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Saturday, May 11, 2013

The Demise of Plasticbishop

      Back in August of last year the site owner, who started the site about 7-8 years ago for his own enjoyment, announced that he would be closing up shop in August of this year, so the time is drawing near.
      He gave several reasons for his decision: 1) Not enough time…family and job 2) Other interests besides running a chess server 3) Working on the server became an obligation and not something he does because he wants to  4) Rather than making money, it is costing him money and 5) running the site is exhausting.  This was a very difficult decision for him, but understandable.
      However, from August 2013 the site will be transferred to a much cheaper server and most of the features disabled. The forums and messaging will still be active so people can keep in touch with their friends. 
      A few years ago when I was reentering correspondence chess and looking for a site to play on, I tried a lot of them.  Plasticbishop was a nice site, but the players there were mostly lower rated and there was no competition…I think my longest game was 20-something moves and several were 10-12 moves and two lasted about 5-6 moves!
       For reasons it isn’t necessary to go into, at one point I exchanged e-mails with Mr. Robson and found him to be a really nice guy and I’m sorry his site is shutting down in a couple of months.  It was a good site for lower rated players and the loss of a free chess server is, in itself, kind of sad. 


  1. The non-subscribing freeloaders didn't help.

  2. You're right, it was a very difficult decision and if I'd been able to make the site profitable and make a living off of it then things might have been different (i.e. it would have been my main job, no full time employment needed elsewhere just to pay the bills). One thing I've learned is I'm just not very good at getting people to hand over their money. I got a lot of criticism over the years for giving too much away for free, perhaps in hindsight that criticism is justified.

    Even trying to keep the site alive until the designated cut-off date (which was chosen to avoid complications with refunding outstanding paying members) is a challenge in itself. The site has been down for the last 24 hours due to a malicious DDoS attack and I'm trying to get that sorted out, somehow!

    Hopefully all of the members can find somewhere else to play chess that will suit their needs, whether it be for free or a premium site.

  3. Queen Alice, Chessworld and Red Hot Pawn come to mind. Anyway, best of luck to you!