Dear Mr. McGrory,
As the program director of the Wachusett Chess Club at Fitchburg State University and a journalist (1969-2002) at the Sentinel & Enterprise in Fitchburg, I am very disappointed to hear of the planned cancellation of the Boston Globe‘s chess column, “Chess Notes,” written by World Chess Federation Master Chris Chase of Somerville. I truly hope that this does not happen.
As my longtime friend, Tom Zuppa, the recently appointed senior editor of The Sun in Lowell and an avid and nationally rated chess player has been quoted as saying, “Newspapers are incredibly important to the fabric of a community.” And so it is, I believe, with the Boston Globe. If the purpose of a newspaper is to inform, entertain, and yes, to educate, then the Globe has been doing that for more than a half-century with its chess column. To end it now would be a tragedy.
The Boston Globe chess column has a rich history, beginning in the early 1960s with chess columnist Jim Burgess. After his death in late July 1964, the column was taken over by longtime attorney, chess player and chess philanthropist Harold Dondis of Belmont. He ran the column for more than 50 years and experienced two cancellations during his tenure, but the column was reinstated by popular demand from the Globe‘s readers, who called, wrote and emailed to request that the column be brought back. And so it was.
Chess is viewed as an art, a science, and yes, a SPORT. It has been part of the fabric of our cultural life. It is a game played in every country of the world. Its international body, the World Chess Federation (FIDE), is the second largest sports organization in the world – second only to FIFA (Federation Internationale de Football Association).
The Globe has been “,masterful” in its longtime chess column. While other newspapers in Massachusetts, such as the Boston Herald, Worcester Telegram & Gazette, Sentinel & Enterprise, Gardner News, Athol Daily News et al. ran weekly chess columns in the past – and some of them for many years, e.g. T&G (40-plus years), S&E (34 years) – the Globe has been loyal to its chess-playing readers by maintaining a chess column.
I beseech you and the powers that be at the Globe to keep the chess column. It has been good for the cultural life of our society.