Sina Sports reporter 樊璐璐 (Fán Lùlù) gave today some background data on the number of people watching the live broadcast of the “中国移动” (“China Mobile”) Women’s World Chess Championship match underway in 上海 (Shànghǎi), China. More than 8,000 people on the first day — a figure that soared to 145,000 the day after.
The two live commentators, Woman Grandmaster 章晓雯 (Zhāng Xiǎowén) (left) and International Master 林塔 (Lín Tǎ) (right), at their first experience of being in a worldwide theatre, admitted they encountered some difficulty in coping with the downtime of a chess game, when the only rescue mode must inevitably pass through the storytelling of the waiting itself. In such cases, a good anecdote is worth a bagful of statistics. Thus, we learnt not only that 章晓雯 (Zhāng Xiǎowén) is just newlywed (she actually married on April 30), but also that the honeymoon was very brief, as she was at work (here) already since May 3. As they say, nothing is more scary than a very first kiss.
As for the anti-cheating measures, everything goes in accordance with the new order’s motto “paranoia and bad faith”: scanners, metal detectors, CCTVs, metaphorical guard dogs and alarm rings. Here there is even a ground-mobile communications jammer to make it impossible for anyone to send and receive signals. Then, as a honour especially for the Women’s World Chess Championship matches, there is once again a half a hour’s delay in broadcasting live games. And, finally, a strict and hermetic separation between media and scene. Journalists can watch but not touch. They stay in another room, not even at the same floor. Nothing is more scary than being afraid of others.
But please don’t think I’m criticizing the host country. It would be a very superficial conclusion. We are all in the same boat. Photo: 樊璐璐 (Fán Lùlù).