2019 Moderator Election

On Stack Exchange, we believe the core moderators should come from the community, and be elected by the community itself through popular vote. We hold regular elections to determine who these community moderators will be.

Community moderators are accorded the highest level of privilege on our community, and should themselves be exemplars of positive behavior and leaders within the community.

Our general criteria for moderators is as follows:

  • patient and fair
  • leads by example
  • shows respect for their fellow community members in their actions and words
  • open to some light but firm moderation to keep the community on track and resolve (hopefully) uncommon disputes and exceptions

Every election has three phases:

  1. Nomination
  2. Primary
  3. Election

Please participate in the moderator elections by voting, and perhaps even by nominating yourself to be a community moderator!

This election ended Jun 18 '19 at 20:00.

The results of this election can be viewed online via OpaVote. Anyone may download the election data. Voters have access to pre-built OpenSTV software to audit the results; all others may use this source distribution.

856 voters were eligible, 275 visited the site during the election, 210 visited the election page, and 132 voted

I'm Brian Towers and I'd like to be one of your moderators.

Why me?

  • I already do a lot of moderation on the site, reflected in the moderation badges I have.
  • I'm retired so have plenty of time to visit the site several times most days.
  • I'm the top user by reputation. This shows that I have the knowledge and expertise needed to make the right fact-based moderation judgements.
  • I'm an active chess player. As well as playing local chess I play international chess tournaments as well. In the last year I have played in both the Isle of Man and Gibraltar tournaments.
  • I'm an active FIDE arbiter. I have been chief arbiter in a range of FIDE rated tournaments ranging from local blitzes to international norm events with several GMs and IMs.
  • I post under my own name so users can check my public record.

My active involvement on this site in the last couple of years have allowed me to understand how the community works. I still manage to guarantee a minimum activity of 1hr/day, not just to answer but also to review new posts and protect well-answered ones, monitor closing & quality votes and suggested edits.

Two very important aspects of moderation for me:

An inclusive and gender-neutral community:

  • This is something I've always worked towards, which is clear from my own answers and the numerous occasions I've pointed out an implicit bias in someone's answer. Sadly, in many cultures there is a clear (not even implicit) bias against women playing chess, and when already one's tone and choice of pronoun (irrespective of the language) assume a hypothetical chess player to be male, that bias gets perpetuated, and finds its way into influencing choices made even at an individual level.

A professional community, this entails encouraging:

  • Clear arguments and well structured answers
  • Showing own attempt and cross linking to related posts
  • Providing sources and refs. for any made claims
  • Using the built-in features of chess SE, such as the chess replayer, etc
  • Quick question: How often do you see gender bias occurring in the community? It's something I usually try to keep on my radar, and I haven't noticed much gender bias in my time on Chess.SE. – Brandon_J Jun 5 '19 at 23:03
  • @Brandon_J For instance in terms of gender assumptions, at least one instance can be found in nearly every post! These are wrong habits that have been established as normal in the chess community, starting from chess literature all the way to live commentaries. The general choice of pronoun in referring to a chess player is merely an example that reflects poor and sexist conventions. Often these are dismissed on account of practicality or tradition, when in fact, referring to a side in chess, it makes far more sense to simply speak about the pieces w.r.t their colors, and as such (...) – Ellie Jun 6 '19 at 9:27
  • (...) being a plural term (white/black pieces), it can be subsequently referred to as "they". Otherwise, simply using "they" and "their" instead of "he" and "his" respectively, is a perfectly valid way of maintaining the discussion gender-agnostic. This takes minimal effort to improve upon, but has far reaching consequences in breaking poor habits and sets an example for putting an end to such commonly perpetuated biases. With a community such as chess SE, filled so many great people, all gathered here for their love of chess, we can be setting that example! – Ellie Jun 6 '19 at 9:29
  • Excellent explanation! I usually avoid pronouns in general (because switching between "black" and white" can be confusing with pronouns, even for a native English speaker (me). Consequently, this wasn't as apparent to me as it might/should have been. – Brandon_J Jun 6 '19 at 14:04

Well, I'm newer to Chess.SE than the other candidates, but I think that could be a good thing. Since I've joined, I've been active both here and on meta - I'm one of 7 users with the curious badge on meta. I've also been able to gain reputation on CSE fairly quickly considering the time I've been here, and I think that's reflective of how I carry myself - not only in well-formed questions and answers, but also thoughtful engagement in comments. Also, out of the 17 flags I have raised, 15 are helpful, 1 is disputed, and 1 declined.

I've also had some moderation privileges on Puzzling.SE, a larger site, which gives me general moderation experience. I also frequent the Charcoal HQ.

If I am elected moderator, I will continue to approach Chess.SE with the same mindset that I have employed in the past: persistently trying to make it a better place.

Note: as @fuxia said, please vote. Seriously.

Also, the other candidates are great people. Chess.SE will be in good hands regardless of the election outcome.

  • Great that you decided to nominate as well, you have indeed been well active and wonderfully helpful in reviewing posts. – Ellie Jun 6 '19 at 9:46


I'd like to help this site as a moderator.

  • I visit the site every day, clear the review queues and try to improve new posts.

  • I'm a moderator on WordPress Development for 7 years now. I know the tools and how to act in difficult situations.

  • The base for a working community is, in my opinion, mutual respect. This includes that the moderators have to respect the evolving specific culture of the community, as long as it is friendly and welcoming.

  • I'm also the most active chat moderator on chess24, and I help out as a mod on various Twitch channels.

  • As a chess player, I see myself still as a beginner – I started just 2½ years ago. I play on lichess, but mostly I'm exploring theory and try to improve every day a tiny bit.

I think this site has a good potential to become the place to discuss chess. If I can help with my time and experience, then I will take this seriously. I see the diamond as a duty, not as a trophy.

Side note: Please use your right to vote. Whoever the new moderators are, they need to know you support them.

  • I play on lichess too :) Given your involvement at Wordpress, I think that you would make a great addition to the moderation team at chessSE. – Travis J Jun 3 '19 at 22:00
  • Kind of funny, but I just found out today that my job wants me to learn Wordpress. These coincidences... – Brandon_J Jun 6 '19 at 20:08

Hi, I'm Glorfindel and I'd like to become your moderator.

Why me?

  • I'm already doing a lot of moderation activities on this site. I'm the most active reviewer, editor and flagger on the site.
  • I have almost two years of experience serving as a ♦ moderator on Ask Different. I'm familiar with how the tools work; I know how and when to act, but equally important: I know when not to act, e.g. to let the community decide on whether a specific question is on-topic or not, instead of closing/opening it unilaterally.
  • I'm an active contributor on Meta Stack Exchange so I know what's going on on the Stack Exchange network as a whole. We don't have a particular active Chess Meta site, but I'm one of the top contributors there as well.
  • I'm one of the top 10 users here by reputation. Reputation doesn't necessarily say something about a person's moderation capabilities, but a little subject matter expertise definitely helps making the right decision in some situations.

Why not me?

  • I'm not an active chess player anymore. I stopped about ten years ago when other priorities (also known as "work") started to conflict with playing long over-the-board games.
  • I have interacted with you on other sites, and know that you are dedicated to making the exchanges a better place. Having you as a moderator will only make chess.SE stronger. – Travis J Jun 3 '19 at 22:01
  • If you don't get elected, I'm gonna have to pull my nomination. You deserve a spot. – Brandon_J Jun 4 '19 at 1:36
  • Thank you both and Brandon_J, good luck as well! – Glorfindel Jun 4 '19 at 16:14
  • GLORfindel has GLORy ahead it looks like. Ah haha! – Rewan Demontay Jun 6 '19 at 13:42

This election is complete.