Greengard's ChessNinja.com

Start Your Engines

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Greetings from San Diego. Actually, it's La Jolla, a rather exclusive and upscale village 15 minutes north of the city center. The site of the 2005 US Championship is the Hilton Torrey Pines hotel. It's between the sea and the beautiful Torrey Pines State Park.

It was no problem getting here from the small airport, which is practically in the middle of San Diego. I waited a few minutes for a shuttle bus that cost $12.50. (Company "Cloud 9".) Apparently it's a little trickier to get back to the city since there is no public transportation from the hotel to downtown San Diego! I guess you could just take the airport shuttle. They have free hotel shuttles into La Jolla and there must be a bus or something from there. I hope so, because a taxi is $40+.

The hotel and site are spectacular. Here is the view from the mini-patio of my room, which is right next to the tournament ballroom.

More importantly, the DSL internet in my room is working fine, although there is something about it costing $13/day. I hope I get a webmaster exemption for that! That's money I need to spend on caffeinated beverages in order to work on the site.

I'll be blogging from behind the scenes throughout the tournament and inviting participants and organizers to guest blog as well. That's in addition to the analysis, interviews, and photo galleries.


I understand that those DGT sensory boards will be in use. If I recall properly, the first time I saw those was at the world championship quarterfinals at St. John, NB, 1988. They should make a good impression on some of the younger spectators in the audience, for whom everything has to be a video game one way or another.

you'd think the US championship website might actually say where exactly the tournament is. it should be prominently posted. stupid.

The site details are given in the "Press" portion of the website, including a link to the hotel's site. Not as prominent as it might be, I guess, but overall the event website strikes me as quite thorough.

actually it is. right at the top

You mean saying San Diego twice in big letters isn't enough? And just about every page has a link to the "about the tournament site" page, including the homepage. There is also a "where" section on the main press page, etc.

Yes, the Toma system and DGT boards are being used again. Setting up and testing last night and today.

I can follow the links, but just saying "San Diego" doesn't exactly get me to the playing hall, does it? I found the link too, under "press', but how about the actual location on the main page?!

I appreciate the feedback, if not the insulting tone, but I don't think putting the hotel's street address, a map, and instructions how to get here from the airport on the homepage is necessary or a good idea. That's what it would take to get you to the playing hall. Having it marked and one click away is sufficient.

Sorry, not trying to sound insulting, it's just my nature. :) I am just saying that an event this prestigious maybe should just have the actual location more conveniently located. Why would a would-be spectator click on 'press' to find the locale? Perhaps the hotel and address on the main page would suffice. A link to a mapquest map from my front door could also prove beneficial. maybe I'll bring you a coffee to show my goodwill.

Ideally, I'd love to see exactly what you describe, Mig: address, directions from the airport, link to MapQuest, all from a front page link marked DIRECTIONS or LOCATION. It's a service to the fans.

But of course the problem is there's SO much work to do, and so few people to do it. I'm not surprised not to see it, as a question of priorities. But I do agree it would be a great idea to have it.


But all of those things are one click away. Actually I had a "come see the US Championships!" link on the homepage for a while that linked to the venue page. But it got bumped for a few of the items now in the third column.

Everybody wants everything on the homepage, that's the problem. There's an entire philosophy about it. Sponsors, navigation, news, photos, etc. I've done usability consulting for a while now and the HP is always a flashpoint, from tech companies to chess sites.

I'll see about putting the Visit! item back once I get the other 40 #1 priorities out of the way!

I'll second that. At work we've had entire projects to determine the strategy for what goes on the home page, where, when, etc. We've even had to *pay* consultants to tell us what goes where. :confused:

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    About this Entry

    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on November 22, 2004 10:12 PM.

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