Today is the 12th birthday for The Chess Drum! It has been an interesting ride and a much more challenging transition in the age of social networking. With the rise of Facebook and Twitter, there are a number of resources to find chess news and the chess community has become much more dispersed and blogs are no longer the main reservoirs of chess information. The Chess Drum has had a blog as part of its site since 2007 and still delivers dynamic chess news, but the role of chess sites is evolving.
Some sites and blogs have closed their doors while others have slowed the news spigot dramatically. The Chess Drum beat continues on, but the site will most likely be changing its current form to support a number of chess initiatives.
The Chess Drum has served as the resource for chess aficionados worldwide for international chess news, but has also highlighted players and events that would have never received news recognition anywhere else. Human interest stories is what gives chess much of its hidden power. Movies like “Brooklyn Castle” and books such as “The Queen of Katwe” provide more legitimacy and perhaps will attract chess to a wider population.
Many top chess sites focus primarily on the top tournaments and players and while this coverage is needed, chess provides so many human interest stories that are often overlooked. The mission of The Chess Drum for all of these years is to show the universality of chess and to also show that it is not limited to a select group of people or a specific ethnicity and/or class.
In my travels I have been able to encounter a wide variety of personalities and through the coverage here, hopefully people will gain a more accurate depiction of what chess is really about. I am always amazed (during large events) that so many people of varied backgrounds have traveled far and wide to compete. Why is this? Why is it that chess has such a magnetic power? These are the questions that give rise to such interesting stories.
So here is a synopsis of The Chess Drum in its 12 years…
- 81 countries profiled (26 Africa, 8 Asia, 10 Caribbean, 1 Central America, 21 Europe, 7 Middle East, 3 North America, 4 South America, 1 Pacific)
- 1 blog
- 2282 news stories
- 71 audio interviews
- 79 photo galleries (plus thousands of other photos)
- 52 “Historic Moments” essays
- 246 “Chess Crackers” puzzles
- 64 “Fire on Board” annotations
- 64 “The 65th Square” op/ed articles
- 419 “Game of the Week” features
- 366 tournaments highlighted (four Olympiads covered)
- +7000 game scores
- 5 Drum Beat videos
- 4 Game Cast videos
- 1 “Wall of Fame”
As you can see, there is something for everyone. While The Chess Drum has blossomed into one of the world’s largest sites for chess, it will never have as many visitors and followers of many sites which ironically have less diverse coverage. As the creator of The Chess Drum concept, the site is an honest attempt to create a more comprehensive picture of what the chess community looks like. In coming years, The Chess Drum will continue to be part of the chess revolution!
Thanks for your support!
Dr. Daaim Shabazz, The Chess Drum
The “eternal” birthday cake presented to me in 2003 by Kay Umeakunne. This was the nicest gift I had ever received in appreciation for The Chess Drum! It was delicious! 😀