Some Answers About ChessLecture

by admin on July 29, 2011

There has been a lot of discontent among ChessLecture subscribers recently about the erratic timing of updates, culminating in a complete hiatus in new lectures for almost two weeks.

I can finally give you some answers about what has been going on, although the answers are necessarily incomplete. I’m just like the evening weatherman, who definitely does not know everything that is going on in the management of the TV station. Still, what I have heard gives me confidence that the service will improve, starting next week.

First, let me state a personal opinion: ChessLecture has been very “one-derstaffed” almost from the beginning. When I first signed on I dealt with two people, but after the first couple months one of them disappeared. For all I know there may be other people handling bookkeeping and stuff, but the technical recording of the lectures and running of the site has been basically a one-man show. He has done a truly heroic job, but it’s in the nature of one-person organizations that when that person’s energy runs low or his time gets divided among other things, the quality of service suffers.

The good news is that Help Is On Its Way, and soon. The man in charge has been telling me for months that he now has partners who are going to get more actively involved in the site. Up to now I have not seen any signs of that. But those two people (that’s right, two — not one — which is already a step in the right direction) are going to step in beginning next week. The partners (I won’t give names, they can identify themselves if they want to) are well-known people on the U.S. chess scene, and I think we can count on them to pump new vigor into ChessLecture and stay with it for the long haul.

I have some more good news — Jesse Kraai is coming back! Some of you might have noticed he hasn’t given any lectures for a couple months. He has been busy traveling and playing in tournaments, but the word is that he will be back August 10 and doing lectures soon after that. Also, Eugene Perelshteyn and Bill Paschall, two of the most popular ChessLecturers who have also been relatively quiet lately, will also be back soon with lots of new lectures.

That’s all I know for now. I will be waiting with as much interest as the rest of you to see the ways in which ChessLecture will change and grow or at least get back to the steady, timely delivery of new lectures that it managed for the first four years of my involvement. I want to express my appreciation to the old one-man army who made it all possible, and best wishes also to the new staff who will, hopefully, make it even bigger and better!

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Marc August 2, 2011 at 2:07 pm

Thanks for the update! I wonder who is the mysterious dynamic duo? Never mind, just glad to see the site is not dead.


Matt August 2, 2011 at 3:53 pm

The site seems to be back on track. Four new lectures were added today, including two from Dana. The only thing I don’t like is that the chess pieces have changed. They are now very ugly and jagged, almost as if they were generated by a computer from the 1980s. It’s still possible to tell which piece is which, though. Also, the run time for Dana’s first video is displaying as over 27 hours! I know ChessLecture is behind on its videos but I didn’t realize it wanted to catch up THAT much! 😉


admin August 3, 2011 at 9:54 am

Hi Marc and Matt,
Thanks for the comments. The run time has now been fixed. The pieces cannot be fixed for this pair of lectures, but they will be better in the future. This was just a beginner’s glitch — the person doing the recording selected the wrong image set, which as you noticed had really crappy resolution. Now he knows which is the right one. 😎


Matt August 3, 2011 at 2:32 pm

Hi Dana,

I have often wondered how the lectures are recorded? It’s not the first time a lecturer has implied that they have to record the lecture “live” to a web server somewhere. I would have though you would create the video at home, free to make edits if necessary, and then submit it to the powers that be. I am assuming that it doesn’t work that way?


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