Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Boylston Chess: re Boston Globe chess column cancellation

Boston Globe 
Chess Notes column cancellation

I recently became aware (through the three letters printed below) 
of the Boston Globe's decision to cancel its Chess column.

Boston has had a vibrant chess community since the mid-19th century, which continues to the present in the 21st century:  thousands of  Boston area adults and young people play actively in person at regional events and online worldwide (Boston and globally, so to speak.)  For most of the 20th century the Boston Globe has covered chess by the distinguished writing of Jim Burgess, Harold Dondis, GM Patrick Wolff, and now FM Chris Chase, all perceptive journalists and accomplished chess players.

Especially as Boston chess is as flourishing as ever and as we just watched  an American contend for the championship of world chess, It was disheartening to hear once again the the Globe has decided to drop its chess column. 

If you wish,
write a note with your thoughts to Brian McGrory at the Globe

Amici sumus,
Robert Oresick


Kate Gasser

Thu, Dec 6, 3:38 PM (6 days ago)

to mcgrory
Dear Mr. McGrory,

I was disappointed to see that Chris Chase's two weekly chess columns
have been cut.  I enjoy his columns very much, and look forward to
Monday mornings especially, when I bring my magnetic chess set to the table to play over the game he has annotated.
Chris is our connection to the greater world of chess, with appearances by the best Grandmasters as the tournaments go around the world every year.

Please bring him back.  I know I speak for hundreds of enthusiasts in
the Boston area.  We want Chris!

Kate Gasser
"Oldest living active woman chess player in Massachusetts"

Planned cancellation of Boston Globe's chess column

george mirijanian

Tue, Dec 11, 1:26 PM (20 hours ago)

to McGrory,

Dear Mr. McGrory,

As the program director of the Wachusett Chess Club at Fitchburg State University and a journalist (1969-2002) at the Sentinel & Enterprise in Fitchburg, I am very disappointed to hear of the planned cancellation of the Boston Globe's chess column, "Chess Notes," written by World Chess Federation Master Chris Chase of Somerville. I truly hope that this does not happen.
As my longtime friend, Tom Zuppa, the recently appointed senior editor of The Sun in Lowell and an avid and nationally rated chess player has been quoted as saying, "Newspapers are incredibly important to the fabric of a community." And so it is, I believe, with the Boston Globe. If the purpose of a newspaper is to inform, entertain, and yes, to educate, then the Globe has been doing that for more than a half-century with its chess column. To end it now would be a tragedy.
The Boston Globe chess column has a rich history, beginning in the early 1960s with chess columnist Jim Burgess. After his death in late July 1964, the column was taken over by longtime attorney, chess player and chess philanthropist Harold Dondis of Belmont. He ran the column for more than 50 years and experienced two cancellations during his tenure, but the column was reinstated by popular demand from the Globe's readers, who called, wrote and emailed to request that the column be brought back. And so it was.
Chess is viewed as an art, a science, and yes, a SPORT. It has been part of the fabric of our cultural life. It is a game played in every country of the world. Its international body, the World Chess Federation (FIDE), is the second largest sports organization in the world - second only to FIFA (Federation Internationale de Football Association).
The Globe has been ",masterful" in its longtime chess column. While other newspapers in Massachusetts, such as the Boston Herald, Worcester Telegram & Gazette, Sentinel & Enterprise, Gardner News, Athol Daily News et al. ran weekly chess columns in the past - and some of them for many years, e.g. T&G (40-plus years), S&E (34 years) - the Globe has been loyal to its chess-playing readers by maintaining a chess column.
I beseech you and the powers that be at the Globe to keep the chess column. It has been good for the cultural life of our society.
Sincerely yours,
George Mirijanian
Fitchburg, Mass.


  Beautifully written, David.

 I loved every word of your letter to Boston Globe editor Brian McGrory. I hope your well-written email and the email of others will convince the Globe not to cancel the chess column,

I appreciate very much your great help in this effort to keep the column alive.
George M
-----Original Message-----
 Michael David

From: Michael David 

 To: McGrory <>

Sent: Tue, Dec 11, 2018 5:39 pm

Subject: Chess

Dear Mr. McGrory,
 I am sure the economic forces on the print media business are incredibly difficult to navigate in today’s environment. To learn that the Boston Globe has chosen to sacrifice the chess column is indeed disheartening. It fundamentally seems like a stark contradiction to Boston’s well-deserved reputation as an educational and cultural center.
I began playing tournament chess earlier this year. When I returned home my wife would ask if I won – much like she would do when I returned from a night of poker or billiards. I struggled to find the right answer until I finally reflected on my discomfort and realized that I did not feel that I had been simply playing a game that is defined by a win or a loss. I did not wish my opponent to fail and allow me to win the contest with ease. I wanted my opponent to give me their best - for both of us to play with an understanding of the history of the game and have insight to the art and science that has been forged by each generations brightest minds' contributions to chess’ highly evolved state. To “play” chess well requires inspiration. I do not reach out to move cheap plastic pieces. I reach out through the cosmos and hope, in my best moments, to brush the fingertips of a Paul Morphy, a Jose Raul Capablanca or a Bobby Fischer.
It is never the right time to consider trimming  the classical literature in our libraries, or to have the museums take down the art that has inspired viewers for centuries. Chess deserves its time-honored place in newsprint. Chess sits at the nexus of Big Data, Computer Simulation,  Artificial Intelligence and Optimization Modeling. All of our best technology is actively being employed in the pursuit of better chess. Chess has never been more relevant.
I challenge the Boston Globe to not eliminate their coverage of chess, but instead to creatively redesign the format to make it a compelling read. One has to look no further than Antonio Radic’s YouTube channel that has raced to 300,000 subscribers with his reviews of games that many have already done. His casual style, with his dog lounging in the background on the couch, is done with the right amount of review, historical context and efficient use of descriptive vocabulary. It's worth noting that Antonio does not have any chess title; he is not a great chess player. He succeeds in engaging others with a forthright passion for the game; he makes great chess content.
Boston deserves the very best chess content in newsprint, consistent with finding active chess clubs in Cambridge, Natick, Billerica and Fitchburg. Imagine the Boston Globe successfully reinvigorating the chess column. That just seems like the right answer for Boston.
Michael David

Groton Massachussets

george mirijanian




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