Chess in the Media

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Stewart Reuben
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Chess in the Media

Postby Stewart Reuben » Wed May 13, 2009 2:33 am

Two important chess news services are being either discontinued or curtailed. Please write in to comment and complain. If enough people do so, the decisions will be reversed.

This week the London Evening Standard have cut Leonard Barden's columns from daily to one a week. This is a crime against humanity for what is the longest-running chess column in the world.
The contact details are: Editor Geordie Greig, letters@standard.co.uk; Evening Standard, PO Box 2309, London W8 5EE.


This week The Times online has discontinued displaying Ray Keene's chess column. Please write in asking it to be reinstated. The address is:

http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/ ... 225551.ece

All chess publicity must be defended fiercely at all times.

Stewart Reuben

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John Saunders
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Re: Chess in the Media

Postby John Saunders » Wed May 13, 2009 10:43 am

Before anyone starts writing to the Evening Standard... Stewart, I think you may have misunderstood what Leonard said to you. My understanding is that Leonard's daily ES column will continue as before but that Mon-Thurs columns will also appear online (see what I've written at http://www.bcmchess.co.uk). This needs clarification before anyone starts sending emails.
Quote (the wife): "The reason chess politics are so vicious is because there is so little at stake."
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Carl Hibbard
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Re: Chess in the Media

Postby Carl Hibbard » Wed May 13, 2009 10:47 am

I may move this topic, it should be in General Chat rather than here I think?
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Carl Hibbard

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John Saunders
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Re: Chess in the Media

Postby John Saunders » Wed May 13, 2009 11:32 am

Re Leonard Barden's Evening Standard column: here is my latest understanding (which overrides what I wrote earlier). I think what is happening is that the Monday-Thursday columns will appear online - http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/chess - but NOT in print. The Friday column will appear in print but not online. Apologies if I don't have it right - hopefully Leonard will confirm or correct this when he next visits the forum.

While we are on the subject: my BBC Ceefax chess page (568) is not being transferred to digital Ceefax and can only be accessed via analogue Ceefax. Once analogue TV is switched off, it will disappear.
Quote (the wife): "The reason chess politics are so vicious is because there is so little at stake."
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Leonard Barden
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Re: Chess in the Media

Postby Leonard Barden » Wed May 13, 2009 12:28 pm

John is right except that it is unclear to me at the moment whether the Friday Evening Standard column will also appear online. A big thanks to John for so very promptly providing a link via BCM to the new online column, which has a box for reader feedback.

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John Saunders
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Re: Chess in the Media

Postby John Saunders » Thu May 14, 2009 1:13 pm

I've said a bit more about this issue at http://www.bcmchess.co.uk - Leonard's daily Evening Standard feature has a particular appeal to occasional or casual players and must have introduced many thousands of Londoners to competitive chess over the years. I'm now starting to get messages from people who think it has been axed (because they have failed to find it in their newspaper). There is a danger that they might simply stop taking the paper in disgust, not realising that it is still featured in the Friday edition. I agree with Stewart - start writing letters to the editor.
Quote (the wife): "The reason chess politics are so vicious is because there is so little at stake."
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Jonathan Rogers
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Re: Chess in the Media

Postby Jonathan Rogers » Thu May 14, 2009 1:49 pm

I think it would go against the grain for many of us to write to the Times in support of Keene's column, notwithstanding any appeal to act in the broader interests of chess. Surely there must be a minimum standard of chess journalism? Speaking for myself, I think I have the full set of results from Hastings 1895 by now. Nor am I convinced that Golombek's best wins are very topical.

Stewart Reuben
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Re: Chess in the Media

Postby Stewart Reuben » Thu May 14, 2009 2:06 pm

Unless publicity is actually negative, it is all valuable.
Never mind the quality, feel the width.
Some of you may wonder why I consider you should care about what appears in a London newspaper. Leonard's column has been highhly beneficial in encouraging people to start 'mainstream' chess activity, which has had a dramatic value beyond the capital. Ray's column, does sometimes have topical material and, in fact, is rather good when it does. Of course he is seldom working as a reporter, it is more commonly as a discursive columnist.
Yestarday I learnt that Luke McShane's column in the Sunday Express can now only be found online. It happened some months ago and thus it is too late to do anything. Had I known I would have mounted a similar campaign to this one, although I seldom saw the column.

I do wonder how many of you bothered to write to BBC4 about chess. That is still an ongoing possibility.
Another is a film set partly around the Hastings Chess Congress. It is in first draft script stage.
A third is a giant chess game in Trafalgar Square this summer. That is going to happen.

Stewart Reuben

Justin Hadi

Re: Chess in the Media

Postby Justin Hadi » Thu May 14, 2009 4:55 pm

I just wrote to BBC4, prompted by your post. :D

Leonard Barden
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Re: Chess in the Media

Postby Leonard Barden » Thu May 14, 2009 5:38 pm

The simplest and easiest way if any Forum reader wants to write about the Standard column or the new policy is to post a comment in the box provided with the new online publication (www.thisislondon.co.uk/chess).

Peter Sowray
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Re: Chess in the Media

Postby Peter Sowray » Fri May 15, 2009 7:00 am

Leonard Barden wrote:The simplest and easiest way if any Forum reader wants to write about the Standard column or the new policy is to post a comment in the box provided with the new online publication (http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/chess).



Leonard,

Just so you know, the feedback doesn't seem to work in all cases ... I left a comment on Tuesday which is yet to appear.

Peter

Richard Bates
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Re: Chess in the Media

Postby Richard Bates » Fri May 15, 2009 7:02 am

What is the justification for this change? - to try and increase traffic to their internet site, or simply to cut costs?

I doubt many people buy the Standard simply for the chess. But when one has the choice of paying your 50p or reading all 4+ of the free sheets, the chess is a pull in the favour of the former. And its disappearance will obviously make me less likely to do so.

Personally I see no real value in a newspaper providing chess columns (especially of the sort offered by the ES) on line - there is too much competition for it to be worthwhile, so one wonders if it is the first step towards total abolition.

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John Saunders
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Re: Chess in the Media

Postby John Saunders » Fri May 15, 2009 9:02 am

I've just read this in the Guardian...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/mediamonkeyblog/2009/may/14/london-evening-standard-geordie-greig-chess

Greig put in check over Standard's chess move

All the usual wit and insight from Ray Snoddy at the Broadcasting Press Guild lunch yesterday. But also a fair bit of outrage at the new-look London Evening Standard, which has ditched one of the media journalist's most treasured items: the chess column. "I'll be writing to the Standard about this," said Snoddy, his tongue lodged a wee bit in cheek. "I can't believe they have got rid of it. If the paper's owner isn't aware of it I think Geordie Greig might have some explaining to do – we all know how much the Russians love chess."

The Russian reference is to the new owner of the Evening Standard who is Russian - former KGB officer Alexander Lebedev. Conspiracy theory, anyone? Perhaps Leonard is being victimised because of something he once wrote about Karpov... or Spassky, or Tal, or Petrosian, or Botvinnik...
Quote (the wife): "The reason chess politics are so vicious is because there is so little at stake."
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Leonard Barden
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Re: Chess in the Media

Postby Leonard Barden » Fri May 15, 2009 11:05 am

Peter

The feedback seemingly didn't function for the first couple of days (I know another reader who had the same experience as you on Tuesday) but seems fine now. All comments can be viewed. In reply to Richard, I guess one plus for an online column, irrespective of whether there is also a print version, is that feedback is easier. The bother and cost of postage means that print chess columns receive much reduced feedback than a couple of decades ago, and people will only write in numbers if there has been an obvious error.

Peter Sowray
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Re: Chess in the Media

Postby Peter Sowray » Fri May 15, 2009 11:55 am

Leonard Barden wrote:Peter

The feedback seemingly didn't function for the first couple of days (I know another reader who had the same experience as you on Tuesday) but seems fine now. All comments can be viewed. In reply to Richard, I guess one plus for an online column, irrespective of whether there is also a print version, is that feedback is easier. The bother and cost of postage means that print chess columns receive much reduced feedback than a couple of decades ago, and people will only write in numbers if there has been an obvious error.



Leonard ... thanks ... I just tried leaving feedback again ... Peter


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