24 February 2013

Sources of Inspiration

The topic I had planned for today's blog post crashed and burned just after takeoff. Since damage repair will take some time, I had to scramble to find another topic. My first idea was a topic I've had on the backburner for a few months, but it turned out to be too heavy for the time I still had available. My second idea, another backburner topic, was to analyze the chess links I collected during the full year 2012.

I spend some time every day, totaling a few hours each week, going through various web based resources keeping up with chess news and reading posts of interest on the various chess blogs I follow. Anything of particular interest gets bookmarked and added to an archive of links that dates back ten years or so. In 2012 I bookmarked nearly 1200 web pages.

I isolated the 2012 portion of the archive, loaded it into a database, and ran various queries against it. The 1200 links represented 243 different domains, 79 of them with more than one link. These don't include World Championship or chess960 links, which I split off early in the process and handle separately for my other blogs. Of the 243 different domains, the ten resources I found most useful in 2012 are shown in the following list. (The list has 12 domains because of a tied count on the last item.)

  • 106 www.chessbase.com
  • 99 www.chessvibes.com
  • 72 www.uschess.org
  • 59 www.google.com [search on a topical chess phrase]
  • 40 groups.google.com [mainly rec.games.chess]
  • 39 www.fide.com
  • 35 main.uschess.org
  • 35 www.chessblog.com
  • 33 tartajubow.blogspot.com
  • 31 blog.chess.com
  • 31 www.chessdom.com
  • 31 www.whychess.org

Not surprisingly, the news resources Chessbase and Chessvibes head the list. Chessbase covers all of the most important news items, while Chessvibes typically has many comments from informed chess fans. The two USchess.org domains are a mixture of U.S. chess news items (both www.- and main.-) and the members-only forum (www.-). The Chess.com count would be higher if it included the www.chess.com resource, while Whychess.org would be higher if it included Whychess.com (I had never noticed before this exercise that there were two Whychess domains).

The blogs I bookmarked most frequently were Chessblog.com and Tartajubow.blogspot.com. The first is Alexandra Kosteniuk's blog and the second is by a blogger who prefers to remain anonymous ('Tartajubow') and who has many of the same chess interests that I do: correspondence play, engines, and history. After these two, the blogs I bookmarked the most were:-

  • 19 kevinspraggett.blogspot.com
  • 17 chessexpress.blogspot.com
  • 16 streathambrixtonchess.blogspot.com
  • 14 stevegiddinschessblog.blogspot.com
  • 12 jimwestonchess.blogspot.com

I also bookmarked nearly 20 pages on my own CFAA blog, but this was mainly to flag actions, like follow-ups, for a later time. Looks like I might need an even bigger backburner.

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