British Chess Magazine

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Trefor Owens
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British Chess Magazine

Post by Trefor Owens » Sun Mar 20, 2011 7:36 pm

I received the following email message today:

The British Chess Magazine, the world's oldest surviving chess publication after 130 years of continuous publications. ......

A single year costs £45. You get 12 issues, 56 pages per issues, with news, instructional articles, annotated games, chess history articles, problems, studies, photos, etc.

Take out a sub today, by visiting https://subscribeme.to/BritishChessMagazine/, or calling Warners, subscription agents, on 01778-392042.

And please forward this message to as many people as possible.

The future of the world's oldest chess magazine is in your hands! Please do not let it die.



8/1/2012 - Original post edited after pm request
Last edited by Trefor Owens on Sun Jan 08, 2012 3:06 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Andrew Stone
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Re: British Chess Magazine

Post by Andrew Stone » Sun Mar 20, 2011 8:33 pm

One problem getting new subscribers (and keeping existing ones ) through highlighting the threat of folding springs to mind. If they join and you don't get enough new subscriptions, they may feel their money is at risk- i.e. they may receive 1 or 2 issues and then it folds. It may be an idea to structure the payment so that they don't lose all their money if the worst comes to the worst and make it clear their money is safe when they are thinking of joining up. Don't know how it is structured but maybe contributors will start wanting paying in advance (maybe they already are, although I suspect this wouldn't be normal practise) if they feel the magazine is under threat.
Anyway, good luck!

Alex Holowczak
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Re: British Chess Magazine

Post by Alex Holowczak » Sun Mar 20, 2011 8:42 pm

I notice also that the BCM blog seems to have disappeared...

PeterTurland
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Re: British Chess Magazine

Post by PeterTurland » Sun Mar 20, 2011 8:44 pm

Hello,

I am a chess player and really enjoy watching live chess on line. It has been
said that the Internet is doing for chess what television did for football. I
have a suggestion, that all online spectators pay a micro-fee via Paypal to
watch live tournaments.

I already have a Paypal account, so it would be simplicity itself, for my
account to have a special section just for chess, I pre-load it with some
money and every time I watch a live match a micro fee is paid to the Paypal
accounts of the players I'm observing.

I've been watching a match lately at http://amberchess20.com/
and they were getting on average around 45,000 unique visitors per day, but
many more than that as a whole, would be watching the match from other websites.

I for instance, was watching the match from http://www.freechess.org/ there
are many other websites that would be taking a relay from the Amber
tournament, I would not be surprised if the global audience for the Amber
tournament would be in the area of 100,000 people watching the match online,
if every person paid a cent, per match, watched would mean 10,000 Euros being
paid to the tournament, shared between the organisers of the tournament, the
players and a percentage paid to Paypal.

If the new ventures section of Paypal is interested in my idea. I am in
contact with many people on the British chess scene. Chess is very much a
global pastime and is played by young and old all over the place. the only
thing lacking is money. I would be very surprised, if there were no chess
players in the Paypal organisation, many coders are chess players.
Last edited by PeterTurland on Sun Jan 08, 2012 3:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Gordon Cadden
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Re: British Chess Magazine

Post by Gordon Cadden » Mon Mar 21, 2011 11:26 am

Unfortunately, the future of the British Chess Magazine is in the hands of Steve Giddins, the Editor. He has shown a remarkable ability at making enemies. The distinguished Endgame Studies Editor, John Beasley, was dismissed shortly after he became Editor. The popular "Quotes and Queries" section came to an end, after Chris Ravilious was dismissed; he was not even allowed to say farewell to the readers.
Members of the ECF have recently been described as "toe-rags" on Facebook (probably Federation, not Forum). The future for the world's longest running magazine is indeed, grim.
Last edited by Gordon Cadden on Tue Mar 22, 2011 7:39 am, edited 2 times in total.

Ian Kingston
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Re: British Chess Magazine

Post by Ian Kingston » Mon Mar 21, 2011 12:03 pm

Is anyone at liberty to say what happened to provoke the change of editor last year?

Graham Borrowdale

Re: British Chess Magazine

Post by Graham Borrowdale » Mon Mar 21, 2011 12:39 pm

I am sure John will decide whether he wants to spill those particular beans, but I must agree with the general disappointment with the direction of the BCM since then.
It seems to have become something between the 'journal of record' which it used to be, and a magazine to dip into, which Chess has always been. There seem to be very few congress results, but room for a 3-part series on Lasker's Defence, for example. Commercially, the sale or closure of the retail business might have been necessary, but it did at least give an alternative to buying from the other lot, and it did give BCM a presence and an address. Its office is now, apparently, a serviced office in Wokingham.

The sudden announcement that it will die if it does not receive 200-300 new subscribers is, well, sudden, and does not make it clear whether they have been losing subscribers recently, or whether costs have increased suddenly, or whether a lack of financial contribution from the retail business has tipped the balance, or whether it has been losing money for a number of years.

I will mourn its passing but the £45 per year will not go to waste.

Jonathan Bryant
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Re: British Chess Magazine

Post by Jonathan Bryant » Mon Mar 21, 2011 4:43 pm

Trefor Owens wrote:I received the following email message today:

The British Chess Magazine, the world's oldest surviving chess publication, is facing extinction, after 130 years of continuous publications.



Thanks for posting this. Out of interest, did it come from Steve Giddins, somebody else or 'the BCM' in general?

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Anthony Higgs
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Re: British Chess Magazine

Post by Anthony Higgs » Mon Mar 21, 2011 5:00 pm

I also received a copy of this email, which was from Steve Giddins originally.
http://www.horshamchessclub.org.uk - ECF Club of the Year 2010

Ken Norman
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Re: British Chess Magazine

Post by Ken Norman » Mon Mar 21, 2011 5:29 pm

I think one reason for the failure of the BCM was that they forgot they were supposed to be the BRITISH chess magazine.

Many of my older friends have stopped subscribing to BCM and when you ask them why they all say the same thing. The magazine does not contain anything that interests them. They want to read about the British Chess events. The only British Chess covered by BCM is the 4NCL, the British Championship and grandmaster events like Gibraltar. If you look though the 2010 BCM there is no mention of the County Championship finals, Paignton is mentioned because it has been going 60 years but there is no account of the tournament, Guernsey is ignored. The Beacon Seniors is ignored. Weekends tournaments the backbone of British Chess are not mentioned in BCM.

A sound commercial principle is that if you do not provided the customers with what they want they will not buy your product. This is what has happened to the BCM.

Michael Jones
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Re: British Chess Magazine

Post by Michael Jones » Mon Mar 21, 2011 5:32 pm

Gordon Cadden wrote:Unfortunately, the future of the British Chess Magazine is in the hands of Steve Giddins, the Editor. He has shown a remarkable ability at making enemies.
If he conducts 'real life' conversations in the same manner in which he conducts (or did conduct, since it's now been discontinued) debates with posters on his blog, I'm not surprised.

John Upham
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Re: British Chess Magazine

Post by John Upham » Mon Mar 21, 2011 6:05 pm

Ken Norman wrote:I think one reason for the failure of the BCM was that they forgot they were supposed to be the BRITISH chess magazine.

Many of my older friends have stopped subscribing to BCM and when you ask them why they all say the same thing. The magazine does not contain anything that interests them. They want to read about the British Chess events. The only British Chess covered by BCM is the 4NCL, the British Championship and grandmaster events like Gibraltar. If you look though the 2010 BCM there is no mention of the County Championship finals, Paignton is mentioned because it has been going 60 years but there is no account of the tournament, Guernsey is ignored. The Beacon Seniors is ignored. Weekends tournaments the backbone of British Chess are not mentioned in BCM.

A sound commercial principle is that if you do not provided the customers with what they want they will not buy your product. This is what has happened to the BCM.
Ken,

You have hit the nail very squarely on the head. I too wish to see BCM continue, and have been involved in creating the platform for a new web site for BCM.

I made almost exactly the points you have made above to the current Chairman, IM Shaun Taulbut. I said that BCM needs to get back to its roots and cover the kind of events that English club players take part in. By all means report on English success abroad but 2700+ chess is covered very well by New in Chess and CHESS and countless other magazines. If BCM were to cover games with flaws in them played by amateurs and English events then subscribers would embrace the magazine. In fact, if BCM were to go back to its roots it could well take readers from CHESS and we could return to the Reilly - Wood rivalry of the 1960s and 1970s.

Dare I say it but you could imagine some of the type of content from Kingpin appearing in BCM and why not?

BCM is at a crossroads but there is life in the brand still I'm sure.
British Chess News : britishchessnews.com
Twitter: @BritishChessNew
Facebook: facebook.com/groups/britishchess :D

David Pardoe
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Re: British Chess Magazine

Post by David Pardoe » Tue Mar 22, 2011 7:35 am

Agreed..serve the people..report on events like 4NCL Northern, and the many other events and congresses going on, including e2e4....Bolton Easter..., Paignton Oldway, Lakes, Nottingham...and many others...including county events.
My suggestion is to launch some Easter initiatives.. To help this work, maybe they should recruit volunteer reporters at Congresses around the country. They should also publish a selection of league tables from leagues across the country...perhaps including league contacts. This could be co-ordinated with local league secretaries. Ask county captains (via Union bodies) to send in reports & results...
No doubt some of this is already done...
With all the back issues of BCM you must have, I`d suggest unloading them at this years Easter Congresses at a 50% discount, perhaps. Also, offer a deal to all players at these congresses for `NEW` annual subscriptions at a 10 - 15% discount.
Maybe get the John Robinson Fund to contribute say £1500 grant to allow juniors to subscribe at a 25% discount.
BRING BACK THE BCF

Simon Spivack
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Re: British Chess Magazine

Post by Simon Spivack » Tue Mar 22, 2011 7:59 am

Gordon Cadden wrote:The popular "Quotes and Queries" section came to an end, after Chris Ravilious was dismissed;
My understanding is that Chris Ravilious gave up voluntarily in the autumn of 2009 after six years. He felt he had exhausted his sources of quotable material. Phil Hughes took over for one year. Alan Smith of Manchester is now writing an article every quarter. The current level of contributions from readers doesn't justify a more frequent column.

David Pardoe
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Re: British Chess Magazine

Post by David Pardoe » Tue Mar 22, 2011 8:22 am

At the risk of stepping into a tricky area...I`d be in favour of more reporting to cater for minority ethnic groups...
We have all different cultures and groups in this country and I think we should make more effort to encourage these groups....and particularly to try to encourage greater take-up at local club level.
I think there might be a perception that Chess in this country is some kind of `white, illetist activity`, where only the brightest intellectuals dare venture. Chess is a game for all groups to enjoy, and we need to convey that message.
It used to please/amuse me sometimes at County matches when I looked at our team sheet and it read like some kind of international team, with players representing many parts of the world. Pity I struggled with me pronounciations when reading out the list sometimes...but great to see all these people playing chess.
BRING BACK THE BCF

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