Blogging can be a perilous activity, especially when you become popular. The two chess blogs I kind of followed, Steve Giddins chess blog and Kevin Spraggett’s blog, ran into difficulties lately. Steve hung up his keyboard altogether whilst Kevin Spraggett got closed down a couple of days ago and had to switch to WordPress.
The pictorial content of Kevin’s blog may have been the official reason why Blogger shut down his site but I suspect that it’s more complicated than that. Kevin speaks his mind about chess organization and doesn’t pull his punches, which is bound to upset somebody somewhere. They could then write in to Blogger to complain, latching onto something that is visible in order to achieve political ends.
I’ve had more than my fair share of internet run ins myself, and no good came of any of them. This is why there’a a strict policy on The Chess Improver to try very hard not to upset anyone, as difficult as this task may be without saying anything at all. Frankly I wish I’d been wise enough to adopt this in my chess career, the diplomats tend to get invited to tournaments rather than the ‘interesting oddballs’. Of course it helps if the ‘interesting oddballs’ are 2700 rather than 2500…
Can blogging help the chess improver? Perhaps it can in that I think it might be a great motivational tool to stay on track with your training regime. I know a number of bloggers who seem to use it for this, for example Patrik Ohagen’s and Glenn Mitchell’s blogs. The only problem is that blogging might take the focus away from actually looking at chess, especially if they become popular. So I hope I haven’t done either Patrik or Glenn a disservice by linking to them here.
It’s the moves that count. Always.