11 July 2012

The Question of Old Material

Even though I don't promote my chess sites on the social networking services, I received a comment about the World Championship site on Facebook.
I love your webpage about the world championship of chess. Will you ever add further material? I particularly like the "Highlights" sections... Sadly, that of the Capablanca - Alekhine match is void, and that of the Spassky - Fischer match is very scant... Will you ever beef them up? - S.T.

The comment refers to my page Match and Tournament Highlights, more specifically the 1927 Alekhine - Capablanca and 1972 Fischer - Spassky matches. These are pages where I collect material relevant to a specific match, above and beyond the basic crosstable and PGN game scores. Many of the pages, like the 1927 match, are simply a collection of references to specific games from well known chess literature, documented with a diagram to a critical position from the game. The most recent diagram on any page dates to December 2000. Some of the pages, like the 1972 match, are more detailed. I'm not sure which of these is the most recent, but I would be surprised to find anything after 2002.

When I created the material, there was no Wikipedia or Chessgames.com. These sites, with their legions of anonymous contributors, have far more resource available than I do. Here are links to their material that coincides with the Facebook comment.

What do to with old material like mine? There are three possibilities: update it, delete it, leave it. I've always taken the option to leave it alone, knowing full well that the material just gets older by the year. I see no pressing reason to change this approach, even though I've collected more source material to draw on than when I did the original work.

There's more to say about this subject, specifically how best to document a World Championship event. Through the years I've given this a lot of thought and might come back to it for a future post.

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