Saturday, May 30, 2009

Jamieson: Chess players are lazy

I am supposed to be writing a review of Kevin Casey's book, Australian Chess Brilliances - Creative Attacking Chess from Down Under, but other things are getting in the way. I promise to complete that by tomorrow. Hopefully.

This process of writing a review, however, has given me reason to go back, back to the old days of Aussie chess which means that I am once again re-reading some old Aussie chess magazines. So here's something that I just stumbled upon.

From the September, 1979 issue of the Chess Player's Quarterly, editor IM Robert Jamieson, in his editorial, wrote:
In 1929, in the last issue of the "Austral Chess and Draughts Newspaper", the editor, J.B. Prowse, closed as follows: "We venture to say that no one will be fool enough, after the experience of the Austral to cater for the pleasure and profit of the chess and draughts players. Good bye!"

Now, 50 years later, Peter Parr has learnt that publishing chess magazines is just "too much work for too little reward" and his "Australian Chess Magazine" has folded after just 8 issues. One has to be a dedicated fanatic to continue publishing a magazine, but fortunately every 30 years or so another Cecil Purdy or Bernie Johnson comes along.

If every competitive chess player in the country was individually approached to subscribe to a national chess magazine, most of them would, but chess players are a lazy lot.

Something to think about.
For our young readers Cecil Purdy founded and edited the Australasian Chess Review, which evolved into Check and later, Chess World. Bernie Johnson was editor and publisher of Chess in Australia.

On that note, if anyone out there has a collection of old Australian chess magazines that they wish to offload, email me.


Anonymous said...

On ABC Lateline the other night there was a piece on how newspapers were going broke because of still having a business model which went hand in hand with using typewriters instead of adapting to the internet age.

Food for thought ...

Anonymous said...

The current magazine, Australasian Chess, is edited by Sydney organiser and FM Brian Jones.

It has been published by Australian Chess Enterprises (ACE) for the past seven years!

Subscritions are available at: