What is it with some sites, including chess.com?!
The smilies on this site are LAME! They look crap, they don't automatically work with key characters such as :) and there are nowhere near enough of them!
With text based communications, I believe emoticons are very important to conveying the mood of a post. Detecting sarcasm in text is almost impossible without them.
Smilies are free. They are fast. They are very small. There is no good logical reason why smilies cannot be extended here!
And most of all, I find them FUN to use... ... well... they are on OTHER sites anyway.
Just thought I'd share my views on the smily situation here :p