I know that it is an extremely hard question to answer, but I'd like to know what are the odds. This site is my favorite on SE network because I love chess more than anything, I saw many betas gone with the wind and I see the volume of questions low so I'm concerned.

Also I don't like other Q&A/forums so if this site is gone, I don't see me being a member anywhere else. Although I'm not helping much here, asking more than answering but still I like it here.

What can we do to make it better? And isn't it better if we merge this site with this site http://boardgames.stackexchange.com

I mean java which is a tag on stackoverflow gets more questions per day than both sites combined. Besides Chess is the only sport that has a dedicated site on SE, look at http://sports.stackexchange.com it combines NFL, NHL, NBA, Soccer..

I think with the appropriate tagging this site and boardgames could be combined and will have a better chance, sacrificing a site for the greater good of both sites. What do you think?

The thing is, regardless of the stats, this site doesn't deserve to die, when you search for a question about chess on google, you see chess.se, it has better ranking than chess.com or any other chess forum.

  • My conclusion so far is that we need more features to grow. The SE smart phone app, the tree based navigation. Also, more users who actively study chess and are not mere engine junkies.
    – user2001
    Nov 16, 2014 at 11:13

3 Answers 3


I'm Grace Note, a Community Manager at Stack Exchange.

I recently did a review of this site for graduation, much like one I did for Code Review. I figured since you guys are asking this, I can drop by with some of the thoughts I had.

This site is... actually pretty strong. I was really impressed with the content I saw when doing the review, and the userbase itself is very strong and you have a nice distribution among the reputation levels that can support an election pretty well. Your traffic was also doing very nicely throughout the end of last year, though it's been oddly flat for the past month.

The main falling point of the site is the question income. It's... not that good. For a site with over 600 days of age, there's only 882 open questions on the site, and the incoming volume rarely hits 2 a day. This really needs to be improved in some fashion - but whether or not the subject can actually produce enough content to satisfy graduation (this is separate a concept from enough content to stay alive), that's an unknown. This site is working independently in every other department while sticking to just the subject - it may be wise to figure if the question volume is something that can be fixed. If it is, then it's quite possible to hit graduation.

You aren't the only "split" topic on the network - even in the realm of gaming, there's also a Poker site we have, though their performance isn't quite at your level. Then you have cases like how Super User, Unix & Linux, and Ask Ubuntu all coexist - sometimes a community works when it breaks out. Breaking Java out of Stack Overflow isn't likely to work very functionally, and we have seen actual attempts to split off topics fail in the private and public betas resulting in shut downs.

But sometimes they do work, and so far Chess looks like one of them.

I don't know how I feel about a merge, but right now I'm leaning on no. This is in spite of the fact that in college, I used to be in the Games club, which was about Chess, Go, Dominion, tons of physical games I'd never heard of, and also a bunch of games that the people in the club had created themselves. They were all pretty fun and we had a sort of gaming culture that was embodied in this club - everything intersected. Logically, the grouping makes sense to me, but we don't really seem to have attracted that same sort of unity here to Stack Exchange. On Stack Exchange, it feels like the gamer cultures don't actually intersect all that much - you have the strong M:tG contingent, then you've got of course the Chess group here, and then a hodgepodge of different tribes that don't mingle as much as we might expect. It may be that as a medium, the internet isn't as conducive to the mixing - in the physical world, you can just move your seat and join a random table with a new game you'd never heard of pretty easily. On the net, there isn't that same drive, since the measures of proximity or time matching aren't present - most people operate on their own agenda and scheduled meetups are easier between associates rather than random folks you don't know. This encourages people on the net to specialize, which isn't to say that it's impossible for the same collectives to happen but it is to say that we aren't getting that kind of collective to happen here.

I feel that a merge, thus, has the potential to threaten the growth of both sites. The most obvious potential outcomes are that Chess's power either becomes completely overshadowed in the umbrella site, destroying its success, or that it overwhelms what is left of B&CG's non-M:tG contingent and the site becomes "Magic and Chess". The communities could fracture pretty easily and overall I can see a lot of ways this can go wrong. The main thing being that Chess has a good thing going for it - I feel that we should see how well that continues before we contemplate merging further.

  • earlier today I asked the same question on boardgames just to see what they think, you might want to take a look
    – Lynob
    Feb 27, 2014 at 19:58
  • Nice to talk to some real SE people other than this stupid bot who does the statistics :) I dont mind if both sites stay independent as long as they stay alive, its hard to see one or both sites die. I do agree that this might not be a good thing to do, but also on superuser, you see users only answering linux questions, others answering windows. If you spend some time there you can feel that they are two different sites combined into one.On SO users dont .NET answer python, its working so far.
    – Lynob
    Feb 27, 2014 at 20:08
  • 2
    It's no surprise that it works -- the Internet is perfect for chess, tens of thousands play online and follow live video feeds of tournaments, there are very busy forums on other websites. This is the only dedicated chess Q&A site, and our answers are quite good. We probably just need to promote it more in the chess world. Feb 27, 2014 at 21:14
  • I perhaps agree about this specific case, but from what I've seen, our eagerness to split out subtopic sites does a lot of harm, too. Having somewhat disjoint communities within a site isn't great, but on the other hand, having multiple sites never get large enough to get past beta is awful for everyone involved, and having people favor a stagnant area51 proposal over an existing site is even worse. I just really hope chess (and B&CG) can make it.
    – Cascabel
    Feb 28, 2014 at 8:30

I really like the Chess StackExchange site. I think that the whole StackExchange mechanics is the best mechanism for Q&A forums. My guess would be that the more involvement we see on this site, the better chance it has to go from Beta to Ordinary. Would be nice to hear a few words on this topic from the StackExchange representatives.

Additionally, I would prefer to keep Chess as an independent SE page. Chess is growing and has a large fan-base globally. Chess will perhaps move from clubs to internet clubs. Its internet presence is at least clear and yet the number of (free) high quality internet sites is low. Therefore, Chess StackExchange can claim a central position in this domain.


After reading up a bit more, I found this StackExchange blog post on exactly this subject!


In summary, a StackExchange (e.g. Chess) will stay in Beta as long as needed in order to grow and become healthy. So I don't think there is much to worry about. Just continue building a healthy community and keep the questions and answers to a nice standard! Also, check out these stats for the Chess StackExchange site:


  • 1
    Good summary. I remember when there were less than 500 visitors per day a year ago, so the site has definitely made progress. There was a spike in traffic around the world championship and it hasn't disappeared since.
    – Andrew Mod
    Feb 9, 2014 at 17:09

We have way too few questions (1.8 per day while the goal for beta sites is to average 15 per day).

I also feel that chess as a subject isn't quite big enough for a full Stack Exchange site. There's only so many things that can get asked in a short question format and have a definite answer.

I think a merger with Board and Card Games would be quite a good idea. They also have a good site that's struggling with too few questions, although they still get twice as many as we do. I'm not sure what that would do to our findability on Google though.

  • I don't think there will be a problem with search engines because on superuser linux and windows questions and users coexist and it's doing well on google, besides google doesn't use keywords anymore, that's from the past, it's simple: the more users you get, the higher the site will be on google, mergine the two sites will double the traffic to say the least
    – Lynob
    Feb 27, 2014 at 20:07

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