Chess in Newspapers

Chess in Newspapers

Twenty years ago I used to write a column in the local Telegraph & Argus. This is an evening newspaper which supplies the Bradford and surrounding district. It contained results and reports of matches and at the time was the main way to keep up with the local chess results and news.

With the advent of Internet Sites such as ours you may think that there is less need for Newspapers to report local chess news. I think this is wrong on so many levels and would strongly argue otherwise.

· When a newspaper hits the doormat it reaches so many people.

· It is a way of perpetually advertising the local league and how healthy it is.

· It allows the league and local clubs to blow their own trumpet about how successful they have been locally, in Yorkshire and even nationally.

· It allows you to feature and promote new initiatives such as junior training, beginner’s classes or even an open day for a recruitment drive.

Although all this can be done on Internet Sites, and undoubtedly done far better, there is one significant difference, a telling factor that screams out at me.

You don’t have to be searching for chess in a newspaper to see it in front of you!

People would generally only reach our internet site if they bother to search for it. This means they will already be interested in finding something out about chess or already have an interest in it. But what if you want to reach the former school player who has suddenly got too old to play in his Sunday league football team? Or the parent who’s child has shown an interest in playing games? Or the divorcee who is in sudden need of a hobby?

If they open their local newspaper which runs stories like the following links wouldn’t it be likely to stimulate the interest we are looking for?

King of Games

Bradford youngsters learn lessons in life

Chess reaches out to underprivileged children

Once the interest is there then the Internet Site comes into its own. Especially if it is easily found on search engines, tells people who to contact and how to join a club.

So my questions to the chess players in Yorkshire is which of our local Newspapers have either a regular chess column or regular chess articles?

Does your league or chess club have a regular contributor or columnist who writes for the paper concerned?

Bradford & District league have tried continue to keep a regular column going in all this time through a press officer. The current Press officer is the league President John Holliday.

I have started a thread in the forum for you to let us know what you think.

Yorkshire Chess Association Secretary and Chief Web Editor. I suppose that means I'm not the brains of the editorial team but I can live with being a glorified typist as well as the resident grammar pedant. I captain White Rose 2 who have recently been promoted to Division 1 of the 4NCL professional chess league . I'm fairly easy going, somewhat diplomatic and I think my enthusiasm is infectious but not life threatening.


2 Responses to “Chess in Newspapers”

  1. John Lawson

    Apr 09. 2012

    Hi Ihor

    Excellent site. Just a small point which needs correction. There is no longer a Humber Chess League. It folded manyyears ago, but as you know I was HDCA Secretary for nearly 40 years and rab the Chess Pieces column in Hull Daily Mail and later had my own column on their “sporthull” website which they withdrew. The history of HDCA now on their new HDCA site was written by me and has never been updated since I handed over to Steve King.

    Best of luck with future editions.


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  2. Owen Robson

    Apr 13. 2012

    I used to do a chess column for the local York paper for about 3 years. I got fed up with the constant butchering of what I’d written by a sub editor. Trying to get information from some people was also nigh on impossible. The final straw for me came when Peter Cloudsdale, instead of having the courtesy to tell me first, went to the sports editor and nigh on demanded coverage of his one day tournament. They ignored everything I’d written, apart from some Yorkshire league results, and credited it to some faceless journalist. They then demanded I send them the results, even though I didn’t know them. Peter gave them the results and two weeks work went down the drain. Our local paper has gone down the pan for a number of years, and I don’t see it recovering. It would be nice to see a chess column again, but they rarely published games, so the column tended to be rather boring.

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