FCO 2014 R5: The Kasparov Effect

This photo by Georgios Souleidis of Chess24 was the subject of our caption competition earlier this week. Published with permission by Chess24

This photo by Georgios Souleidis of Chess24 was the subject of our caption competition earlier this week. Published with the permission of Chess24

Love him or hate him, you can’t deny that Garry Kasparov has an infectious love for the game of chess. Yesterday I watched as he joined Lawrence Trent and Jan Gustafsson in the Chess24 commentary room and the energy levels changed immediately. Although he was there to talk about the forth coming FIDE Presidential Election he really wanted to look at, assess and analyse the key games going on in the playing hall. It was clear that he still had an acutely sharp eye for the game and he talked with great enthusiasm about a number of encounters.

As far as the election on the 11th is concerned, this is the first and last time I’m going to allow myself to express an opinion on the matter so here goes… I’d love to see Kasparov win the election. Not because I think Kirsan has done a particularly bad job and not because I think he does not care about chess. Not even because of the political affiliations that come as part of the Kirsan package. I just think it’s time for a change and, if we must have one let it be someone that has a vision for the future of the game we all love so much and let it be someone who knows what the players and the fans want. I think Garry Kasparov is that someone.

Right, back to the matter at hand! Today’s report will be slightly longer than usual (hence the delay in publishing it) as we bring you some interesting stats and graphics about our FCO entries and player selections. First of all the league table. After 5 rounds it is certainly no clearer who the FCO 2014 champion will be. In our inaugural edition the winner wasn’t decided until the end of competition predictions had been calculated. I expect the same situation will play out this time too. So, in a change from the usual approach, how about I show you the league table?

FCO_R5 table

As you can see our round 3 leader ‘I Bribed Kirsan…’ has returned to the top of the heap with a respectable R5 score of 27. Now if we imagine we’ve clicked on the little magnifying glass next to the total score we’ll see the team line up…

FCO_R5_Leader

Clearly it’s ‘I Bribed Kirsan’s Women’s selections that are driving the consistency of this team’s performance. Three players in there with 15 points or more… that’s huge! The Open picks are doing well too but when you notice that Natalia Zhukova and Kateryna Lagno both missed playing in round 4 you can quickly understand why this team slipped off the top spot after round 4, and why they are back there now. Will they still be in contention at the end of it all? Maybe. And if they’re not then maybe their brothers and sisters in the team ‘Kirsan Bribed Me and All I got was This Lousy T-Shirt’ will come to the top instead. You’ll notice from the first image that they lie in third!!! Someone’s been doing some swotting!

Next up let’s give an honourable mention to yesterday’s prize winners, for there were two.

  • ‘She’s a Rainbow’ picked up the Chesslive.com V.I.P membership for finishing the day with the high score of 30
  • Francesca Matta won the round 5 prediction competition by estimating that Russia’s Women’s team would play a total of 232 moves in their match against Georgia. The actual total was 226 so this was a very good guess. Congratulations to Francesca who wins a Chess King training product and a 3 month subscription to Chess magazine

Keep a careful eye out on the site and via our twitter account for more of these daily competitions between now and the end of the Olympiad.

Right, next… How are your team doing in the main FCO? Good, fair, or rather terrible? Did you have Radjabov and Ivanchuk in your team? Oh dear! Well, you can still redeem yourself by entering our ‘Week2Sprint’ competition which runs from round 6 to round 11. Once again it’s free to play but we ask you to consider making a donation to our chess education and development fund if you’re having a good time so far!

Entries for the ‘Week2Sprint’ must close at 13:00 (GMT) on Friday the 8th before round 6 in Tromso starts. Don’t hang about as it’s your last chance to play this game for two years!

Finally, I promised a few visuals about the competition entries and player selections. First of all we’d like to say ‘Thank you’ to everyone that entered the main draw. We had 696 entries from 71 countries around the world. That’s a significant increase on participation levels in FCO 2012. The map below shows the countries where our entries have come from. The darker the shade of blue the greater the number of entries.

FCO_Entries_map

… and finally. Here’s a graph showing the top 20 players picked by our FCO managers. Note that this shows the percentage share of selections from the list the player was in. So, Hou Yifan was in the ‘Women’s 1′ list and got 64% of the picks from that list! Magnus Carlsen took about 50% of the picks in the ‘Open 1′ list.

FCO_Most selected players_chart

 

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