The chess blog is intended as a place for commentary on the state of Chess in general, in Missouri, and in SW Missouri. The website was created in 2010, 38 years into the establishment of the Club (SPBCC) to communicate with the public, but mainly to preserve the rich chess history in SW Missouri. The site is not professionally created nor maintained as such. That is the main mission of this website and why I created it. It should also be noted we do not run the Club for profit, we do not require dues from anyone, and we are open to anyone in the community who has an interest in chess. Of course, to rate games and to provide sets and materials there is an associated cost and we offer club membership ($10/yr) to anyone who wishes to play on our Ladder or to contribute to our expenses which also includes donations to the Southside Senior Center for use of the space. We are not a 501c, but we operate as a non-profit without that legal status. We do maintain a bank account with a local bank and this dates back to the 1970s, and we periodically notify those interested of our revenues and expenditures on our Facebook site
Anyone who is interested should note the growth and history of the Club. In the early 70s the growth was such that the Club formed teams which competed against one another and were reported in the local newspaper--The News-Leader. Later, in the 80s a new group came together and the Chess Ladder was established and thrived for ten plus years. In all this time, the Club mainly met at Springfield-Greene County Park Board facilities by a "hand-shake" agreement. In the early 2000s, the Ladder began to fade, players moved away, officers fell off, but the Club still remained with few in number. In all that time we've maintained our affiliation with the USCF and we can be found on their website. In effect, the Club was run on an ad hoc basis and continues to operate in that vein. Those who want to do, do and those who just want to come and play chess, play chess. In 2012, the 40th anniversary, a large tournament was held at the Club to disburse the Club's treasury back into the Chess Community to those who played in the event. It appeared at that time, with few coming to the Club, that it was time to scale back and/or even close the Club. Again, another reason to start the website to at least archive what memorabilia the Club created--the main mission.
Then, around 2014, a new interest emerged. It seemed what was lacking was organized chess--another Ladder, small blitz tournaments and other events to bring the chess community back to the Club--though we are still not large in number--we continue to offer chess in various forms: both casual and rated play. For instance, in 2017 close to 300 rated games were played. Three newsletters reporting on these games have been made available to those interested. During this time, old members returned; some with a rich history with the Club dating back decades and some who played at the Club while in high school and rediscovered our existence and new members who have moved to the area. Some longed for the "old" glory days of the 1990s, some just wanted to play chess now and then, and still others envisioned something else for the Club--to move the Club towards a "legal" status with tax liabilities and perhaps a more pro-active reach into the community. (If they won't come to us, we will go to them attitude.) We applaud those efforts and fine value in doing so. This, of course, requires commitment that some wished to give and others did not. As a result, a fission occured which seemed to create personal animosity. And from this a membership was revoked from organized activities (the first ever in 47 years), but not from playing chess at the Club.
It should be noted, a splitter group has formed using essentially the same name as SPBCC. This group created a 501c, its own website, and Facebook page: Springfield-Greene County Park Board Chess Club. At this time, that group is offering classes around Springfield at various library locations and is promoting chess in SW Missouri. Springfield Park Board Chess Club applauds these efforts and we hope they are able to provide other chess venues and opportunities for the chess community. As we understand it, they are working with the Park Board to achieve just that and we hope anyone interested will support their efforts.
As to our existence, we hope to remain where we have been for the past 47 years; we hope to still offer Ladder competition to anyone in the Community and we hope those in the chess community will support what we have to offer to the Community--we see no conflict with any other group in the area that provides chess opportunity whether it be Missouri State's Chess Club, the Joplin Chess Club, or the Drury Universtity Chess Club or any other Club we might not be aware.
As a past member of the Club used to say, "Never too much chess!"