The site’s owner, “Ste”, announced recently that the site will be closing in August 2013. That’s unfortunate because not only is another chess site is closing, but because a few years ago I had a brief e-mail exchange with Ste and he seemed like a really nice guy who was running the site all by himself simply for the love of it.
I played a few games there but generally found the level of play too low for my liking (a couple of games only lasted 5 or 6 moves!). PlasticBishop was a great site for beginners and low rated players that was very nicely done.
Back in 2006, Ste posted that it cost him £120 per month, plus advertising costs to keep new members coming, so all in all that is approaching £150 per month…all out of his own pocket. He stated then that his main concern was paying for the site's cost. In the process, he noted that advertisements don’t work particularly well on chess sites. As he pointed out, advertisements work best when you have a large volume of unique visitors on a site each day, but most sites have pretty much the same visitors every day. Once a person has seen an ad they will ignore it. That’s true, I do some advertising on my other chess blog and if I am lucky, I may make $10 every couple of months.
When I tried visiting the site this morning the web page would not display, so perhaps they are already out of business. In any case, expenses, family life and other interests are taking their toll and as a result PlasticBishop is closing. That’s sad.