Thanks to this post by Shaun, I found my way this morning to The Chess Drum site. Actually, I've known about The Chess Drum for a few years now and, I have to say, it's one chess site that I take the time to visit regularly. They've also recently launched a blog.
Scrolling my way around the blog, my eyes were immediately drawn to particular post with a rather juicy title: "Is The Chess Drum a Racist Website". You can read the post yourselves but our Aussie readers might be interested to know that the whole thing was provoked by one IM Javier Gil. "I find your site very offensive and racist, and I think a lot of other people do also", Javier is quoted as saying. If you didn't know, Javier is a regular visitor to Oz and, in fact, the last time I checked he was living in Sydney.
That whole discussion was serious enough to provoke The Chess Drum creator, Dr. Daaim Shabazz, to pen a lengthy essay.
Look, Javier is a good friend of this blog and we rather like his positive opinion of TCG on his site - but, I'm afraid, we have no choice but to completely disagree with him on this one! That Dr Shabazz reports exclusively on black chess doesn't make him racist. We might as well say the same about Kiko who covers exclusively those brown people called the Filipinos! As far as I am concerned, this is just a form of highly specialised reporting about, by and for a certain segment of the chess playing population. What's wrong with that?
A couple of weeks ago we posted on these pages something about Web 2.0 and chess. Well what could be more Web 2.0 than giving content and voice to a once near-invisible chess crowd? And did I hear somebody say "the long tail"?
Mr Gil, mate, I'm sure you've got this one terribly wrong. Chill dude!