And the New Year rang in--I was the only member of the family awake. I was playing a game on FICS! So I rang it in right, with explosions going off outside and me kicking somebody's butt...well, that's the way I remember it.
I've finally taken the time to update the blogroll a bit, added some fine blogs like Chess Skills, Chesstiger and Rolling Pawns. A few good men, like Chess Tyro and my old friend and foe Eric Shoemaker (of the Reno Chess Club) are apparently off the air for good, blogs deleted, so their links are gone, too. A few moved off the rolls of "On Hiatus" since they posted something. Regular maintenance and occasionally refurbishing like this is necessary if a blog is to avoid becoming irrelevant.
Someone who never was and never will be irrelevant is chessloser, who after splitting with the lovely Mrs. chessloser wandered south through Mexico until he ended up in Guatemala, then announced his resignation from blogging.
How big a force is/was chessloser? Some scheisskopf posted a fake death rumor under the handle "Mrs Chessloser." A man as substantive as the Reassembler wished that he would return. And now it's time for me to admit that, proud as I am of this blog and the number of visitors I have had, of the 41,206 showing right this minute on my Sitemeter I estimate that approximately 12,000 of them only came because I once linked to chessloser's Wordpress avatar, which happens to be the hottest chess photo of all time. He bestrode the chess blogging world like a Colossus. He will be missed.
ADDED: Another blog that really deserves your attention, full of good insights, is The Endgame Tactician (by Likesforests). I should have added it to the sidebar ages ago.
One of chessloser's commentors turned out to be one of the proprietors of Endgame, the Original Chess Apparel, which I just visited for the first time and enjoyed browsing. Why do they do it?:
Things are not easy for a chess player. We live in a time when activities such as bowling and competitive eating are regarded as more prestigious sporting events than chess. The majority of our top players cannot earn a living from the sport they have dedicated their lives to. Yet these players continue to push forward, fueled by their passion for the game. They stand in opposition to a society that celebrates stupidity and persecutes intellectualism.
Endgame believes that intellectual passions, like chess, are at the very core of being human. Passion of the body is nothing without passion of the mind. It is our body that engages in the act, but it is our mind that provides us with the lasting joy of it.
Well said! Let us not forget, though, that the excellent Blunderprone also has a line of chess clothing worthy of your consideration:
I'll tell you what Morphy would do--he would greet you in the most courtly and gentlemanly manner, kick your ass over the board, then bid you good day in the most courtly and gentlemanly manner.
If you insist on some kind of New Year's Resolution, ask yourself "What would Morphy do?" more often. Then do it.