Friday, September 18, 2009

Mote, beam

Today on her blog, Susan Polgar wrote:

"I first learned about the world of blogging on May 23, 2005 from my friend Amy. Today, the 19,000th post was made.

How things started and my vision:

Chess news used to be monopolized by a few major chess media sources. It was appalling for me to see news about chess tournaments and events published sometimes weeks and months later or not at all. To make matters worse, some tournaments, organizers, and players were blackballed because of dirty chess politics or other petty reasons.

This is why I decided to take on the “establishments” and started this blog over 4 years ago. I want to give the “little guys” a voice. If organizers want to promote his / her events, just send me the announcements, updates, or reports, and I will publish them.

I am happy to see countless chess blogs and websites popping up in the last few years. If players unite and do the right things for chess, we will succeed in making our wonderful game a lot more visible globally.

The “typical” approach to chess in the past few decades is not working. It is time to “rock the boat” and push through new and refreshing ideas to make our game more appealing for the media, the public, and young people, especially girls.

People often tell me that chess is not attractive or exciting enough for the media or the general public. Wrong! Just come to Lubbock, Texas and you can see how chess has exploded in this city in just 2 years. Look at St. Louis, MO, Fresno, CA, and Bellevue, WA. Look at what the AF4C or Chess in the Schools have done. Those are just a few of many chess success stories.

Many of the long time and stagnant chess establishments are now “irrelevant”. We can succeed if we move ahead in the right direction instead of just sitting still and procrastinate. It is time for action. A special thank you to all of you for your continued support!"

Sigh. Susan has done a terrific job with her blog, and I highly recommend it. She’s also done a lot of good things with SPICE and Texas Tech. Why can’t she be content with highlighting her very real achievements, rather than searching for enemies? This sort of paranoid approach – “There are those who …”, conveniently unnamed but tagged with plenty of negative adjectives – only makes her look small. “It is not enough to succeed; all others must be seen to fail.” Polgar and Truong are not the only ones in the chess world with that attitude, but they are among the minority who could have succeeded on their own merits. It’s a shame.

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