Dear chess family & friends,
Two-thousand sixteen! We are here. Are there any movies named after this year? I can’t think of any. Perhaps we can make our own movie as the year progresses. Lots of exciting things happening. The year 2015 was a good year for chess with many developments, a few controversies and stars that shone and others that were tarnished. We lost a few stars and some are emerging as we enter the new year.
This will be 15 years for The Chess Drum. I remember the very night I counted down 5-4-3-2-1 and hit the enter key to upload the home page. The site had about eight pages. It is probably 30,000-40,000 now. The photos are probably in the 100,000 mark at this point. I remember the early days and the people who were some of the first visitors. Seems like yesterday.
Recently I have decided to focus more on literary works and will begin to embark on several literary projects. After 15 years of covering so many events and chess personalities, I believe I have offered a unique perspective. However, there are so many stories people miss on The Drum. I post an average of 200 stories a year or five out of every seven days of the week. Yet, it is still not enough.
Yes it is hard work given that I am a tenured professor with my own teaching, service and research tasks… and other responsibilities. Who knew? 🙂 Many think I do The Chess Drum full-time. Of course not. One journalist said, “Your site has to be losing money.” Well… that’s not the purpose of The Chess Drum. It’s my contribution to chess. My goal is to show the universality of chess.
So after 15 years, what is next? I don’t know. I have often thought of retiring from the chess journalism and shifting the focus on book-writing and one of my passions. Guess. Playing chess! Surprise. Surprise. It is odd that I meet people who think I don’t play chess. I don’t put many of my games up, but that will change in 2016. Beware, my games are always wild and crazy.
See… this is proof that I play chess. I lost this game to GM Lars Bo Hansen, but it was fun! Photo by Daaim Shabazz.
In the coming year, it is hopeful that The Chess Drum will continue to capture exciting events and impactful stories. With 200 stories posted in 2015, it is difficult to keep this pace, but 2016 is an Olympiad year. You know what that means. I’ll be in Azerbaijan!
Well… enjoy the coming year and make chess news!