Bai-Liren 2017 in Three or Four Perspectives
The chess social media rockstars were the chess photographers, a super talented crop of photographers roaming the world looking for obscure angles to capture the mundane setting of a chess tournament. The new chess social media rockstars the chess vloggers are Daniel King, Kingscrusher, Agadmator and Jan Gustafsson. So it will come as no surprise that we have combined the best bits of their commentary of the candidate for the best game of the year.
We start in the safe hands of Daniel King who was incidentally the last to record his commentary but it was eagerly awaited by chess fans.
GM Daniel King has been the voice of chess commentary for me ever since his iconic live commentary to the Intel Grand Prix tournaments. His style is structured but informal and very inviting. He really brings the party to a game post-mortem no matter how dry proceedings were. But with the Bai-Liren game we noticed a distinct lack of liberal sprinkling of superlatives that is the norm in chess circles and a very level-headed assessment of the beautiful king hunt unfolding before us. This really elevated it for us, almost made it transcendental and added tons more gravitas.
On the other side of spectrum was Agadmator who is the new kid on the block, a Croatian chess amateur with a very special passion for chess and a unique approach to chess commentary. He wastes no time on pouring on theoretical machinations and summarises moves with reassuring comments with perfect timing.
Kingscrusher is a bit of a legend. He the most prodigious vlogger in chess history, if you don't believe us check out his channel. He strength is adding texture and context to games he is commentating on. He is big on "character development" and his game commentary flows like your favourite book. Kingscrusher is no stranger to Ding Liren and it shows as he discusses this effort in the context of Ding's previous efforts. Brilliant happens quietly and confidently.
Last but not least is the most sardonic of chess commentators, GM Jan Gustafsson and the most gloriously funny person commentating on a chess game you will find. We love Jan's outlook on chess life in general. He gives compliments but always adds a healthy bit of circumspection about such compliments. It is just brilliantly informative and funny at the same time. This guy should be on SNL, I'm serious he is comedic talent. Sit back and relax and let Jan take you through all the relatively crucial lines with mock surprise and irony.