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Speaking of the ICC, they have done the chess world another favor by putting Gene Venable's ChessWatch back on the air. The peripatetic review of online chess has had many homes and was the reason I met Gene online in 1999 and in person in 2000.

He started it himself on a free website and when I was put in charge of building site content and staff for the nascent KasparovChess.com I asked Gene to come on board as an editor-by-email. When KC opened an office in New York and I moved there I asked Gene if he would move from San Diego to join KC full time as an editor, and to continue Chess Watch under the glaring red of KC. (He couldn't really argue with the palette considering his own predilection for a painful shade of yellow.)

He packed his bags, moved to New Jersey, and commuted to our Broadway & Wall St. office each day. When KC started to shut down operations bit by bit and the NY office was closing (Spring 2001) it was suggested that I move to Moscow to work with the Russian content team. I declined and suggested that Gene go and sure enough he surprised us and jumped at the chance. He just needed to get a passport first! (For a few months it was just Gene, controller Anthony Milazzo, and me wandering around the large office, the other dozen employees having been let go.)

Gene continued work in Moscow until KC folded up shop completely and then decided he liked Moscow so much he would stick around! When the aforementioned Moscow content folks reappeared with the new Kasparov-supported worldchessrating.com Gene was recruited again but the site's financial backing was never on solid ground. Now he and ChessWatch are at the ICC website, which has never had any content worth speaking of before.

It's definitely worth a bookmark. Good luck to Gene, with whom I shared many a plate of bean dip at the Wall St. Bar and Grill (which followed the lead of KasparovChess and closed up shop over a year ago, RIP).

Here's a picture of Gene with some chess VIP visiting our offices in March, 2000.

For more nostalgia, try this:
(Yes, I save everything.)

December 26, 1999

Hello Gene,

This is Mig at the newly renamed KasparovChess.com. We're launching our completely new site early in the coming year and I'm looking for fresh contributors. I like the concept of your ChessWatch site and instead of stealing it I was wondering if you would be interested in doing what you're doing now, but be paid for it and get a few hundred times the number of hits!

Please write back if you're at all interested. GM Ronen Har-Zvi is my assistant here and will be following things up on this end. (Basically this means annoying you constantly until you acquiesce.) (No, there are no Kasparov tattoos or "we love Garry" brainwashing sessions.) I hope your holidays are happy ones, take care. Saludos, Mig

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    About this Entry

    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on June 20, 2003 4:22 AM.

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