Dear fellow Texas chess fans,
First and foremost, I hope that everyone is in good health and even better spirits. Second, I would like to thank our regular article contributors for their wonderful submissions. Hopefully we’ll even have an additional contributor for our next issue. We are always in the need of submissions so if you would like to contribute articles, annotated games, tournament results, or photos (with attribution information) to Texas Knights, please send your submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Third I wanted to say that I can hardly believe that I’m already working on my second June volume. Has it been a year already?
While I’m certain that many of us have been disappointed that our favorite over the board (OTB) tournaments have been cancelled, the silver lining has to be that online chess is seeing unprecedented growth and public visibility. Chess as an esport has skyrocketed in popularity as can be evidenced by both the number of new sign-ups for online chess services as well as the number of mainstream media outlets like the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and ESPN all providing stories about online chess happenings. Chess has even garnered the attention of some very popular Twitch streamers which in turn have brought their audiences along for the ride.
The rising popularity of online chess has even brought about swift action by both the US Chess Executive Board (EB) and the Ratings Committee, which co-authorized the release of “Online-Regular Ratings” which allows US Chess online rated chess to be played at time controls of 30 minutes or more. This of course brings about two questions to my mind. First, how long will it be before we get to play regular OTB chess again? Second, will chess be able to retain or perhaps even build upon its newfound popularity once mainstream sports returns? I suppose that only time can answer both of these questions.
Speaking of the US Chess EB, the EB election is now in progress. For eligible, registered voters, please be sure to send in your ballot (don’t forget the stamp). I’m not going to say that you should vote for Vish, but as a former president of TCA he would bring his experience and his Texas perspective back to the EB (he previously served a one year term). Of course, everyone should thoroughly research the candidates so that they can make a well informed decision.
Finally, speaking of elections, our very own TCA election is also coming up shortly. Please be sure to check the TCA website for important TCA election information as well as statements from candidates which submitted them for publication in this edition. Well, that’s probably more than enough from me. Stay healthy, play chess and I hope to see you all back OTB real soon!