New look CHESS magazine

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Gavin Strachan
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Re: New look CHESS magazine

Post by Gavin Strachan » Mon Jul 12, 2010 9:45 am

I bought both chess and bcm (followed by "The Art of Attack" by some guy with a long name beginning with V edited by Nunn). The trains were up the creak and I just had to get a bus down Baker Street. I used to have a subscription to chess but find that there are not enough games covered in both magazines. I am not too fussed about the colours in the magazine, though maybe this perhaps is an attempt to make the magazine look more contemporary and less formal.

I remember the days of Keene writing in the magazine (usually in the style of: Kasparov v Anyone. 1 E4!!!! the player must have not seen this coming, he has no chance, totally lost already. 1. ... E5? idiot, maybe he did not see Kasparovs decisive followup 2. NF3).

I like New in Chess as a read because it does get a lot of top GM's writing for it but think that it is far too expensive at over £7.

Geoff Chandler
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Re: New look CHESS magazine

Post by Geoff Chandler » Mon Jul 12, 2010 11:39 am

Hi Nick.

"...my "non chess" friends agree with me."

NCP's (not chess players) are bound tp think it looks pretty
as they know nothing about anything to do with Chess.

I do not have any "non chess" friends. What do you talk about?

Andrew Farthing
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Re: New look CHESS magazine

Post by Andrew Farthing » Mon Aug 02, 2010 2:00 pm

I've just received the August issue of 'Chess', which shows signs of some tweaks to the new look.

Most of the diagrams have been reduced slightly in size and have been watered down from the eye-gougingly bright colours used last month. A big improvement, in my opinion.

The average size of the photographs seems to have been reduced as well, which I also think is good news.

It's all a matter of taste, of course, but I lean more towards text than pictures. Some of the latest issue (e.g. the interview with Anand) still has the very generous line-spacing used in July, which only seems to give about 55 lines of text per column. Other parts (e.g the interview with Seirawan) are spaced more closely and seem to have about 70 lines of text. This is closer to the old style (over 75 lines), so it feels more substantial. I'm hopeful that the trend is in the right direction.

All in all, the new design works better for me this month than last. I'm sure that a degree of settling-in is needed, so I take the latest changes as positive signs.

PS. The Readers' Letters on p.6 include the editorial comment, "Comments on the ECF Forum have also been noted, both good and bad!" (a) Nice to see the forum's contribution acknowledged; (b) Pity they got the name wrong (watch that blood pressure, Carl!).

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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: New look CHESS magazine

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Sat Aug 07, 2010 1:06 pm

I find the new look of CHESS interesting. Not great, but very different.

One complaint I have is the lack of captions to some of the photographs. In many cases you can guess that the photo is of the person the article is about, but you shouldn't have to guess. On page 7 of the August 2010 issue, I assume the picture is of Gelfand holding the trophy, and I assume the picture at the bottom is of the playing hall, and can just make out that Gelfand is playing Vallejo (from the screen to the left), but it looks like the pictures are being used as filler and eye candy, not to provide information for the reader. On page 8, I think the picture is of Aronian, but the picture at the bottom of the page is not captioned. The one on page 9 is captioned, which is good as I wouldn't have recognised "Spain's Mr Chess"!

Page 11 is fully captioned, maybe because it is a page mostly devoted to photos, but on page 13 there is nothing saying what the photo is showing. The photo montage on page 39 is nice, but who are the people with Seirawan? I guess I will have to buy the book to find out! :)

The other photo captions are good, and I think it was mainly the July 2010 issue where I noticed this (I can't check as I've lent the issue to someone else) and things improved with the following issue. Overall, I find CHESS good enough that I've never wanted to stop subscribing, and look forward to each month's issue, but the quality does seem to vary from month to month depending on who is writing the articles.

TomChivers
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Re: New look CHESS magazine

Post by TomChivers » Wed Aug 11, 2010 3:14 pm

Matt Read just sent me the August issue. Thanks Matt.

I think it looks good - slick, like a coffee-table magazine. In fact, I have put it on the office coffee table, and will see if anyone picks it up, mistaking it for Heat. Maybe, with Magnus strutting his stuff on the cover, maybe. Anyway, the Pickupability Factor is high imo.

The much-debated diagrams look fine to me - but on several pages there are far too many of them. In fact on one page I think there are more diagrams than variations. But aside from this I like the presentation - clean, spacious, easy to follow.

I've not had a thorough read, but the article on computer oversights looks like the best bit - interesting, extensive, with original research. The extract from the book on the London System is the lowest point for me. It comes across as an embarrassing plug, peddling cheap dreams of routine bishop sacs to aggro patzers. Much of the other content seems pretty middling, but if I have time for a proper read I may revise that judgment.

What else? I noticed that 'New Books in Brief' and 'Collectors Corner' are given the wrong page number in the Contents, suggestive of slapdash editing. I agree with the comment that figurines should be used in the text rather than letters. The lack of non-chess.co.uk advertising is astonishing... maybe the magazine needs a cheap classified section or something - for eg chess coaching, clubs, websites, tournaments (you could stop advertising them for free), that kind of thing.

If I had the time to read a chess magazine, I would consider subscribing. But I think I'd probably end up going for NiC instead.

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Gavin Strachan
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Re: New look CHESS magazine

Post by Gavin Strachan » Wed Aug 11, 2010 3:30 pm

I think all the above comments kind of encapsulate my thought on Chess mag which is it's OK, but doesn't set the world on fire. Price is good compared with NiC but it kind of lacks depth which is why I think when I have bought it in the past or subscribed I lose interest quite quickly and find only a few bits really jump out of me in momentary interest, such as the president election comments or some of the good games covered or the pick the best move bits (a bit like the Sun newspaper).

Roger de Coverly
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Re: New look CHESS magazine

Post by Roger de Coverly » Mon Sep 13, 2010 1:00 pm

TomChivers wrote: The much-debated diagrams look fine to me - but on several pages there are far too many of them. In fact on one page I think there are more diagrams than variations. But aside from this I like the presentation - clean, spacious, easy to follow.
TomChivers wrote: I agree with the comment that figurines should be used in the text rather than letters.
For the September issue, the figurines are back. The diagrams look to be toned down as well unless that's an optical illusion because of the restoration of figurines.

It looks like a chess magazine again !

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