17 July 2006

'Chess for Peace' Youth Festival

Received my May issue of Chess Life (CL) a few days after the April issue, mentioned in my post on The Szen position. The May issue is the last before the redesign published in the June issue, which I'll probably receive a month from now.

The redesigned CL can be seen under the USCF's site USchess.org, which is also undergoing a redesign. That URL redirects to a beta.uschess.org subdomain which has 'Chess Life Magazine' and 'Chess Life Online' among the links on the left sidebar.

The 'Chess Life Magazine' page, showing the June issue, starts off with an entry titled 'Update on Updates' that has a broken image and which mentions 'unforeseen technical problems'. That entry is followed by 22 other entries, where the first five appear to be features. Many of the entries are marked 'Members Only', but the corresponding articles are presently open access via member login.

The 'Chess Life Online' page has eight entries, several marked 'Members Only'. Although the top of the page indicates that I'm logged in ('Renew/Gift; My Profile; Logout'), I can't access the articles without going through member login again.

Except for the minor technical issues, the two Web sections -- CL magazine and CL online -- make a good impression. It was time for a redesign. The look of the May 2006 issue of CL has not evolved much since the January 1992 issue, the oldest copy of CL I have at hand.

I read too much about chess to have an objective opinion, but I found most of the May 2006 articles uninteresting, even by CL's standards. The bright spot was a feature by Australian GM Ian Rogers on Linares/Morelia 2006.

My favorite piece was a full page ad for the the Anatoly Karpov International School of Chess announcing an 'International Chess for Peace Youth Festival', 6-11 June, Lindsborg, Kansas, with a link to ChessForPeace.org. I hadn't run across this event before, and was surprised because the Karpov school went belly up early in 2006, bankrupted by a high profile 'Chess for Peace' promotional stunt last autumn. I assume the June event was cancelled and that the ad was paid long before the May CL went to press.

June was a bad month for one-shot events by ex-Soviet World Chess Champions. The Kasparov NYC simul, scheduled for 12 June, also appears to have been cancelled after most of its $2000 seats failed to sell on eBay. I haven't seen any news about it.

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