Read GQ and lower your IQ, as the old gag goes.
The nonsense above comes from a piece written for GQ by one Jason Henderson, who is apparently editor of Athletics Weekly. If he reckons a billion people are watching Anand-Carlsen, God knows how many people he reckons watched Usain Bolt. Maybe more than the number of atoms in the solar system.
Naturally one expects all sorts of nonsense to be written about chess by people who know little or nothing about the game. One also suspects all sorts of nonsense to be written about chess by certain people who do know about the game - and sure enough, on Mr Henderson's athletic heels came Susan Polgar.
Bringing us updated, timely, fair, and objective chess daily news and information from around the globe, Polgar brought us the following objective news:
which may well have been achieved by now
an outcome foreseen by Mystic Polg
where "predicted" might as well mean "made up".
But wait! One billion is already yesterday's news!
Good Lord! So where does that figure come from? As yet nobody has been able to find out. But returning to the more modest one billion figure, Polgar is sure that GQ wouldn't publish such a figure without some kind of fact-checking procedure having been followed.
Now you may feel that this is a slightly inadequate explanation of a figure which Polgar herself apparently "predicted". You may also feel that it places more confidence in GQ than that publication necessarily merits.
You may have company.
Two's company, three's a crowd.
Problem with reproducing any old rubbish, see, is that you develop a reputation for reproducing any old rubbish.
But the question is this. Having got her prediction up to two billion before game six, and the population of the world being a little in excess of seven billion....
....can Polgar reach that figure before the match is over?
[Thanks to Matt Fletcher]