Tuesday, April 3, 2012

"Winding Down"

Back in January, NM Tom Braunlich started a topic on the USCF Issues Forum titled "Analog Clocks Now 'Obsolete'?" (USCF membership required). In one of his posts to this topic, he proposed that the USCF should "make a more prominent announcement in Chess Life and CLO that this change has come and that analog clocks are being phased out." As a onetime journalist, I realized such an announcement would receive little notice on its own, and it would draw much more attention if it were embedded in a feature story about the history of the analog chess clock. I pitched the idea to CL editor Dan Lucas, and he gave me the go-ahead to write it. It's the cover feature of the April 2012 Chess Life.

For the record, I have no idea why the article is illustrated with two pictures of weird-looking digital clocks. (The picture on page 32, reproduced above, is of a Fattorini & Sons "tumbling clock" of the style used in the 1880s and '90s.) Also, if the first page reads funny, it's because my original five artfully constructed paragraphs were glommed together into one big one. Alas, we cannot dictate how our children live once they leave home.

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