several sports. In America, technically it's American Gridiron Football, whereas what most of the rest of the world calls football is Association Football, which itself is a "ripoff" of Rugby Football and Cambridge Rules Football. Then there's Australian Rules Football, Canadian Gridiron Football, Gaelic Football, two major kinds of Rugby Football, and a host of other related sports. Most of these involve a fair bit of hand use, with Association Football being the exception, though let's not forget the goalkeeper uses his hands quite a bit. All the games involve the feet, and all the games share a common ancestry. Just as we didn't evolve from chimpanzees, both species evolved from a common ancestor, the same can be said of the various football sports.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 06, 2013 @07:42AM (#45343861)

    Magic is a great game but it will never be that popular due to the business model. It's about to get demolished by Hearthstone and Hex simply because Wizards of the Coast are fucking retarded. The amount of people playing Hearthstone already dwarfs MTGO and Hearthstone is still in a fairly exclusive beta phase. It's a shame because Hearthstone is an inferior game in almost every respect.

"Let every man teach his son, teach his daughter, that labor is honorable." -- Robert G. Ingersoll