Rev It Up Reverand!

I clicked on one of the links provided by the Chess Cafe (, “Jackson Morrison vs Sawyer in Sicilian Najdorf” and was sent to a blog with the title, “Playing Chess Openings.” The very first thing I saw was a callipygian derriere that literally jumped out at me. My first thought was that I had mistakenly clicked on “Spraggett On Chess” by mistake ( The add read, “Date Arab Women.” Hell yeah! Where’s the Viagra?
After coming to my senses I noticed, “Read 40 years of chess stories by correspondence master and BDG author. Rev. Tim Sawyer.”
Reverand Tim, my Man!

There are so many chess blogs, and so little time. One of my favorites is “Old In Chess: The Latest Chess News From 100 Years Ago” by Steve Wrinn ( I check it out every day.

James Stripes of Spokane, Washington, writes the “Chess Skills” blog. He is a chess historian and educator. James is currently writing about the McDonnell — De La Bourdonnais 1834 match. Check it out at:

This caught my eye, “The Geezers versus RPI.” Being a “Geezer” made me click on to the ENYCA, the website of the Eastern New York Chess Association. If you are also a Geezer, or wish to prepare for the future, check out the May 15, 2014 post by Bill Little, which includes a couple of games played by Bobby Fischer. (

The newest chess blog I have discovered is “Sputnick’s Chess Blog” ( All we know about “Sputnick” is: “I am a USCF “Class A” chess player, and this blog is dedicated to my efforts to master the royal game. I hope others find my musings of interest and welcome comments and dialogue about the content that appears here.” Good blogging, Sputnick!”

Old inChess

A new chess blog has appeared on the web:
Upon discovery I sent an email to the author and received this reply:

Hi there Michael-

Thanks for writing and for your kind words. Sorry to have taken a few days to get back to you – it looks like I’m going to have to start checking this e-mail more often. (For a long time there was really no need, as very few people were visiting the blog and absolutely no one was writing to me about it. But now, after Old in Chess got a brief mention in the latest issue of New in Chess – which was quite a surprise! – and the Chess Cafe has begun to include it in their daily links, my traffic and correspondence have both started to pick up.)

You asked why I started writing the blog. I’ve always had an interest in chess history, and have written a few articles in the past. (You can find a couple of them in the Skittles Room archive on the Chess Cafe site.) Several years ago it occurred to me that it might be a lot of fun to present some of that history as current news – I didn’t know of anyone else who was doing anything similar, though there are a million chess blogs out there and I could well be wrong. As you can see from the blog, I made two earlier attempts to get started, in 1907 and 1910 (well, OK, 2007 and 2010), but both ended quickly owing to lack of time, demands of real life and work, etc. I’ve got a bit more time to devote to the whole thing these days, and, as I’m enjoying it so much, I hope to continue indefinitely.

On the blog, I take just a bit of literary license with certain details – for example, I usually pretend that games were finished in one sitting, without adjournments – but I do try to stick to the facts. I’ve also tried to develop an authentic-sounding, century-old narrative “voice.” To me it sounds consistent, at least – I’ll let others judge its quality. Some of my most enjoyable moments come when, while reporting happenings from a hundred years ago, I can wink at the reader and share an inside joke with him, for example:
(Written in the shadow of the long, awful period with two World Champions, stemming from the Kasparov-FIDE schism in 1993.)
(My tribute to the internet)
(A well-meaning profile of budding con man and future felon Norman Whitaker. My narrator thinks well of everyone, and can be a bit ingenuous at times…)
(A reference to Fischer’s 1961 article “A bust to the King’s Gambit,” which claimed 3…d6 as the refutation)
(Well, this one’s obvious.)

Anyway, I hope that’s some of what you were looking for. Let me know if you have any questions. I do intend to put my name on the blog sooner or later, but for the moment I think I’d rather maintain my anonymity, so if you do write about Old in Chess on your own blog (interesting stuff, by the way), I’d prefer to have you refer to me as just sjw.

Thanks and best wishes,