Greengard's ChessNinja.com

2006 US Championship Site

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Are you ready for San Diego? I just put the new site on the air at http://www.uschesschampionship.com. Pretty much bare bones for now, so people know the when and where and all about the qualifiers. But I thought you might like to poke around.

Some things about the tournament are still up in the air, and other details will be posted in coming days as I get them from the NTC people. The prize fund will be announced soon, but there might be some wait on the format, which will almost certainly change a little from last year.

There were a few 2005 USCh site links broken during the move, but nothing critical and I'll get to them eventually. Then there's the usual nightmare that is Internet Explorer. Elements that are identical in the code and that look identical in Firefox and Mozilla magically move around when viewed in Explorer. Security problems are reason enough to never use IE, but it doesn't even handle html correctly.

I was pretty happy with the site last time, particularly the player blog idea, which I'll definitely continue with a few improvements. We'll also have profiles of all 64 players this time, since we're starting now and not two weeks before the event like last year.


Nice work once again, Mig. I just remember that I had some trouble last year to find the time controls. Maybe you can keep that in mind when adding information about rules etc.

Just a question about the qualifiers. Do I understand it correctly that you can play up to eight tournaments in order to qualify but have to pay $75 each time aside the normal tournament fees?

Must be cruel for someone who fails eight times and loses 600 bucks for nothing...

You poor soul, are you trying to use css2 or something? It's a nightmare to get it working under IE. And know what, it won't change with the next version of Explorer. Microsoft doesn't care about w3c standarts.

But keep up the good work, your sites are wonderful, one can learn a lot of great ideas form them.

Thanks Kai. They haven't finalized the rules and regulations yet. Plenty of time for that.

That's the way it works, $75 a pop. But at least this year there is a consolation (desperation?) qualifying spot for the person who scores the most points from the qualifiers but doesn't qualify. More on that here:


Great sites, the blogs were great. It makes the tourney so much more interesting.

Maybe you and Greg can have a point-counterpoint.

"Elements that are identical in the code and that look identical in Firefox and Mozilla"

Mig, they look exactly the same in both firefox and mozilla because they use exactly the same rendering engine, gecko.

Of course you are right...IE is the one that does not render properly, and they do it on purpose... it's the typical way MS monopolyzes markets, either you use mine, or it does not behave "properly".

Kudos for your nice design.

How nice to see it up so early! And 64 profiles will be great--I'm glad they're giving you enough time to get started.

The profile format at www.lpga.com is a particularly nice one, I think. Two nice points: each player can list their own personal sponsors if any, as well as a link to their official individual website. This encourages sponsors by giving them additional coverage and lets journalists find more background material.

Second, there is a feature where there is a rotating player profile. At LPGA it's on the home page, but it could certainly be on the start of the profiles section. Just randomly (if you use a database) or occasionally change who is featured on that top level. Photo, name, ranking, and linik directly to their profile.

Of course when you do your profiles, I'd love to see direct links to any blog entries from 2005 and 2006 as well! The blogs were relaly great last year.

Good luck--I'm sure it will be an excellent site, as last year.


Oh, and Mig, I'm sure you already know all this, but for others who might be interested, I do have a note on my site called "20 Questions for Chess Promoters" as a reminder of the kind of detailed information that serious chess fans like to see about an event. Mrk Crowther of TWIC helped review it for me, and I think it does serve as a pretty good checklist.


Nice site. I wish more websites would adopt a clean layout. Not gaudy, nicely demarcated sections. No flash.

Ah, I didn't mean they look the same in Firefox as they do in Mozilla. I meant that you take two elements and they look the same in Firefox and the same in Mozilla, but those same two things will look different (from each other) in IE. Obnoxious.

No Flash?! Other than the giant animation at the top of the homepage, you mean! But I guess it's good news if it's that unobtrusive. I'd hate to see how heavy that would be as an animated gif. I rarely use Flash, sometimes as nav elements, and that homepage banner is the only piece in the site.

We intend to keep the site "alive" up until the championship. Obviously with the qualifiers and such, but also with occasional content and contests.


I wrote you an email about this some months back.... would you consider doing daily video reports for the website?

I'm a professional video editor/effects person, with mobile video editing and effects capabilities, and (naturally) a huge chess fan.

Personally, I think it'd be pretty cool to see footage of the top players on the website from the previous day! Interviews, behind the scenes stuff, etc. The video stuff ChessBase has on their emagazine is pretty cool, but by the time it's distributed, it's already dated...

ChessNinja Web TV? What do you think?

The problem with video is the massive time/money to value ratio. Cool is cool, but it's not like there is a way for it to generate revenue or attract people who aren't already going to visit the site. And if it doesn't drive traffic or spread the sponsors' message better, it's just cool. Of course I'd do it if it were free, but it consumes a lot of time, bandwidth, and usually money. I've done mobile event video myself (back in the stone ages of 2000 and 2001) and I agree it's very nice, but unless there's a way to get real added value, it's not worth it.

What I could pitch is having a 5-10 second ad at the front and/or back of each clip that mentions the sponsors and provides links. That might sell, but I'd need to see a pretty tight budget for it.

What we have our eyes on is producing an event DVD that will be available for pre-purchase during the event and will be distributed afterwards. That can pay for itself, put the sponsors someplace they aren't already, and reach new audiences.

Yep, I agree that an event DVD (with .pgn games and analysis, maybe?!), is where the value would be...

But since you'd be shooting and editing anyways.. you'd have the material in hand already.... just have to edit it quickly to put it up on the site in a timely manner.

I'd be willing to do this for minimal expenses, or even nothing... simply because I'm a chess player/fan, and I think it would be cool... yes, you'd want to attach a sponsor to it - a short graphic at the front.... I'd also be willing to offer my graphic design services as a tradeout to a sponsor to help make this happen. I'd think someone like ChessBase would toss in some scratch, if they knew they were getting exposure, plus a top notch logo animation they could use elsewhere....

Send me an email, Mig, if you feel you might want to pursue this.... I'm in it for the chess/coolness factor of it, not to make money.

Hey Mig:

Has any decision been made as to how they are going to select the 2006 US Olympiad team

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on May 23, 2005 11:48 AM.

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