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I have never been so happy to ring in a new year as I have this year.  What an absolute mess 2020 was.  As I write this my arm is still sore from my recent COVID vaccine, which I am very thankful for.  Unfortunately, it arrived a little too late for several of my friends and coworkers who are battling this terrible disease.

Overall, 2020 was miserable for many of us.  That said, however, there were some glimmers of light in the otherwise dark year that 2020 was.

First, 2020 did bring back a resurgence in chess interest that the world hasn't seen since the time of Bobby Fischer.  Many of us re-activated old accounts and brought our old chessboard and books out of the closet. 

This past year also brought us a great Netflix series, the Queen's Gambit which added immensely to the interest in chess.  Just take a look at this graph from that shows server load over time in 2020.


So I joined at around the red arrow when the COVID-19 mayhem started.  And then the second spike is around the time the Queen's Gambit dropped on Netflix.   Wow!

For me, putting my mind into the 64 squares was just a wonderful and healthy place to put my mind while chaos happened all around me.  At lunch, I could sit someone in silence, pull out my phone, and check the status of the games I have been playing with many of you.  I suspect many of you feel the same way.

The greater chess interest is better for all of us.  The more money that comes into the various chess services that we all utilize, the better those resources will become for all of us.

I look forward to seeing how this increased interest translates into over-the-board play.  I hope that once this horrendous pandemic is behind us, that maybe chess clubs around the world will see an influx of both players and revenue.

. . .

So 2020, good riddance you fuming, dumpster fire!  Welcome, 2021!  I hope you will be a better year.  The bar is set pretty low, so don't blow it!

I look forward to a year filled (hopefully) with plentiful checkmates, and fewer blunders!  Oh yeah, and NO PANDEMICS!  

What are you looking forward to most in regards to chess and 2021?  Let me know in the comments below!

I'm a 40-something, long-time lover of chess who has always been in awe of the complexity of this beautiful game.  I use this blog to share the incredible history of chess and offer some commentary on current chess happenings around the world.  Enjoy!