|New York Times: "This is Our Last Chess Column"|
|October 14, 2014|
On October 11, 2014, National Chess Day, the New York Times starkly announced that they would discontinue their 50-year running chess column at the end of an article on the Grand Prix cycle. “This is the last chess column in the New York Times.”
USCF member and former Chess Life contributing editor Evan Katz wrote an open letter to the New York Times,
Having read the New York Times since childhood, when my father first taught me how to find the Sports section, I literally grew up with its many talented journalists, including A.I. Horowitz, Robert Byrne and Dylan Loeb McClain, the authors of the Times legendary and very popular chess column, which launched more than 50 years ago, and graced the paper Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays.
Countless readers and I mourned and called the Times in protest when the chess column thereafter was cut from three times a week to just twice and then eventually only once a week. And today, I and thousands were further shocked and saddened to read the ominous 12-word postscript appended to today’s column: “This is the final chess column to run in The New York Times."
With chess experiencing a major global resurgence, including a charismatic and wildly popular young champion, and a huge $1 million tournament now taking place in Las Vegas, about which the Times recently wrote a large article, and with the Sunday Sports section being a full 12 pages in length, is there truly no room or budget to keep a small weekly column about the royal game and the wonderful sport of chess?
Board member Gary Walters said, “Chess is growing rapidly in the United States, including that one of world's most preeminent tournaments in the history of chess was just held at the Saint Louis Chess Club & Scholastic Center in August. It would be a shame to lose the chess column in the nation's foremost newspaper just at the time chess is taking off again in this country.”
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