Simply put, I am speechless. Today marks the end of five years of my life spent on chess.com. I have truly come a long way. When I first created my account and began sharing my thoughts with the world through my posts, I was a young whippersnapper, just beginning the seventh grade. Today, I'm a much-wiser senior in high school, getting ready to depart for college in just a few months.
There isn't much to say anymore. Of course, I'd like to congratulate the staff of chess.com. Five years ago, it was putting the finishing touches on an ambitious new site, with the idea of creating a diverse online community of chess players. I would say that they have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. As the site continues to grow and grow, it is clear that the staff will always be there to make it better and better.
I do have a confession to make. I actually haven't been playing much chess recently. Ever since I began high school, I haven't had much free time. The chess community where I live has also shrunk dramatically in the past few years. The chess club at my school is down to just a few members, and it will probably disappear when I graduate. Scholastic tournaments are no longer being held. And as I have mentioned before, my local chess club folded last year.
I regret the disappearance of a once-thriving chess culture. This game is too great to be relegated to the shadows. It promotes critical thinking skills from which many people nowadays could benefit. That is why I intend to begin playing more chess next year, after I graduate from high school. It's simply too good for me to let to of it.
My experiences with chess in my community have made me realize just how important this site is. You might not like it at times, but I say this: be glad that you're a part of it, as it has (and will continue to) promote chess. What more could you want it to do?
Congratulations, chess.com! I hope that the next five years are as great as the first five were!