Washington Post: cut the chess guy?

3/21/2007 – What can newspapers do to gain space in their printed editions? "Cut the chess guy" was the humorous advice from a television serial. After the axing of Nigel Short's widely-read column in the Guardian, now the Washington Post has cut the highly-respected weekly section on chess by GM Lubomir Kavalek by a third. Want to do something about it?

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Chess columnist GM Lubomir Kavalek

Following the "cut the chess guy" strategy may give a newspaper some extra inches in the back pages, but it also drives away a group of readers who may be reading this newspaper, rather than another, because of the chess column.

Readers of GM Lubomir Kavalek’s chess column in the Washington Post might have noticed that the March 19, 2007 column is shorter than usual. That is not an optical illusion. The Washington Post decided to reduce the award-winning chess column by almost a third to accommodate other features on the comics pages.

Readers who read the Washington Post because of its chess column may want to comment on the change directly to the editors. They can do so by writing to comics@washpost.com; or by calling the comics hotline 202-334-4775; or writing a letter to Comics Feedback, The Washington Post, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington D.C. 20071.

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Reading the columns, which always include a full annotated game, may require the visitor to register to the Washington Post news service. This costs nothing but requires you to give your email address. As far as we can tell the address is not given to third parties or used for any other commercial purposes by the WP. Readers who are paranoid about giving out their email addresses can also use this Bug-me-not site to read the columns.


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