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NOST: kNights Of the Square Table. kNights Of the Square Table.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Kevin Pacey wrote on Wed, Feb 21 06:59 PM UTC in reply to Fergus Duniho from 05:31 PM:

I forgot to mention I thought briefly about the idea of a sort of 'Federation' of chess variant websites, but then concluded they'd all probably want to just compete with each other for members/clients.

Note that chess itself has people who gamble at it, unofficially (such as at two player blitz chess in coffee houses), but the tournament entry fees asked for in the case of organized chess tournaments are not considered gambling, since a tournament participant cannot lose more than the amount of his entry fee. The closest form of gambling that chess tournaments might be compared to is a lottery (a high percentage of the fees are returned to some of the participants, as prizes), but in theory that reasoning would break down since skill level is a strong factor (alternatively some say there is no luck in chess, but I say, just try to foresee everything vital to know at all times, at least if you are only human...).

🕸📝Fergus Duniho wrote on Wed, Feb 21 05:31 PM UTC in reply to Kevin Pacey from 02:58 PM:

Rich Hutnick has promoted what he called the International Abstract Games Organization. I don't think it really got off the ground, and it has descended to including gambling links, which is something I do not allow on this site. He claims that Game Courier is an official IAGO site, though, as the creator of Game Courier, I maintain that Game Courier has nothing at all to do with IAGO and is not associated with it in any way whatsoever.

Kevin Pacey wrote on Wed, Feb 21 02:58 PM UTC in reply to Kevin Pacey from Mon Feb 19 10:47 PM:

Here is a link to something online calling itself The Variant Chess Federation:

Possibly not serious (or as established/large as CVP site).

What I would have in mind for a real 'Federation' of Chess Variants, if I were to dream big, would be something that included organized over-the-board play of chess variants in various countries globally, under the umbrella of a FIDE-like global chess variant federation. However, Canada or the US, for example, have their own Federations for chess, in some ways subordinate to FIDE, at least when it comes to serious international chess competitions or decrees about occasional minor changes to the rules of chess play itself.

Continuing to dream big, chess globally has tournament directors and organizers for international chess events. FIDE also manages an international chess rating system of its own.

CVP site already has much of what it takes to be a federation online exclusively in my early estimation, except for scale of membership, abundant tournament organizers, and taking in cash entries for tournaments (for those participants of any paid entry events who are willing to pay), like in the case of the official Arimaa site, if an online example is needed. I cannot recall just now what tournament format is used there - maybe knockout (seems good so an event does not last for months, or unless a relatively fast time control is used).

A possible big obstacle for chess variant federations/clubs/events is deciding which chess variants are to be included or excluded (and whether just for a particular time and/or place/event). CVP site solves this issue well with Game Courier. If necessary there could be separate federation(s) for popular single CVs such as bughouse, for example, but then why would they choose to be under an overall chess variants federation? A similar story for any regional chess variants' federations, e.g. of Shatar (Mongolian Chess). Also worth noting, Mind Sports includes not just chess variants but other games; it's possible a division of Mind Sports could be dedicated just to CVs.

It's easy to dream, especially if no potential federation founding organizer(s) want to fit all the details together just yet...

Kevin Pacey wrote on Mon, Feb 19 10:47 PM UTC:

Maybe something for a separate thread topic(?):

Aside from NOST, has there ever been an attempt to have a 'Federation' for Chess Variants, perhaps even (initially, at least) a pale imitation of the FIDE organization of orthodox chess, when it comes to a global CV organization?

🕸📝Fergus Duniho wrote on Wed, Jul 28, 2021 06:21 PM UTC:

Are there any former NOST members around with back issues of NOSTalgia that could be scanned and put on the internet? The NOST website had only a few of the latest issues. Pritchard sometimes used it as a source for his Encyclopedia of Chess Variants, but his descriptions of games are often sketchy rather than complete.

Ben Reiniger wrote on Sat, Aug 31, 2013 05:10 PM UTC:
It seems also that the webmaster of the pages has kept a copy:

Sam Trenholme wrote on Sat, Aug 31, 2013 12:51 AM UTC:
Here is the final archived version of the web page.

Final Update 06/14/03

The NOST no longer exists!!!!

It came as a surprise to me, but then when you're close to the source you tend to overlook the tell-tale signs. As of now the NOST has been 'folded' into the Fred Miller Chess Group. All membership information has been forwarded to the FMCG. They are now in the process of sorting things out and figuring out the financial situation.

For a couple of years things have been going downhill for the NOST. Most notably the magazine, NOSTalgia had been deteriorating, going from monthly to quarterly, finally ending up as someone's printer output hand-stapled. The lack of new members was a serious drawback. The rapid change of officers (volunteers) also signaled a decline.

This webpage will remain up for a while, but I won't do any updates. It looks like didymus7 will be moving over to doing a brand new FMCG website, which will mean a new URL. It will be interesting, but I've still got 7 years on this domain ....:-(.

Whatever. I'm still at the same email: [email protected] and will remain there until hotmail ceases to exist.

A special thanks to all who contributed and to Nancy Ludwig Pease for putting up with my comments...;-) [I wonder if she knows her picture is in the 1975 Cauldron????]

From the cave....didymus7

I always wanted to join NOST back when I read New Rules for Classic Games but never had the opportunity to do so...and now never will.

Patrick Chu wrote on Tue, Sep 19, 2006 06:33 PM UTC:Excellent ★★★★★
I would also be willing to host the NOST web site for free. Feel free to
email me at [email protected].

--Patrick Chu
[email protected]

Edwin Wilhelm wrote on Fri, Apr 14, 2006 01:27 PM UTC:

If someone from 'Nost' could email attach me all of their old webpages, I could resurrect it for FREE , and keep it active online for a year or two maybe. Then teach some new people how to keep the site up. email me at [email protected]  thx Ed

Anonymous wrote on Sun, Dec 11, 2005 11:46 PM UTC:Excellent ★★★★★

vinny wrote on Thu, Nov 17, 2005 08:22 AM UTC:Excellent ★★★★★
The people made NOST. While attending college in 1982, I became interested in improving my game and playing postal chess. The members were mainly middle aged to seniors. Each year, we held a convention in a different location to meet up with friends in person. The founder, Robert Lauzon, was a gentleman and even though he was quite old and prone to nod off occasionally, I remember his love of experiencing the solitude and peacefulness of a glider. I attended three conventions. Philadlphia in 1983. Framingham, MA in 1985 along with Hurricane Gloria. And my favorite was Orlando, FL in 1986. The attendees were the most amiable people I have ever been lucky enough to call my friends.

Matthew Montchalin wrote on Tue, Aug 2, 2005 07:35 AM UTC:
I think it was around 1991 (??) that NOST held a straw poll, and came down hard on English Descriptive Notation, in favor of Algebraic. This action disappointed me because it seemed they wanted to say it was okay if a couple people decided - between themselves - to employ Descriptive, but the default notation, at least in their NOSTalgia newsletter, was going to be algebraic. After all these years, I don't know if my memory is serving me rightly. I don't know what came of their 'Algebraic First' policy, or where they went with it, because that was close to the time I dropped out of it. It's just that there were some people who simply preferred English Descriptive Notation because that's the way they'd learned to read (and write) their moves. Of course, for the many, many boardgames that NOST described in its newsletter, and therefore appeared to promote, Descriptive simply had no place, but still, deep down inside, the diminishing frequency of games in English Descriptive Notation might be one of the reasons NOST lost a number of members.

John Ayer wrote on Sun, Jul 31, 2005 11:55 PM UTC:
I would love to see a file of NOST-algia made available somewhere. I hope there is such a thing.

Matthew Montchalin wrote on Sat, Jul 30, 2005 11:15 PM UTC:
Hi, Michael, I remember you. Most of the players at NOST (and especially Paul Yearout) played far better than I did. Do you know if the NOST games archives ended up accessible somehow by Internet? From reviewing the games played, a person could learn quite a bit.

Chris White wrote on Thu, Nov 25, 2004 02:28 AM UTC:
I'd also be interested in any information about NOST.  Is there a contact
person?  Does it still exist?  My grandfather (Robert Lauzon) was the
original founder and I'd be interested in helping NOST get back on-line.

I remember my grandfather spending hours and hours in his basement office
working on the NOST newsletter and responding to the many chess games he
had going.

- Chris White
[email protected]

Tony Quintanilla wrote on Thu, Nov 11, 2004 06:55 AM UTC:
The following e-mail was received by the editors:

Do you have any information on NOST and how to join or who to contact (it
seems their web site is no longer active). 

Any information you have would be appreciated.


Bob Salvas

Cumberland RI 


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