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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Is this forum dying? (Read 48502 times)
RoleyPoley
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #161 - 05/12/19 at 13:16:51
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MW wrote on 05/12/19 at 02:41:57:
ghenghisclown wrote on 03/21/19 at 06:09:12:
How the hell am I supposed to decide on a purchase??


I agree that there are far to few book reviews these days....not sure what the reason for this is...whether publishers aren't prepared to risk a bad review or whether reviews simply take so long to write that it is old news by the time it turns up on a website and hence publishers see no value in providing review copies.

I would say that I have found this forum useful and if you followed the discussions on Modernized the French it gave some pretty good insight into the book and certainly resulted in me buying it and I haven't been disappointed.

And recently GM Tony Kosten has shared some of his analysis as he has worked his way through Modernized the Reti....again good stuff.

So perhaps as members we need to make better use of sharing info to grow this forum.

I dont think it has anything to do with publishers not wanting to give away review copies. The cost of doing so with a well placed reviewer will be worth more than the cost of that book (most books these days are fairly good, so it should be fairly straightforward to get a reasonably good review if sent to a reviewer).

It's probably more to do with a cost/time requirement on behalf of those writing or publishing the reviews and the decline of websites that used to publish them (they were often tied into magazines or shops trying to boost sales of books & DvDs etc that have either since closed or restricted the reviews to their print/digital formats as paid content).

For example, British Chess Magazine used to publish the reviews online as well as in it's magazines (I think New In Chess used to do the same)- now they are only in the magazines. The week in chess used to have reviews by John Watson - but they lost their sponsorship from Chess & Bridge and so probably couldnt afford them any longer (all though they had become fairly sporadic even if by then).

Silman hasnt updated his website in a couple of years - and I'm sure if the likes of Silman, Donaldson & Watson asked a publisher for a review copy then they would be likely to get one.

@Proustiskeen writes reviews, and is probably one of the few reliable reviewers out there.

In short - there isnt much money to be made from writing/publishing reviews - and some books require deep knowledge of the subject to review well.
  

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MW
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #160 - 05/12/19 at 02:41:57
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ghenghisclown wrote on 03/21/19 at 06:09:12:
How the hell am I supposed to decide on a purchase??


I agree that there are far to few book reviews these days....not sure what the reason for this is...whether publishers aren't prepared to risk a bad review or whether reviews simply take so long to write that it is old news by the time it turns up on a website and hence publishers see no value in providing review copies.

I would say that I have found this forum useful and if you followed the discussions on Modernized the French it gave some pretty good insight into the book and certainly resulted in me buying it and I haven't been disappointed.

And recently GM Tony Kosten has shared some of his analysis as he has worked his way through Modernized the Reti....again good stuff.

So perhaps as members we need to make better use of sharing info to grow this forum.
  
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ghenghisclown
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #159 - 03/21/19 at 06:09:12
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I posted sometime ago about how this place is slow....only to have Tony Kosten think I was complaining about server speed. LOL.

Some of the comments are doubtless correct, like the same questions over and over, lack of credit for analysis, no interaction with GM contributors, database and engine proliferation.

But.....at least for me this place was just over moderated. Too much nitpicking over things like font and keeping things "positive" ...lol. We're chess players... Then there's the over complicated board format. It was much simpler and better before. Much ado about nothing, really.

I couldn't really get my questions answered readily and I always felt like I was pulling teeth. But yeah, lots of space for the King's Gambit!! lol

It's a shame really. Good book reviews and independent analysis seems to be in very short supply. There used to be Bauer, regular Watson, Silman, Kenilworthian, Chessvibes, Sverre Johnsen, free master videos from chessvideostv, ....now it's practically down to an occasional youtube video from a master and John Elburg's reviews.

How the hell am I supposed to decide on a purchase??

  

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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #158 - 10/18/18 at 02:47:46
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If the section columnist other than Tony interacted with the forum from time to time it could rekindle interest maybe, who knows. Some columnist such as Mikhalevski have never posted in the forum as far as I can tell, and if his monthly updates are anything to go by, I suspect he has never read anything in it either.

Moreover, I have observed that many of Chesspub's formerly prolific posters have migrated to the Quality Chess Blog where there is much more interaction from all the Q.C. staff.

Another obvious point not to be overlooked is that lots of the theory related posts have long been answered and beaten to death, at times ad nauseam, so one gets tired of answering the same queries time and time again. I wish I could tell posters try using the search function first before posting questions, but lets just say say the search function is unimpressive and leave it at that. 

The loss of email notification of new posts in threads one has been following certainly hasn't helped boost forum activity.

Lastly the forum used to be a simple place with a simple layout, but now the forum has sub-forums and the sub forums have sub forums, its a hot mess to navigate and often when I post something and a week goes by without a response or it drops off the last 25 posts lists I have usually lost track of the thread. I suppose I could use the members search to track my own posts, forgot what the number limit is, but do remember becoming frustrated with this function at some point as well. 

So yeah, the forum is dying, has been for some time. Recommendations to revive it in a nutshell:

Layout needs to be simplified somehow.
Restore notification function to track threads. 
More Columnist interaction couldn't hurt.
Chesspub forum is free advertising for Chesspublishing Theory Site, so offer incentives for quality posts. Chances are a vibrant forum is good for business Wink

Good luck.
  

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GMTonyKosten
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #157 - 09/12/18 at 18:45:10
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gsgs wrote on 09/11/18 at 08:06:53:
The problem is low traffic


This ebbs and flows, the Forum is always less popular in the summer.
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #156 - 09/12/18 at 05:35:49
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gsgs wrote on 09/11/18 at 08:06:53:
some being "rude" and such is not the problem.
We are used to it in internet, at least it creates reactions.

The problem is low traffic, no responses at all.


I have basically stopped posting here. I guess this is one of the few this year. Just read the thread linked by LeeRoth e.g. And think about what you just wrote. At least you created a reaction from me...
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #155 - 09/11/18 at 08:06:53
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some being "rude" and such is not the problem.
We are used to it in internet, at least it creates reactions.

The problem is low traffic, no responses at all.
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #154 - 09/09/18 at 17:14:27
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Agree.  We could all be better about making people feel welcome here.  Smyslov Fan used to be especially good at this, but hasn't been active lately.  And if members aren't going to be welcoming, the least they could do is not be rude.  This thread http://www.chesspub.com/cgi-bin/chess/YaBB.pl?num=1525937984/0#0 for example.  Question from a new poster is met not by a cheery welcome, but a scolding.   Angry
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #153 - 09/09/18 at 14:24:51
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Well May english is not very good but I will try to explain myself. Some people get angry when you make “silly” questions. What opening is better, how can I get better, caro vs sicilian etc. Most people (including me) we’ll make that type of questions. When you troll them you are killing the fórum. May humble opinion.
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #152 - 05/12/18 at 17:55:53
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No, I actually enjoy many responses Smiley
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #151 - 10/03/17 at 10:01:33
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trw wrote on 09/02/17 at 18:04:04:
I guess it was due to a particular author who took a ton of analysis I produced on this very website and made an entire chapter of his book out it. I was never credited.


Really, please say who it was, or at least which opening, I'm really curious.
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #150 - 09/10/17 at 19:28:51
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trw, I would very much like to read anything you have to say about how to go beyond blindly following engine lines and becoming a better correspondence player.

Also, if you recall which threads and conversations led to your rapid improvement, I would very much like to read those too!  Wink
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #149 - 09/05/17 at 10:04:30
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What was most important for me to post were my thoughts about training and psychology. There was good feedback and what's new now in my mind are only details. Additionally the critics of the Kotov model of move generation are common knowledge and in the books written by far stronger players.

This was in the general section. In the openings I could not contribute good stuff. There I'm a grateful reader what holds for several members in the general section too.

Then there are some health issues taking a lot of power.
  

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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #148 - 09/03/17 at 00:59:17
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I think trw makes some good points, and could very well inspire the focus of some subsequent discussions to take 'where can we find something different to the engine' with the appropriate explanation. Also, welcome back to the Forum!
  

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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #147 - 09/02/17 at 18:04:04
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barnaby wrote on 05/16/17 at 21:12:31:
In addition, and more specific to the uniqueness of this site, the advent of powerful engines owned by everyone renders every thread moot once someone posts the BEST LINE BY SILICON and there is really nothing more to discuss there, is there?

OTOH, the main strength of the site, I really feel, has always been the HIGH LEVEL ANALYSIS in the individual sections. 


First of all, I think engines have improved at such a rapid clip that it is getting much harder to correct them then it used to be. Back when I started posting here, very little effort was required to find holes in the engines. These days, I can spend days often to find tiny improvements over what the engine recommends.

This has led I feel to an increase in people even top level GMs blindly follow the engines. Indeed, the reactions I get from class players and masters alike at the reaction to my playing high level correspondence is: "Why? Like you just follow the engine right?" Indeed, I do not. Which brings me to my point, perhaps there is a way to engage the other high level correspondence players that don't follow the engines blindly. A way to make the conversations focus more deeply on spots the engines have yet to understand (which is usually the opening!). And most importantly, bring deep verbiage to explaining ideas and concepts in openings within our community which is something the engines can never do.


ErictheRed wrote on 07/03/17 at 00:31:19:
I think the question, Lee, is why members aren't posting enough.


I am guilty of this myself. I went back and read this entire thread. It took me awhile to pin point why exactly I drifted off. I guess it was due to a particular author who took a ton of analysis I produced on this very website and made an entire chapter of his book out it. I was never credited. I certainly didn't receive any monetary compensation. Sure, I have an easy lawsuit but I am not one interested in that. Yes, in the front of the book under sources, he listed "Chesspublishing.com and forums" which is as close as he got to admitting an entire 40 pages of his book was written by someone else on this forum. After this, I pretty much lost my taste for posting my analysis. Not consciously mind you, I wasn't really aware this incident was affecting me so much... but truly why would I post if my work will be lifted for commercial gain of another with zero credit to my hard work and years of testing my ideas in correspondence? This is different from the argument Nakamura and Kamsky regularly make about someone publishing a book about the players. They are not able to get the player's comments, analysis and thoughts without those players. Here, the author did just that. Anyways, the end result was I became fairly inactive and took roughly a 3 year break from posting (tho not moderating and silently lurking).

As to what eventually brought me back, the issue is two fold. First, I am interested in making a strong push again to improve myself and largely considered my discussions here with MNB and Markovich (RIP) to be a large part of my rapid improvement.

Second, I met an individual while traveling that I got into several interesting discussions with over the course of a tournament. I forget which night it was but perhaps the 3rd or 4th night with this man, we got to talking about external free resources of high quality. I mentioned chesspub forums. He said he already used them and asked my username. When I responded, he said "Oh! I have been reading your posts for years! They have helped me so much! Let me buy you a drink!" Tbh, this caught me rather flat footed. Undoubtedly, I would not be shocked to hear such a remark about Markovich but about myself... I hadn't really thought it possible and this was high praise indeed.

Keano wrote on 08/23/17 at 01:46:27:
I think in this day and age a lot of the "professional" stuff produced is simply drivel.

99% of chess books would be better off in the bin. And much of mine have gone that direction.

@Brabo makes a fair point.




Agreed!!

  
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Keano
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #146 - 08/23/17 at 01:46:27
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I think in this day and age a lot of the "professional" stuff produced is simply drivel.

99% of chess books would be better off in the bin. And much of mine have gone that direction.

@Brabo makes a fair point.

  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #145 - 08/21/17 at 19:55:10
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GMTonyKosten wrote on 08/20/17 at 12:33:00:
GMTonyKosten wrote on 08/18/17 at 10:55:35:
We do some advertising for the main site, probably not enough, though.


Perhaps I should mention that the main site is doing very well, though, and this post was specifically about this Forum.

In 2014 http://kenilworthian.blogspot.de/2014/09/the-end-of-chess-blogging.html already wrote that professional writers made amateurs increasingly irrelevant. So I am not at all surprised that the professional chesspub writers are doing much better than the amateur writers of the forum.
In general people believe that the more you pay, the more quality you can get. I see this behavior also around me. My opponents buy expensive books but don't read the free published analysis on my blog which I use against them to score some easy points. 2 of my most recent articles contain examples about this phenomenon see
http://chess-brabo.blogspot.de/2017/08/the-open-games.html
http://chess-brabo.blogspot.de/2017/08/matches.html
This season I even beated my own captain/president/20 year teammate, former belgian champion with a refutation which was published on my blog. In the post-mortem I just gave him the link to the article.
If you encounter such experiences then I very well understand why amateur-writers give up. However things are not all negative. There are still every day dozens or even hundreds of visitors interested in non-professional posts or articles. I notice this at the statistics of my blog but also by strangers regularly telling me that they follow my articles. So I refuse to accept that there is no place on the internet anymore for amateurs.
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #144 - 08/21/17 at 11:38:20
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No
  

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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #143 - 08/20/17 at 17:33:59
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I agree with the concern.  In the "old days", there were forum members who were interested in engaging in debates about theory above and beyond the basic questions of repertoire, impressions of latest book and how do I improve?  This forum was a big influence to me as I rejoined competitive chess toward the tail end of my business career.  I was drawn in by people like the late  Mark "Markovich" Morss (and many others like MNb, Ametanoitos (Ntirlis), ErictheRed, etc...) who had strong opinions and were willing to back them up.

I recently posted on the French thread about trends in the Tarrasch partly in response to this thread about the forum.  I was "secretly" hoping to stimulate some more substantial discussion about the variation by putting a few of my own observations out there and seeing if anyone wanted to engage.  As you will see if you look at the thread, we didn't get very far.

So, what to do?  Perhaps it's just a phase and new forum members will join and add to the activity and content.  An idea that occurred to me would be to have the moderators play a more active role and suggest a current game or tabyia (ideally with a question(s) to focus responses) each month for input and discussion by forum members.  Then if the GM/IM writer for that section could cover it in their monthly update, it might increase forum activity while still providing an incentive for members to subscribe to the main site to see the GM/IM "final verdict."   This may be impractical or should be done less frequently than monthly, but it would be interesting to try if there was sufficient support particularly by the moderators.  Just a thought....  Wink
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #142 - 08/20/17 at 12:33:00
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GMTonyKosten wrote on 08/18/17 at 10:55:35:
We do some advertising for the main site, probably not enough, though.


Perhaps I should mention that the main site is doing very well, though, and this thread was specifically about this Forum.
« Last Edit: 08/22/17 at 07:23:06 by GMTonyKosten »  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #141 - 08/18/17 at 10:55:35
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Reverse wrote on 08/18/17 at 09:59:58:
GM Simon Williams (GingerGM.com) gives some free advertisement and recommendation for this site in one of his latest youtube videos on his round 1 in Dundee. He claimed he used chesspub to prepare the classical french.


I imagine he advertised the main ChessPublishing.com site, rather than this Forum?
We do some advertising for the main site, probably not enough, though. Embarrassed
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #140 - 08/18/17 at 09:59:58
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GM Simon Williams (GingerGM.com) gives some free advertisement and recommendation for this site in one of his latest youtube videos on his round 1 in Dundee. He claimed he used chesspub to prepare the classical french. 

Might be worth advertising a little. I recall seeing chesspub advertisements in chess life (United States Chess) 10+ years ago...but not much since.

  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #139 - 08/09/17 at 08:35:44
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RoleyPoley wrote on 07/21/17 at 20:36:27:
I kind of liked this one in the french thread.


OK, I've stickied it, thanks Smiley
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #138 - 07/28/17 at 22:40:05
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Nickajack wrote on 07/24/17 at 16:57:12:
Just to clarify, I have no issue when a respected, (titled also helps) member posts engine analysis. An "engine warrior" would be a class-type player with little understanding of the game relying excessively on the engines and claiming to be an automatic expert analyst.  Angry


agreed
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #137 - 07/24/17 at 16:57:12
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Keano wrote on 07/21/17 at 23:35:10:
noticed a strange type of poster crop up, no names obviously. But this type of stuff, with little respect for the game, does discourage genuine posters from contributing.


Just to clarify, I have no issue when a respected, (titled also helps) member posts engine analysis. An "engine warrior" would be a class-type player with little understanding of the game relying excessively on the engines and claiming to be an automatic expert analyst.  Angry
  

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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #136 - 07/22/17 at 15:45:51
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GMTonyKosten wrote on 07/05/17 at 08:49:45:
ErictheRed wrote on 06/29/17 at 14:42:26:
One thought: I don't know that it would lead to more use, but some "stickied" threads in certain areas might help.


I can do this, too, if anyone has any ideas for useful threads that could be 'stickied' please let me know. Smiley


I was thinking of some of the general questions, the answers to which don't change very much.  How do I improve at chess?  What opening should a beginning player choose?  Those kinds of threads. 

If I dig around in the older posts and find some good ones, I'll send you a PM.
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #135 - 07/21/17 at 23:35:10
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On engine warriors I think people in general need to avoid decalarations such as this line is "just nothing", "just a dead draw", etc. I have noticed a strange type of poster crop up, no names obviously. But this type of stuff, with little respect for the game, does discourage genuine posters from contributing.
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #134 - 07/21/17 at 21:49:16
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Same problem here using iPhone and iPad...

I wish there was some solution to this as I am only using  tablets these days
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #133 - 07/21/17 at 21:35:31
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Jesse Gersenson wrote on 07/08/17 at 14:05:45:
A question for people who browse this forum with their mobile phone - is it easy to read this forum from you mobile phone?


It usually works fine, the only problem i've noticed is that my android can't load the posted games/analysis at all. I don't visit all that often so not a biggie, but maybe others have the same problem?
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #132 - 07/21/17 at 20:36:27
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GMTonyKosten wrote on 07/05/17 at 08:49:45:
ErictheRed wrote on 06/29/17 at 14:42:26:
One thought: I don't know that it would lead to more use, but some "stickied" threads in certain areas might help.


I can do this, too, if anyone has any ideas for useful threads that could be 'stickied' please let me know. Smiley


I kind of liked this one in the french thread.

http://www.chesspub.com/cgi-bin/chess/YaBB.pl?num=1307908456

Lots of advice on what lines a young player graded 1450 should play against the French. What facinates me about this thread is the variety of ideas amongst the regulars in the discussion, some of which can be extrapolated to other openings.
  

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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #131 - 07/19/17 at 16:48:47
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I don't think that we have a lot of "engine warriors," I personally meant more that since people have engines at their disposal at home, they're less inclined to start a thread when they can 1) switch on their own engines, and 2) think that many other people are just going to switch on their own engines when they respond to a thread.  I don't think that we need "engine warriors" for strong engines to have discouraged discussion.
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #130 - 07/19/17 at 11:02:51
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I would love to talk about some lines in the book, but as you may see from reading this thread, I was not happy the way it went.
But OK - how to talk about something that apparently nobody else has or wants to talk about?

A different thing is the Chigorin thread.
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #129 - 07/19/17 at 09:56:19
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I'm calling bull. This thread for instance

http://www.chesspub.com/cgi-bin/chess/YaBB.pl?num=1497181073/0

doesn't contain any analysis. No engine warrior in sight.
And there are many more threads like that one.
  

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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #128 - 07/19/17 at 08:06:58
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Try to analyze a random position with a titled player (IM / GM) or with a top engine.

  • Who is going to put the best moves?
  • In what case are you going to understand more?


Stockfish is not going to explain anything. Some variations are self-explanatory but others don't. A human analyst will explain why a move is dubious (and even if at the final of the variation there is a tactical option that makes Stockfish discard the variation), you will understand and learn a lot more. Stockfish puts in you in the right direction of finding the real truth. But I am not searching the real truth, but to improve my game (from a practical point of view).

Salut,
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #127 - 07/19/17 at 00:48:40
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barnaby wrote on 07/18/17 at 18:22:37:
The proof of the pudding is in the eating, not the talking about how or why it is made.


And, if you don't eat right you could suffer indigestion...  Huh

All I'm saying is that a possible cure for the engine variation dumpers would be to request *some* verbal explanations. Of course, excessive explanations with no concrete analysis is not desirable at all.

A good chess book is one that explains some the thinking and plans behind the moves. I don't mean explanations expressed in an annoying, cloyingly basic way, but on a higher level. Chess engines can't really do that.

A few years ago, a friend of mine (a class player) had trouble facing the Exchange French while playing Black and I offered to help, even though I'm not a big time French player. With the help of the database, I suggested a plan based on Bd6 and Ne7, aiming for imbalances and more ambitious play instead of playing the standard symmetric Nf6 lines. I put together a basic repertoire for him, with some minimal wordage and mostly lines, but also warning against some traps involving Bxh7 after Black's Bg4.

My stuff was adequate, but then after a little while I got a hold of Uhlmann's book on the French and what a delight it was reading it. A great balance between variations and spelled-out plans, but I was most pleasantly surprised to see Uhlmann playing the line with Bd6/Ne7.

Today's chess computers are stronger than Uhlmann but can't  do a good job of distilling info, let alone explain plans well and  reveal the deeper ideas behind the moves, and can't even do that at my level, much less a GM's.

We need a balanced approach and we're poorer for it if we don't stop to try to explain at least to ourselves what we're trying to accomplish when playing chess moves.
  

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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #126 - 07/18/17 at 18:22:37
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The irony here is that the explanations of why moves are good and are the ones that should be played can really only be accurately expressed and shown to be 'true' by offering another set of moves to show the resulting positions. 

The proof of something in chess is always moves and positions!  It is its own language with no direct translation.  Like higher math in that way... verbal explanations cannot explain why the cosine of an angle is what it is.

The proof of the pudding is in the eating, not the talking about how or why it is made.


  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #125 - 07/18/17 at 18:12:21
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ErictheRed wrote on 07/18/17 at 03:17:18:
I think that the balance of analysis and whatnot is fine; if someone wants an explanation of an idea, they can ask.  I think that we just all haven't been posting and sharing as much for the reasons mentioned, and we haven't done a great job of welcoming newcomers that are ready to contribute meaningfully (of course there have been some). 


I'm only suggesting that a way to deter dumping of dry computer analysis by some posters would be to ask them to provide some ideas as well. When that's not forthcoming, the embarrassment could keep them from continuing the practice.

(Not sure how much of a problem this has been lately.)
  

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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #124 - 07/18/17 at 03:17:18
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I think that the balance of analysis and whatnot is fine; if someone wants an explanation of an idea, they can ask.  I think that we just all haven't been posting and sharing as much for the reasons mentioned, and we haven't done a great job of welcoming newcomers that are ready to contribute meaningfully (of course there have been some).
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #123 - 07/18/17 at 02:13:18
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Nickajack wrote on 07/18/17 at 00:59:51:
CanadianClub wrote on 07/15/17 at 18:04:45:
Discuss the middlegame plans out of the openings is the key


Well, that is also a potential problem for the engine warriors, since those same engines are not good at all at explaining the plans, as they only give lines upon lines of analysis.

Maybe we should all frown upon the mere offering of analysis without explanations, and that will weed out the 'engine warrior' types.

Grin

But there's no universal view of how much explanation is wanted or needed. What seems blindingly obvious to you might need lots of explanation to me, and vice versa. Overexplained analysis can be just as annoying to read as underexplained analysis...

I honestly think the balance between variations and explanation in the forum is fine. If anything, more concrete analysis (using both engines and human brains!) would be great, since general considerations and the best laid plans can be ruined by one strong tactical move. But I can't really demand more analysis from others; I should start by contributing more of it myself first.
  

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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #122 - 07/18/17 at 00:59:51
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CanadianClub wrote on 07/15/17 at 18:04:45:
Discuss the middlegame plans out of the openings is the key


Well, that is also a potential problem for the engine warriors, since those same engines are not good at all at explaining the plans, as they only give lines upon lines of analysis.

Maybe we should all frown upon the mere offering of analysis without explanations, and that will weed out the 'engine warrior' types.

Grin
  

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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #121 - 07/17/17 at 10:30:39
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Göran wrote on 07/07/17 at 22:27:44:
If the Generals are in right order (still feel uncomfortable) then I think the last general should change pleces with Other.

I agree, but I am interested in others' opinions. Maybe I should just return to the previous order?
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #120 - 07/15/17 at 18:04:45
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Chess is a practical game and this has not changed. Maybe in the Winawer (a line I play) people is able to find information (because of engines, some books or whatever) how to play out to move 18. But finally it's a game of chess and at my level (1800 fide) you win or lose because of how do solve practical problems OTB. At any level I suppose.

Openings put you in the right direction. Discuss the middlegame plans out of the openings is the key. And what I ideally would like to find and discuss in a opening internet forum like this. Some points a little beyond the opening.

I am in a position of learning more than teaching (I am very bad) but it's an exercise everybody would have to try to do.

Maybe my hopes are too difficult to get real  Wink
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #119 - 07/15/17 at 17:34:19
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ErictheRed wrote on 07/15/17 at 05:51:20:
barnaby wrote on 07/14/17 at 15:35:49:
ErictheRed wrote on 07/13/17 at 23:58:39:
  .... why start a thread when you think that people will only reply with their engine's output?


The crux of the matter.


Which is unfortunate, because to me, improvement at chess and winning games by "thinking like a human" has never been easier.  It seems that so many people are slaves to their engines and forget that chess is a game of ideas, where each side sets problems for the other to solve.  The successful player poses difficult problems for his opponent while successfully solving those that his opponent sets for him, regardless of whether an engine says +0.45 or -0.06 or whatever in a given opening position.



If it was scientifically possible to agree more than 100% I would.

There have been many instances in the past in which I have posted pragmatic lines in various openings only to have the thread grind to a halt once best play from the engine was introduced.

One thing I learned is that this site seem (?) to cater (?) to a lot of correspondence players of which use an engine during actual play) and these types of players are not going to eschew their engine-assisted analysis or slum in a pragmatic otb line that offers chances due to complications that are difficult for a human to navigate.


So, while I agree both philosophically and empirically with your statement I am more persuaded by the idea that the engine genie is not going back into the bottle and as such have pretty much stopped posting any theory related threads (here or elsewhere) because of such experiences of having the engine brigade take over the process.

I miss the local five & dime, landlines, the neighborhood bowling alley and coffee that costs 25 cents a cup and none of them are coming back.

The internets and engines have changed chess in ways that are not so easy to dial back, and they have even more changed how we talk about it, both here online and in real world situations.


  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #118 - 07/15/17 at 14:16:35
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Well said.  When I started playing chess, the books said that the Sicilian and Kings Indian were "unclear."  Now the Engine tells me they are +0.34 or something.  Who really cares about that?  OTB, both sides have every chance to win or lose.




  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #117 - 07/15/17 at 08:23:26
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ErictheRed wrote on 07/15/17 at 05:51:20:
barnaby wrote on 07/14/17 at 15:35:49:
ErictheRed wrote on 07/13/17 at 23:58:39:
  .... why start a thread when you think that people will only reply with their engine's output?


The crux of the matter.


Which is unfortunate, because to me, improvement at chess and winning games by "thinking like a human" has never been easier.  It seems that so many people are slaves to their engines and forget that chess is a game of ideas, where each side sets problems for the other to solve.  The successful player poses difficult problems for his opponent while successfully solving those that his opponent sets for him, regardless of whether an engine says +0.45 or -0.06 or whatever in a given opening position.


+2.00 Cool
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #116 - 07/15/17 at 05:51:20
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barnaby wrote on 07/14/17 at 15:35:49:
ErictheRed wrote on 07/13/17 at 23:58:39:
  .... why start a thread when you think that people will only reply with their engine's output?


The crux of the matter.


Which is unfortunate, because to me, improvement at chess and winning games by "thinking like a human" has never been easier.  It seems that so many people are slaves to their engines and forget that chess is a game of ideas, where each side sets problems for the other to solve.  The successful player poses difficult problems for his opponent while successfully solving those that his opponent sets for him, regardless of whether an engine says +0.45 or -0.06 or whatever in a given opening position.
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #115 - 07/14/17 at 15:35:49
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ErictheRed wrote on 07/13/17 at 23:58:39:
  .... why start a thread when you think that people will only reply with their engine's output?


The crux of the matter.
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #114 - 07/13/17 at 23:58:39
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I've been a little frustrated at times in the past with the correspondence-heavy, "pure theory" stuff sometimes.  Moves, ideas, and plans that I would consider very interesting in a practical game don't always catch on here. 

On the other hand, it's good to have some sobering analysis and avoid the completely junk ideas that I see in some other, more busy forums.  We have to find a balance, but there's no real reason that people can't discuss interesting ideas even if the more analytical types here cast doubt on them.  I think that the problem (if there is one) is more that people just turn on their engines these days, as mentioned already.  Why discuss when you can just see what Stockfish says?  And why start a thread when you think that people will only reply with their engine's output?
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #113 - 07/13/17 at 23:16:04
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One thing that deters many of the people I know from this forum is the heavy emphasis on the 'pure theory'. I mean, of course, theoretical disputes are essential and interesting, but many players are not correspondance players or GMs and are rebutted to read pages of lines of 40 moves depths. Strategical discussions about not only lines and TN but interesting positions, manoeuvers, exchanges, related endgames, etc.  all are important. Unfortunately, most of the time here, these last topics do not find many contributors.
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #112 - 07/13/17 at 21:19:39
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Leave opening up registration to Tony IMO, but yes new blood is needed.
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #111 - 07/09/17 at 12:27:11
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Mate-in-1 captcha! Wow, yeah let's add that.

If we're lucky, lichess will have an api we could use, otherwise we need to get their playable chessboards working (on the forum) in order to have such a captcha.
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #110 - 07/09/17 at 04:57:24
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I think opening up the registration is a great idea. Not sure how easy the integration would be, but lichess.org uses a checkmate-in-one captcha on on all their forum posts and their registration. It's completely open source as well, so grabbing that little bit of code might be worth the time investment if it's technically feasible.  Grin
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #109 - 07/08/17 at 18:56:43
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No problems on mobile for me, either (HTC Android). 

I'm on holiday and not around much at the moment, but I'm glad that this discussion seems to have sparked some productive changes and that Jesse's back on board!
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #108 - 07/08/17 at 18:19:15
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I have zero problems entering with my 5.5inch phone. I read and write comfortably.
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #107 - 07/08/17 at 14:05:45
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I haven't been on this forum in 6 months. It looks like a different forum, the categories are out of place, and there is much more visual clutter. I feel like I'm returning to the position of an adjourned game, and the pieces have been moved?!

Key elements of the forum software are broken: search, login. When I tried searching for my name 'Jesse', the YaBB search found nothing. When I tried logging in my username and password weren't recognized, and couldn't recover my password. I had to write Tony, asking him to manually reinstate me?!

My joining this forum, and leaving this forum, coincided with my participation in OTB tournament chess. I returned today at Tony's request for technical help.

We should re-open the registration process, adding a 'captcha' to thwart spam bots. Trolls will register, so a mechanism is needed to identify them and lock their accounts.

The YaBB search feature could be replaced with something more capable. Solr is my first thought, perhaps there is a Solr->YaBB integration.

A question for people who browse this forum with their mobile phone - is it easy to read this forum from you mobile phone?
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #106 - 07/07/17 at 22:27:44
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If the Generals are in right order (still feel uncomfortable) then I think the last general should change pleces with Other.
Other belongs to the analysis part but the last General is about the forum itself. Either first or last IMHO. Undecided
  

What kind of proof is that?
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #105 - 07/07/17 at 22:21:42
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Is it only me that is confused with the new sorting? Feel like General and General should change places. Only because I am not used to it yet??
  

What kind of proof is that?
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #104 - 07/07/17 at 14:19:44
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GMTonyKosten wrote on 07/07/17 at 09:30:38:
I've also replaced the standard search with a custom Google one - the results look much better, but you have to skip past the annoying adverts! Roll Eyes
I'm afraid it has messed up the CSS a bit at the top of the page, I will try to get this fixed ASAP.
P.S. If anyone knows how to improve the search or the CSS please let me know! Smiley


Excellent! I dont see any adverts when I search.

The css I cant help you with Im afraid
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #103 - 07/07/17 at 09:35:30
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LeeRoth wrote on 07/01/17 at 17:41:37:
I'm getting tired of this whole discussion.  The forum is what we, the members, make it.  People aren't creating

There's one little snag. When I noticed that this forum slowed down I tried exactly this.
And got exactly zero response.
Perhaps you were too tired?
  

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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #102 - 07/07/17 at 09:30:38
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I've also replaced the standard search with a custom Google one - the results look much better, but you have to skip past the annoying adverts! Roll Eyes
I'm afraid it has messed up the CSS a bit at the top of the page, I will try to get this fixed ASAP.
P.S. If anyone knows how to improve the search or the CSS please let me know! Smiley
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #101 - 07/07/17 at 09:28:03
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I've added a new board for recent tournaments, and I've reordered everything - is it better? Any comments, positive or negative, would be most welcome!
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #100 - 07/06/17 at 15:14:51
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E.g

General
Openings
Current and Historicl Events
Other
  

What kind of proof is that?
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #99 - 07/06/17 at 09:39:41
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OK, I will add a new section and re-order the sections (General Chess first, then Openings?). Questioning
Any suggestions for the new section's name (Tournaments, Recent Events,...)? Anyone willing to Moderate PM me, please.
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #98 - 07/05/17 at 08:49:45
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ErictheRed wrote on 06/29/17 at 14:42:26:
One thought: I don't know that it would lead to more use, but some "stickied" threads in certain areas might help.


I can do this, too, if anyone has any ideas for useful threads that could be 'stickied' please let me know. Smiley
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #97 - 07/05/17 at 08:48:27
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ErictheRed wrote on 07/03/17 at 16:37:23:
Speaking of the current big events, it might be nice to have an area of the forums devoted exclusively to current events.


Sounds like a good idea, anyone against? I can set it up and then move all the older tournament threads over from General Chess.
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #96 - 07/04/17 at 20:57:37
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ErictheRed wrote on 07/03/17 at 16:37:23:
Well the corollary question would be: can we (or Tony) do anything that would encourage members to post more?  This doesn't have to be a fruitless discussion.

Speaking of the current big events, it might be nice to have an area of the forums devoted exclusively to current events.  Someone like Tony could just start a thread at the beginning of a big tournament to encourage people to discuss.  This is on sub-forum that I'd be in favor of!


I had thought a couple of months ago of starting some threads in the General topics area for the big tournaments, but due to my forgetfulness didnt actually do so. Happy to get the ball rolling until we have a sub forum for it.
  

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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #95 - 07/03/17 at 16:37:23
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Well the corollary question would be: can we (or Tony) do anything that would encourage members to post more?  This doesn't have to be a fruitless discussion.

Speaking of the current big events, it might be nice to have an area of the forums devoted exclusively to current events.  Someone like Tony could just start a thread at the beginning of a big tournament to encourage people to discuss.  This is on sub-forum that I'd be in favor of!
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #94 - 07/03/17 at 14:39:12
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I would like to echo LeeRoth's post.
E.g two major events in Paris and in Leuven and not a single post with any analysis (including me) what so ever.

That said I also would like to say that there is no wrong in changing the direction of the site/posts. In my experiene in other social areas I usually find it difficult to return to something that "has been". It usually fails.



  

What kind of proof is that?
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #93 - 07/03/17 at 13:34:40
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Because it takes work.  Or guts.  Or time.  If you post some analysis, there's a good chance it will go unanswered.  But ask people which way they point their Knights, and the members are happy to chime in.  The forum tracks how many times a post is viewed.  Lots of people are reading the posts, they just don't respond to them. 

Respectfully, its not a question of "why," it's a question of willingness.  We all have individual reasons why we might not post for a while.  But on the whole, the forum is what, we, the members make it.  We're not paying for this content.  There's no paid professional out there to create content for us while we all sit back and passively consume.  We need to create the content for ourselves. 

You want to spruce up the place a bit, that's fine.  I'm in favor.  But making cosmetic changes or improving the search function doesn't do anything to solve the fundamental lack of analysis problem.  And sprucing up the place won't do anything at all if people aren't willing to particpate in the first place. 

We need just all need to get back to doing that again.







  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #92 - 07/03/17 at 00:31:19
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I think the question, Lee, is why members aren't posting enough.
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #91 - 07/01/17 at 22:20:28
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LeeRoth wrote on 07/01/17 at 17:41:37:
I'm getting tired of this whole discussion.  The forum is what we, the members, make it.  People aren't creating enough useful content for you?  Then get out there and do it yourself.  Post some analysis for discussion, respond to somebody else's post instead of just lurking, engage in a bit of give and take, and stop worrying that your playing level isn't high enough.  The forum isn't dying because of computers, beginner's questions or the sub forums.  It's dying because the members dont post enough.  Angry


Very good. But you getting tired of the discussion doesnt really mean anything. And your statements either.

Some very good points have been raised here by various members and we should really continue the discussion.

@tony good to here we may get the google site search back.

on the sub forums I strongly believe they are a negative but I have an open mind. I can see the advantage if there was heavy traffic. But without that, and google site search available, cannot really see the attraction. Bottom line is there are way too many negatives than positives on that.
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #90 - 07/01/17 at 17:41:37
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I'm getting tired of this whole discussion.  The forum is what we, the members, make it.  People aren't creating enough useful content for you?  Then get out there and do it yourself.  Post some analysis for discussion, respond to somebody else's post instead of just lurking, engage in a bit of give and take, and stop worrying that your playing level isn't high enough.  The forum isn't dying because of computers, beginner's questions or the sub forums.  It's dying because the members dont post enough.  Angry
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #89 - 06/30/17 at 13:37:28
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ErictheRed wrote on 06/28/17 at 16:26:07:
I also agree with Taljechin that I became tired of reading the same questions over and over and over...

I get more tired of reading the same answers over and over and over...

Where is the FAQ? On chesspub it could consist almost entirely of "What's a good line for a(n) (lazy | ambitious) , (positional | tactical) player against xyz opening?" and the followup, "What's the best (book | dvd | web resource)?". Yes, I know the answer to the second one should just be "chesspub", but it still gets asked a lot. (* see below)

Then we could go back to the future, answering the newbie questions with the snarky RTFM.

(* thinking some more on this) One of the problems with a paywall is that people on the other side don't know what they are missing. The FAQ might be a good place to give a truncated line, saying something like "our GM covered this line in an update, giving x games." You could also mention a critical move out of the blue (no context). People who know about the critical move will understand that it is covered, and want the update. People who don't know about the critical move will buzz about the internet asking "what is the line they are talking about on chesspub?".
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #88 - 06/29/17 at 15:07:32
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IsaVulpes wrote on 06/28/17 at 13:11:10:
I don't think it would hurt to delete some of the truly dead subforums (say, the Tango one, or perhaps the French Exchange doesn't need one, and maybe the Pirc/Modern subforums should get fused, ..)

Actually I was planning to go through the Exchange French lines, so it looks like I had better hurry.

All classification systems have their quirks. Just pick one and stick with it. It's okay to move stuff occasionally if the current system makes no sense, but too much of that would be worse than putting up with the quirks.
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #87 - 06/29/17 at 14:42:26
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One thought: I don't know that it would lead to more use, but some "stickied" threads in certain areas might help.  For instance, for those oft-asked questions such as "how do I get better at chess?" or "how do I learn to play the Sicilian?".  It would take some work, but some of those older threads could be combined and stickied to the top of the relevant forums, so that newcomers don't come and start new threads every year or so.
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #86 - 06/29/17 at 11:05:51
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Keano wrote on 06/28/17 at 23:57:52:
I respectfully disagree Tony.


Wow, very polite for a Forum!

Keano wrote on 06/28/17 at 23:57:52:
Finding older messages is a piece of cake with google site search - by the way this was previously integrated into the forum search engine but seems to not be anymore now.


Yes, the Google search is obviously very good, and indeed, it was integrated it into the Forum search before, and worked really well. I can't remember why it stopped, maybe I forgot to change something when I upgraded the Forum software, I'll check it out ...
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #85 - 06/29/17 at 10:58:28
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IsaVulpes wrote on 06/28/17 at 13:11:10:
I don't think it would hurt to delete some of the truly dead subforums (say, the Tango one, or perhaps the French Exchange doesn't need one, and maybe the Pirc/Modern subforums should get fused, ..), but the base subforums I'd call rather useful - I pair the Nimzo with the Ragozin, I don't want to open the Nimzo Forum every time there is a new post about the 70767A7275727B727242046/Benoni/Bogo (and while I don't think it would hurt to delete the Tango subforum, I also still don't know why this would magically increase traffic).


Yes, I agree and I'm happy to do this, although I don't think it would change anything either.
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #84 - 06/28/17 at 23:57:52
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GMTonyKosten wrote on 06/28/17 at 08:17:07:
There is absolutely no data to support this assertion, as far as I can see. There was no drop-off in visits after the changes, and the Forum activity is currently very high for the time of year (Forum visits hit their peak around December time, and are much less in the Summer months.)
Removing the sub-sections is very unlikely to change the frequentation, and will just take us back to a time when it was difficult to find older messages.


I respectfully disagree Tony.

Finding older messages is a piece of cake with google site search - by the way this was previously integrated into the forum search engine but seems to not be anymore now.

As regards data, it could be that the change just introduced gradual annoyance, which eventually took effect. I have no evidence for this apart from the fact that this is what seems to have happened with me, and some other posters seem to have similar thoughts.


  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #83 - 06/28/17 at 23:41:20
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katar wrote on 06/28/17 at 15:05:11:
2. Use any search engine to search the forum:
site:chesspub.com *
(replace * with any search string, like "dilworth" for example)
http://www.bing.com/search?q=site%3Achesspub.com%20dilworth
I will mention that searches are not as necessary due to the subforum organization.

While this works to a certain extend,
1) It really illustrates how bad the forum search truly is, when one is told to search on Google instead
2) It is missing features of a normal forum search, such as only looking into certain subfora, or only searching for posts by a certain user - both of which exist on the forum, but due to the strange limitation of 15 results maximum, it's barely functional - similarly, one can find "Recent Posts" by certain user without a search string (which doesn't work in the normal search) via their profile, but again.. it's limited to the 25 most recent ones, which makes it considerably less useful than it could be.
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #82 - 06/28/17 at 23:18:31
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Here is someone who really likes the new sub-forums.

I didn't participate much in opening discussions. Now I post less since some years for health reasons. I need a good day to even read here what's going on.
  

Medical textbooks say I should be dead since April 2002.
Dum spiro spero. Smiley
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #81 - 06/28/17 at 21:23:24
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From chesspub.com I tend to go straight for the "most recent posts" menu without thinking. Usually I can understand what most of the posts/threads are about by connecting the dots with what I've seen previously.

But the value of this way of doing it depends on how often you check the forum. Arguably too often in my case, to the point that I'm slightly annoyed when I realize there have been more than 25 posts since my last visit!

I really should spend some more time on hard chess training instead.

ErictheRed wrote on 06/28/17 at 16:26:07:
Also, I still think that it's difficult to find old threads.  The only way that I've really been able to with any consistency is to just use Google, with the site:chesspub.com modifier.

I agree with everybody here that the built-in forum search is virtually useless. How about just adding a button/function for Google site search? But this might cost money; I'm not sure how it works.
  

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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #80 - 06/28/17 at 16:26:07
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I've been trying the "most recent posts" links, and I must say that I'm not a fan  Undecided.  I hope that I don't sound like a Luddite, but seeing a list of 10 or 25 posts without context just seems like a bunch of random comments.  It doesn't feel like a discussion.  And sometimes, the particular thread might be interesting, but the most recent post or two are off-topic or tongue-in-cheek, etc., and therefore they don't draw me in to want to look at the whole thread.

Back in the "old days," I would ask myself: "What are people talking about in the King's Indian?"  And I'd click on one link to enter the King's Indian forum, and I'd see, all on one screen, what have been the topics of interest lately.  I could read through the threads I wanted, and in that format they seemed more like coherent discussions, not just random posts. 

I also agree with Taljechin that I became tired of reading the same questions over and over and over...

Also, I still think that it's difficult to find old threads.  The only way that I've really been able to with any consistency is to just use Google, with the site:chesspub.com modifier.

I don't know that I would actually post more if the sub-forums were removed, but I do think that it would make for a more enjoyable browsing/reading/interacting experience. 

  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #79 - 06/28/17 at 15:05:11
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Two suggestions:
1. Agree with the suggestion to bookmark the link to recent topics:
http://www.chesspub.com/cgi-bin/chess/YaBB.pl?action=recenttopics;display=25

2. Use any search engine to search the forum:
site:chesspub.com *
(replace * with any search string, like "dilworth" for example)
http://www.bing.com/search?q=site%3Achesspub.com%20dilworth
I will mention that searches are not as necessary due to the subforum organization.

I think nowadays folks rely on opening repertoire books/videos which are increasing in both quality and frequency of production.  There is no longer any need to ask forum members about move orders in the Scheveningen.  Instead, questions refer to some recent Scheveningen book/video by another vendor.  I have noticed that, it seems, most of the threads/comments here refer to an outside opening repertoire product rather than a self-contained question or discussion: the forum is becoming a website of book/dvd reviews.  I would like chesspublishing to curate "repertoires" by packaging critical games for a given opening system and selling the packages in some manner or another - perhaps with a subscription/update term.  I suspect every subscriber already does this work, manually.

Finally, big thanks go to Grandmaster Tony Kosten.  I find it humbling and amusing that a famous grandmaster and author cares so much about catering to chess peons like me. Smiley Smiley
  

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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #78 - 06/28/17 at 13:11:10
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Keano wrote on 06/27/17 at 23:22:41:
But lets be honest, 99% of us are not going into RSS  or whatever else.

You don't need to use RSS.
What's the issue with http://www.chesspub.com/cgi-bin/chess/YaBB.pl?action=recenttopics;display=25 this link (or even simpler, just this one: http://www.chesspub.com/cgi-bin/chess/YaBB.pl?action=recent )?
Easy to scroll through any sort of news.

I don't know how the Forum looked in "the good old days", but I like the general layout as it is currently.
I don't think it would hurt to delete some of the truly dead subforums (say, the Tango one, or perhaps the French Exchange doesn't need one, and maybe the Pirc/Modern subforums should get fused, ..), but the base subforums I'd call rather useful - I pair the Nimzo with the Ragozin, I don't want to open the Nimzo Forum every time there is a new post about the QID/Benoni/Bogo (and while I don't think it would hurt to delete the Tango subforum, I also still don't know why this would magically increase traffic).

#####

IMO, if traffic is to be improved, there are a lot of ideas that can be thrown around, such as:
- Getting some Plugin for the Search / Changing Forum Software to WBB/XenForo/Something. The search function is REALLY bad, and that in one of the few forums out there where it's actually very useful to be able to check out 5 year old posts.. just feels extremely off.
- Broadening the Forum from an Opening Monograph into a general chess forum, with "Game Analysis", "Chess Improvement Diaries", "Coaching", "Live Tournament Ticker" or whatever type subforums
- Forum Events (which one advertises in other places?), such as eg a Correspondence Tournament, or perhaps even something like a Team Tournament, where you play Correspondence, but rather than using an engine, you debate moves with the rest of your team in a thread, something something
- Free subs for stellar Forum Contributors (judged by X), to encourage people to post more quality things?
- etc

Of course, for each of these it's a question to what extend this is even desired.
For example, a Game Analysis subforum might attract new users, but at the same time it's likely that they're going to be users like me - random patzers who can't play chess and just "leech" info while asking a question once in a blue moon; which would increase traffic, but perhaps not in a way that the established userbase likes (or in general, that is useful for the forum in any way).

Ultimately, high tier theory discussion is not something that interests too big a part of the population; and in combination with Engines telling every answer in 0.2 seconds and the recent onslaught of quality books for concrete reference, it just naturally creates a small niche forum - if then also several old active posters drop out, activity quickly grinds to a halt.

I doubt there is much to do about that without broadening the scope of the forum and getting a new, bigger niche (eg "general high quality discussion on all things chess"; which is currently quite difficult to find - the most active talking places for chess are reddit/r/chess and chesscom forums, both of which are impossible to navigate and mostly filled by people copypasting Wikipedia articles) - deleting subforums may make a few of the old posters happier (whyever), but will also make a few of the current posters unhappier, so I doubt it would change much; and I certainly can't see it attract new people.
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #77 - 06/28/17 at 10:00:26
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Here's my 50 cents on the matter, as a former frequent poster:

I think I gradually lost interest due to 1) deja vu all over again, the same kind of topics would be brought up again and again - the longer you been here the more you recognise from before... 2) lack of response when I posted or replied 3) the new subfora making it harder to see what's new. The most recent post in each section got hidden while the old and odd were listed in plenty, giving the impression that nothing was happening...

Perhaps the forum needs to adjust to the times - nowadays players are reluctant to give away analysis/ideas since they want to use it first and if it works why draw attention to it... Which results in more newbie question and stuff like "this weird move wins" posts.

I haven't been following the debate regularly for a couple of years, but before that I got the impression that the most prolific and interesting threads were about chess history, new rules, cheating scandals, FIDE, World Championship Matches, and the theory debates that took off were usually part of a recent book thread or about openings one wouldn't expect to face on a tournament level - the latter gave rise to a lot of amazing creativity!
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #76 - 06/28/17 at 08:24:57
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Keano wrote on 06/27/17 at 23:22:41:
I never really understood the change


The Forum activity had been steadily going downhill and there were lots of complaints about it being difficult to find older messages so many members kept starting new topics about subjects that had already been covered.

Keano wrote on 06/27/17 at 23:22:41:
there is the old saying " if it aint broke dont fix it"


Yes, and people generally don't like change. I can reveal that I paid a lot of money to get a new WordPress version of the main site created, with all the modern 'flags and whistles'. It looks very pretty, but I was then advised that I may lose upwards of 30% of the subscribers had I replaced the current site, many of them would find it too annoying doing things differently, so it has been left in mothballs on a server somewhere.
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #75 - 06/28/17 at 08:17:07
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Keano wrote on 06/27/17 at 23:22:41:
If we need to get back on track those sub-forums need to go.


There is absolutely no data to support this assertion, as far as I can see. There was no drop-off in visits after the changes, and the Forum activity is currently very high for the time of year (Forum visits hit their peak around December time, and are much less in the Summer months.)
Removing the sub-sections is very unlikely to change the frequentation, and will just take us back to a time when it was difficult to find older messages.
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #74 - 06/28/17 at 08:06:51
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Keano wrote on 06/27/17 at 23:22:41:
What I get from this is that there are some expert forum trackers who have their methods.

But lets be honest, 99% of us are not going into RSS  or whatever else.


I'm not sure if this is tongue-in-cheek, but I will assume not. It's just as simple to add the latest ten posts page to our favourites as it is to add the Forum's main page, but I suppose there are maybe 1% of the Forum members who refuse to do this (and don't want to use the blue circles to see which sub-sections have new posts).
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #73 - 06/27/17 at 23:22:41
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What I get from this is that there are some expert forum trackers who have their methods.

But lets be honest, 99% of us are not going into RSS  or whatever else. If we need to get back on track those sub-forums need to go.

I never really understood the change - there is the old saying " if it aint broke dont fix it"
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #72 - 06/23/17 at 12:33:09
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@ErictheRed, perhaps you should try feedly or anything similar, set up to feed any new post.
I do that and I get to read the new posts only.
  

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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #71 - 06/23/17 at 08:51:01
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ErictheRed wrote on 06/23/17 at 04:07:57:
I'll be honest: that button is so small and down at the bottom of the page, that until this thread was started, I'd never even noticed it!  I'm sure that I'm not the only one.


Actually I have the link http://www.chesspub.com/cgi-bin/chess/YaBB.pl?action=recenttopics;display=10 in my browser startup so that the first thing I see in the morning is the 10 latest posts. Smiley

ErictheRed wrote on 06/23/17 at 04:07:57:
I always just scan the left column with my eye quickly, seeing which sub-forum has a blue circle indicating new posts.  Then I'll open that sub-forum; it's a bummer when the new posts are then further buried in sub-sub-fora.


But there are blue circles for the sub-sections too, so that I know if there is a new post in an opening that interests me (say, the Najdorf) or that doesn't interest me (the Scheveningen).
I can see that this seems to be very much a question of taste, it's a pity we can't have both Forum systems at the same time! Roll Eyes

ErictheRed wrote on 06/22/17 at 17:07:06:
Also, and this may be a touchy subject, but I truly wish that users were banned for personal attacks and/or "trolling."


If this occurs then you can simply PM me and I will ban them for a period if necessary.
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #70 - 06/23/17 at 04:07:57
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Quote:
...I use the feature on the main page - "View the [X] most recent posts on the forum."


I'll be honest: that button is so small and down at the bottom of the page, that until this thread was started, I'd never even noticed it!  I'm sure that I'm not the only one.

I always just scan the left column with my eye quickly, seeing which sub-forum has a blue circle indicating new posts.  Then I'll open that sub-forum; it's a bummer when the new posts are then further buried in sub-sub-fora.

And personally, I like opening the Open Sicilian forum and thinking to myself, "What's going on in the Open Sicilian today?" or "What are people talking about in the King's Indian?".  I liked in the old days when I could see all of the threads with new posts right there, all at once on one page, and not have to dig down further.
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #69 - 06/22/17 at 20:42:56
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About the sub-forums: I find them convenient when I want to review the older posts, because I can stick to whatever opening I am researching. When I want to view the latest activity, I use the feature on the main page - "View the [X] most recent posts on the forum."
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #68 - 06/22/17 at 17:07:06
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GMTonyKosten wrote on 06/21/17 at 23:11:07:
ErictheRed wrote on 06/21/17 at 16:31:42:
With all of the sub-forums I feel like I have to click a lot more than I used to


Interesting, but why? If I see something new in an opening that interests me I click straight on the post or the sub forum. Before I would have to click on the whole section to see if the new posts interest me or not.


I guess because in the "old" days, there were usually not any new posts in more than a handful of threads.  So when you opened "Open Sicilians," you would see the top three threads with new posts in them all right there.  Then I could choose to open one if I wanted to.

Now when I click on "Open Sicilians," I possibly see some threads with new posts, but there all of these sub-forums.  I only see a description of the Last Post off to the right; maybe that particular thread doesn't interest me, but what if there's a new post in a thread that does, that wasn't the last post?  I have to click in that sub-forum to see. 

Unless I'm doing something poorly and there's an easier way.  Still, even when this place was at its busiest, you could take a few days off from visiting and there was no way that there would be an entire page's worth of new posts.  You could always just open a single sub-forum and scan which threads have new posts at a single glance.  Now I have to dig into each sub-forum. 

Frankly, I strongly dislike the sub-forums, though I do love this place!

Also, and this may be a touchy subject, but I truly wish that users were banned for personal attacks and/or "trolling."  Forget all of the Smyslov_Fan nice guy attitude--he does a great job and genuinely seems like a nice guy, don't get me wrong!  But there are some really unpleasant posters that have come around in the last few years, and giving them a temporary ban for personal attacks (and a permanent ban if they continue) would really make this place friendlier again.  IMO, of course.
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #67 - 06/21/17 at 23:11:07
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ErictheRed wrote on 06/21/17 at 16:31:42:
With all of the sub-forums I feel like I have to click a lot more than I used to


Interesting, but why? If I see something new in an opening that interests me I click straight on the post or the sub forum. Before I would have to click on the whole section to see if the new posts interest me or not.
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #66 - 06/21/17 at 16:31:42
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With all of the sub-forums I feel like I have to click a lot more than I used to, FWIW.
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #65 - 06/21/17 at 08:11:21
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Gorath wrote on 06/20/17 at 18:37:37:
And BTW, why are the ChessPub General forums at the top? I would get them out of the way. The important stuff should be at the top.


That's a good point, maybe I can move them around - put General Chess at the top, I suppose?

P.S. I've just had a look and it seems that it is easy to move all the boards around.
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #64 - 06/21/17 at 08:10:02
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Gorath wrote on 06/20/17 at 18:37:37:
Nobody can guarantee closing the sub-forums would increase traffic. The positive effects would be less strict structure, less mouse clicks to get to the active threads and getting rid of a lot of proof(!) that most sub-forums have close to zero traffic.


I personally find it now takes me less mouse clicks and less time to find the stuff that interests me, but I could try removing some of the lass active sub-forums. I'm afraid it would be permanent, though, I certainly don't want to have to go through all the threads and reassign them again in the future.
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #63 - 06/21/17 at 05:55:08
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Gorath wrote on 06/20/17 at 18:37:37:
I don't know if the forum software currently allows embedding YouTube videos.



  

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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #62 - 06/20/17 at 18:37:37
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Nobody can guarantee closing the sub-forums would increase traffic. The positive effects would be less strict structure, less mouse clicks to get to the active threads and getting rid of a lot of proof(!) that most sub-forums have close to zero traffic. Looking dead potentially scares people away.
In forums without such heavy content, e.g. video games, it's normal to quickly open new forums for fresh product and close them when the traffic gets below a certain threshold for a certain time.

It's certainly a good idea to think the whole thing through before taking action. It's a PITA to get the sub-forums back once they're gone, unless you find a way to tag the threads in some way.

Three ideas:
1) Would it make sense to restructure the forum in a way that encourages activity? Let's say a book review forum? Or one to discuss live events? A volunteer or a mod could easily open meaningful threads there just by following the news. Real chess content could then be split off and moved to a sub-forum, which increases activity there.
Maybe ask Malcolm Pain's book shop if they want to sponsor the book forum with a few giveaways every couple of months? Or rotate the book publishers for cooperations, no money involved?
And BTW, why are the ChessPub General forums at the top? I would get them out of the way. The important stuff should be at the top.
2) I know of a reasonably big video game site, a professional joint with ca. 5 full time writers, who use a virtual currency to activate their user base. Posting news gives n tokens. If the newsbit makes it to breaking use, the tokens double. A comment to  a newsbit gives tokens. Subscribing to the site gives many tokens. They dish out tokens for everything. A trainload of tokens can be converted into subscription time when they renew. The good thing about digital product is that it can be multiplied for free. Wink
Just food for thought.
3) I don't know if the forum software currently allows embedding YouTube videos. If not you should activate this. Linking to already existing videos is the easiest content you can get.
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #61 - 06/20/17 at 12:59:49
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Seeley wrote on 06/19/17 at 19:29:49:
What a pity. The discussion had been courteous and constructive until this. One of the reasons I post quite rarely is because of precisely this sort of intervention, belittling alternative viewpoints by characterising people whose opinions are different from that of the poster as suffering from a mental disorder. This doesn't move the discussion forward and it's downright insulting.


I think his post was slightly tongue in cheek and pretty much a good post tbh.

If people are going to be getting that sensitive about posts then we really will be having a problem.
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #60 - 06/20/17 at 04:38:54
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GMTonyKosten wrote on 06/19/17 at 22:19:01:
maybe the Forum is not dying at all, but was just resting?



  

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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #59 - 06/19/17 at 22:19:01
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Seeley wrote on 06/19/17 at 19:29:49:
barnaby wrote on 06/19/17 at 15:30:27:
The subforums are superfluous at best and are just am unneeded indulgence for those people with mild forum OCD and organizational obsessions.

What a pity. The discussion had been courteous and constructive until this. One of the reasons I post quite rarely is because of precisely this sort of intervention, belittling alternative viewpoints by characterising people whose opinions are different from that of the poster as suffering from a mental disorder. This doesn't move the discussion forward and it's downright insulting.


Yes, I quite agree.
Still, it's nice to see so many posts these last few days - maybe the Forum is not dying at all, but was just resting?
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #58 - 06/19/17 at 20:03:34
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Quote:
What a pity. The discussion had been courteous and constructive until this. One of the reasons I post quite rarely is because of precisely this sort of intervention, belittling alternative viewpoints by characterising people whose opinions are different from that of the poster as suffering from a mental disorder. This doesn't move the discussion forward and it's downright insulting.

I can only agree. Personally (and that's all I'm saying -- I totally respect others feeling differently), I just happen to like it that if I want to post about, or read about, say, the Pirc, I can go straight to the Pirc sub-forum and do that. I was charmed to learn that this makes me some sort of obsessive!
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #57 - 06/19/17 at 19:29:49
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barnaby wrote on 06/19/17 at 15:30:27:
The subforums are superfluous at best and are just am unneeded indulgence for those people with mild forum OCD and organizational obsessions.

What a pity. The discussion had been courteous and constructive until this. One of the reasons I post quite rarely is because of precisely this sort of intervention, belittling alternative viewpoints by characterising people whose opinions are different from that of the poster as suffering from a mental disorder. This doesn't move the discussion forward and it's downright insulting.
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #56 - 06/19/17 at 19:29:20
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LeeRoth wrote on 06/19/17 at 18:43:00:
I don't like the sub-fora, but I don't think that's the problem.  Stefan identified the problem in another thread.  The reason that activity has declined is because people don't post moves.   Cool


I like the sub forum (and if we dropped them and saw the forum grow in popularity again would we think of bringing them back?), but also agree with Stefan's comments. The quality of the discussion in previous years has been fantastic. Get a little bit more of that back and i'm sure many of the once regular posters would come back and maybe some new faces too.

Not all traffic would be welcomed - i'm sure we have seen some of the content in threads on other popular chess forums we wouldnt want to see replicated here.
  

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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #55 - 06/19/17 at 18:43:00
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I don't like the sub-fora, but I don't think that's the problem.  Stefan identified the problem in another thread.  The reason that activity has declined is because people don't post moves.   Cool
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #54 - 06/19/17 at 15:30:27
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The subforums are superfluous at best and are just am unneeded indulgence for those people with mild forum OCD and organizational obsessions.

They may not be the cause of the paucity of postings but they are not helping and do nothing to bring more people into the buffet.

They need to be flushed along with a general retooling of the site if change is really going to effect a boost in users and posts.

Cross-pollination with other chess sites seems a good option to achieve the desired results but this also requires allowing them a platform for advertising their wares as well.... could be mutually beneficial though.

  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #53 - 06/19/17 at 14:02:12
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I think it was @Gorath in a post before that suggested "Standard practice when forums have less activity than expected is closing all slow sub-forums" so I took it for granted he was right as most of his post made pretty good sense to me.

If that is not the case then I stand corrected....

From a personal point of view I used to post quite often on various openings but somehow dont anymore, and I think part of the reason is that I have to stop and think which sub forum I should be posting in. Which for the number of posts going on should not really be required. It sounds silly but thats modern life, those seconds of your life will be lost and meanwhile you've turned on the news.
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #52 - 06/19/17 at 12:27:30
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Yes, increasing traffic is "the most important".
If you were to provide 'irrefutable proof' that reducing the count of subforums would accomplish that, I'd happily go through with it (despite disliking it personally).

I am unsure why exactly that is supposed to happen, though - 
Do you imagine there to be hordes of people that enter Chesspub, thinking "I really want to engage in deep discussion about the theoretical significance of Caruanas 15.Rg1 against the Najdorf PP",
who then look at the main page, go "Wow, that's a lot of subforums, nah, not doing it", and leave?

I truly don't know why closing subforums is supposed to be helpful in any way, at all.
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #51 - 06/19/17 at 09:46:10
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I think the point is to increase traffic, it seems there are personal preferences both ways, but surely thats the most important?
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #50 - 06/19/17 at 06:34:04
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Completely agree with IsaVulpes and Stigma. Further I think it is much easier now to find what new posts I am interested in.
  

What kind of proof is that?
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #49 - 06/19/17 at 03:30:29
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I haven't commented on this because I don't have a strong opinion about it either way. There are both advantages and disadvantages to the subforums.

I liked ChessPub the way it was, and I still like it the way it is now!
  

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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #48 - 06/18/17 at 22:36:06
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Likewise, completely agree with IsaVulpes, et al.
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #47 - 06/18/17 at 22:04:04
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Quote:
This is a consensus based on only a handful of people's views, and possibly reached in part because people who are happy with things as they are do not bother to say so, whereas those who are dissatisfied are more likely to make their views known (this phenomenon has a name, but I can't think off the top of my head what it is).
I agree with the points made by IsaVulpes: as things stand, I find it much easier than before to locate the posts that interest me without having to wade through those that don't. I fail to see what benefit would derive from doing away with the sub-forums, however little work this might entail.

I totally agree. You just beat me to it.
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #46 - 06/18/17 at 21:43:26
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Keano wrote on 06/18/17 at 19:58:41:
The consensus seems to be that it would be a good idea to remove the sub forums if I am not mistaken?

This is a consensus based on only a handful of people's views, and possibly reached in part because people who are happy with things as they are do not bother to say so, whereas those who are dissatisfied are more likely to make their views known (this phenomenon has a name, but I can't think off the top of my head what it is).
I agree with the points made by IsaVulpes: as things stand, I find it much easier than before to locate the posts that interest me without having to wade through those that don't. I fail to see what benefit would derive from doing away with the sub-forums, however little work this might entail.
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #45 - 06/18/17 at 20:40:50
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Doesn't sound like "a big job" to me, but I'm also rather lost as to what that would be supposed to accomplish.
You can see on the mainpage which subforum has new posts, and it's not like the added subforums are cluttering something (like eg Channels in a Discord server do).

I rather like it the way it is currently - I can see that there are new posts in "Anti-Sicilians", but I can also see that those new posts are in "Morra" and "2 c3", neither of which interest me - if the subforums were removed, I'd have to click into "Anti-Sicilians", to see whether there is some discussion on my trusty Bb5 going on.

Personally, I 99% lurk, because I don't feel like I'm any good enough to post much of value anywhere (and if, then in various "General Chess" threads, not in the Theory hubs) - if someone has ideas as to what even a bad player can bring to the table, I'll gladly post more, but as of now I don't really see what I could offer this community.
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #44 - 06/18/17 at 19:58:41
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The consensus seems to be that it would be a good idea to remove the sub forums if I am not mistaken?

Would this be a big job?
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #43 - 06/13/17 at 23:56:39
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The forum really has little activity this year. Standard practice when forums have less activity than expected is closing all slow sub-forums. Moving their threads to the appropriate mother-forums concentrates the activity on a few select places.
ChessPub might be already beyond the point at which this is still helpful, though.

Paying your authors to post in the forum would be a waste of money, IMHO.

If it were my show, I would
(a) kill the vast majority of the sub-forums
(b) make sure the search funktion is state of the art, which has always been an issue at ChessPub.
(c) develop a long-term strategy to create traffic via Twitter, YouTube, Twitch, etc. I'm pretty sure this can be done for cheap, if you plan it carefully enough. Targets could be: enhancing visibility, driving traffic, sharpening the Chess Publishing brand as the go-to place for up-to-date opening theory, marketing (-> identify the 10 biggest chess YouTubers and give them a full access for 6 months in exchange for a review; of course one after the other), or for example encouraging people to interact in the forum. That's a painfully slow process, but with meaningfull activity 2 times a week on the biggest social sites, it could make things better and sell a couple of subscriptions along the way. 
(d) talk to all the big chess playing sites about creating a partner program, assuming it's not in place already. If the pie gets bigger, it's okay if others get a piece too. Wink
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #42 - 06/09/17 at 07:47:22
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gillbod wrote on 06/04/17 at 06:38:04:
I read the forum all the time, though I rarely write in it. I'm sure there are many lurkers like me out there. I'll try to contribute more from now.


Got me!

  

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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #41 - 06/04/17 at 13:46:33
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Nickajack wrote on 06/03/17 at 03:27:39:
GMTonyKosten wrote on 06/02/17 at 08:57:49:
Nickajack wrote on 05/30/17 at 23:37:59:
If I may make an interesting suggestion, a way to reinvigorate the discussions would be to have some of the titled contributors start new topics from time to time on time-saving (new or old) pet lines they recommend in various openings. After all this is a paid site, so it wouldn't be asking too much, I hope.


Sometimes some of them do post here, although it is quite rare. In the past we actually had problems because certain members couldn't resist arguing (trolling?) with some of the GMs who posted.
This is a free Forum, of course, and was originally setup to allow subscribers to discuss chess and chat with each other. Limiting this forum to subscribers turned out to be a bad idea, though, as there wasn't much traffic.
I could pay some of the writers to post here, I suppose, if I thought it would bring much more traffic, but I think the main problems are that there are so many other ways to discuss chess now (Facebook, for instance), and that it is so much easier to use a strong engine to analyze a position than to ask for other players' opinions on a forum.


Engines are not good at all at explaining the thoughts and aims behind the moves. Wink There is still room for strong humans' commentary, especially in the opening - the engines' weakest phase of the game.


I agree.  There is too much emphasis on engine evaluation.  Even assuming the silicon beast is right, does it really matter at amateur level if Fritz thinks a position is 0.21 in favor of White?  I still have to be comfortable in that position and know what to do. 





  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #40 - 06/04/17 at 06:38:04
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I read the forum all the time, though I rarely write in it. I'm sure there are many lurkers like me out there. I'll try to contribute more from now.
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #39 - 06/04/17 at 04:36:19
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I also disliked the change to the sub-forums, which seemed to coincide with a drop in usage.
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #38 - 06/03/17 at 17:07:08
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I have been chess lazy myself for at least two years.
In that forum and in real life too.
I do more mathematics nowadays than chess.
Potatoe couch, watching chess videos on U2be.
But I can revive myself at any moment, if some good players start playing interesting French openings Smiley
  

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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #37 - 06/03/17 at 11:27:39
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Keano wrote on 06/03/17 at 03:52:06:
You shouldnt have to pay writers Tony- John Cox used to post here, Richard Palliser and others.


True, chessplayers are often quite happy to post here when they are trying to advertise their books (!) but I really meant the ChessPublishing.com writers.
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #36 - 06/03/17 at 03:52:06
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GMTonyKosten wrote on 06/02/17 at 08:57:49:
Sometimes some of them do post here, although it is quite rare. In the past we actually had problems because certain members couldn't resist arguing (trolling?) with some of the GMs who posted.
This is a free Forum, of course, and was originally setup to allow subscribers to discuss chess and chat with each other. Limiting this forum to subscribers turned out to be a bad idea, though, as there wasn't much traffic.
I could pay some of the writers to post here, I suppose, if I thought it would bring much more traffic, but I think the main problems are that there are so many other ways to discuss chess now (Facebook, for instance), and that it is so much easier to use a strong engine to analyze a position than to ask for other players' opinions on a forum.


You shouldnt have to pay writers Tony- John Cox used to post here, Richard Palliser and others.

Maybe just mention to the main contibutors - it would be welcome to post some thoughts in the forum now and again. especially if you are keen to hang on to your column  Wink
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #35 - 06/03/17 at 03:27:39
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GMTonyKosten wrote on 06/02/17 at 08:57:49:
Nickajack wrote on 05/30/17 at 23:37:59:
If I may make an interesting suggestion, a way to reinvigorate the discussions would be to have some of the titled contributors start new topics from time to time on time-saving (new or old) pet lines they recommend in various openings. After all this is a paid site, so it wouldn't be asking too much, I hope.


Sometimes some of them do post here, although it is quite rare. In the past we actually had problems because certain members couldn't resist arguing (trolling?) with some of the GMs who posted.
This is a free Forum, of course, and was originally setup to allow subscribers to discuss chess and chat with each other. Limiting this forum to subscribers turned out to be a bad idea, though, as there wasn't much traffic.
I could pay some of the writers to post here, I suppose, if I thought it would bring much more traffic, but I think the main problems are that there are so many other ways to discuss chess now (Facebook, for instance), and that it is so much easier to use a strong engine to analyze a position than to ask for other players' opinions on a forum.


Engines are not good at all at explaining the thoughts and aims behind the moves. Wink There is still room for strong humans' commentary, especially in the opening - the engines' weakest phase of the game.
  

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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #34 - 06/02/17 at 09:01:56
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Dink Heckler wrote on 05/29/17 at 14:09:14:
If I want to see what's happening in the Open Sicilian, I need to click into 6 different sub-fora


Not really, you should see a different icon in the sections where there are recent posts that you haven't seen, if there is nothing new for you the circle with a dot in it is greyed out. Wink
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #33 - 06/02/17 at 08:57:49
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Nickajack wrote on 05/30/17 at 23:37:59:
If I may make an interesting suggestion, a way to reinvigorate the discussions would be to have some of the titled contributors start new topics from time to time on time-saving (new or old) pet lines they recommend in various openings. After all this is a paid site, so it wouldn't be asking too much, I hope.


Sometimes some of them do post here, although it is quite rare. In the past we actually had problems because certain members couldn't resist arguing (trolling?) with some of the GMs who posted.
This is a free Forum, of course, and was originally setup to allow subscribers to discuss chess and chat with each other. Limiting this forum to subscribers turned out to be a bad idea, though, as there wasn't much traffic.
I could pay some of the writers to post here, I suppose, if I thought it would bring much more traffic, but I think the main problems are that there are so many other ways to discuss chess now (Facebook, for instance), and that it is so much easier to use a strong engine to analyze a position than to ask for other players' opinions on a forum.
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #32 - 05/31/17 at 17:12:31
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One more vote here against the sub-forums.
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #31 - 05/31/17 at 00:23:27
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Even so, more ChessPublishing titled contributors posting here would be a boon for the forums and a welcome addition, and not to mention, would encourage more subs to the paid site if handled properly.
  

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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #30 - 05/30/17 at 23:58:53
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Nickajack wrote on 05/30/17 at 23:37:59:
After all this is a paid site, so it wouldn't be asking too much, I hope.



The forum is seperate from ChessPublishing itself, no?
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #29 - 05/30/17 at 23:37:59
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I'm new here, but I remember these forums being more vibrant in the past.

If I may make an interesting suggestion, a way to reinvigorate the discussions would be to have some of the titled contributors start new topics from time to time on time-saving (new or old) pet lines they recommend in various openings. After all this is a paid site, so it wouldn't be asking too much, I hope.

This could have the effect of sparking useful debates on the pros and cons of various lines, uncover holes in analysis, point out transpo tricks, etc, and make the forums a lot more enjoyable to both read and participate in for just about everyone.

What do you think? All we need is a few sparks, imho.
Smiley
  

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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #28 - 05/30/17 at 15:48:49
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JEH, thanks for setting me straight. I think Tony also steered me in this direction when I kvetched about this before.

Ultimately, it's not how I want to interact with the forum. I want to click into a forum and see what's up since I last visited. Put me in the 'old man yells at cloud' category, if you like.

At any rate, traffic is down. This may be a contributing factor, it may not.

EDIT: as far as I can see, if we all use RSS, the forum basically becomes Listserv - so we're going back to prehistoric times.
« Last Edit: 05/31/17 at 14:28:50 by Dink Heckler »  

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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #27 - 05/30/17 at 11:25:27
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JEH wrote on 05/29/17 at 15:09:50:
Personally I use the RSS Feed to keep track of new updates.


Yes, me too, it doesn't really matter if you like the 'sub-fora' or not, it's always easy to keep a check on what's going on all over the Forum. Smiley
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #26 - 05/29/17 at 18:51:38
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Dink Heckler wrote on 05/29/17 at 14:09:14:
Forum traffic does seem to have slowed markedly. I think one thing that is unhelpful is the proliferation of sub-fora. I know they were set up with the best of intentions, but with such low traffic, this Balkanisation makes the problem worse. If I want to see what's happening in the Open Sicilian, I need to click into 6 different sub-fora. The traffic doesn't justify it, it discourages cross-pollination of ideas, and it makes browsing the forum into a PITA.


I agree, I could never see the advantage of that change really.
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #25 - 05/29/17 at 15:09:50
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Smiley Muah ha ha, you will never find the posts that yee seek Smiley

Dink Heckler wrote on 05/29/17 at 14:09:14:
I think one thing that is unhelpful is the proliferation of sub-fora.


SmileyI will now share some of the arcane secrets of chesspub, possibly known only to the ancient gods of this forum  Smiley

Dink Heckler wrote on 05/29/17 at 14:09:14:
I think one thing that is unhelpful is the proliferation of sub-fora.


Personally I use the RSS Feed to keep track of new updates. It is hidden behind this secret symbol, if you can find it  Wink [Hint: Seek yee the Board Index Smiley]



These two are hidden in the "Forum Jump" menu [Hint: you need to scroll right down to the bottom of a forum page to find it Smiley ]

10 Most Recent Posts:

http://www.chesspub.com/cgi-bin/chess/YaBB.pl?action=recent;display=10

10 most recent topics:

http://www.chesspub.com/cgi-bin/chess/YaBB.pl?action=recenttopics;display=10
  

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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #24 - 05/29/17 at 14:09:14
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Forum traffic does seem to have slowed markedly. I think one thing that is unhelpful is the proliferation of sub-fora. I know they were set up with the best of intentions, but with such low traffic, this Balkanisation makes the problem worse. If I want to see what's happening in the Open Sicilian, I need to click into 6 different sub-fora. The traffic doesn't justify it, it discourages cross-pollination of ideas, and it makes browsing the forum into a PITA.
  

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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #23 - 05/29/17 at 13:56:30
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IsaVulpes wrote on 05/28/17 at 22:42:53:


Good point - that one looks like it may well be worth a look  Wink
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #22 - 05/28/17 at 22:42:53
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Keano wrote on 05/24/17 at 13:10:52:
Videos - I've not seen a good one since Kasparov's on the QGD and that was at least 15 years back.

How many have you viewed in the meantime?

https://chess24.com/en/learn/advanced/video/the-gruenfeld-according-to-svidler/i... is this bad?
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #21 - 05/27/17 at 15:45:20
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Keano wrote on 05/24/17 at 13:10:52:
Videos - I've not seen a good one since Kasparov's on the QGD and that was at least 15 years back.


As always, it depends on the level of the audience. I've seen some very good chess opening videos in the last few years. The Ragozin work by Alejandro Ramirez is very very good, the Nimzo work by Victor Bologan (never too late for the nimzo) is also very good, I like a lot Akobian videos on the French for ICC (very basic but very well-explained), some chess24 videos series (Robin van Kampen ones, for example) are quite impressive for my level.... etc

I prefer a good book over a couple of videos, but as a first glance in a new opening, I have to recognize its value. There are a lot of lazy viewers I am sure they agree with me Grin

All in all, I think a good chess forum (like this) is very interesting (to review new sources, asking or giving advice about some lines, simply for fun). For me, it's complementary: videos+books+forum.

Thx
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #20 - 05/26/17 at 17:44:06
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I've noticed since this thread was posted, this place has become more active  Grin
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #19 - 05/24/17 at 19:28:45
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Keano wrote on 05/24/17 at 13:10:52:
Most of the books published, although some have excellent ideas they all have blank spots and errors.


I have found this forum very useful for pointing them out, and fixing them  Cool
  

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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #18 - 05/24/17 at 13:10:52
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Confused_by_Theory wrote on 05/12/17 at 15:40:49:
Hello.

Apart from the fact that there are very competent engines to give answers on positional evaluations, which Brabo mentions on his blog. I suppose that also information about openings has become more available as well. I'm talking good databases, opening books in general and videos for example.

The need to go to this nice corner of the internet for opening information thus seems reduced.

As for ways forward. Supposedly new and reasonably active forum members need to be found somewhere. The only way I can think of improving the situation here, without doing a lot of active marketing, is to make a strategy of where in the rest of the internet chess world this forum wants to be visible (with links, logos and mentions).
Edit: And executing this to some degree of course.

Have a nice day.


Engines can never replace the human eye.

Most of the books published, although some have excellent ideas they all have blank spots and errors.

Videos - I've not seen a good one since Kasparov's on the QGD and that was at least 15 years back.

To sum up - a forum is still the best place for ideas and analysis.
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #17 - 05/18/17 at 00:22:39
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RoleyPoley wrote on 05/17/17 at 17:38:58:
TonyRo wrote on 05/12/17 at 12:43:55:
I have been thinking and saying the same for a while now. ChessPub used to be a place of very frequent and deep discussions, and now it seems to be mostly inactive. How do we rejuvenate this great place!?  Cry


Write another book  Wink


Agreed, splendid idea. You take requests...?
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #16 - 05/17/17 at 17:38:58
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TonyRo wrote on 05/12/17 at 12:43:55:
I have been thinking and saying the same for a while now. ChessPub used to be a place of very frequent and deep discussions, and now it seems to be mostly inactive. How do we rejuvenate this great place!?  Cry


Write another book  Wink
  

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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #15 - 05/16/17 at 22:46:27
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Not just Markovich, though.  I think that we had a lot of great contributors early on who for a variety of reasons can't contribute as much now (jobs, marriage, children--just life stuff that happens).  The unfortunate thing is that we didn't replenish the supply of great contributors, for whatever reasons.
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #14 - 05/16/17 at 21:20:07
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Also, as stated above, user Markovich was such a driving force.

Whatever his faults and positives, there was a sincerity and energy to his posting that is really missed. 

Not to take anything away from any other prolific and fantastic users that may have come and gone or reside here still and are active as they can be, and made the place what it is, but that one user really put consistent energy into shaping and keeping this place moving forwards in ways no one else did.

Irreplaceable.
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #13 - 05/16/17 at 21:12:31
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Internet forums that thrive and gets lots of use are those that become platforms for social discourse among the users. 

The main and central them that brings people together under one roof usually becomes less and less the focus as the forum grows and becomes more active.  The social aspect of the 'community' tales over and that becomes the new main reason people participate regularly.

Here on ChessPub that model does not hold because people here are not looking for social interaction.  Thus, the usual methods of keeping forums alive (allowing trolls and flame wars and letting people slug it out in big complicated and sprawling threads which drive up user count, hit count, page views and advertising revenue, etc ) are eschewed.

In addition, and more specific to the uniqueness of this site, the advent of powerful engines owned by everyone renders every thread moot once someone posts the BEST LINE BY SILICON and there is really nothing more to discuss there, is there?

Why have discussion on the nuances of the Riga if the engine says White wins on move 57 if they follow this exact sequence?  I mean, what is there to talk about anymore?

OTOH, the main strength of the site, I really feel, has always been the HIGH LEVEL ANALYSIS in the individual sections.  So, while the forums may be hobbled and seemingly living on life support, I think they will continue to live slowly so long as great contributions are being made in the paid-for content is being delivered in timely fashion.


The site and the forums are still an excellent resource, so I continue to support fully with sub to all sections.  I appreciate all the contributions and by all the very strong players over the years and kudos to GM Kosten for running the whole thing asI imagine must be a labor of love and be full of headaches beyond our vision. 

This is really a unique and fantastic place and I hope it continues even if it is slower than it might be. 

Smiley
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #12 - 05/16/17 at 15:58:40
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I would love to see and participate in deeper theoretical discussions again, but I've just been too busy lately. I was a lot more active a few years ago.

Even back then I felt reading and posting here took time away from settling on and really learning a repertoire from a wider variety of sources. If I find more time to post here again, I will study up on my openings in more depth first, to have a foundation to build from and avoid being sucked into analyzing random lines I'm not going to play anyway.

But I must admit I miss our epic discussions of the Pirc/Modern, the French, the Smith-Morra, the Budapest, the Dutch, the Alekhine, etc. etc. I still search the CP forum to (re-)discover ideas now and then.
  

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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #11 - 05/15/17 at 19:05:23
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Bibs wrote on 05/15/17 at 12:14:05:
I just think that earlier the forum had people who were unusually, even bizarrely, active. Notably mnb and Markovich (RIP the latter). I see the earlier activity levels being more outlying really.


There is some truth in this.  We also benefitted from a number of up-and-coming authors who would discuss the lines in their books.

  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #10 - 05/15/17 at 19:00:53
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Instead of cursing the darkness, how about lighting a candle?  You want more high-level analysis, then post some.  And when someone else posts some, then engage and discuss.   

      

  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #9 - 05/15/17 at 16:02:51
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I've asked a lot of question, both good and bad, and also tried to answer many posts. But I think the tone also changed a while ago in some posts, and I got tired of that.
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #8 - 05/15/17 at 12:14:05
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I just think that earlier the forum had people who were unusually, even bizarrely, active. Notably mnb and Markovich (RIP the latter). I see the earlier activity levels being more outlying really.

But yes, agree with the earlier comments re: frustration with certain ardent time-wasters asking for line x in book y, ad nauseum. I'm convinced that this annoyed many and decreased value of the whole site. I saw that in some parts as deliberate ar*****e trolling rather than novice questioning, which would always be dealt with patiently and helpfully.

  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #7 - 05/13/17 at 16:00:38
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Smyslov_Fan wrote on 05/13/17 at 14:44:35:
I know I haven't been able to participate as much as I have in the past, and it seems that several of the other members who have been here for years aren't posting as much either.

Still, there were quite a few votes for the book of the year, which is probably a good measure of how many people visit the site regularly.

Smyslov_Fan wrote on 05/13/17 at 14:46:03:
We had 130 votes for the book of the year contest.


Not really as this year it was the first time that guests could vote see
LeeRoth wrote on 04/17/17 at 20:47:18:
I left the poll open.  I thought having guests vote might bring in more votes and make the poll more meaningful.  The members didn't seem as interested as they usually are, and, given that hardly anyone noticed when the thread was accidentally deleted, I was concerned that a members-only poll might not garner enough votes.
 
I don't know that anything "dark" happened, but it is nevertheless disturbing that most of Nikos's votes came in on the 14th, after he posted his Facebook message.  The poll is supposed to be about the best book; its not supposed to be a popularity contest to see which author has the most friends.  If that is what has happened, then it was a mistake to let the guests vote.      

Tony, you are the boss.  If you want to back out the guest votes, it's your prerogative.      



In the end there was quite a bit of annoyance by how suddenly a huge number of guests voted for 1 person.

No as I wrote on my blog, you need to look at the number of posts. We have an average of +33/ day over 15 years (excluding spams and other removed posts). We now have regularly days without any posts. Making it easier again to become member maybe will help but I very much doubt it. On my blog I have a direct link to chesspub but I don't know if anybody ever clicked on it. Advertising chesspub looks not so simple.

Honestly I started to look for alternatives. However who can challenge this forum? The forum at chess.com is a complete mess.
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #6 - 05/13/17 at 14:46:03
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We had 130 votes for the book of the year contest.
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #5 - 05/13/17 at 14:44:35
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I know I haven't been able to participate as much as I have in the past, and it seems that several of the other members who have been here for years aren't posting as much either.

Still, there were quite a few votes for the book of the year, which is probably a good measure of how many people visit the site regularly.
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #4 - 05/13/17 at 10:29:47
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I wonder if it is due in some part to the fact that I have made it more difficult to join (now anyone wishing to join has to say why, and if I'm not convinced I refuse them) to keep spammers away?
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #3 - 05/12/17 at 19:00:22
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Some of the really great, active contributors from years past are no longer active or no longer with us (BPaulsen, Markovic).  Computers play a role, too. 

Me personally, various things have taken up all of my free time, including a big project that is finally complete and that will likely be announced here very soon... Wink.  So I may have more time to comment. 

I personally became less interested when we seemed to get a slew of weaker players, frankly.  Three to five years ago we seemed to get a lot of posters asking very basic questions (which weren't interesting to me), and asking asinine questions like "What does author X recommend in subvariation 6bqpd2.4 of author Y's recommendation in book ____?"  I became weary of that. 

In essence, I actually thought that the content of posts was becoming poorer in general. 

I also think that computers are stopping good discussion; there should be plenty of room for !? moves, moves that are interesting and pose unique problems or new approaches in known positions, but it seems to me that discussion of interesting ideas has lessened, partly because of an influx of weaker players and partly because people just turn on their engines and don't really investigate the ideas for themselves to try to understand and improve upon them in a human way.
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #2 - 05/12/17 at 15:40:49
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Hello.

Apart from the fact that there are very competent engines to give answers on positional evaluations, which Brabo mentions on his blog. I suppose that also information about openings has become more available as well. I'm talking good databases, opening books in general and videos for example.

The need to go to this nice corner of the internet for opening information thus seems reduced.

As for ways forward. Supposedly new and reasonably active forum members need to be found somewhere. The only way I can think of improving the situation here, without doing a lot of active marketing, is to make a strategy of where in the rest of the internet chess world this forum wants to be visible (with links, logos and mentions).
Edit: And executing this to some degree of course.

Have a nice day.
  
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Re: Is this forum dying?
Reply #1 - 05/12/17 at 12:43:55
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I have been thinking and saying the same for a while now. ChessPub used to be a place of very frequent and deep discussions, and now it seems to be mostly inactive. How do we rejuvenate this great place!?  Cry
  
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