Correspondence

Correspondence chess can mean many things — playing chess on a forum, through postcards, across email. Wikipedia even notes that “less common methods” include the use of homing pigeons. What these disparate means of correspondence share is that they map onto a single game — chess. As Glenn Adamson explains in Fewer, Better Things,

[Chess] is a pure abstraction, in black and white. You can make a chessboard out of any material you want, cheap or expensive, pencil on paper or ivory on wood, but it doesn't really change the game. That is why you can play by postcard. Chess itself is intangible, so it can go anywhere.


I find myself being more interested in figuring out what other means of correspondence could be used to play chess than the playing of chess. That bleeds into my fascination with personal publishing on the web. Putting words behind a link that someone can access (that mean something) is an abstract enterprise. From common to bespoke, there are so many ways to publish. It becomes a game in and of itself — tinkering around with the printing press rather than using it to print something.

But I find the relationship between publishing and tinkering to be a mutual one. The more you publish, the more you tinker your means of publishing. The more you tinker, the more you publish about your means of tinkering (among other things). Both feed into each other quite well if you let them. This blog is a testament to that. I hope I can keep reminding myself to do both — to not just fuss with the means of correspondence but to also play chess.