Dear Chess Friends,
Yesterday I got word from my editor at the Daily Gazette that the Chess Corner, a regular feature for the Gazette for 41 years, was going to be ending with the Feb. 4 edition. The reasons for this were purely economic – the freelance budget for the Life & Arts section has been slashed. There simply is no money left in the kitty to pay for it. As just about everyone knows, times are very tough in the newspaper business right now, and daily papers are fighting to survive. As far as I know the Chess Corner has survived at least two previous downsizings, but our luck couldn’t hold out forever.
The thing is that even though I’ve been writing the Chess Corner for 23 years it doesn’t really belong to me – I’ve always felt that I was just the caretaker of something that belonged to the whole chess community of the Capital District. After talking with my editor, Margaret Hartley, at length I’m pretty sure that the Chess Corner can’t be saved by a show of popular support or a letter writing campaign. However, on the other hand I feel as if I’d be remiss if I didn’t at least try to save it. You can write to Ms. Hartley via the Gazette’s website (http://www.dailygazette.com/staff/) I believe her boss is News Editor Judy Patrick. If nothing else, you could write to them and thank them for the fact that the Gazette has supported chess in this area for 41 years, which is pretty remarkable. For years I’ve said that the Chess Corner was the only weekly chess column between New York and Montreal, but now a little research turns up a grim fact – it doesn’t appear that either New York or Montreal has a weekly chess column any more! So perhaps this is just a sign of the times.
Anyway, even though the Chess Corner is probably ending, I will still be around running tournaments and suchlike. I’ll see all of you around, I am sure.
Yours for Chess,
PS – Judy Prick’s is: email@example.com and Margaret Hartley’s is firstname.lastname@example.org