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  1. 24 Aug '16 19:50 / 1 edit
    My correction of several of Radio Jan's hyperbolic statements, this week, lead me to realize how much I sympathized with his point of view, and to a much broader idea– we need to get involved. We need to use our position in the chess community to determine the landscape of the evolving chess world. In this post, I examine things that trouble me about the state of chess, and offer a way to fix them.

    Blog Post 325

    If you haven't seen the brilliant recurring character 'Radio Jan'–

    YouTube

    Thanks,
    HikaruShindo
  2. 24 Aug '16 21:11
    Hi Hikaru,

    It is an alter-ego character he is playing. A joke.
    But this time he appears to have a nerve. A lot of people agree with him.
  3. 24 Aug '16 21:44
    Well yes, It's clear it's a joke, and a funny one at that. I think he's a brilliant broadcaster overall and I love the normal coverage he does, and I agree with some of what the character has to say. I think if he used the character to encourage action rather than to make people laugh, he could make a lot more of a difference, that's all. I want to correct some of what he says to point out that a lot of griping is sometimes unfounded, but that the arguments themselves can be valid points of view, and can be taken seriously. I apologize both to you and, I suppose, Jan, if that came off negatively.
  4. 28 Aug '16 09:09
    Have you considered the idea that it could be the closed nature of the Grand chess tour? As Wesley stated the players are very close in strength and you know what its like when you play the same player again and again, you just get to know and it becomes not a little predictable. Contrast this with truly open tournament and you get a much broader spectrum of players, some giant killing, a lot more inaccuracies which makes for interesting chess.

    Personally I prefer ladies chess tournaments to be honest, the games are peppered with inaccuracies that makes them more exciting, they show emotion even at the chess board (US Champion Nazi Paikidze literally wept as she realised that she was winning the tournament) not like poker faced Anand, they are better looking, give great interviews (Irina Krush was fiery when interviewed by Maurice Ashley and Carrisa Yip was adorable when she defeated the former US ladies champion)
  5. 28 Aug '16 12:21
    That's a good point– open tournaments more often produce more exciting games. The mismatches in rating/playing strength leads to upsets, and the lower level of play is sometimes more interesting. However, I believe that chess can, and should, be able to be enjoyed at the highest levels, and that we should find a way to make it work. The higher rate of inaccuracies should, in some objective sense, detract from the product, not make it a selling point. When we're doing the equivalent of turning fans to the Championship or League One rather than the Premier League, there might be more goals scored, but I think it's not good for chess as a whole in the long term (though it's a reasonable short-term solution.)
  6. 28 Aug '16 14:54 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by HikaruShindo
    That's a good point– open tournaments more often produce more exciting games. The mismatches in rating/playing strength leads to upsets, and the lower level of play is sometimes more interesting. However, I believe that chess can, and should, be able to be enjoyed at the highest levels, and that we should find a way to make it work. The higher rate of i ...[text shortened]... s not good for chess as a whole in the long term (though it's a reasonable short-term solution.)
    The format of the BBC's Master game was in my opinion the best that we have seen to date and that was ages ago. You had the players commenting posthumously on the moves of the game although it seemed like it was live. We had the great William Hartson explaining in terms that anyone could grasp what was going on and it was in a format that lent itself to players taking risks if they wanted to win.

    I suspect that the St Louis thing is the best thing on the net we have, you have Jennifer who while being vacant at times is still glamorous enough to keep a chess nerds attention, you have Yasser who is one of those rare Chess Masters who like Hartson can explain what is happening so that any level can grasp it and you have Maurice Ashley to add that level of trash talking excitement, although he is an engine junkie, but thats his job. Its Americanised to a Europeans taste but not overtly so and I generally tune in all the time that i can.

    This of course concerns the presentation of chess and not actually the format of the tournaments.
  7. Subscriber Paul Leggett
    Chess Librarian
    28 Aug '16 17:52
    Originally posted by greenpawn34
    Hi Hikaru,

    It is an alter-ego character he is playing. A joke.
    But this time he appears to have a nerve. A lot of people agree with him.
    I think perhaps that we may need to be more precise in our language, and "double down" on the idea because chess is an activity that spans multiple languages.

    In particular, I think it would be helpful for us to separate the two English words "joke" and "satire".

    A joke is just funny. The point of a joke is to make us laugh.

    Satire is also funny, but it also represents an altered view of reality which gives us the opportunity to view things from a different perspective. It's humor with a deeper point.

    In this case, Radio Jan may have moved from humor to satire- entertaining us but also making a point that even now is still reverberating through the internet ether.

    Intentional or not, I'd say his effort was a success.