27 January 2015

Titled Players and Their Ratings

After last week's look at Federations in Arrears, I inventoried older posts that analyzed FIDE ratings. Two of my favorites were

Both posts looked at titled players and their ratings. Following this idea, I created the following tables from the January 2015 rating list.

The first column lists the title (where blank means untitled players). It is followed by the number of players with that title, then the maximum, minimum, and average rating across all players with the title. The top table counts men and women together; the bottom table counts women only. Here are a few more past posts that analyzed ratings:-

Given time, I might redo one or two of these using the January 2015 list.

26 January 2015

TMERs: Kasparov Wrapup

Last week's post ended my series on Garry Kasparov's Travels During His 2014 FIDE Campaign (working file). After creating the working file with

we looked at his trips to three FIDE continents:-

What about Kasparov in Europe? Looking at the table of Kasparov's comings and goings according to the working file, we see that he made several trips to Europe, but always for isolated events. There was no campaign tour where he visited several countries on the same trip, as he did on the other continents.

I'll add this present post to the working file, then decide what to tackle (if anything) for my next TMER project.

25 January 2015

More Fischer - Spassky 1992

More Fischer - Spassky items? What can I say, except that in a typically slow post-holiday period here on Top eBay Chess Items by Price, these were the most interesting auctions.

The descriptions for all three 'Autograph on Envelope' items were brief and identical.

GM Eugene Torre, personal friend and official second in the 1992 World Chess Championship of Bobby Fischer, personally obtained these original and fresh autographs from both Bobby and Boris Spassky at the conclusion of the match. GM Torre will provide the authentication document.

In the past I've been suspicious about memorabilia from the 1992 return match -- see Caveat Fischer - Spassky 1992 -- but this batch looks like the real deal. Like most people, I would take exception to calling the match '1992 World Chess Championship', but that doesn't change the value of the signatures.

23 January 2015

'Nice Jacket!'

What other icebreakers could you use when first meeting this fellow? • 'Oh, do you play chess?' • 'I like your shirt!' • 'Did anyone ever tell you that you look like Steve Wozniak?' • [...]


11a TataSteelChess 170115 © Flickr user Heleen Vink under Creative Commons.

For more from the same photographer, see 77e Tata Steel Chess Tournament.

22 January 2015

Feedly Top Blogs

Continuing with Blog Maintenance, after selecting Feedly.com to manage my blogroll (do people still use that term?) I migrated the blogs I had collected on the old Google Friend Connect. Of the 60 blogs, all but five appeared on the new service.

Feedly maintains some statistics on what it considers to be the top chess blogs, of which the first nine I've captured on the left. The two blogs shown with a green plus are missing from my own list. Of the top 24 blogs suggested by Feedly, I was already following 17.

The Feedly suggestions are somewhat out of date. The late, lamented Daily Dirt has been out of action for well over three years, a fact I noted in The Dirt Bites the Dust. The last post that Feedly offers is from 2008, probably from an older version of the blog on a different platform. A few other suggested blogs are also well past their heydays, although the list is overall more helpful than misleading. I added a handful of blogs that I had previously overlooked.

Finding less popular blogs is less obvious. I have quite a few buried in my bookmarks, but I'll have to wait until I've finished sorting out the other resource on my 'Blog Maintenance' post, Diigo.com.

20 January 2015

Federations in Arrears

In a recent post, FIDE Rating Lists Restored, I quoted a new FIDE policy in treating federations which have fallen behind with their dues.

Until the arrears have been paid off, players from these Federations cannot participate in any FIDE events that are under the aegis of a) the World Championship & Olympiad Commission or Events Commission, b) Continental competitions that provide qualifiers to any of the aforesaid competitions.

This makes more sense than the old policy, which was to stop publishing ratings for all players of federations in arrears. Under the new policy, top players in each federation can put pressure on their national officials, especially if those top players have any ambition to compete in the World Championship cycle.

I started to wonder how many world class players would be inconvenienced under the new policy. The following table lists federations currently in arrears along with a count of the players in that federation and the rating of the highest rated player. The numbers are from the January 2015 rating list.

The table is sorted in descending order according to the rating of the top player. I limited the table to top ratings over 2400.

For example, the first row shows Venezuela, which has 828 FIDE rated players, where the highest rated player is GM Iturrizaga (2649). He has competed in three of the last four World Cups. The second row shows Peru, represented by GM Granda Zuniga (2640), who has been a frequent competitor in World Championship cycles going back to the 1987 Zagreb Interzonal.

The list doesn't show whether the top player is a rising talent or an old timer, perhaps inactive. It does show that FIDE's new policy has real teeth.

19 January 2015

TMERs: Kasparov in the Americas

After TMERs: Kasparov in Asia 2014, there remains one more region to cover for Garry Kasparov's Travels During His 2014 FIDE Campaign: North and South America. In fact, looking at the table in 'Kasparov's Travels', the former World Champion appears to have made only a few trips in the Americas outside of the USA, his adopted country.

In April 2014 he travelled to three countries -- My Kingston [Jamaica]; Kasparov: 'I'm quite happy that I picked up Jamaica as a destination for the first Caribbean tour. I came from Mexico and will be going to El Salvador.' In May he travelled to Puerto Rico -- Kasparov makes move for PR vote; Kasparov: 'Puerto Rico’s Chess Federation is the first local federation in which every member has a vote to decide which candidate to support for president.' The trip to Puerto Rico did not go well:-

Puerto Rico swings away from Kasparov • The America’s are likely to vote overwhelmingly for Kirsan, probably even more than originally expected. Last month the number circulating was 29-5 in Kirsan’s favor, but with bad press and rumors of heavy-handed campaigning by Kasparov’s supporters, this was always a danger to happen. Just this past Thursday Puerto Rico voted in favour of supporting Kirsan. • Monday Coffee [kevinspraggettonchess.wordpress.com; June 2014]

As we know, Kasparov eventually lost -- FIDE Election: Four More Years -- with the drubbing in the Americas playing a decisive role. Was this why his presence there was so limited in comparison to TMERs: Kasparov in Africa? • TMER : Tournament, Match, and Exhibition Record