Keeping chess, cricket and black and white apart


Just over a month ago, when India’s child prodigy GM Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa defeated World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen in a quick match at the FTX Crypto Cup, You Tuber @abhiandniyu delivered the message: “chess is the new cricket. Prove me wrong.” Carlsen responded with a four-point takedown: “Cricket is played on a field with people, chess is played on a board with wooden pieces. Cricket has a bat and a ball, chess usually does not. It takes 22 players for a cricket match, while in chess there are only two. I can’t play cricket.”

His response was chuckled and laughed at by the chess community, but looking around us, it’s as if cricket and chess are in an intimate battle over who owns and controls the realm of the ridiculous. Two professional sports in step with the 21st century seem to have decided that the way forward can only be walked with shoelaces tied together. Honestly, you couldn’t make this up if you tried.

In chess, swords are drawn over Carlsen’s rambunctious reaction to American Hans Niemann, who broke his 53-game winning streak. World No. 49 Niemann, a last-minute substitute at the Sinquefield Cup, defeated World No. 1 Carlsen in 31 moves. Carlsen withdrew from the $500,000 event with a mysterious tweet, featuring a video of Jose Mourinho. “When I speak, I have big problems. Big, big problems.” Two weeks later, in an online match against Niemann, Carlsen resigned after one move and turned off his video.

Only madness has followed – Carlsen has directly accused Niemann of cheating “more recently than he has publicly admitted”, there were suggestions for the use of anal beads plus offers for naked chess. Marketing men could be rubbing their hands over the emergence of a hyper-mano-a-mano rivalry, including the one with an American leading everyone into a much bigger market.

But chess is plagued by online cheating, and when the biggest star accuses a rival, it has a credibility crisis. Chess.com, a 57-language internet chess server, news and social networking website, immediately removed Niemann’s account from their matches.

Except that Carlsen’s reasoning for reaching conclusions of deception was on shaky ground. They include mind reading and body language. Carlsen found that Niemann “wasn’t tense or completely focused on the game.” This is deception discovered through paranormal intervention. He did say he was “limited” to speak openly without Niemann’s “explicit consent.”

If that doesn’t sound bizarre in itself, what was happening in the cricket world was pretty much paranormal: the outrage over ‘cheating’ erupted after an event that fit one of the rulebook descriptions of ‘run out’. However, we were told that what was attacked was not the rules of cricket per se, but the invisible Holy Book of the game, entitled the ‘Spirit of Cricket’ (SOC), which writes itself, as it were.

Reveal warning: SOC is actually the grandnephew of the Hogwarts’ Book of Admittance written by the Quill of Acceptance. Remember that? The magic quill that sensed the arrival of magic-born children and wrote their names in the Book long before they actually showed up for admission.

The SOC has slightly different magical powers. It spontaneously manifests itself around incidents where an old establishment feels that it is being dealt with harshly. The SOC is then ceremonially paid tribute, heated discussions, debates or dissent erupt over some puff and there is a fierce threat of extinction. The SOC can be read in any language the reader understands, but the first edition in English is the most widely distributed. Depending on what the general mood was like at the time, the SOC is often accompanied by a short appendix called Drawing The Line, but apparently this wasn’t necessary to appear on the most recent outbreak.

The body coordinating international cricket, ICC, has used its Twitter handle to turn Deepti Sharma-Charlie Dean’s run-down episode (because it was) into a series of straw social media polls. The goal is to generate the heat, dust and noise of many millions of likes, dislikes, retweets and comments.

On the other hand, on Friday, chess bosses FIDE set up an investigative panel to check Carlsen’s allegations of cheating and Niemann’s confessions of online chess at the age of 12 and 16. Their cheat detection statistical program developed by Dr. in complexity theory, is expected to shed light.

At first, it may seem difficult to pick a winner between the mind-reading 101 of chess and the SOC evocation of cricket. But the dedication of cricket – in this case the oldest clan, also called England – to SOC incantations has remained steadfast despite logic or rule changes. That plus the refusal to recognize the difference between rules that are applied and rules that are bent.

On the other hand, chess’ numero uno thought leader Garry Kasparov called the whole red tape of his sport “rumours and cryptic nonsense.” While he understood the pressure Carlsen was under, he said it was unacceptable to step out of a tournament and that the integrity of the game was paramount. Despite the problems with online cheating, at least chess has a better idea of ​​what integrity – or cheating for that matter – means. Try saying those words around cricket and see what happens.

In response to the statement ‘chess is the new cricket’, there should have been a fifth point of difference: chess can tell the difference between black and white.



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