There is plenty of anger in the chess world right now.
The World Chess Candidates Tournament – the competition which will decide who will go forward to challenge Magnus Carlsen in the world title match in November – is taking place in Moscow.
If you’re a chess fan like me, you might be interested in following the games over the internet.
Well, good luck with that.
Because, Agon – the organisers of the Candidates Tournament – astonished the chess community when it announced that not only the video footage but also the actual chess moves played in the games will be available exclusively on its website WorldChess.com (and Norwegian TV channel NRK):
All video footage as well as the moves from each game will be shown exclusively at WorldChess.com and by approved broadcast partners in certain countries.
This is a substantial change from the way chess has been broadcasted. Previously it was common practice that all websites were able to receive moves without broadcast limitations, resulting in a diffusion of major tournaments’ audiences and sponsorship values.
The move is designed to enhance and safeguard the viewing experience for chess fans and to protect the commercial future of World Championship events.
Chess websites like chessdom.com are up in arms over the decision, and have been reporting on the reaction from disgruntled chess fans worldwide.
So, your only chance of legally following the games it seems, is to visit the worldchess.com website.
But there’s a problem. According to the World Chess Candidates Twitter account, the site is suffering from a denial-of-service attack.
Chess players didn’t seem terribly sympathetic in their response to the news of the website’s woe.
Sure enough, when I tried to watch a live match, I was greeted by a disappointing error message rather than a Berlin Defence.
Oh dear. That’s not going to impress the event’s sponsors very much.
PS. If you want to challenge me to a game of chess, I’m gcluley on chess.com. Be gentle with me.