Gauteng relaunches Bontle ke Botho

first_imgYoungsters clean up the streets of Diepsloot in the north of Johannesburg during a recent clean up campaign. Littering affects all so try to recycle as much as you can. (Image: Shamin Chibba)The Gauteng provincial government is doing more than paying lip service to cleanliness and greening the environment; it is relaunching its Bontle ke Botho (BkB) campaign.BkB will be relaunched on Sunday, 31 January at Alexandra Stadium, in the township of Alexandra in north-eastern Joburg, a stone’s throw from the well-heeled economic hub of Sandton. Alexandra, which was once also known as Dark City, knows very well the effects of illegal dumping.Bontle ke Botho is Gauteng’s clean and green campaign; its aim is to address littering, waste management and greening issues. It is a social mobilisation programme and provincial strategy to heighten environmental awareness and encourage sustainable environmental action among residents to ensure that the environment is clean and protected for present and future generations.The relaunched campaign will be held under the theme: “My neighbourhood, my community, my environment”.According to the provincial government, unsustainable waste management is a big challenge in Gauteng. This is evidenced by littering and illegal dump sites in residential areas. Greening is also a challenge as some residential areas are green while others are not.“Working together, a clean Gauteng is possible,” said Lebogang Maile, the MEC for agriculture and rural development. “Combined efforts at different sources can make a huge difference in keeping our environment clean.“We want to mobilise everybody to not only form part of a BkB campaign, but to also understand the need to love our environment enough to want to keep it clean. In addition, separation at source then becomes another critical part of this campaign as it also addresses the need to recycle.”OBJECTIVESThe objectives of BkB include:Heightening environmental awareness at all levels of society and deepening the understanding of environmental issues and the importance of a clean and healthy environment;Empowering communities to acquire the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values needed to enhance their capacity to effectively address environmental challenges;Embarking on clean and green activities across the province to improve and protect the environment;Mobilising all sectors of society to participate in the protection of the environment;Ensuring compliance and enforcement to create a clean and green province;Creating green jobs and encouraging entrepreneurial activities through waste management and greening activities with a view to reducing unemployment; and,Fostering mutually beneficial partnerships across all sectors of society for the promotion and implementation of the campaign.Are you playing your part in transforming South Africa? If so, submit your story or video and let us know what you are doing to improve the country for all.last_img read more

Khemka among 9 IAS officers transferred in Haryana

first_imgThe Haryana government on Sunday issued transfer and posting orders for nine IAS officers with immediate effect, including 1991-batch senior bureaucrat Ashok Khemka. Ashok Khemka, principal secretary of Sports and Youth Affairs Department has been posted as principal secretary of Science and Technology Department, where he had been posted earlier as well.Vadra land dealThe 1991-batch IAS officer had first been mentioned by the media in 2012 when he had cancelled the mutation of a land deal between Congress leader Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra’s Skylight Hospitality and major real estate developer DLF. The IAS officer, who was posted for nearly 15 months in the Sports and Youth Affairs Department, headed by Minister Anil Vij, has been transferred over 45 times in his career so far. The other IAS officers transferred include Amit Jha, additional chief secretary of Medical Education and Research, advisor to Haryana Saraswati Heritage Board and additional chief secretary of Science and Technology Department. He has been posted as additional chief secretary of Sports and Youth Affairs Department and advisor to Haryana Saraswati Heritage Board, an official release said here. Siddhi Nath Roy, additional chief secretary of Forests and Wildlife Department, has been given additional charge of Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Department as Additional Chief Secretary. Rajeev Arora, chief resident commissioner of Haryana Bhawan, New Delhi and additional chief secretary of Health and Family Welfare Department, has been given additional charge of Medical Education and Research Department. Apoorva Kumar Singh, principal secretary of Town and Country Planning and Urban Estates Department, has been given additional charge of Faridabad Metropolitan Development Authority as its chief executive officer.last_img read more

Video: Oklahoma State’s LeBryan Nash Slammed Home One Of The Best Dunks Of The Year vs. Texas

first_imgLeBryan Nash throws down nasty dunk vs. Texas.Add LeBryan Nash to the list of players who have slammed home a basket that should be considered for the mythical dunk of the year award. During Oklahoma State’s game against Texas in Austin, the Cowboys’ forward basically dunked over Longhorn guard DeMarcus Holland. Check it out: This angle makes it even more impressive:Oklahoma State and Texas are currently in the second half of their contest. The game is being televised on the Longhorn Network.last_img

PM Says 5,000 Solar Lamps Will Be Distributed to Energy-Poor Households

first_img Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says an initial 5,000 solar lamps will be made available under a programme being developed to assist energy-poor households. Story Highlights “A system of identifying and distributing these solar lighting solutions to needy households is being developed,” Mr. Holness said, during his contribution to the Budget Debate in the House on Tuesday, March 20. Mr. Holness noted that a significant number of rural and urban homes in Jamaica are without electricity connections or are disconnected, pending payment, and rely on open flames as their source of light. This, he said, has resulted in tragic incidents of children perishing in fires ignited by candles and lamps. Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says an initial 5,000 solar lamps will be made available under a programme being developed to assist energy-poor households.This is in light of house fires that since the start of the year have claimed the lives of eight adults and five children, caused mainly by lit candles or lamps.“A system of identifying and distributing these solar lighting solutions to needy households is being developed,” Mr. Holness said, during his contribution to the Budget Debate in the House on Tuesday, March 20.He pointed out that using solar solutions to replace open flame light sources is an established policy response to address energy poverty, noting that there are many such programmes successfully implemented all over the world.Mr. Holness noted that a significant number of rural and urban homes in Jamaica are without electricity connections or are disconnected, pending payment, and rely on open flames as their source of light. This, he said, has resulted in tragic incidents of children perishing in fires ignited by candles and lamps.“With simple and inexpensive actions, the Government can make a difference in the lives of energy-poor households, and particularly and significantly reduce or virtually eliminate the risk of these tragic fires,” he said.The Prime Minister further noted that the solar lighting programme “is a real opportunity for social enterprise to support the ecosystem around the production, installation, user education, servicing and recycling of these solar lamps”.To this end, Mr. Holness said he has directed the Housing, Opportunity, Production and Employment (HOPE) programme to develop a National Service Corps to support all elements of this solar lighting programme and to work with existing social entrepreneurs in this area.These, he said, would include members of the Jamaican diaspora, such as Nathaniel Peat of Genex (Solar), which is a renewable energy company providing this very service in countries in Africa.“We are not just giving solar lamps. We want to make it so convenient and practical to use these solar lamps that households no longer use open-flame lighting sources such as candles and lamps.After the full implementation of this programme, no child should perish in a house fire caused by a candle or a lamp used for light,” the Prime Minister stressed.In the meantime, Mr. Holness urged parents/caregivers to ensure the safety of children, lamenting that too often, the investigations into these fires reveal that the parent or legal guardian left the child in the care of another person who themselves are either children or not capable of taking care of children.“While this programme will remove one of the risk factors in such fires, ultimately, however, parents and guardians are responsible for the safety, care and protection of their children,” he said.“We must educate, support and empower our parents, so that those who want to do better will, while ensuring that the organs of State are in a position to protect children from those parents who refuse,” he added.last_img read more

Toronto stock market starts November by posting third day of positive growth

first_imgTORONTO – Canada’s main stock index started November by notching a third straight day of positive growth led by higher metals and materials.Despite the bounce back from a very weak October, it may be premature to celebrate just yet, says Kash Pashootan, CEO and chief investment officer at First Avenue Investment Counsel Inc.“We’re not getting overly enthused or turning positive just yet because we feel that it’s still too early to say we have turned the corner,” Pashootan said in an interview.Being late in the bull run, he said it’s difficult to see how equities will generate even high single-digit increases amid volatility.Some of the tech and industrials names that led the correction have regained some footing over the past three days amid strong third-quarter corporate results that helped to inject positive sentiment.But Pashootan said some big companies that have yet to report could be a determining factor if the bounce back will stick — chief among them is Apple Inc.“We’re going to need the world’s largest company to have solid numbers reported, or otherwise you could see a quick reversal of this three-day optimism that’s come back,” he said.The company reported fiscal fourth-quarter earnings of US$14.13 billion after markets closed. The net income of $2.91 per share surpassed Wall Street expectations of $2.79 per share. But its holiday outlook suggested weaker demand for expensive new iPhones.The S&P/TSX composite index closed up 122.87 points to 15,150.15. Metals, materials and gold rose by at least 3.7 per cent, while utilities, financials, utilities and consumer staples led on the downside.It’s been a good week for the Toronto Exchange.“You’re seeing this tug of war continue between the market trying to decide if overall it’s feeling optimistic because of Q3 earnings or it’s still trying to finish the cleansing process of the correction that started a couple of weeks back,” Pashootan said.In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average gained 264.98 points to 25,380.74. The S&P 500 index was up 28.63 points to 2,740.37, while the Nasdaq composite was up 128.16 points at 7,434.02.The Canadian dollar traded at an average of 76.41 cents US compared with an average of 76.09 cents US on Wednesday.The December crude contract was down $1.62 to US$63.69 per barrel and the December natural gas contract was down 2.4 cents at US$3.24 per mmBTU.Crude is down about five per cent for the week but more decreases are likely, noted Pashootan.“Investors should be watching in the coming months because the real reasons why the commodity price rose in the first place not being supply and demand, but more so supply disruptions.”The December gold contract was up US$23.60 at US$1,238.60 an ounce and the December copper contract was up 6.25 cents at US$2.72 a pound.last_img read more

House behind police tape on the citys east side

first_img The scene at a home in the 8600 block of 76th St. on Saturday. Photo by Chris Newton The scene at a home in the 8600 block of 76th St. on Saturday. Photo by Chris Newton The scene at a home in the 8600 block of 76th St. on Saturday. Photo by Chris Newton The scene at a home in the 8600 block of 76th St. on Saturday. Photo by Chris Newton The scene at a home in the 8600 block of 76th St. on Saturday. Photo by Chris Newton The scene at a home in the 8600 block of 76th St. on Saturday. Photo by Chris Newton The scene at a home in the 8600 block of 76th St. on Saturday. Photo by Chris Newton The scene at a home in the 8600 block of 76th St. on Saturday. Photo by Chris Newton The scene at a home in the 8600 block of 76th St. on Saturday. Photo by Chris Newton The scene at a home in the 8600 block of 76th St. on Saturday. Photo by Chris Newton A fourth police vehicle arrived a short time later, and an officer was seen exiting the vehicle wearing forensic coveralls.Officers at the scene declined to comment about the nature of their investigation, but when asked, the on-duty watch commander with the Fort St. John RCMP this afternoon said that police were working on issuing a release.The watch commander was also not able to speak to the incident, saying that the investigation is ongoing.Comments on a post in a local Facebook group allege that three men entered the home brandishing a firearm, shooting and injuring a woman and fatally wounding a dog. Those allegations have not been confirmed.This is a developing story, and we’ll have an update once we receive more information. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Mounties are investigating an incident that took place at a home on the city’s east side earlier today.At around 1:30 on Saturday afternoon, three RCMP vehicles were seen parked outside of a mobile home in the 8600-block of 76th Street, while the home itself was behind police tape.The home appeared to be quite dilapidated, with two windows in the home’s front room seen to be wide open with the windows’ blinds knocked askew, while the front porch and entrance stairs appeared to have collapsed. It is not known if the damaged occurred during the incident.last_img read more

Summer care tips to beat this heat

first_imgAs Summers are here, so are many problems related to skin. Experts list down a few tips for you to fight this season gracefully:Get rid of uneven patches: For the lips which are extremely vulnerable to have unbalance tone and texture, mix 1 spoon of lemon juice some raw honey apply this paste on your lips and rub it for like 3-4 minutes. Thereafter, wipe it off. After this process apply some balm or home based oil for nourishment. you can replace honey with brown sugar. Also Read – An income drop can harm brainHydrate your body and hair: When the Summers strikes, keep your body hydrated by drinking lots of plain water and coconut water. Coconut is good for skin and hair also. For your hair, mix a fine paste of one banana, 2-3 spoon of coconut oil and 1/3 cup of plain curd. Apply this paste on your hair from roots to your hair length, massage your hair for about 5 minutes. Keep this mask for 50-60 mintues for better result and rinse your hair with mild shampoo. Also Read – Shallu Jindal honoured with Mahatma AwardKeep your face acne free and smooth: Summers are the season of oliy skin, and it is the main cause of acne on our face. Take orange peel powder, Aloe Vera gel and rose water mix these three ingredient and apply it on your face for glowing and acne free skin. Control oil on skin: Be it Summers or chilly winters, never leave your skin non-moisturised. Otherwise, the skin will produce more oil on your face. Use clay based mask as they absorb the excess oil for better result use this mask for 2-3 times in a week. Night Cream: Night care is the most important step for a good skin. Add few drops of tea tree essential oil to your aloe vera gel and use it as a night cream and deep moisturise your skin throughout the night. (Inputs shared by Arpita Das, Skin Care expert).last_img read more

Twitter closes up 72 percent in Wall Street debut

first_imgNew York City- Twitter made a spectacular Wall Street debut Thursday but analysts warned of challenges ahead for the popular messaging service vying to become the next fixture for global Internet users.The shares shot up by more than 90 percent in early trade to as high as just over $50. In the end, the stock closed with a one-day gain of 73 percent at $44.90, from the initial public offering (IPO) price of $26.But analysts cautioned that the success of the IPO was just a first step for Twitter, which must now justify its hefty valuation. “Kudos to Twitter for orchestrating a highly successful IPO,” said Lou Kerner of the Social Internet Fund.“However, as Facebook showed, an IPO success, or disaster in Facebook’s case, is really just noise in the long term. Twitter’s success as a stock is going to be based on how the company performs.”Kerner said Twitter “needs to perform extraordinarily well, in terms of user growth, user engagement, and user monetization to justify its price.”Appropriately, #TwitterIPO was among the top trending topics on the social network for much of the day.The key Twitter founders attended the opening on the New York Stock Exchange, along with “Star Trek” actor Patrick Stewart and a nine-year-old girl who operates a lemonade stand.“Honored to join @ev @jack @biz @dickc & the @Twitter team at their historic IPO this morning,” Stewart tweeted, referring to founders Evan Williams, Jack Dorsey, Biz Stone, and Twitter chief executive Dick Costolo.“We have a lot of work ahead of us,” Costolo told CNBC television from the floor of the stock exchange. “All the capital raised by this is going into the company.”Asked about Twitter’s growth potential, Costolo said “it’s all about making it very simple and easy for new users to come to the platform… we all have examples of why this service can be useful to everyone on the planet.”Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Youssef Squali was upbeat about the company, saying in a note to clients that “Twitter is based on a one-to-all, all-the-time broadcast distribution model, and as such, fulfills an unmet need.”“This model is highly complementary to traditional media outlets (especially TV), and fulfills the need for up-to-the-minute, trending information in real time,” it said.But Brian Wieser at Pivotal Research issued a “sell” recommendation after the opening, saying Twitter “is simply too expensive” after the hefty opening gains with “nearly the same valuation as CBS… or even Yahoo.”Larry Chiagouris, a professor of marketing at Pace University, said the “investor mania” around Twitter is not an indication of success.“The fundamental question is how much people have to say on Twitter,” he told AFP.“We know there are some people who are social and want to talk all the time, but you can’t make a business model on those people.”Chiagouris added that “large corporations with hundreds of millions of dollars have not put substantial sums into paid media with Facebook and Twitter.”“They all are experimenting but nobody is putting 25 percent in social media. It may not sound cool but traditional media is still the media of choice today,” he said.Twitter offered 70 million shares trading under the symbol TWTR, generating $1.82 billion, and gave underwriters a 30-day option to purchase an additional 10.5 million shares.The IPO assigned a market value of around $14.4 billion to the company whose messaging service has become a hugely popular tool for celebrities, journalists, political leaders and others. But by the end of the day, that value had topped $24 billion.With the over-allotment it should be the second-biggest tech IPO after Facebook’s $16 billion effort last year and ahead of Google’s 2004 offer, which raised $1.92 billion, according to research firm Dealogic.Depending on the outcome of the common stock offer to underwriters, between 12.8 and 14.5 percent of the company’s shares will be publicly traded. The rest are held by its founders and a handful of early investors.Twitter has fast become engrained in popular culture but must still convince investors of its business model, having lost more than $440 million since 2010.But with 232 million users and growing, Twitter is expected to be able to reach profitability by delivering ads in the form of promoted tweets, and from its data analytics.The research firm eMarketer estimates Twitter will bring in $582.8 million in global ad revenue this year, and nearly $1 billion in 2014.last_img read more

Can This New Crop Of Players Erase Englands Underachieving Past

Tottenham HotspurPremier League7.60 4Uruguay0.832+1.17 UnderachieversExpectedActualDifference 5Mexico0.520-0.52 Southgate’s plan seems to be to put the players from these teams into a compatible lineup before re-creating their off-the-ball tactics. As I noted in my Group G preview, of all the teams to qualify for the World Cup, England ranks third in breaking up an opponent’s possession before it completes three passes, behind only Germany and Spain.England’s famed problem has been getting its generational talents to click together. For once, the big teams in the Premier League are kindred spirits tactically, and this will have an impact on the national team’s ability to leverage the players provided by those clubs.Young attackersEngland is fielding an extremely young side in Russia, with an average age of 26 — only Nigeria is younger. And England’s average of 19 caps per player makes it the most inexperienced side in the competition.2Tied with Tunisia. But while they may be relatively new to the international stage, these youngsters are by no means immature in terms of elite soccer. England’s attack, in particular, is filled to the brim with talent just ready to peak. England features cohorts from aggressive-pressing clubsThe 10 big five European club teams best at pressuring opponents, 2017-18 2Netherlands0.670-0.67 4Russia0.600-0.60 Cups won Cups won 2Germany2.044+1.96 1Hungary0.920-0.92 1Brazil3.015+1.99 5Argentina1.442+0.56 Manchester CityPremier League6.71 sec. Hamburger SVBundesliga8.22 Nonetheless, the team that will face Tunisia on Monday is new and exciting. Gone are the mainstays from the past three World Cups, players like Wayne Rooney, Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard. Because of the players’ age and inexperience, this team is free of the weight of expectation — despite having the seventh best pre-tournament chance of taking the trophy home, according to FiveThirtyEight predictions. And for the neutral fan, too, England has a lot to offer.Tactical coherencePep Guardiola — the current manager of Manchester City, which became the first team in history to break the 100-point mark in the Premier League — has had an indirect hand in the past two World Cup-winning teams. In the final against the Netherlands in 2010, eight players featured on the pitch for Spain had been coached by Guardiola in his time at Barcelona. When Mario Götze broke Argentinian hearts in 2014, he was one of seven German players in the final to have played under the Catalan manager that season at Bayern Munich.This is likely to be less about Guardiola specifically, despite his brilliance, and more about his indirect influence on the tactical coherence of a national team. With him at the helm of the country’s best side, his players would naturally get national team starts; the ability of those players to click when on the pitch together meant that they had more coherent tactics than other teams stacked with good players. Indeed, Italy, which won the 2006 World Cup with a quintessentially Italian style of football, featured a spine of five Juventus players in the final.With only four Manchester City players on the squad, manager Gareth Southgate will pay homage to Guardiola’s team in style more than in personnel. Man City midfielders David Silva and Kevin De Bruyne are playing for Spain and Belgium respectively, but Southgate will try to replicate them by using Jesse Lingard and Dele Alli as “free eights” in the midfield. England has six more players total from Tottenham, managed by Mauricio Pochettino, and Liverpool, managed by Jürgen Klopp. These teams, like City, press the opposition extremely aggressively out of possession, with all three in the top 10 in Europe’s biggest competitions this season in terms of how quickly they shut down their opponents: Tottenham’s Harry Kane, for example, is one of the best goal-scoring strikers in the world at the tender age of 24. Somewhat terrifyingly, he is still improving: He was even better at getting off quality shots this season than he was the year before. The expected goals per 90 minutes from his shots in the Premier League rose from 0.45 in 2016-17 to 0.75 this year.Dele Alli, 22, will support Kane for their country as he does for their club. His 2017-18 season was marred for some by the idea that it was a regression compared with the year before. What really happened, though, was that he got fewer chances but created more. He also experienced a downturn in chance conversion, from scoring 44 percent more than might be expected based on chance quality in 2016-17 to underachieving it by 12 percent this season. All that made people forget that Alli is one of the brightest under-23 talents in the world. And nobody — apart from maybe Denmark’s Christian Eriksen — is better at supplying Kane.Man City’s Raheem Sterling may have made recent headlines for getting a rifle tattooed on his leg, but the more important of his designs is the one on his arm of a young boy, wearing England’s No. 10 shirt, looking up at Wembley Stadium, the home of English football. He’s my player to watch for Group G because of his electric ability to both get and create chances, coming off the back of an incredibly productive league season with 18 goals and 11 assists. And he’s only 23.Dark horses?The biggest problem for England in terms of being a dark horse in Russia is its likely post-group opposition. The English have a good shot of making the quarterfinal (58 percent when the tourney began) but will probably have to face Germany or Brazil at that point, depending on whether England finishes above Belgium in their group. Winning a matchup against one of those powerhouses is a long shot, though anything can happen in a World Cup.England has an exciting team of young stars, playing at stylistically compatible clubs, and a manager who seems tactically savvy despite his relative inexperience. Even if they don’t manage to bring home the trophy this summer, the future looks bright for The Three Lions for the first time in a generation.Neil Paine contributed research.Check out our latest World Cup predictions. OverachieversExpectedActualDifference Expected goals1388 Goals3528 Bayern MunichBundesliga7.51 England’s youth movementRanks of Dele Alli, Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling in key offensive statistics in the English Premier League, 2017-18 teamleagueAvg. Opponent Possession Duration *Among attackers with at least 850 minutes playedSource: Football Whispers Borussia DortmundBundesliga7.91 LiverpoolPremier League7.92 EibarLa Liga7.23 Rank per 90 minutes* The big five leagues are the Premier League (England), Bundesliga (Germany), Ligue 1 (France), La Liga (Spain) and Serie A (Italy).Source: Football Whispers Assists93158 Expected assists76127 3England1.621-0.62 There is an uncharacteristic air of hope this year surrounding an uncharacteristic England team. To be an England supporter is to inherit a contradictory combination of utter nihilism and raging anger, expecting nothing and everything at the same time. English players have developed an unfortunate reputation: They will wilt under the brightest lights, typified by the inability to hold their nerve during penalty shootouts.But the perception of mental weakness between generations is, to some extent, a consequence of the spread-out nature of international tournaments. The World Cup is rare and unpredictable: Germany, the defending champion, had just a 13 percent chance of winning in Russia going into the tournament, according to FiveThirtyEight’s model, and even Brazil, the favorite, had less than a 20 percent chance.Using pre-tournament Elo ratings going back to 1930, we can construct a logistic regression to look at how many World Cup trophies each country might have expected based on team strength, the competition format and whether the country was hosting.1Historically, having a home advantage makes a big difference, so the model adjusts for the advantage that comes with hosting responsibility.Brazil, Germany and Italy have roughly a pair of trophies each more than the model’s predictions based on their strength before the tournament, which illustrates that the World Cup is hardly a tale of who the favorite is going in.England has underachieved, winning a solitary trophy relative to 1.62 expected World Cups. By our measure, only Hungary, which was one of the world’s best in the 1950s, and the three-time runner-up Netherlands have seen a bigger discrepancy. English supporters born after 1966 are justified in feeling a tad underwhelmed by the team’s performances on the world stage, but it could be worse — of the underachievers, England is the only team to actually have managed a win at all. England should have more trophiesTop five under- and overachievers by actual World Cups won vs. expected Successful dribbles666831 MarseilleLigue 18.15 RomaSerie A8.36 3Italy2.144+1.86 Based on a logistic regression that uses each team’s pre-World Cup ELO rating, accounting for host country and size of field. Germany’s history includes West Germany, while Russia’s includes the Soviet Union.Source: EloRATINGS.NET RB LeipzigBundesliga7.88 StatisticHarry KaneDele AlliRaheem Sterling read more

One Last Dispatch From The Land Of Chess Kings And Billionaires

Left: While waiting for the title ceremony, Magnus Carlsen is finally able to relax with his father by his side. Right: Following his defeat, Karjakin was clearly disappointed while speaking to the Russian media. He confirmed rumors about travelling to New York with a Virgin Mary icon. Watching an elite chess match in person is at once enjoyable and discomfiting. You follow the players’ actions — their moves, their mannerisms — for long stretches of time. You hang on each one and imbue it with meaning. You become so familiar with their moves that you can rattle them off later from memory: “queen to h6,” say, or “rook to e2.” You try to understand why the players did what they did. The moves can be beautiful or inscrutable or frustrating or disappointing. You try to imagine what you would do if you were in one of their chairs. You try to predict what they will do next. You try and make sense of their postgame explanations. But you aren’t them, and you can never really understand.On Wednesday, the final day of the World Chess Championship, hundreds crowded into the Fulton Market Building in lower Manhattan to watch, trying to understand. Magnus Carlsen, the defending champion, No. 1-rated player in the world and the closest thing the sport has to a rock star, was facing his challenger, Sergey Karjakin of Russia, in a series of speedy tiebreaker games. The 12 lengthy games that had stretched over the previous 19 days — I attended 11 in person — ended tied and the two grandmasters were back in their chairs in a soundproof glass box to break the deadlock. It was the biggest day in chess in many years. Carlsen, the former wunderkind, was clinging to his title and his legacy, while Karjakin and the Russians were hoping for a return to the days of Soviet chess hegemony. On the fourth game of the tiebreaker, and the 16th of the match, Carlsen attacked the Russian’s king, Karjakin resigned and the two shook hands. It was over. You had to elbow your way through knots of onlookers to get anywhere in the venue’s sprawling VIP wing. Men in suits and expensive shoes crowded around TVs, watching the games and sipping martinis. The room was at a low murmur — equal parts English and Russian with an occasional dash of Norwegian. The clinking of glasses and the ratatat of ice in cocktail shakers punctuated the chess talk.Like a Russian nesting doll, a VVIP section had been set up for Peter Thiel, the Silicon Valley billionaire, and company within the VIP section. It was newly roped off and closely monitored by scary-looking bodyguards. Thiel, a Donald Trump supporter and a strong chess player himself, and Yuri Milner, the Russian billionaire venture capitalist, sat at a board inside. With apologies to Beyoncé, it was $6 billion at a chess table. Accompanying them: Bennett Miller, who directed “Foxcatcher,” about the wrestling-obsessed murderer and multimillionaire heir to the du Pont fortune, and the Icelandic grandmaster Hedinn Steingrimsson, who was giving them a private analysis of the ongoing championship game taking place just a few yards away.A buffet and wine bar had been installed for the guests from Silicon Valley who’d arrived that day, and bored-looking members of their entourages lolled on large couches, poking at iPhones. Word around the venue was that the billionaires had paid $50,000 for these privileges. (The match’s organizer wouldn’t comment on the figure.) Much later in the evening, some other journalists and I raided their buffet, eating what must have been thousands of dollars worth of cold mini tacos.“Are you security?” the writer Brin-Jonathan Butler asked one of the well-dressed, well-built men keeping close watch over the well-heeled chess lesson.“Something like that,” he responded ominously. “I wouldn’t bother them, if you don’t mind.”This World Chess Championship scene was somewhere at the intersection of Bond film, Trump fundraiser and museum gala. There are other internal chess-world squabbles. Agon Limited, the match’s organizer, filed an application for a restraining order and injunction against a number of popular third-party chess websites, just before the match began. The websites’ alleged transgression? Relaying chess moves live, which Agon saw as a violation. The application was denied by a judge in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, who wrote that “robust reporting of factual data concerning the contestants’ moves” best served the public interest. Agon’s CEO, Ilya Merenzon, told me that the company would continue to pursue the matter in court, and was also proposing legislation to cement their rights to the games they organize.I discussed the case with Macauley Peterson, the content director for chess24, one of the defendants, on the floor of the venue during one of the early games. He kept glancing away from me at people walking by. He said he was worried about who might be eavesdropping.The tournament’s organizers have declared their own victory, though, bragging that the 20-day biennial championship had drawn some 10,000 spectators to its location in the South Street Seaport. But that’s less than, say, half the average attendance of the worst team in baseball for any one of its 81 home games this year. And the event’s only two main sponsors were PhosAgro, a Russian producer of phosphate-based fertilizer, and EG Capital Advisors, a Russian investment management company. Not exactly Nike and Coca-Cola. Spectators in the VIP lounge. A production team from Russia created an atmosphere for VIPs more often seen in Moscow than Manhattan. Despite the high-powered, moneyed interest, and its prime New York City location, the match was sparsely covered by the American press — as chess is generally — and given little attention outside the core chess world. It’s unlikely to increase the game’s reach or exposure as the organizers may have hoped. That did happen once in the States — in 1972 — but that was because of Bobby Fischer.The troublesome shadow of Fischer stretches over every conversation of chess’s success and future in the U.S. He was the best American player of all time, and its only modern world champion. His legacy is stained by his vocal anti-Semitism, and comments that he was pleased with the terrorism on Sept. 11, among other things. But in his chess prime, he carried the U.S. on his back while sitting at the board, having taught himself the game, largely alone, in a shabby Brooklyn apartment. And he won.While this year’s championship lacked the colorful characters and Cold War narrative of Fischer’s title run — although some journalists tried to revive them — it did have some of the controversy.Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, the president of the game’s international governing body, FIDE, was absent from the match, having been sanctioned by the U.S. for business connections with the Assad regime in Syria. Ilyumzhinov is no stranger to controversy. He insists he was abducted by aliens. They were wearing yellow spacesuits and nabbed him from his Moscow apartment in 1997, taking him away to a distant star. He considers chess “a gift from extraterrestrial civilizations.” Left: Magnus Carlsen, 26, at the World Chess Championship’s opening gala at the Plaza Hotel in New York City. Right: Sergey Karjakin, 26, tests the overhead lights in the playing hall. All photographs by Misha Friedman Left: A branded vodka bar assured VIPs were sufficiently entertained throughout the tournament. Right: Ekaterina, a Karjakin family friend, flew in from Moscow just for the tiebreaker round. But despite the controversy and the finances, what’s really missing from chess is a character.The U.S. has three players in the world Top 10, any one of whom could have a shot at challenging Carlsen for the title in two years. They’re undeniably fantastic players. But they seem less like compelling national characters — and less like artists — than Fischer did. They’re technicians, raised in a computer-chess age. Carlsen ended the match and extended his world championship reign with a beautiful move on Wednesday evening — whether he’d admit its beauty or not — sacrificing his queen to entrap Karjakin’s king. But in one of the postgame press conferences, Carlsen said chess was a sport and a science. For art, he said, you’d “have to look elsewhere.” Left: Neil deGrasse Tyson, a celebrated astrophysicist, and Fabiano Caruana, the No. 2 ranked chess player in the world, chatted about baseball. Right: Peter Thiel showed up for the decisive tiebreaker round and had a grandmaster at his side to explain the games live. Tickets were expensive, but there were a lot of young fans at every game, especially on weekends. After the match — after the trophy presentation and the cake and the champagne — our photographer and I tracked down the Norwegian contingent at an after-after-party at a steakhouse a couple miles uptown. It was a festive scene. Holiday garland and lights festooned the bannisters and the restaurant was a cozy respite from the cold and rainy November day outside. Carlsen was sitting at a far table in the crowded dining room with about 50 others. He was eating. With a fork. Like a person. It was odd to see him with something other than a chess piece in his hand.I wanted to talk to him. I’d been watching him for hours most days for the past three weeks. But honestly I had no idea what I’d say. Carlsen famously hates interviews. But I was saved. “No questions. Definitely no,” his manager, Espen Agdestein, told us. “He’s very tired. We’re just relaxing.”I’m not Carlsen. But I understood. read more