The article, "Changes in Chess Life" by John Hillery (posted Jan 17) and the accompanying editorial comment have so far received two reader responses, which follow.
Bill, I read your editorial at the bottom of the "Changes in Chess Life" note at USCFnews.com and I had to write to say I completely agree with you! I also lived through those "attract casual players" attempts, and it just ignores the fact that casual players do not want to purchase a chess magazine or subscribe, but serious players do, and that info like the TLAs and such are the lifeblood of the organization. I guess we are condemned to live through another failed experiment, even if the USCF cannot afford to be wrong this time. What seems obvious to us may not be so obvious to others, so I guess we just have to hold our tongues and try not to say "I told you so."
Regards, NM Dan Heisman
Bill, If I had John Hillery's address I would send him a big AMEN to his comments about the Chess Life changes and future plans. Ditto to your comments. Both are right on.
I noted one comment which said that if certain things are done, CL will look like a house organ. Well? It is! Even I scan the TLAs and I don't play or organize. They are indicative of where there is new activity, new tournament ideas, who is working, etc., hence a certain news value!
I, too, recall the subject of newsstand sales rearing its ugly head about every seven years or so. Just because X... million citizens (I forget the quoted number) know the chess moves and play occasionally does not mean they will pay $4 or so for CL at the newsstand. They don't. Hillery's observations were just excellent. I hope people will find your site and read the stuff there.