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After reading this post about the scope of the site, and also seeing how this other one got closed (see this meta post for discussion), I started to think about what is it really that this site can/should offer and whether it is worth being part of for the ordinary chess player. There was another meta post discussing whether the Stack Exchange format is suitable for chess, but I don't see any of the answers really addressing the question.

First, let's be honest, there is no feature in Chess Stack Exchange that the average chess forum does not have. Ratings are a great alternative to reputation, or even better. More importantly, any type of question asked here could also find its answer on a regular chess forum, whether it is about game analysis, engines, rules or anything else.

However, there are things that a chess forum can offer that this site does not. In an ordinary chess forum, you start a thread and people begin to debate about the subject in question. Here, they begin to discuss whether the question is or is not off-topic and most of the time eventually putting the question on hold as it is enough if 5 people want to close your question regardless of whether other 100 are OK with it.

I do understand that the Stack Exchange communities are not forums, but the point is: why would I ask anything here if I can do it in a forum, given that the forum will always help me and the Stack community will only in a very few particular situations? And all of that while you see programming or Shogi questions being well-received!

Another way forums tend to be useful is reading random questions. You go to a thread started by another user and learn from the discussion that is going on. The problem is that you hardly ever find a good chess question on this site, and when there is one, it's often either put on hold or unanswered.

There is also the problem of not being possible to do a long sequence of replies. Comment provide some kind of workaround, but it is quite uncomfortable.

OK, now we know there is nobody here. We also have a grasp on why that may be the case. Let's find the solutions! Should this site be reserved to programming nerds who like chess? Should we have more flexibility towards "opinion-based" or "too broad" questions? Should we close the site altogether?

By the way, I am asking this with a great fear of the question being closed for some reason (I had to squeeze my brain to turn this into a question format, and I know I kind of failed!), which is a bit discouraging and almost leads me to not asking it at all. After all, why should I take my time to make a contribution that has a great chance of receiving bad critics and rejection? Maybe I should just save my thoughts for myself! I am sure this is the thought process behind the behaviour of many new contributors that are about to ask their second question!

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    Due to sub-optimal fit for SE format, this site operates in a degenerative form and cannot be compared to other chess sites, or even SEs in general. Reputation scores here for users or content have very little to do with the actual value. – prusswan Jun 28 '19 at 4:53
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    Check chess.stackexchange.com/questions/24882/… a non-duplicate question closed as duplicate, for further seeing how this site treats newbies. The policy is "first shoot, then ask" – David Jul 11 '19 at 9:16
  • This SE is overly attractive to non-experts and in return attracts disproportionate amount of 'juvenile' content that a normal site with a regular mix of experts and non-experts will not see nor entertain. That question is pointless because as a 1400 player, his tactics are too poor for 'opening knowledge' to be of much significance. He can dictate a 20-line theory and fall straight into a three-mover.. – prusswan Jul 11 '19 at 13:08
  • The fact that this question serves him to no good does not mean that we should close it. We are not his parents – David Jul 11 '19 at 13:10
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I'm trying to address a few of your points, since most of them are a matter of personal taste (and therefore neither right or wrong, I just happen to disagree with some of them and agree with a few others). I'm writing this as a community member, please don't pay attention to the ♦ behind my name.

In an ordinary chess forum, you start a thread and people begin to debate about the subject in question.

... which makes an eventual best answer hard to find. Here, the answer deemed most useful by the community receives the most upvotes, and the author can choose which answer helped them the most by accepting it. In a forum, you often have to dig through the initial motions (e.g. scoping the question, which is done here through comments which can later be flagged as No Longer Needed and eventually deleted) before finding anything you can use. Sometimes, it's helpful for your own thought process, but many times it isn't.

Here, they begin to discuss whether the question is or is not off-topic and most of the time eventually putting the question on hold as it is enough if 5 people want to close your question regardless of whether other 100 are OK with it.

If only 5 of those 100 people have the reopen votes privilege, they can choose to reopen it again. It's possible to have so-called close/reopen wars; those can be carried over to this Meta where we can have a debate over the scope of the site and whether a particular question fits or not.

And all of that while you see programming or Shogi questions being well-received!

You might not find them useful, but apparently other community members do. These scores say something about the people here, and people are hard to change (nor, IMHO, should we try to). It's a gross oversimplification, but when your ideas about raising taxes aren't well received at a Republican party convention, maybe you should switch to the Democrats?

Should we have more flexibility towards "opinion-based" or "too broad" questions?

We are already more flexible than other sites. I'm pretty sure a question like this one (taken randomly from the front page) would be shut down on first sight on the technical Stack Exchange sites. I'm confident that the regulars (not just the ♦ moderators, au contraire) are moderating the site well enough to keep the trouble arising from these potentially problematic questions to a minimum (that's why I didn't close the question mentioned in your other recent Meta post), so we can afford to be a little more flexible.

Remember that we are part of the Stack Exchange network; we have a little bit of flexibility in how we interpret the network rules, but it's never going to be a discussion forum. Our DNA (read: the software) just isn't wired that way.


By the way, I am asking this with a great fear of the question being closed for some reason

Why? This is exactly what Meta is for, it's for

...Chess Stack Exchange users to communicate with each other about Chess Stack Exchange (asking questions about how the websites work, or about policies and community decisions)

It may happen that other users downvote your question because they don't agree with you, but closing it would be wrong and I wouldn't hesitate to reopen it with the modhammer.

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