Chess gets less than 300 visits a day. Poker less than 200. As regards the number of questions, the issue is whether they are above or below 1.0 per day (No kidding.) They also have "too few" users.

BCG is "almost" ready to get out of beta. The one main weakness is the number of questions (especially on a per day basis). Adding chess and poker to the mix would certainly help.

Could we move closer to getting out of beta by "repatriating" chess and poker, as we did with go?

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    Just for the record: I for one would strongly advocate against merging BCG with RPG. The communities overlap (and used to share a mod) but the two are wholly distinct entities now.
    – Aarthi
    Commented Apr 8, 2013 at 22:11
  • @Aarthi: If that's your feeling, it's even MORE necessary to "repatriate" chess and poker to BCG.
    – Tom Au
    Commented Apr 8, 2013 at 22:13
  • See my answer here for some of the background to the current situation. Commented Apr 9, 2013 at 7:19
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    Tom: I don't understand how my desire to keep established and functional communities discrete makes it more imperative that Poker and Chess (also functional communities of passionate players) be "brought back into the fold" so to speak. I'd need you to go into more detail.
    – Aarthi
    Commented Apr 9, 2013 at 15:00
  • @Aarthi: My interest in Chess and Poker is NOT "discrete" from my interesst in BCG. (Whereas you could have said that my interest in BCG is "discrete" from my interest, or lack thereof, in RPG.) I feel that having to visit three sites dilutes my interest in all three. And I a minority in this regard
    – Tom Au
    Commented Apr 11, 2013 at 19:28
  • @Aarthi I'm glad this question was changed to remove the BCG merge with RPG idea, I am strongly against it as well.
    – pandorym
    Commented Apr 17, 2013 at 18:05
  • @ire_and_curses hey, that's my question, yay!!
    – pandorym
    Commented Apr 17, 2013 at 18:05

2 Answers 2


The task of how to scope sites — whether to split or combine subjects — has been one of the more difficult philosophies to flesh out. We constantly make adjustments as we learn exactly what makes a site "work" and what causes them to falter.

At the most basic-basic level, Chess and Poker became sites — or at least they became eligible for further consideration — because they rallied the enthusiasm and resources required by Area 51 to give them a shot. But it takes more than sheer numbers and a definition move from proposal to site. We do a thorough review of leading proposals to evaluate whether they have a good chance of working well with our existing network based on a large variety of considerations.

If you read through the blog post:

Unix and Ubuntu: Why Both?

…there's an underlying concept that a site is not much good to a group of users if they will not show up. It was generally thought (I'm not going to debate this point here) that perhaps Chess was a subject unto itself — that there was potentially a substantial group of users who wouldn't identify themselves as a "board game enthusiast" and this site would be of no use to them. The same basic premise for Poker.

Whether that turns out to be true or not is still a part of this trial by fire. They initially earned the right to try through Area 51. They've since navigated successfully through a private beta to, essentially, where they are right now.

To date, neither of these sites have made substantial inroads into the massive chess and poker communities respectively. But then again, the Board & Card Games site hasn't had much success attracting these audiences either. So for the time being, we're watching to see if their ideas (i.e. their premise for having a separate site) pans out.

There's no indication that the existence of either of these sites has substantively held back your progress — nor is there any indication that combining their audiences here will substantially create any sort of additional network effects to move the needle much either way. But subsuming those sites is a disruptive change to those community that goes against the precepts of

Does this site have a chance of succeeding?

Whether you agree with their existence or not, they've earned the right to continue to make a go of it.

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    MTG had excitement and enthusiasm, but that was closed out. Now in hind sight, I actually agree that it wouldn't have stood on its own (in the same way that chess and poker are struggling, although I think it would have to less of an extent). But it was pretty clearly denied the right to take its trial.
    – corsiKa
    Commented Jun 12, 2013 at 15:29

I've fought to keep all related sites within B&CG. Some I've won, other times it hasn't gone my way. :)

Lately I've become more zen about it. StackExchange will do what they think is best, it isn't worth worrying about it for me.

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    (1) I'm glad you're more zen about it, I know how intensely you campaigned to keep them "in house" as it were. (2) In our view, those communities weren't being served as well as they could be by this site. It's not a failing of this site; rather it's a preference by that community of users. We've made deliberate choices with other communities (Magic: The Gathering comes to mind) in the opposite.
    – Aarthi
    Commented Apr 9, 2013 at 15:01
  • @Aarthi:Even in this context, I see a difference between Poker and Chess. Poker has only 12 users with over 500 rep, and six of these are also on BCG (including yours truly). Chess has 45 users with over 500 rep, and most of them are NOT cross-listed on BGC. (I used 500 as the cutoff because that's what's needed to cast close and reopen votes.)
    – Tom Au
    Commented Apr 12, 2013 at 16:06
  • @TomAu I tried to address the underlying philosophy of why we allowed separate sites in my answer here, and why they're allowed to continue. Commented Apr 12, 2013 at 18:54
  • @RobertCartaino: Thanks for your reply.
    – Tom Au
    Commented Apr 13, 2013 at 15:38

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