Hitting our highest ever internet traffic at Africa Chess Net

The past few days have been phenomenal. Our website Africa Chess Net has achieved its highest ever internet traffic in terms of views. In January we now have more visits and views than any other month since I started running the website in 2015. In one day we had almost 3,000 views for our articles! Here is the graph below to give you an idea of what our growth has been like since we started and how it has spiked in the last few months before really taking off in January.

This is a graph of our monthly internet views since we started the website in 2015. Just look at what has been happening over the past few months. Crazy right?

It is still early days in January but we already have more traffic this month than any other month since we started. Oh I remember so well the ups and downs when I created Africa Chess Net. I was too broke to get someone to run and maintain the website so I had to learn some of the very basic things about running a website so I could do the work myself. It was very hard and I made lots of blunders along the way. A few times I deleted content on the website by mistake without any backup at all. Painful painful lessons I tell you. But it does get better.

Super Chess Grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura playing chess on a giant board
CREDIT: Lennart Ootes

I remember looking at the numbers early on a few days ago and what wondering what was going on. Was the stats function on the website working properly?  Surely something had gone wrong. I had done quite a bit to share the articles on social media but still the numbers were beyond my wildest expectations. There is no way I expected the numbers to go up that much. I think the crisp and incredible chess pictures just took things to a new level. Lennart Ootes’ pictures were just amazing. Here are a few pictures from those articles on the Africa Chess Net website and I am sure that you will agree with me that the photographer did an amazing job of capturing that moment.

Grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura playing in the largest ever simultaneous chess exhibition to be held in South Africa. He played 101 games at the same time, winning 92 of these, losing 2 games and drawing 7 games. In the process he walked over 4,5 kilometres and play chess for over 6 hours. CREDIT: Lennart Ootes

 

Grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura visited Joubert Park in Johannesburg which is well known for its hustlers in chess. He was playing them on time odds. He had just one minute versus their three minutes. That is a huge difference in time but he was able to beat everyone and lost just one game the whole afternoon. CREDIT: Lennart Ootes

How can you go wrong with pictures like this?  The pictures by Lennart are so awesome that when you write something you have no choice but to try and do a really good job otherwise you are just not going to do justice to the pictures in any way.

Its been our biggest chess week ever at Africa Chess Net!!  Here is the website if you want to check it out and see what all the fuss is about.

Super Grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura coming to South Africa and the South Africa Junior Chess Championships (SAJCC) have been a big part of the boost in our website numbers. A very big thank you to everyone who made this happen. After all he is one of the very best players in chess and there was just such huge excitement around his trip and involvement with the SAJCC. He officially opened the event, gave a lecture and played in the largest ever simultaneous chess exhibition to be held in South Africa and one of the largest ever in Africa. History was made in South African chess over the past week.

Our articles on the SAJCC have been shared and liked on social media almost 800 times and this in a matter of days. I remember that when one of the articles was written I was so excited to get it out that I did a a very shoddy job on the quality control. However, when I shared the article with the Africa Lichess Events chess Whatsapp group, they were very quick to point out the mistakes,  typos and any other corrections that needed to be done. Fortunately I was able to quickly fix these issues.

The problem after you hit this high in terms of the views on the website is you want to do it again. How on earth is that going to happen? This is the question I need to try and answer because I cannot imagine going back to same old figures in terms of the views and traffic. We have hit a high and I want to stay there. I want this to be the new normal. What? Yes! I think it is possible but I don’t know how to be honest.

The largest chess platform in the world Chess dot com has also approached Africa Chess Net to work together. Many of you might wonder why I love to write so much about this game chess. I want to get more people playing chess on our continent.  Not just that I want to challenge everyone around me to use technology to advance skills, knowledge in our lives, to share our experiences in whatever we do so that we are better for it all at the end.

The players have come out in support in Africa Chess Net and they are our promoters and ambassadors. They are coming out every day playing in our tournaments. Without the chess players there would be nothing, absolutely nothing.

Without their moves, there would be no game to talk about. It is that simple.

It is no secret that I am obsessed with chess but I could not imagine it any other way if I am to achieve my goals in this game. This is just how I operate. To quote my friend Amy Lee, someone who has taught me so much about life, chess and business, Go big or go home! However, I am no longer obsessed with playing chess but promoting it.

Despite our milestones at Africa Chess Net we are not even close to what we want to achieve in African Chess.

If Africa has 1,2 billion people (and I believe this to be a very conservative figure) and we can get just 5% of the population to play chess, that will give us 60 million players. The largest chess platform in the world Chess dot com has 20 million players. Think about these stats for a minute. So if we could get just 5% of the people to play chess in Africa, we would be the largest chess platform by far in the world. That thought excites me because I can’t help thinking that it is possible. And if its possible I want to be part of that reality!

So we are not even scratching a speck of dust on the surface yet. It’s not even a drop in the ocean yet.

Let’s see what happens next.

Thank you for all the support. The journey continues.