chessgames.com: Welcome to the newest Chessgames feature, "The Biographer Bistro." For this first post, we will answer a few questions so everybody understands why it's here and what it's for.
<WHAT IS THE BIOGRAPHER BISTRO?>
This forum is for discussing chess history, especially in the context of improving the biographies that appear on most of our player pages.
We dubbed it a "bistro" to emphasize the relaxed environment. This is not an exclusive club for Chessgames biographers or "serious historians" only. Everybody is invited to stop by to discuss chess history, ask questions, share knowledge, or even joke around.
<WHAT IS A CHESSGAMES BIOGRAPHER?>
For those who don't know, Chessgames biographers are just ordinary members who have volunteered to help us improve the database by supplying biographical information. To date they have provided information on a staggering 28,000 chess players, ranging from amateurs to world champions. Chessgames is greatly indebted to their generous efforts and regards the biographies as one of the most important services that this website provides.
<WHAT KINDS OF POSTS ARE APPROPRIATE HERE?>
The most important type of post for this forum is one which points out an error (including errors of omission) on any biography. In this way, any member can contribute to the research process, even those who are not officially Chessgames biographers.
However, the Bistro is not limited to that purpose.
Are you confused about some detail of chess history? Somebody here is bound to be able to answer your question. Or maybe you want to discuss a matter of historical debate--this may be the best place to do just that. Or perhaps you have a very old chess book, or a set, or some art: come here to have it appraised, or at least appreciated.
We don't want to limit your use of this forum, provided that you follow the theme. Anything that fits under the wide umbrella of "chess history" will reside cozily in the Biographer Bistro.
<I FOUND AN ERROR, BUT IT'S NOT IN A BIO>
Now you are talking about an entirely different subject. We use a system we call "correction slips" to fix matters like erroneous player names, game scores, etc. Instead of posting here, you probably should first review Chessgames Help in the section "I found a mistake in your database that requires correction. What should I do?"
<CAN I BE A CHESSGAMES BIOGRAPHER?>
We prefer to keep the number of active biographers to a manageable size; usually under 40. Because we already have a large number of competent volunteers, we are not actively seeking new biographers at the time of this writing.
However, that doesn't mean that you can't volunteer. If you feel skilled in the art of writing clear and formal English, as well as chess research, you may volunteer by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. In your request to volunteer, it helps if you include a little bit about yourself and why you think you'd be good for the job.
Please don't take offense if we don't tend to your application immediately; we truly appreciate all of your generous offers and keep all requests on file.
We hope that this page not only makes our biographies better, but also spawns original discussion, uncovers fascinating chess history, and allows members to share in the excitement of our game's illustrious, fascinating, and often strange history.
The Chessgames Staff