Started chess blogging two decades ago. Am still blogging. Iniitial reason was have a chess scrapbook.
It was just newspaper cuttings from newspapers like Utusan Malaysia, The Star, News Straits Times and Malay Mail. Every scrap of chess news from the newspapers were cut and pasted into that book. The chess blogs simply became extension of that hobby.
Also, as it went along, chess blogs also had other purpose:
- Shining a spotlight: Chess in Malaysia, is rich and is popular among amateur. It has always been to local Malaysians, and it never fails to attract newcomers discovering that chess is full of strategy and intellect. The fact that it can sometimes appear opaque to outsiders adds to the mystique of the game. I am a firm believer that a chess tournament needs to hyped up before, during and after the event on media such as newspapers, magazine and websites. If not, it’s as if the tournament never took place.
- Amplifying stories: Finding the tournament narrative is what I always look for when I visit a tournament. The tapestry of human narratives – triumphs, upsets, rivalries, and journeys of growth. Capturing showcases the human drama behind the moves, making chess relatable and inspiring. I can’t say I get these stories all the time but I try 🙂
- Building community: Thru Facebook, I maintain a small circle of friends who are interested in nterviews, and reports foster a sense of connection among players, fans, and enthusiasts. Though interviews are still scarce I hope to do more.
- Preserving history: I feel chess blog immortalizes the game’s milestones. Sort of like a Wikipedia on what has happened in Malaysian chess. Again just expanding on the idea of my scrapbook.
- Inspire others: I know I am no writer and can’t write articles to save my own skin but I really want to give other potential writers/bloggers the idea : “Hey I can write better than this clown”. There was a period when Malaysia had over 30 blogs and more than half of them were active.
- Meeting chess friends: The only time I meet chess friends is at tournaments.
Fast forward 20 years, sadly there is now almost no active chess blog except for mine and even so, are not very active. Still. I am grateful for organisers still supporting chess blogs by sponsoring hotel rooms and recognising bloggers like me, especially the “big two” – Malaysian Chess Festival and Penang Chess Festival.
I don’t have a huge following on any of my social media channels like FB, YouTube or Instagram. But for the 10 or so followers that I do have, as long as they are reading my posts, I will continue to blog 🙂