Monday, August 29, 2005

Tyler Cowen doesn't know what the hell he is talking about: I reproduce the offending post in its entirety:

Judith Polgar will compete for the world's chess championship:

That is in Argentina, an eight-person double round robin tournament, coming this October. Kasparov has retired and Kramnik is no longer formidable, so the winner of this tournament will be regarded as the world champion of chess. Does Judith have a chance? Here is an interview with her. Note that the old stereotypes of female chess players no longer hold. Here is a complete directory of photos, totally safe for work. (Call me sick, but I find these pictures more fun than "real" pornography; there is at least an element of surprise each time you click. Plus they make you doubt the predictive capacity of evolutionary biology) Nor could Bobby Fischer beat Judith at "knight odds" and, these days, he probably could not beat her at all.

Ever since Kasparov and Short split from FIDE, the winner of the FIDE world championship has never been considered the world champion. Where does Cowen get his strange insight that "the winner of the tournament will be regarded as the world champion?" Given that Kramnik has just defended his title, and that this event excludes the worlds strongest player and comes out of a long tradition of meaningless but fancy titled FIDE events, it strikes me as a ridiculous proposition.

The Judit Polgar bit reminds of the popular media's Anna Kournikova obsession. JP is a player who has yet to win a single major tournament. (Un)fortunately for her, some believe her to be good looking, which results in the kind of gawking Cowen manifests here. Disgusting.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

I'm back!

New editorial policy: I will delete any comment on this blog containing the words "softwood lumber."