21 August 2021

TWIC's Chess960 Data 2017-21

On my main blog I've been using TWIC data (from 'The Week in Chess' by Mark Crowther) to catch up with Magnus Carlsen's record after his last World Championship match. In a recent post, Carlsen's Events 2019-21 (August 2021), I wrote,
[Carlsen's] games were spread across 77 different events, of which 34 were played face-to-face and 43 online.

In that post, plus the next in the series, Carlsen's Online Events 2019-21 (August 2021), I discovered that TWIC had distributed Carlsen's chess960 games from two events:-

(Face-to-face) World Fischer Random 2019; 14; 2019.10.27; Hovikodden NOR
(Online) Champ Showdown 9LX 2020; 9; 2020.09.11; lichess.org INT

The number after the name of the event -- 14 in the first line -- is the number of games that GM Carlsen played in the event. I'm mentioning all of this mainly because Crowther is on record as being firmly in the influential camp whose mantra is 'Chess960 isn't for me!'. See, for example, The Week in Chess960 (December 2013), where I quoted him saying,

If [chess960] is the answer then it's time to take up a completely different game.

If I had been paying closer attention, I would have noticed that Crowther had already distributed Carlsen's chess960 games even earlier. See Carlsen's PGN 2017-18 (October 2018), where we find an entry for 'Fischer Random Rapid/Blitz 2018; Baerum [Norway]'.

Although I discovered the Crowther/chess960 connection by researching Carlsen's games, TWIC has also distributed the games for events where Carlsen did not participate. An example is Champions Showdown 9LX 2019 (theweekinchess.com; September 2019).

It's unusual for high-profile, anti-chess960 personalities to change their minds. Unusual, yes, impossible, no.

No comments: