July 7-13, 2020

This week in sport: Quantum future?
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SHARING THE BEST IN SPORT

Global Edition

July 7-13, 2020

Art: Shutterstock.
Quantum future?

Quantum mechanics deals with the smallest components, the properties of nature in an anatomic scale. Quantum theory has come a long way since the first theories dealing with electric waves in the XIX Century. Two weeks ago, scientists developed the first-ever high-level programming language for quantum computers, in Switzerland.



This breakthrough is important for humanity as quantum computing will allow humans to solve detailed and harder problems, faster. Quantum computers are learning by themselves and provide an avenue for hybrid human-AI intelligence symbiosis. This property is already impacting sport, particularly in chess.



World Champion, Magnus Carlson (NOR), has said he has been training by utilizing the AlphaZero algorithm, whose chess has been compared to that of a “superior alien species”. Carlsen particularly applied two lessons from the program to defeat Anish Giri (NET) with Masterclass, in the first match of the Online, Rapid “Chessable Masters”, within the Magnus Carlsen Tour.

He was dominated by Giri in the following games and had to play for “survival” en route to the draws that allowed crowned him. A psychological win, showing that chess is still a human sport. But it might not be long until other sports adopt quantum technology, changing the world of sport as we know it. Let alone changing science and more relevant forms of decision-making.

Five things to know from last week
  • NASCAR and covid-19. NASCAR’s 7-time Champion Jimmie Johnson (USA) had to miss the Cup race at Indianapolis and a programmed IndyCar test after contracting covid-19. He is asymptomatic. Kevin Harvick (USA) and Denny Hamlin (USA) once again battled for the victory as in Pocono last week. Harvick won again, after Hamlin’s tyre failed with six laps to go. IndyStar reviews the race.
  • Bottas wins on F1’s comeback. Formula 1 started its season with the Austrian Grand Prix, first of two races that will be held at the Red Bull Ring. Valtteri Bottas (FIN) won the race from pole position and held on tyre degradation on a very eventful race that included a 5-second penalty for Champion Lewis Hamilton (ENG), after a contact with Alex Albon (THA), who could have won. Charles Leclerc (MON, Ferrari) and Lando Norris (ENG, McLaren) completed the podium. F1 reviews the drama
  • Doping in athletics. Former Marathon World Record holder, Wilson Kipsang (KEN), was handed a four-year ban due to four unjustified absences for anti-doping tests. He is the 53rd Kenyan to be banned by the Athletics Integrity Unit. María Gudalupe González (MEX), 2018 Race Walking World Cup Champion, also failed on her appeal to her four-year doping suspension. She will remain suspended until 2022. Kipsang blames Athletics Kenya and could appeal (Capital FM)
  • Potential name changes. The cultural shakeup related to racism reflection in the United States has led to the Cleveland Indians (MLB) and Washington Redskins (NFL) to ponder changing their team names. Some Native American advocates have asked NFL for the move while US President, Donald Trump, claims the name should not be changed, as it is meant to represent ”strength”. The Washington Post reviews the history behind the term “redskin”
  • Horse Racing’s Irish domination. Irish trainer, Aidan O’Brien, had to watch from home as his horses won the Epsom Derby (GI) and Epsom Oaks (GI) -won by Ryan Moore (ENG) and Love (IRL), who had won the Irish 1000 Guineas-. PC Boudot (FRA) won another consecutive Grade I race by winning the Prix de Diane (GI) at Chantilly -race he won last year-, riding Francy Blue (IRL). It was an All-Irish podium. Another Irish Horse, Mishriff -trained by Aidan’s son-, won the Prix du Jockey Club (GI), ridden by Ioritz Mendizabal (ESP). Meanwhile in the US, Vekoma won the Metropolitan Handicap (Racing Post).

GLOBAL PODIUM OF THE WEEK

Bryson DeChambeau winning in Detroit. Photo: Twitter, Bryson DeChambeau.

Gold: Bryson DeChambeau

(United States of America, Golf)

Bryson is reinventing professional approach to golf. The covid-19 crisis has allowed him to continue bulking. He has gained 40 pounds in one year.


This helped him at the PGA Tour’s Rocket Mortgage Classic not only by winning 23 strokes under par, but by also leading in strokes gained off-the-tee and gained putting.



From his 363-yard off the first tee to his 232-yarder off the rough into the green 70th hole, Bryson’s 65 stroke Sunday crushed the field and puts him first in CBS Sports’ Golf Power Rankings.



Watch his winning round highlights here (PGA Tour)

Scott Dixon winning the GMR Grand Prix. Photo: Scott Dixon, Facebook.

Silver: Scott Dixon

(New Zealand, Auto racing)

Scott Dixon absolutely dominated the GMR Grand Prix at the Indy Road Course, second race of the IndyCar Season.



Scott Dixon only managed to qualify 7th but he was able to take the lead and ended up winning by over 19 seconds ahead of Graham Rahal (USA), who was followed by defendig race winner Simon Pagenaud (FRA) and young sensations Colton Herta (USA) and 19 year-old Rinus VeeKay (NET), a rookie.



Scott’s win comes after dominating the first race at Texas. Now he has amassed 48 wins and gave Chip Ganassi their 110th.




Watch the extended highlights from NBC

Emmet McNamara riding Serpentine to the win at the Epsom Derby. Photo: Jockey Club UK.

Bronze: Emmet McNamara/Serpentine

(Ireland, Horse Racing)

Emmet McNamara and Serpentine ran to a 25-1 upset win at the Epsom Derby.



Trainer Aidan O’Brien -who had to watch from home and also won the Grade I Epsom Oaks- now has eight wins in the Classic.

Emmet had never competed at the Derby, had not won since October and had won a Group I race before.



Serpentine had only won his first race at the Curragh (IRL) last week and this time he led from the beginning of the race without looking back, winning by five lengths and a half.











Watch the Epsom Investec Derby, by Racing TV.

GLOBAL SPORTS AGENDA

1949 Deutsches Derby. Source: Wikipedia.

Week Preview


Formula 1 will have a very unique situation where a track has two Grands Prix on consecutive weekends, several times this year. The Austrian GP was wild and strategy was key. How different will the Styrian Grand Prix be?


NASCAR goes to Kentucky with its three categories. The Trucks had rested, the Xfinity had a great race at Indianapolis won by Chase Briscoe (USA) and Harvick and Hamlin might continue their rivalry.


Horses will also race in Kentucky for three Grade I races, while in Europe Germany will hold its 650,00 EUR IDEE 151. Deutsches Derby. It has nineteen entries from four countries.


The PDC Tour of Darts retakes its season as well.


F1's "We Race As One" anti-racism campaign.

July 7-13, 2020

Auto racing:

Formula 1 (Styrian GP)

NASCAR Cup, Xfinity, Trucks (Kentucky)

IndyCar (Elkhart Lake x2)

24H Series (Monza 12H)

GT World Challenge America (Virginia)



Horse Racing: 

Central Bank Ashland Stakes, Coolmore Jenny Wiley Stakes, Madison Stakes

(USA)

Falmouth Stakes, July Cup
 (ENG)

Prix Jean Prat (FRA)

Deutsches Derby (GER)


Golf:

PGA Tour (Ohio)



Simracing: 

Formula Simracing

W Series Esports League



Darts:

PDC Tour – PDC Summer Series (ENG)



eSports:

Warcraft Gold League 2020 Summer

LCS Summer 2020

Call of Duty League

Arena of Valor Premier League 2020

Global StarCraft II League

FULL AGENDA

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

Magnus Carlson (NOR) after resigning a game to Ding Liren (CHN), who lost a drawn position to him due to connection issues while battling the Chinese firewall.

“I have immense respect for Ding as a chess player and as a human being, and I thought against him this was the only correct way. And clearly I wanted to win on the board…People probably know me well enough to know that I don’t make sporting decisions based on whether people will like me or not, but I think in this particular case I very much felt it was the right thing to do.”

Magnus Carlsen

Current Chess World Champion 

For Chessbase.com

SPORT’S BEST VALUES

The no-hitters. Photo: ESPN

Innovation: Brendan Greene

Few people would think that an Irish DJ that was living in Brazil working some gigs in events would revolutionize gaming and create the some of the games that have become a blueprint for the largest franchises.



It is also unlikely to think that you can become that figure and a consultant for some of the world’s most important game developers with barely any coding knowledge.



But sometimes it takes more than just the technical knowledge. Sometimes being creative and innovative allows you to create what you imagine, especially when driven by wanting to play for passion and fun.



Greene is the mind behind PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG), which has become one of the most popular games in the world.

ESPN’s Jacob Wolf has written a piece with Brendan Greene’s story.

WATCH
Byron Bernstein

Reinvention: Reckful

Byron ‘Reckful’ Bernstein (ISR/USA) passed away, aged 31. Reckful was the best World of Warcraft player before gaming was the sport it is today.

Reckful failed to qualify to BlizzCon as a Warcraft player and reinvented himself to make it to the semifinals as a Hearthstone player, until he made a very basic blunder that left him out.



After retiring, Reckful became a pioneer of streaming and was the first big “Twitch” star. He then designed a game with his followers and talked openly about mental health, always showing his human side. He was followed by millions.

Reckful’s death is a tragedy that highlights the importance of ending toxic culture within gaming.


One year ago, a documentary called “The History of Reckful” was released on YouTube. RIP.



WATCH

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New York, 2020.



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View last week’s edition here (June 30-July 6, 2020)