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Toward a better Chess Life



 
 
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  #1  
Old July 19th 03, 11:55 PM
RSHaas
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Default Toward a better Chess Life

1. ? 2. ?? 3. ??? Your turn. (RSHaas)


  #2  
Old July 21st 03, 05:36 PM
Looney
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Default Toward a better Chess Life


"Kevin Croxen" wrote in message
. ..
In article , RSHaas wrote:
1. ? 2. ?? 3. ??? Your turn. (RSHaas)



1. American and Foreign Master games.

2. Quality Annotations of same.

3. More American and Foreign Master games.

4. More quality annotations.

5. No more Jerry Hanken interviews of 8-year-olds. Ever. Or Jerry Hanken
interviews of anyone else, either.

6. Much better use of (but not necessarily "more") photography: the
magazine should not look as though some kindergartener had cut up a random
stack of photos in order to make a collage, and then decided instead to
glue the unrelated snippets at crazy angles onto the printer's paste-up of
Chess Life.

7. Make the darn thing timely. One should be able to read coverage of an
American tournament in Chess Life, which is written, published, printed,
and mailed in the US to US addresses, at the same time or gulp even
earlier than one reads, say, Russian or German coverage (with seriously
annotated games, no less) of the same American tournament in a Russian or
German magazine that has had an extra two months of international sea mail
travel time tacked on before it arrives to your mailbox. Yet, invariably,
despite mail lag, one is always able to read European magazine coverage of
our events (at least those worth covering) one or more months before one
is able to read sketchier coverage without a lot of seriously annotated
games in CL.

8. Since print TLAs were killed as a reliable announcement vehicle over
two years ago, pitch the carcass overboard and use the saved space for
chess content. Hire some teenager in Crossville who can actually use a
PC to handle the TLAs --accurately-- on the web site, where this
information belongs.


Just send 'em a box of old copies of "Inside Chess" with a sticky note
stating, "Read and Learn..."

JMO,

--
Looney
----------------------------------------------------
http://www.patzersprogress.com


  #3  
Old July 21st 03, 09:54 PM
Tim Hanke
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Default Toward a better Chess Life

"Bruce Draney" wrote ...

[snip]

For years, some have suggested that Chess Life either become a simple
brief 12 times a year newsletter, or that it decouple completely from
USCF and sink or swim on its own. The leadership abhors the idea of
decoupling Chess Life because they know just how bad the magazine really
is. If they really felt Chess Life had a quality appeal to its readers
they would assume that chessplayers would order it as a good value
option. Of course everyone really knows what Chess Life is like, and so
the leadership is terrified of the decoupling idea for very good
reason.


Bruce,

I have come around pretty far to an idea John Fernandez posted here some
months ago: making each part of USCF operations profitable, so it doesn't
need to be subsidized by other parts of the organization.

Accordingly, I would be in favor of decoupling the magazine from membership.

Each of the following parts of USCF should be profitable in its own right:

--Membership
--Magazine
--Books & Equipment Sales
--Ratings
--National Events

There are some parts of the mission we really can't make money off, so those
would have to be subsidized. But the parts of the operation listed above
should all be profitable.

Tim Hanke


  #4  
Old July 21st 03, 09:54 PM
Tim Hanke
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Default Toward a better Chess Life

Some good ideas here. I am saving this post.

Tim Hanke

"Kevin Croxen" wrote in message
. ..
In article , RSHaas wrote:
1. ? 2. ?? 3. ??? Your turn. (RSHaas)



1. American and Foreign Master games.

2. Quality Annotations of same.

3. More American and Foreign Master games.

4. More quality annotations.

5. No more Jerry Hanken interviews of 8-year-olds. Ever. Or Jerry Hanken
interviews of anyone else, either.

6. Much better use of (but not necessarily "more") photography: the
magazine should not look as though some kindergartener had cut up a random
stack of photos in order to make a collage, and then decided instead to
glue the unrelated snippets at crazy angles onto the printer's paste-up of
Chess Life.

7. Make the darn thing timely. One should be able to read coverage of an
American tournament in Chess Life, which is written, published, printed,
and mailed in the US to US addresses, at the same time or gulp even
earlier than one reads, say, Russian or German coverage (with seriously
annotated games, no less) of the same American tournament in a Russian or
German magazine that has had an extra two months of international sea mail
travel time tacked on before it arrives to your mailbox. Yet, invariably,
despite mail lag, one is always able to read European magazine coverage of
our events (at least those worth covering) one or more months before one
is able to read sketchier coverage without a lot of seriously annotated
games in CL.

8. Since print TLAs were killed as a reliable announcement vehicle over
two years ago, pitch the carcass overboard and use the saved space for
chess content. Hire some teenager in Crossville who can actually use a
PC to handle the TLAs --accurately-- on the web site, where this
information belongs.


--Kevin



  #5  
Old July 21st 03, 10:41 PM
Tim Hanke
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Default Toward a better Chess Life

Mike,

I will be in L.A. for the full week of meetings and I look forward to seeing
your work.

Regarding ratings fees, I (and many other people) think they should be
raised dramatically, especially the scholastic ratings fees. The fees will
still be cheap.

Tim Hanke

"Mike Nolan" wrote in message
...
"Tim Hanke" writes:

Each of the following parts of USCF should be profitable in its own

right:

--Membership
--Magazine
--Books & Equipment Sales
--Ratings
--National Events


I've been making this same argument for years. This year the Delegates

will
have some data on these revenue/cost centers, though as is true with most
first-time analysis it could always use refinement.

There are those who would probably prefer you separate scholastic
national events from adult national events. (Invitational and FIDE events
are a different issue entirely.)

You also have to define what 'profitable' means. Do you want to include
allocations for overhead and administrative expenses as part of the cost
of running each department? For example, membership, ratings and B&E

sales
all generate significant activity for accounting. I did make such

allocations
in the cost center analysis I did for the USCF, a brief summary of which

is
in my Finance Commitee report in the Delegates Call.

Here is a key number from that summary. I estimated that the ratings
department ran at about a $58,000 loss on revenue of $117,000, though
that included around $70,000 in overhead and administrative costs.

To break even, it would probably be necessary to raise ratings fees
across the board by about 50%. Even cutting costs, such as by
implementing some kind of electronic (possibly web-based) rating report
submission and validation process, which is VERY desirable and fairly high
on Gary Prince's priority list, would probably not cut costs enough to
reach breakeven.
--
Mike Nolan



  #6  
Old July 22nd 03, 12:01 AM
StanB
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Default Toward a better Chess Life


"Tim Hanke" wrote in message
news:[email protected]

Mike,

I will be in L.A. for the full week of meetings and I look forward to

seeing
your work.


Mike,

Why not send your research to Tim, Bea, and Don?

StanB


  #7  
Old July 22nd 03, 12:16 AM
Briarroot
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Default Toward a better Chess Life

Bruce Draney wrote:

I must agree that the covers of Chess Life have been particularly
hideous the last 5 years or so, with endless stupid, idiotic collages
that look like a high school journalism class could have produced.
There were a couple exceptions such as the cover that featured Jennifer
S. who has no clue about what Nebraska has done for chess, but is at
least an attractive shoot to appear on the cover of magazine that is
mostly read by 300 pound overweight dysfunctionals with coffee and
spaghetti sauce stains on their shirts.


Amen. Those cover portrait photographs shot by Brian Killigrew
were classic, and should be the standard, not the exception.


For years, some have suggested that Chess Life either become a simple
brief 12 times a year newsletter, or that it decouple completely from
USCF and sink or swim on its own. The leadership abhors the idea of
decoupling Chess Life because they know just how bad the magazine really
is. If they really felt Chess Life had a quality appeal to its readers
they would assume that chessplayers would order it as a good value
option. Of course everyone really knows what Chess Life is like, and so
the leadership is terrified of the decoupling idea for very good
reason.


I don't feel the magazine needs a total overhaul, just a bit of
tweaking. I don't think any not-for-profit house organ can hope
to compete with the best in the world, nor should it even try.
I find plenty of good content each month, but I never again want
to see any fluff articles about celebrities who just happen to
play some chess from time to time. And I could do without the
articles for kids. Whatever happens, we still need a monthly
news source and TLA listing from our national organization.
  #8  
Old July 22nd 03, 12:53 AM
Michael Ferguson
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Default Toward a better Chess Life

On 19 Jul 2003 22:55:29 GMT, (RSHaas) wrote:

1. ? 2. ?? 3. ??? Your turn. (RSHaas)


1. Get rid of Chess Life
2. Get rid of Chess Life
3. Get rid of Chess Life



-- mcf

  #9  
Old July 22nd 03, 04:46 AM
drahmiel
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Default Toward a better Chess Life

From: "Tim Hanke"

Accordingly, I would be in favor of decoupling the magazine from membership.


So you would be nullifying the subscriptions of Life Members?
  #10  
Old July 22nd 03, 03:35 PM
RSHaas
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Default Toward a better Chess Life

I'm not sure what the emphasis should be in Chess Life but I aways enjoyed well
annotated GM games. Among these might be a semi-regular section for well
played games by black. Additionally, I've generally enjoyed Andy Soltis'
unique work. I think CL should retain the TLA's for the time being. And I
agree with Smythe that a good portion of CL should be readable away from a
chessboard. (RSHaas)
 




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