End of an era

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Kevin Thurlow
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Re: End of an era

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Sat Nov 02, 2019 6:11 pm

I am at the Hampshire Championships and was pleased to address the control room earlier and say that a high board in the Minor would be decided by a panthalassic tsunami of pawns. Credit to John Wheeler who knew what panthalassic meant, but we are now discussing whether it requires an upper case "P".

Stewart Reuben
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Re: End of an era

Post by Stewart Reuben » Sat Nov 02, 2019 6:20 pm

Until quite late in the 1980s-1990s, the chess reports appeared in the following day's newspaper. That is why we finished many sessions at about 6.15pm. I remember Press Association thanking me for changing the schedule to finish 30 minutes earlier, because it made their job easier.
When computers came along, it was found impossible to publish material not received until the evening. So the chess columnists came to an agreement to publish their reports a day late. Of course, now, with the internet, you can know the games and results immediately and newspapers cannot compete. That is why Ray Keene does his news on twitter and his columns have become like magazine articles.

Paul Habershon
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Re: End of an era

Post by Paul Habershon » Sat Nov 02, 2019 6:26 pm

Stewart Reuben wrote:
Sat Nov 02, 2019 6:20 pm
Until quite late in the 1980s-1990s, the chess reports appeared in the following day's newspaper. That is why we finished many sessions at about 6.15pm. I remember Press Association thanking me for changing the schedule to finish 30 minutes earlier, because it made their job easier.
When computers came along, it was found impossible to publish material not received until the evening. So the chess columnists came to an agreement to publish their reports a day late. Of course, now, with the internet, you can know the games and results immediately and newspapers cannot compete. That is why Ray Keene does his news on twitter and his columns have become like magazine articles.
The internet doesn't stop newspapers reporting the next day on football, cricket, rugby and many other sports.

Stewart Reuben
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Re: End of an era

Post by Stewart Reuben » Sat Nov 02, 2019 6:37 pm

Paul >The internet doesn't stop newspapers reporting the next day on football, cricket, rugby and many other sports.<

The amount of interest in England in chess is quite small. It would be quite interesting to know what goes on in, say Germany or Spain. Russia would not be comparing like with like.

Alex Holowczak
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Re: End of an era

Post by Alex Holowczak » Sat Nov 02, 2019 6:57 pm

Paul Habershon wrote:
Sat Nov 02, 2019 6:26 pm
Stewart Reuben wrote:
Sat Nov 02, 2019 6:20 pm
Until quite late in the 1980s-1990s, the chess reports appeared in the following day's newspaper. That is why we finished many sessions at about 6.15pm. I remember Press Association thanking me for changing the schedule to finish 30 minutes earlier, because it made their job easier.
When computers came along, it was found impossible to publish material not received until the evening. So the chess columnists came to an agreement to publish their reports a day late. Of course, now, with the internet, you can know the games and results immediately and newspapers cannot compete. That is why Ray Keene does his news on twitter and his columns have become like magazine articles.
The internet doesn't stop newspapers reporting the next day on football, cricket, rugby and many other sports.
I think this matters because if I were to Google football, cricket or rugby, I'd expect to get a mix of traditional media and other independent news sites. As an example, I just googled "England v South Africa". Google immediately tells me the result of the game. The next articles, in no particular order, are from the Guardian, Telegraph, Independent, Mirror, Sun, Standard and BBC. All of these sources have the result and post-match analysis.

If I Google Carlsen v So, I get Chess24, Agadmator's YouTube channel, Chessbase, the official website, Chess.com, wikipedia, Chessbomb, Chessgames, the Guardian (!), and Twitch. Of all of these sources, Leonard's Guardian column forecasts the match rather than tells me the result.

So I do think there is a difference between the sports listed and chess in terms of media coverage; you wouldn't go to newspaper or its website to see up-to-date chess information, whereas you would go to its website to see up-to-date football scores and analysis.

Richard Bates
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Re: End of an era

Post by Richard Bates » Sat Nov 02, 2019 7:26 pm

Alex Holowczak wrote:
Sat Nov 02, 2019 6:57 pm
Paul Habershon wrote:
Sat Nov 02, 2019 6:26 pm
Stewart Reuben wrote:
Sat Nov 02, 2019 6:20 pm
Until quite late in the 1980s-1990s, the chess reports appeared in the following day's newspaper. That is why we finished many sessions at about 6.15pm. I remember Press Association thanking me for changing the schedule to finish 30 minutes earlier, because it made their job easier.
When computers came along, it was found impossible to publish material not received until the evening. So the chess columnists came to an agreement to publish their reports a day late. Of course, now, with the internet, you can know the games and results immediately and newspapers cannot compete. That is why Ray Keene does his news on twitter and his columns have become like magazine articles.
The internet doesn't stop newspapers reporting the next day on football, cricket, rugby and many other sports.
I think this matters because if I were to Google football, cricket or rugby, I'd expect to get a mix of traditional media and other independent news sites. As an example, I just googled "England v South Africa". Google immediately tells me the result of the game. The next articles, in no particular order, are from the Guardian, Telegraph, Independent, Mirror, Sun, Standard and BBC. All of these sources have the result and post-match analysis.

If I Google Carlsen v So, I get Chess24, Agadmator's YouTube channel, Chessbase, the official website, Chess.com, wikipedia, Chessbomb, Chessgames, the Guardian (!), and Twitch. Of all of these sources, Leonard's Guardian column forecasts the match rather than tells me the result.

So I do think there is a difference between the sports listed and chess in terms of media coverage; you wouldn't go to newspaper or its website to see up-to-date chess information, whereas you would go to its website to see up-to-date football scores and analysis.
An avid chess fan pro-actively seeking out chess news and analysis would not be expected to obtain it from newspapers. However, what about the casual chess fan who would be interested in being informed about chess news, but doesn't make an active effort to find it? I don't see why chess columns in newspapers, if they choose to adopt that aim, shouldn't still represent an extremely important way to reach that target audience. People don't need to watch the 6 o'clock news to keep up-to-date in the world, and yet given that it still exists it is likely that for many that is still their main source. It's about allowing people to be passive receivers of news.

For those who want chess to remain part of the national consciousness, not a specialist niche activity for those for whom it is a major hobby/interest, there have to be outlets to do that. The disappointing thin IMO about the Times chess column for many years (and indeed the demise of other outlets such as the Daily Evening Standard column in the print edition) is that such a major potential vehicle for this has not been really available/utilised for that purpose.
Last edited by Richard Bates on Sat Nov 02, 2019 7:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Leonard Barden
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Re: End of an era

Post by Leonard Barden » Sat Nov 02, 2019 7:28 pm

Alex Holowczak wrote:
Sat Nov 02, 2019 6:57 pm
If I Google Carlsen v So, I get Chess24, Agadmator's YouTube channel, Chessbase, the official website, Chess.com, wikipedia, Chessbomb, Chessgames, the Guardian (!), and Twitch. Of all of these sources, Leonard's Guardian column forecasts the match rather than tells me the result.
I just Googled Carlsen v So and found my article as the top story.....
https://www.google.com/search?q=carlsen ... 60&bih=526

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Re: End of an era

Post by Alex Holowczak » Sat Nov 02, 2019 9:01 pm

Richard Bates wrote:
Sat Nov 02, 2019 7:26 pm
An avid chess fan pro-actively seeking out chess news and analysis would not be expected to obtain it from newspapers. However, what about the casual chess fan who would be interested in being informed about chess news, but doesn't make an active effort to find it? I don't see why chess columns in newspapers, if they choose to adopt that aim, shouldn't still represent an extremely important way to reach that target audience. People don't need to watch the 6 o'clock news to keep up-to-date in the world, and yet given that it still exists it is likely that for many that is still their main source. It's about allowing people to be passive receivers of news.
Deviating slightly, nowadays people don't watch general programmes on TV as much as they used to. Take a look at Sky Sports, which has recently switched from Sky Sports 1/2/3 to Sky Sports F1, Sky Sports Football, Sky Sports Darts... Increasingly viewing habits are specialised; people don't tune in to TV to watch whatever's on in the numbers they used to, increasingly viewers proactively seek what they want to watch and watch it. OK, that's TV - but I think newspapers are the same. If I read a newspaper article online, it's about something I've proactively searched out. I haven't had to wade through the latest on Brexit, the General Election and various guest columnists to get to the bit about So beating Carlsen. The 6 O'Clock News exists because the BBC is required to produce a certain amount of news and local news content by Ofcom; the same is true on all of the TV channels. After TV companies complained about the amount of news they were expected to carry, Ofcom recently reduced the amount they were required to produce. I'm sure this was because people don't consume the news in that way anymore.
Richard Bates wrote:
Sat Nov 02, 2019 7:26 pm
For those who want chess to remain part of the national consciousness, not a specialist niche activity for those for whom it is a major hobby/interest, there have to be outlets to do that. The disappointing thin IMO about the Times chess column for many years (and indeed the demise of other outlets such as the Daily Evening Standard column in the print edition) is that such a major potential vehicle for this has not been really available/utilised for that purpose.
In my opinion, it's the other way around. Chess being in newspapers isn't required to keep chess in the national consciousness, the number of chess columns is a sort of scorecard of how much chess is in the national consciousness. If editors believe chess of interest to their readers, they'll have a chess column. If they think it isn't, they won't.
Last edited by Alex Holowczak on Sat Nov 02, 2019 9:31 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Alex Holowczak
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Re: End of an era

Post by Alex Holowczak » Sat Nov 02, 2019 9:02 pm

Leonard Barden wrote:
Sat Nov 02, 2019 7:28 pm
Alex Holowczak wrote:
Sat Nov 02, 2019 6:57 pm
If I Google Carlsen v So, I get Chess24, Agadmator's YouTube channel, Chessbase, the official website, Chess.com, wikipedia, Chessbomb, Chessgames, the Guardian (!), and Twitch. Of all of these sources, Leonard's Guardian column forecasts the match rather than tells me the result.
I just Googled Carlsen v So and found my article as the top story.....
https://www.google.com/search?q=carlsen ... 60&bih=526
Google searches are tailored to your search/browsing history, so I'd like to think the Guardian was your top article. :)

Richard Bates
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Re: End of an era

Post by Richard Bates » Sun Nov 03, 2019 12:24 am

Alex Holowczak wrote:
Sat Nov 02, 2019 9:01 pm
Richard Bates wrote:
Sat Nov 02, 2019 7:26 pm
An avid chess fan pro-actively seeking out chess news and analysis would not be expected to obtain it from newspapers. However, what about the casual chess fan who would be interested in being informed about chess news, but doesn't make an active effort to find it? I don't see why chess columns in newspapers, if they choose to adopt that aim, shouldn't still represent an extremely important way to reach that target audience. People don't need to watch the 6 o'clock news to keep up-to-date in the world, and yet given that it still exists it is likely that for many that is still their main source. It's about allowing people to be passive receivers of news.
Deviating slightly, nowadays people don't watch general programmes on TV as much as they used to. Take a look at Sky Sports, which has recently switched from Sky Sports 1/2/3 to Sky Sports F1, Sky Sports Football, Sky Sports Darts... Increasingly viewing habits are specialised; people don't tune in to TV to watch whatever's on in the numbers they used to, increasingly viewers proactively seek what they want to watch and watch it. OK, that's TV - but I think newspapers are the same. If I read a newspaper article online, it's about something I've proactively searched out. I haven't had to wade through the latest on Brexit, the General Election and various guest columnists to get to the bit about So beating Carlsen. The 6 O'Clock News exists because the BBC is required to produce a certain amount of news and local news content by Ofcom; the same is true on all of the TV channels. After TV companies complained about the amount of news they were expected to carry, Ofcom recently reduced the amount they were required to produce. I'm sure this was because people don't consume the news in that way anymore.
Richard Bates wrote:
Sat Nov 02, 2019 7:26 pm
For those who want chess to remain part of the national consciousness, not a specialist niche activity for those for whom it is a major hobby/interest, there have to be outlets to do that. The disappointing thin IMO about the Times chess column for many years (and indeed the demise of other outlets such as the Daily Evening Standard column in the print edition) is that such a major potential vehicle for this has not been really available/utilised for that purpose.
In my opinion, it's the other way around. Chess being in newspapers isn't required to keep chess in the national consciousness, the number of chess columns is a sort of scorecard of how much chess is in the national consciousness. If editors believe chess of interest to their readers, they'll have a chess column. If they think it isn't, they won't.
I would say the two are not mutually exclusive. If chess is prominent in the national consciousness then editors might be more interested in running chess news items or regular columns. But any columns that exist will also serve a purpose to maintaining chess in that consciousness. It’s a circle, virtuous or vicious depending on the direction of travel.

Make the game accessible and people will be more likely to access it. For some sports the arguments are about free to air versus paytv broadcasting. Realistically at present chess has to rely on more modest ambitions, but getting mentions in the press whenever possible should still be high on the list. And something the ECF should ideally actively work to encourage IMO.

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JustinHorton
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Re: End of an era

Post by JustinHorton » Sun Nov 03, 2019 7:09 am

I think it's always depended a fair bit on whether particular editors have been chess-sympathetic.
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JustinHorton
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Re: End of an era

Post by JustinHorton » Sun Nov 03, 2019 7:10 am

(Although this is all distracting from the extremely important question of what was in Ray's annotations yesterday, and for that matter, what we have in store for us tomorrow.)
"Do you play chess?"
"Yes, but I prefer a game with a better chance of cheating."

lostontime.blogspot.com

John Upham
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Re: End of an era

Post by John Upham » Sun Nov 03, 2019 9:12 am

Alex Holowczak wrote:
Sat Nov 02, 2019 9:02 pm
Google searches are tailored to your search/browsing history, so I'd like to think the Guardian was your top article. :)
You might like to think that but I suspect it is more a reflection of the SEO effort made by the Guardian content managers plus the content of the story itself.
British Chess News : britishchessnews.com
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Alex Holowczak
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Re: End of an era

Post by Alex Holowczak » Sun Nov 03, 2019 10:33 am

Richard Bates wrote:
Sun Nov 03, 2019 12:24 am
Alex Holowczak wrote:
Sat Nov 02, 2019 9:01 pm
Richard Bates wrote:
Sat Nov 02, 2019 7:26 pm
An avid chess fan pro-actively seeking out chess news and analysis would not be expected to obtain it from newspapers. However, what about the casual chess fan who would be interested in being informed about chess news, but doesn't make an active effort to find it? I don't see why chess columns in newspapers, if they choose to adopt that aim, shouldn't still represent an extremely important way to reach that target audience. People don't need to watch the 6 o'clock news to keep up-to-date in the world, and yet given that it still exists it is likely that for many that is still their main source. It's about allowing people to be passive receivers of news.
Deviating slightly, nowadays people don't watch general programmes on TV as much as they used to. Take a look at Sky Sports, which has recently switched from Sky Sports 1/2/3 to Sky Sports F1, Sky Sports Football, Sky Sports Darts... Increasingly viewing habits are specialised; people don't tune in to TV to watch whatever's on in the numbers they used to, increasingly viewers proactively seek what they want to watch and watch it. OK, that's TV - but I think newspapers are the same. If I read a newspaper article online, it's about something I've proactively searched out. I haven't had to wade through the latest on Brexit, the General Election and various guest columnists to get to the bit about So beating Carlsen. The 6 O'Clock News exists because the BBC is required to produce a certain amount of news and local news content by Ofcom; the same is true on all of the TV channels. After TV companies complained about the amount of news they were expected to carry, Ofcom recently reduced the amount they were required to produce. I'm sure this was because people don't consume the news in that way anymore.
Richard Bates wrote:
Sat Nov 02, 2019 7:26 pm
For those who want chess to remain part of the national consciousness, not a specialist niche activity for those for whom it is a major hobby/interest, there have to be outlets to do that. The disappointing thin IMO about the Times chess column for many years (and indeed the demise of other outlets such as the Daily Evening Standard column in the print edition) is that such a major potential vehicle for this has not been really available/utilised for that purpose.
In my opinion, it's the other way around. Chess being in newspapers isn't required to keep chess in the national consciousness, the number of chess columns is a sort of scorecard of how much chess is in the national consciousness. If editors believe chess of interest to their readers, they'll have a chess column. If they think it isn't, they won't.
I would say the two are not mutually exclusive. If chess is prominent in the national consciousness then editors might be more interested in running chess news items or regular columns. But any columns that exist will also serve a purpose to maintaining chess in that consciousness. It’s a circle, virtuous or vicious depending on the direction of travel.

Make the game accessible and people will be more likely to access it. For some sports the arguments are about free to air versus paytv broadcasting. Realistically at present chess has to rely on more modest ambitions, but getting mentions in the press whenever possible should still be high on the list. And something the ECF should ideally actively work to encourage IMO.
I would agree that they are not mutually exclusive; clearly if given the choice between having a newspaper column with chess in it or not, we'd rather have the column. I think the ECF proactively lobbying newspapers to carry columns itself will be a waste of time. If 10,000 readers wrote in, however, newspapers might be inclined to increase their coverage.

There are arguments about free-to-air versus pay tv, particularly in cricket. I'm actually not on the side of free-to-air on this one. Cricket appears to be as popular as it ever has been in terms of getting punters through the door in England, if not more popular with the introduction of T20 over the time period where cricket went over to Sky. Cricket is making the same mistake that chess often does, but in reverse. In chess, we assume 1 million players = huge sponsorship opportunities, when actually, the fact that 5,000 people are watching the stream is more relevant. And so in cricket, they have millions of pounds in sponsorship, but declining participation levels in recreational cricket. Professional cricket will always be fine so long as people come through the door, but that's linked to national consciousness; whereas participation is related to all sorts of social factors, not least of which is that the game is played in the summer when it has been drummed into children that they have no time for extra-curricular activities because they need to revise for exams. The Hundred and free-to-air broadcasting will do nothing to solve either of those problems.

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JustinHorton
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Re: End of an era

Post by JustinHorton » Sun Nov 03, 2019 10:59 am

Alex Holowczak wrote:
Sun Nov 03, 2019 10:33 am
free-to-air broadcasting will do nothing to solve either of those problems.
Very plainly kids are not seeing cricket on TV these days when in my generation they did, this means they are less likely to play recreationally, and less likely to take an interest in school cricket, the link is very clear indeed.
"Do you play chess?"
"Yes, but I prefer a game with a better chance of cheating."

lostontime.blogspot.com

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