Talk:World Chess Championship

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Some OR in the unofficial sectionEdit

I am going to remove this:

The first known proposal that a contest should be defined in advance as being for recognition as the world's best player was by Ludwig Bledow in a letter to Tassilo von der Lasa, written in 1846 and published in the Deutsche Schachzeitung in 1848: "... the winner of the battle in Paris [in 1843, when Staunton defeated St. Amant] should not be overly proud of his special position, since it is in Trier that the crown will first be awarded." This was in reference to a proposed tournament to be held in Trier, where von de Lasa resided; but Bledow died in 1846 and the proposed tournament did not take place.[1]

The problem, apart from it using a primary source (so it is probably only "first known" to the WP editor who added it, now sadly deceased I believe), is that it is contradicted in the previous paragraph, which says that the 1843 Staunton - St. Amant match was also known beforehand to be for world's best player:

A letter quoted in The Times on 16 November 1843, but probably written before that, described the second Staunton vs Saint-Amant match, played in Paris in November–December 1843, as being for "the golden sceptre of Philidor."

So there's a bit too much WP:OR/WP:PRIMARY there and I am going to trim it. Adpete (talk) 02:32, 7 May 2021 (UTC)

Petrov in Russia and Dubois in Italy had claims to being among the "world's best" at the time too, but they never played each other. Travel was difficult, railways were slow and dirty, and there were all sorts of political issues (wars etc). So the idea of gathering all the best players from various countries to determine a "world champion" simply wasn't practical. Even London 1851 left out arguably the best German player, von der Lasa. MaxBrowne2 (talk) 04:06, 7 May 2021 (UTC)
I think it is very important that we rely on secondary sources here, i.e. accepted chess experts, and not our own reading of primary sources. The article gives 3 sources that Anderssen was unofficial WCC (Bird, Horowitz and Fine), but Bird is from the late 19th century, and even Horowitz and Fine are close to 50 years ago. Does modern scholarship paint a more ambiguous picture and say von der Lasa -- or someone else -- has similar claims to Anderssen as world's leading player from 1851 to 1858? It would be good to add some quality modern secondary sources. Adpete (talk) 05:51, 10 May 2021 (UTC)

I finally removed it in this edit [2]. Adpete (talk) 02:27, 6 July 2021 (UTC)

Information about the actual championship format?Edit

As interesting as the history of the Championship is, I came to this article looking for quick information about how the games in the championship goes, how many games they play, what happens if they draw all their games, etc.. I'm assuming that info is in the history sections somewhere but it seems like it should be part of the introductory section.

It's different for every Championship. It's not like some other sports, like baseball with its World Series, where the format has been the same for over a hundred years. Chess hasn't had that kind of stability. So we're limited in what we can say in the introductory section. Bruce leverett (talk) 16:53, 16 May 2021 (UTC)
Just the other day I was thinking of merging List of World Chess Championships to here, and I think that would help. The article isn't too long. We currently list all the champions in 3 different ways in sections 2 and 3, but nowhere list all the matches, and I think that is the wrong balance. Adpete (talk) 23:21, 16 May 2021 (UTC)
I think it's a fair point though. I've added a "Format" section. Adpete (talk) 04:55, 18 May 2021 (UTC)

Merger ProposalEdit

I think List of World Chess Championships should be merged to here. See comment in above section. There is enough room, and I think it is at least as important to list all the matches as it is to list all the champions. Currently the champions are listed in 3 different ways in sections 2-3, but the matches are not listed at all, and I think that balance is wrong. We could probably also remove the list of "World Champions by number of title match victories", which is duplicated at Comparison of top chess players throughout history anyway. If you look at the article histories, you will see that List of World Chess Championships existed before World Chess Championship, which might explain why it's two different articles. Adpete (talk) 23:38, 16 May 2021 (UTC)

I don't have any objection to this proposal.
As you may have noted from Archive 2 of this talk page, I am not a fan of the timeline graphic. When I complained about that, I was not aware that there was already a list article with the information I was interested in. Bruce leverett (talk) 02:42, 17 May 2021 (UTC)
I think that is a separate issue. That previous discussion has 4 different editors voting against (you, Quale, Pawnkingthree and Brittle Heaven) and only 1 editor, the graphic's creator, in favour. I am not a fan of the graphic either, though my objection is mild. But given the choice between representing the timeline of champions in 2 different ways (table and graphic), and having 1 representation each of champions and matches (i.e. one table for champions and one table for matches); I would prefer the latter. Adpete (talk) 03:36, 17 May 2021 (UTC)
A merged article would be WP:TOOBIG. Sun Creator(talk) 17:10, 26 May 2021 (UTC)
I don't think it would. The WP:TOOBIG guideline (50k maybe too big, 60k probably, 100k almost certainly) applies to readable prose, and using the Wikipedia:Prosesize tool gives 37kb "readable prose size" for World Chess Championship:
Document statistics (more information):
HTML document size: 377 kB
Prose size (including all HTML code): 61 kB
References (including all HTML code): 84 kB
Wiki text: 88 kB
Prose size (text only): 37 kB (6151 words) "readable prose size"
References (text only): 13 kB
Adpete (talk) 03:23, 27 May 2021 (UTC)

The list is far too long for this article. According to the manual of style, Wikipedia articles that aren't lists should be written primarily in prose. If we add the whole List of World Chess Championships to this article, we'll be violating the prose requirement. Long lists like that are much better when kept separate from prose articles, so keeping it spun off as it is now corresponds well to our current policy on the matter.Hadassah16 (talk) 22:44, 22 July 2021 (UTC)

  • Oppose. It is standard for the list to be separate from the main article, especially when the list as long as this one. However, the opening paragraphs to List of World Chess Championships needs to be improved greatly. KyuuA4 (Talk:キュウ) 08:13, 7 August 2021 (UTC)

Numbering of world championsEdit

I'm confused. If Kramnik is 14/19, why isn't Anand 15/20 and Carlsen 16/21? Bruce leverett (talk) 00:43, 19 June 2021 (UTC)

Maybe just get rid of numbering altogether, after all the FIDE/Classical nonsense of the 90s and 00s. MaxBrowne2 (talk) 01:37, 19 June 2021 (UTC)
The answer is Anand is 15 under both systems because he won the FIDE title in 2000 and later the undisputed title in 2007. But I agree with removing the numbering. In fact when I eventually move the list of matches here (see above proposal), I think it will make the table of champions redundant, except for the very early unofficial champions before any recorded matches (i.e, Deschapelles and earlier). Adpete (talk) 01:31, 6 July 2021 (UTC)
I see that you are doing with Anand what we also did with Alekhine and Botvinnik, who had multiple spans as champion. This is highly unconventional. The normal way to handle it is the way that the U.S. Presidents are handled: Grover Cleveland was both 22nd and 24th. Is there some WP:RS that handles it the way we are handling it? If so then I suppose there is an excuse. Bruce leverett (talk) 03:50, 6 July 2021 (UTC)
I think it is the other way around: most numbering schemes count people only once, and US Presidents is one of the few exceptions to this. For instance in my own country, Scott Morrison is both the 30th person to be prime minister and the 30th Prime Minister of Australia, as confirmed by his official page, despite several of his predecessors having had more than one stint in office. As for chess, here is one example from the three Ks: "As the 12th [Karpov], 13th [Kasparov], and 14th [Kramnik] World Chess Champions, we are writing jointly..." [3]; and I have seen others also. I don't think I have ever seen a reliable source calling Karpov the 15th world champion and Kasparov the 16th; some might exist, but I am pretty confident they would be in the minority. I'd be even happier just removing the numbering altogether though, as I said above. Adpete (talk) 11:55, 6 July 2021 (UTC)
I must admit, your Prime Ministers of Australia equals my Presidents of the United States. But yes, removing the numbering altogether (for World Champions of Chess, not the Prime Ministers or Presidents) would be fine with me. Perhaps partly due to the interval of split World Championships, people don't often use numbering any more (except in the joint letter that you linked to), at least not that I am aware of, whereas here in the U.S., people often refer to George W. Bush as "43", to distinguish him from his father, or perhaps just for the silliness of it. Bruce leverett (talk) 13:09, 6 July 2021 (UTC)
Yeah there are 4 different possibilities: Carlsen can be either #16 (Classical), #20 (FIDE), #19 (Classical with double counting) or #25 (FIDE with double counting). It gets a bit crazy so I will remove it when I get the time, if someone else doesn't first. Adpete (talk) 22:51, 6 July 2021 (UTC)
Does anyone actually do double counting? Google News suggests that "13th World Chess Champion" always means Kasparov, not Spassky.
Similar searches suggest that "16th World Chess Champion" is generally agreed to mean Carlsen, and that it seems that most sources' attitude towards the FIDE championship is to simply forget that it had ever happened and only recognise the Classical championships as legitimate. On this basis I restored it to how it was early this year with only the Classical champions numbered: because it seems that if you see numbers around, this is the way in which they're counted. Double sharp (talk) 07:43, 27 September 2021 (UTC)
Most of those hits aren't about Carlsen being 16th WC, e.g. one of them is about Awonder Liang finishing "16th" in a tournament [4]. If you add quotes for the exact phrase, i.e . put '"16th world chess champion" Carlsen' into Google News, you get zero hits. But anyway, Google News is a very poor guide. We should be using Google web search, and then be very discerning and only look at reliable sources, and I am seeing very few. Plenty call him 16th undisputed world champion e.g. [5] On top of that, the numbering (if there is no explanation) directly contradicts the tables in the article, so you've got to have a really good reason for doing that, though maybe if we remove the numbering from the Classical champs 1993-2006 table (which I have just done) it's not so bad. Adpete (talk) 12:25, 28 September 2021 (UTC)
p.s. While talking about the tables, can we remove the ages? About half of them are wrong (literally half: they are wrong any time a player's birthday is later than the WC match). Adpete (talk) 12:25, 28 September 2021 (UTC)
Looking at it, I agree with removing the champions' ages. It is totally trivial. oknazevad (talk) 12:34, 28 September 2021 (UTC)
Removed the ages.
OK, fair enough about Google News. I'm OK with just numbering the undisputed ones, as that seems to be the common practice. (Which amounts to the same thing since the only Classical world champions were also undisputed.) Double sharp (talk) 14:07, 28 September 2021 (UTC)
It's an inherent problem with tables: they can only display limited information, and it is rather hard to put all the fine points and debates in the tables. What we have now is an ok compromise, but if more people argue for removing the numbers I might support that in future! Oh and thanks for removing the ages. Adpete (talk) 22:56, 28 September 2021 (UTC)

Regarding the joint letter from Karpov, Kasparov, and Kramnik linked above, I think this was a case where the number was being used to make a point. This was from 2001 and was specifically about the split title. So it's very significant indeed that Karpov, Kasparov, and Kramnik called themselves the 12th, 13th, and 14th World Champions here, because considering Kramnik to be Kasparov's immediate successor implies non-recognition of the FIDE-only champions. So I suspect that sources that give a numbering might have been more numerous when it actually mattered (i.e. the thirteen-year era of the split title). Double sharp (talk) 12:25, 19 October 2021 (UTC)

Mis-citing sources?Edit

The article says that the work on creating a format for WCh events "resulted in the 1889 tournament in New York to select a challenger for Steinitz, rather like the more recent Candidates Tournaments."

That is incorrect. The cited Ref. 23 should make that clear: Steinitz stepped down, as the winner of the tournament would become WCh, subject only to any challenges from the other top players in the tournament, or, if they refused, just possibly a challenge from Steinitz himself, under rule 10 of the tournament regulations, which could only be for a shared title (Rule 10: "If a non-contestant desires to challenge for the Fellow-championship, ...")

The long quotation from Steinitz that starts on p. 5 of the cited paper should make that clear, as Steinitz says "... the ultimate winner, provided that he fulfils all the conditions of the Committee shall have my most loyal support for his Champion title to which I shall lay no claim until perhaps, I may be able to recover it in another contest at a later period."Athulin (talk) 20:31, 27 December 2021 (UTC)

Added: And I see also that Ref. 23 is said to be based on Landsberger ... which is odd, as it is states explicitly that "The biographical material published by Kurt Landsberger shed no light on this particular question".

Athulin (talk) 20:39, 27 December 2021 (UTC)

I will look into this later. But for now, I have moved the section to the end, where it is more likely to be seen. Adpete (talk) 07:46, 5 January 2022 (UTC)