28 September 2022

The First Quarter Century

Earlier this year, in a post on my main blog titled A Year of Anniversaries (May 2022), I wrote,
On a more personal note, I'll see a couple of significant anniversaries myself:-
• 25 years documenting the World Chess Championship (m-w.com; WCC site)

The first incarnation of the site was on Compuserve.com. In Archive.org's Wayback Machine, the earliest capture of the WCC site's index page on that domain is shown below. Archive.org dates the page to 3 December 1998.

Wayback Machine [ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/Mark_Weeks]

My first backup of all pages on the site was dated 18 September 1997. The first event listed on the index page was '1994-96 FIDE' and the last was '1886 USA Steinitz - Zukertort', i.e. all events were on a single page and there were no unofficial events from earlier in the 19th century.

I recorded the first statistics on 23 September 1997, when I noted 213 visitors to date. I'm not sure how many days that covered, because I neglected to record the day I added the Icount.com counter to the index page. There were only three additional pages linked from the index page:-

  • 'Index of players - Alphabetical list of all players who have participated in a World Chess Championship event.'; All names A-Z were on a single page. [WCC-PLYR.HTM]
  • 'Recent news about the World Chess Championship (aka "chess politics")'; e.g. 'Organizations' and 'Relevant pages on the Web'. [WCC-NEXT.HTM]
  • 'The World Chess Championship and Computers'; the emphasis was on the two Kasparov - Deep Blue matches. [WCC-COMP.HTM]

By the time of the December 1998 page returned by the Wayback Machine, those pages had been reorganized into a table titled 'Related topics'. The WCC-NEXT.HTM page had disappeared.

For an earlier post on the creation of the site, see The Second Decade (March 2007). It was the first post on this blog and started,

Almost ten years have passed since I first started assembling the information that became my first web site. Chess had always been good to me and I wanted to do something for the game. No one had yet put anything on the web that tackled thoroughly the history of the World Chess Championship, so I decided that it would be my little gift to chess.

For the story behind another noteworthy anniversary on the site, see Status of the Women's World Championship (October 2019). I moved the site from Compuserve.com to my own domain in October 1999.

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