Open Letter on The Future of HOTCH

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Hi there!

You may have noticed that Hot Off The Chess has been rather quiet this passed few months. For this I would like to apologise.

Unfortunately, as the 2018 Tata Steel Chess Tournament drew to a close, I began to feel unwell and this culminated with a heart attack on February 1st.

Though this is of course a very serious event, please rest assured that I am recovering well (thanks to the amazing emergency and medical care that I received) and that my long-term prognosis is very encouraging. All things considered, I actually got off rather lightly (lighter than I deserved if I am honest) and all concerned are seeing this very much as a wake-up-call rather than a sign of impending doom.

It goes without saying, that it is somewhat life-changing, but I will not bore you with those details. The purpose of this letter is to assure you that Hot Off The Chess is not going anywhere.

I often describe Chess as my ‘love-hate relationship’ but trust me, it is at least 90% love. This website and its readers also mean a lot to me and to let any of it go would be like chopping an arm off. I hope that you will understand, however, that while I wish it was my profession and that I could follow and write about Chess all day, it is a hobby. As such, there are times when it must give way to other priorities. This is especially true now.

As of May 1st, I will be picking up the activity again and hopefully there will be no further breaks in service. I also hope that you will be joining me once again as we take a look at what is going on in the Chess world.

As always, my sincere thanks for your support and understanding.

Very Best Wishes,

John Lee Shaw

I would like to add my heartfelt thanks to Tarjei Svensen, Maria Emelianova and Peter Doggers. The package that I received from you after getting out of hospital was a huge pick-me-up and meant a great deal!

About John Lee Shaw 291 Articles
Total chess nut! I enjoy following the chess world and giving my two-penneth. I don't pretend to be an expert, I'm more a knowledgeable enthusiast. My chess writing can also be seen at