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Old May 25th 08, 07:25 PM posted to rec.games.chess.politics
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Default What are other membership organizations doing?

The question was aked what organizations with charters
similar to the USCF are doing about their magazines.

The closest match are the Western European Chess Federations.
A quick check shows that the Swiss and French have online
magazines that look at least as good as their paper product
used to. The British have a premium subscription (+Llb 5.50),
otherwise online.

The German Federation never (?) had a magazine, probably because
there were always several Chess periodicals of high quality. What happened
here is indicative of the problem: 'Deutsche Schachzeitung', published
since 1846 was swallowed by 'Schachreport' in 1988, which was
swallowed by 'Schach' in 1996, which is still being published, but
looks to be struggling.

It is entirely obvious that print magazines with highly specialized
subjects and small circulation are disappearing rapidly,
and that electronic substitutes have several advantages -
timeliness perhaps the most important - and few disadvantages.

Incidentally, the move from paper to print has been going on for
about 10 years in the case of scientific journals. Libraries have
cancelled paper copies by the hundreds. In the U.S. this had the
extremely ugly effect (maybe this is no longer so) that
access has become both expensive
and inconvenient for people not associated with a University.
In other places - Canada and Europe - you can now access
the Journal literature in almost any field for free from your
PC at home or office: No more waiting in the Xerox line.

Goichberg's idea is not only right, but necessary.


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Old May 25th 08, 09:33 PM posted to rec.games.chess.politics
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Default What are other membership organizations doing?

On Sun, 25 May 2008 20:25:01 +0200, Jrgen R. wrote:


It is entirely obvious that print magazines with highly specialized
subjects and small circulation are disappearing rapidly,
and that electronic substitutes have several advantages -
timeliness perhaps the most important - and few disadvantages.


In Chess, the fact that online publications provide a facility to play
over the game without needing a board, with the ability to click back
to the mainline after reviewing the analysis, is an enormous edge over
print.
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Old May 26th 08, 02:52 PM posted to rec.games.chess.politics
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Default What are other membership organizations doing?

Jürgen R. wrote:
The question was aked what organizations with charters
similar to the USCF are doing about their magazines.

The closest match are the Western European Chess Federations.
A quick check shows that the Swiss and French have online
magazines that look at least as good as their paper product
used to. The British have a premium subscription (+Llb 5.50),
otherwise online.
The German Federation never (?) had a magazine, probably because
there were always several Chess periodicals of high quality. What happened
here is indicative of the problem: 'Deutsche Schachzeitung', published
since 1846 was swallowed by 'Schachreport' in 1988, which was
swallowed by 'Schach' in 1996, which is still being published, but
looks to be struggling.

It is entirely obvious that print magazines with highly specialized
subjects and small circulation are disappearing rapidly,
and that electronic substitutes have several advantages -
timeliness perhaps the most important - and few disadvantages.
Incidentally, the move from paper to print has been going on for
about 10 years in the case of scientific journals. Libraries have
cancelled paper copies by the hundreds. In the U.S. this had the
extremely ugly effect (maybe this is no longer so) that
access has become both expensive
and inconvenient for people not associated with a University.
In other places - Canada and Europe - you can now access
the Journal literature in almost any field for free from your
PC at home or office: No more waiting in the Xerox line.
Goichberg's idea is not only right, but necessary.


Thanks for the information. I looked at some non-chess not for profits
last year and the trend was similar there as well. IMO, USCF should go
completely on line. Let the folks who want in hand print pay a nominal
charge for it to be printed off the email/web version on plain white
paper and mailed to them in an envelope.
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Old May 28th 08, 07:33 AM posted to rec.games.chess.politics,rec.games.chess.misc
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Default I said to abolish CL years ago


wrote in message
...
WHAT IS TO BE DONE?



One of the claims being made is that the
Federation is "subsidizing" Chess Life. This makes no
more sense than saying that Time-Life is subsidizing
Time magazine for the subscribers.

Why? Because if one looks at the hard numbers
of tournament participation, there cannot be rational
doubt that most of the regular members and some others
become USCF members to receive CL -- and not online,
given the online participation numbers. These people
are, in effect, no different than the subscribers to
Time magazine. Their motives for shoveling out their
shekels is the same as the subscribers to Time.

A product that is bringing in the bucks is not
being subsidized.


It's funny how you will never find more
socialistic people than "libertarians"
protecting their pet programs.

Of course, Mr. Parr detests the idea of
having the marketplace answer the question
of whether the nation can support a
chess magazine - he wants that question
answered by politicians, but with compulsory
financing coming from the rank and
file.

Mr. Parr endlessly touts the Evans
column as the USCF's premier product.
But when featured by the WCN website,
his work was given away for *free*. Even at
that, it apparently did not have a positive
effect on the health of the website - now
defunct.

This is simply a reflection of the
reality that chess writing isn't
highly valued. The truth is, people
can get all of the chess "news" they
want for free.

The other simple reality (Parr's nemesis)
is that many national organizations,
including many far larger than the
USCF, exist quite well without publishing
monthly magazines. People belong to
those organizations for many reasons -
the most common probably being
that they simply believe in the
organization's mission.

Unfortunately, the USCF is composed
of people who believe its mission
is a joke - having replaced promoting
a great game with the makework of
publishing magazines few want to read.

That is the real tragedy of the USCF.
The Parr/Sloan/Evans hypocrisy
of not trusting the marketplace is
just typical human foible.



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Old May 28th 08, 09:00 AM posted to rec.games.chess.politics,rec.games.chess.misc
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Default I said to abolish CL years ago

On May 28, 2:33 am, "David Kane" wrote:

Unfortunately, the USCF is composed
of people who believe its mission
is a joke - having replaced promoting
a great game with the makework of
publishing magazines few want to read.


One of the best reasons to read such a magazine
as Chess Lies is to improve one's play. However,
the quality of writing and that rag's rabid anti-Soviet
bias and absurd spin left many readers disgusted.

Like many such publications, a big chunk of its
heft consists in self-advertising and over-advertising,
which are not exactly the stuff in heavy demand by
the readership. I have no idea what CL pays, but it
is painfully obvious that whatever the amount, it is
not enough to attract great writers. The truth is, I
can "debunk" the chess analysis of annotators in
Chess Lies using nothing more than Fritz5.32 and
an old notebook computer-- even where titled
writers have clearly used Rybka to aid their "work".

But part of the problem is the vacuum left in the
wake of the so-called Fischer boom; there are so
many top players with Russian names... but it is
impossible to forget that not long ago (and even
today), Russians were routinely characterized as
evil villains, not our heroes.

Besides, I already know everything there is to
know about chess now, so I don't need a rag to
try and instruct me on how to play better. ;D

Perhaps the answer is to somehow turn the
focus away from rote memorization of innumer-
able opening lines, to just having fun playing
chess. You know, FUN. (It's like, what young
people have before they, like, get old and stuff.)


-- help bot






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Old May 28th 08, 11:22 AM posted to rec.games.chess.politics,rec.games.chess.misc
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Default I said to abolish CL years ago

On May 27, 10:12 pm, " wrote:

I can agree with many of the points made by
Jurgen Gherkin, Mike Murray and also John Savard,
though his claim that we may have to adopt measures
that make the situation still worse is likely not what
he meant to write.


Obviously, we don't want to make a bad situation still worse - if we
can help it.

But if there is a declining membership, then one has to cut expenses.
That may mean cutting services to members, and that will make the
situation worse.

Eric Johnson is correct that to end a print CL
-- which will be the practical effect of Goichberg's
proposal because of printing scales -- will end the
USCF, at least as a reasonably large national
organization.


The current proposal, of course, is to offer a choice between a web CL
and a print CL. Which would seem OK, unless the market for the print
CL is so fragmented thereby that the print CL disappears - and, as you
point out, that's quite possible.

There will most likely be a day when a print CL
disappears -- the odds are 90 percent or better. But
to contort the business model of the USCF, as flawed
as it may now be, to hurry that day along against an
unwilling membership is to destroy the organization.


And that comes close to my point.

Cutting a print CL will make the situation still worse - but it may
have to be done if the expenses cannot be sustained.

As you correctly point out, though, if people are joining the USCF in
large numbers to get the magazine, then it's not losing money because
of the magazine - the cost of the magazine, although large, is
necessary to keep those additional members.

Once again, I hope that the above analysis is
wrong. I hope USCF members are not, by and
large, the same as magazine subscribers. I hope
they are joining to play tournament chess, though
the hard evidence states otherwise. I hope the
regular members and some others will continue paying
after losing -- rather soon, too -- the single tangible
benefit of membership that these non-players receive.


The important point to address is, _if_ people are joining the USCF
just to get a print Chess Life, _why_ will they, if given a choice
between a print CL and a web CL... not choose one, and stay with the
USCF?

Your point about printing scales addresses that, but for some people
it would have to be explained more clearly.

Right now, with _one_ choice, those who want Chess Life's content need
to pay for the print CL.

With _two_ choices, some choose one, some choose the other.

The immediate result: the press run of the print CL becomes smaller,
so the price of the print CL becomes *higher*.

Thus, members joining for the print CL start either switching to the
web CL, or dropping out, and the price of the print CL becomes still
higher, until it is dropped.

The _next_ result, after CL becomes web-only is where the real problem
comes in.

With a print CL, libraries can subscribe, making it available to non-
members, and buying your own copy is still attractive.

It was assumed above that _since_ a print CL is in existence,
producing that benefit, the web CL would be password-protected for
members only.

Once you lose the print CL, a web-only CL is invisible to non-members
*if it's protected*, and is not an incentive to join *if it's not
protected*.

And you can read a magazine anywhere without lugging along a computer,
you can have your own copy without being able to E-mail copies to all
your friends (unless we're talking DRM, which means legitimate owners
need to hope their computer lives forever and never needs an
upgrade)...

Electronic publishing isn't yet ready for prime time. There are very
big print publications that can safely put a lot of their content
online, but that's because of their favorable situation.

John Savard
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Old May 28th 08, 11:26 AM posted to rec.games.chess.politics,rec.games.chess.misc
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Default I said to abolish CL years ago

On May 28, 12:33 am, "David Kane" wrote:

Of course, Mr. Parr detests the idea of
having the marketplace answer the question
of whether the nation can support a
chess magazine - he wants that question
answered by politicians, but with compulsory
financing coming from the rank and
file.


Unlike citizens of the United States, members of the USCF are there by
choice.

The USCF has, among its goals, the goal of its own survival, and the
goal of the popularity of Chess. For its members to be asked to
support that goal by part of their dues being expended to those ends,
is not unreasonable.

A magazine about Chess helps to maintain and stimulate interest in
Chess, and a web-based publication, while cheaper to produce, has
certain inherent limitations which prevent it from performing some
parts of that function as effectively. For a private institution to
decide it cannot afford to fragment the market for its own products is
not a socialist decision.

John Savard
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Old May 28th 08, 11:30 AM posted to rec.games.chess.politics,rec.games.chess.misc
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Default I said to abolish CL years ago

On May 28, 2:00 am, help bot wrote:

Perhaps the answer is to somehow turn the
focus away from rote memorization of innumer-
able opening lines, to just having fun playing
chess. You know, FUN. (It's like, what young
people have before they, like, get old and stuff.)


Many people have had that great idea, for example, Capablanca. And he
invented Capablanca Chess to deal with it, and it never caught on.

So I've been engaging in posting, especially in replies to Rich
Hutnik, to try to explore why this is, so we can identify the
obstacles, thereby having better luck on later tries.

John Savard
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Old May 28th 08, 02:37 PM posted to rec.games.chess.politics,rec.games.chess.misc
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Default Paper vs. Online Chess Life

MORE KANE BILGE

I warrant that virtually every reader of this forum
understands that David Kane is confounding a
company in the marketplace that cannot command tax
income with the government, which can and does demand
such income, regardless of its performance.

Mr. Kane has no answer to my point about why
people join the USCF, given the overall low
participation rate in tournaments. They obviously
join, in the large majority, to receive Chess Life in
the regular and some other membership categories.

The Kane ploy this time around is to argue that
if someone comes up with a new business plan, one
is obligated to try it out or be accused of fearing
immersion in the marketplace or, given his imbecilic
example, favoring government welfare programs.

Our concern here is the proper approach for a
company in the marketplace. You have read what I
wrote and the reasoning behind it. You have just read

As it happens -- and I know the precise sums
involved -- Larry Evans did not donate his writing for
free to the World Chess Network. If I mentioned the
amount, which I won't do without his permission and
that of MGI's CEO, the Kanester's stomach-grinding
envy of a successful man who has loved his life in
chess and lives the life he loves -- well, it would
likely produce enough gastric juices to consume his
entire innards. The WCN management put a ihigh value
on GM Evans' product and that value for a single month
is likely more than David Kane has earned in chess
writing during his entire lifetime.

And lovin' it.

Yours, Larry Parr



Quadibloc wrote:
On May 28, 12:33 am, "David Kane" wrote:

Of course, Mr. Parr detests the idea of
having the marketplace answer the question
of whether the nation can support a
chess magazine - he wants that question
answered by politicians, but with compulsory
financing coming from the rank and
file.


Unlike citizens of the United States, members of the USCF are there by
choice.

The USCF has, among its goals, the goal of its own survival, and the
goal of the popularity of Chess. For its members to be asked to
support that goal by part of their dues being expended to those ends,
is not unreasonable.

A magazine about Chess helps to maintain and stimulate interest in
Chess, and a web-based publication, while cheaper to produce, has
certain inherent limitations which prevent it from performing some
parts of that function as effectively. For a private institution to
decide it cannot afford to fragment the market for its own products is
not a socialist decision.

John Savard

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Old May 28th 08, 05:13 PM posted to rec.games.chess.politics,rec.games.chess.misc
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Default I said to abolish CL years ago


"Quadibloc" wrote in message
...
On May 28, 12:33 am, "David Kane" wrote:

Of course, Mr. Parr detests the idea of
having the marketplace answer the question
of whether the nation can support a
chess magazine - he wants that question
answered by politicians, but with compulsory
financing coming from the rank and
file.


Unlike citizens of the United States, members of the USCF are there by
choice.

The USCF has, among its goals, the goal of its own survival, and the
goal of the popularity of Chess. For its members to be asked to
support that goal by part of their dues being expended to those ends,
is not unreasonable.

A magazine about Chess helps to maintain and stimulate interest in
Chess,


Evidence please.

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