It’s been quite a ride so far as Campfire Chess celebrates its eighth birthday today! I started writing this blog shortly after closing an astronomy blog I had run for about 10 years called nightShifted Astronomy. Throughout its time, this site has covered world championships, local events, personal struggles, and a variety of topics throughout the chess world.
Campfire Chess began in May 2014 as Off My Chess and has taken many forms throughout the years. I am proud of the work done here and look forward to continuing as I keep playing chess and work to help others get to know the joy of the world’s greatest game.
Happy Birthday, Campfire Chess – A Personal Chess Journey!
For the love of God, please stop destroying your platform. Campfire Chess runs on a nearly 10-year old WordPress installation and for many years it was unbeatable as a blogging and content management system. More recently it seems that every time I log into my site to make an entry I am confronted with some unnecessary and extremely destructive redesign of basic features. At first it was the Gutenberg editor that divides paragraphs into blocks. Fortunately, there is a plugin to remove that nonsense and return to the classic editor.
And now it’s widgets. The small blocks of interactivity on the right side of Campfire Chess are done with WordPress widgets and until recently, it was a very easy and basic function of site management. Now it’s received its own Gutenberg upgrade an it literally destroyed my sidebar. Fortunately, there is a plugin to remove that nonsense and return to the classic widgets…
Are you noticing the pattern yet?
Come on, guys. Stop ruining a good thing. When the top plugins on your platform are designed to remove some of your most recent added features…take a freakin’ hint.
Non-chess rant over!
Game on, campers!
It’s taken a few weeks, but I’m almost finished with the code refresh and cleaning out all of the junk here on Campfire Chess. You’ll notice that quite a few things have changed. Some are subtle and some are not so subtle. I’m still in the process of going through all of the old content to determine its historical merit. Some older content has been removed because the YouTube videos they reference or the websites/products they reference no longer exist. The world of chess is always changing and so will we. Here’s a brief overview of what’s happening so far:
- More regular updates of news, events, and games from top players as well as local games and events.
- Completely redesigned the Downloads page. More game collections are on their way.
- Realigned all 300+ posts since the website opened to make sure they align with proper categories.
- Removed 10+ posts referencing websites, products, and YouTube videos that no longer exist.
Additionally, I’m working to add some new features to the site as well.
- Started working on the chess utility. Right now it’s just a board that can be used for quick online analysis. Eventually it’ll include libraries and openings, but it’s just basic at the moment.
- More interaction and cross-blogging with Chess.com. Campfire Chess is now a Chess.com premium member and I’d eventually like to feature the content on this website alongside their top blogs as well. You can view certain content from this site cross-blogged here.
- The YouTube channel for this site is dead, but I hope to revive it before the end of the year with some new content. I just have to decide what kind of chess content I’m going to feature.
I’m very excited to be bringing this project back to life and I hope that you’ll continue to take the journey with me. The best way to engage with Campfire Chess is on our social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
As you might have noticed, Campfire Chess is slowly roaring back to life after an extended hiatus. The return not only includes some refinements to the design, a code refresh, a complete redesign of the Downloads page, and a few other tweaks…but it also includes the return of our social media accounts. I am doing my best to build a content system where I can consistently update them, but for now, the accounts are active and slowly coming back to life along with the site. If you’re into the social media scene, check us out:
Facebook: Campfire Chess
Whew! This place is dusty! There are spider webs all over the place and it is obvious that the power went out at some point on this website because there is a funky green mold growing in… Oh, nevermind. Greetings, Campers! Welcome back to Campfire Chess, an amateur chess blog that has seen better days. Seriously.
So, today you might have noticed (or not) the first official blog post since May 2018 and the first significant visual upgrades since 2017. Well, I decided to re-open the site’s core this morning and I was shocked to see how neglected it had become. At one point, Campfire Chess was my crowning (pun intended) achievement! It was heartbreaking to see how much the challenges of the past year had allowed it to decay.
Fear not, however! I have cleaned out the dirt, busted the spider webs, and made some minor upgrades to the site’s visuals and operational elements. It is my hope over the next few months to get back to regular chess blogging. Before I do that, I have to get back to regular chess playing, which is something sorely lacking for me these days.
I am working on that! I promise! In the meantime, continue to check back here for new content or follow Campfire Chess on any of its social media platforms using the navigation menu above.
See you on the board!
The downloads page has always been an important part of Campfire Chess, but it recently fell into an unfortunate state of disrepair. I knew that it needed some work but was unprepared for the level at which I had allowed it to deteriorate over time. It was not until I received a message from a reader on Chess.com asking me to fix one of the links for a PGN book collection that I realized how bad things had gotten. Fortunately, action has been taken…
Every element of the downloads page has been re-coded to ensure that the links are accurate and that the information is presented clearly on desktop and mobile devices. I have also finally released a photo project I have been working on for awhile called Drug of Choice which is presented as a wallpaper option for a multitude of devices. The image also appears in the featured image header for this entry.
I have plans to add new material to the downloads page very soon and will post updates on the Campfire Chess Twitter and Facebook feeds when that happens. Enjoy!
Wow! What a demanding few weeks this has been! I thought that I would struggle not to write or work on the blog during my self-imposed exile, but that turned out to be much easier than I expected given the amount of work I had to do for school and for my everyday job. Yet, I am happy to say that things are starting to wind down and I am ready to get back into writing regularly here on Campfire Chess. To start out for now, I would like to point everyone to the updated downloads page where there are many new wallpaper sizes for some of the older wallpapers and a brand new wallpaper featuring the Campfire Chess logo and a beautiful, misty forest background.
I am working on fixing some display problems with the site as well as eliminating the clutter that has gathered on the server over the last two years to make the campfire experience much more streamlined. There are also some exciting new projects on the horizon, so keep those chess pieces moving!