Tuesday, 27 January 2009

A tale of two cities (or more)

There was an interesting set of figures from a few weekend events in Australia that have just finished. There were Australia Day weekenders held in Sydney, Melbourne and Launceston. The event in Sydney (population 4,336,374) attracted 69 players, which I am sure would have pleased the organisers. The event in Launceston (population 104,071) attracted a smaller field of 20 players, but based on a per capita basis, was still a decent turnout. Sadly the event in Melbourne (population 3,806,092) only had a field of 13 players.
I have no insights into the reasons why each tournament attracted the numbers they did, although the level of advertising that I was exposed to for each event seemed about the same. So I am left to wonder whether it is just one of these cyclical things that city chess communities go through. A number of years back it was Sydney that struggled to attract more than 40 players to a lot of their weekend events, now it seems it is Melbourne's turn.
Hopefully the down turn is short lived and Melbourne tournament organisers will be rewarded with an increased number of entrants.


Anonymous said...

shaun. the melbourne event wasn't in the grand prix (which is free for listings) which is 1 factor if nothing else.

Malcolm said...

Raw population, including both chess playing and non-chess playing public, is a fairly arbitrary, and not particularly indicative, measure. "Per number of other things to in the city on that weekend" (since there were both Australia Day and Chinese New Year celebrations to attend, as well as being the last long weekend before schools were back for good; also factor in ethnic distribution for contol) or "per area of the city" (complaints about travel aren't unheard of) or "per degree of temperature outside, encouraging people to go to the beach" (it was forecast to be almost 40° in Sydney on Saturday) are all also valid. Even "per unit of faith in the statewide organisation", given the wide variation (and unfortunately justified lows) of that quantity.

The mathematician in me is also going to dispute that you can know the population of any city down to the accuracy of 1 in a few million. ("Sydney, population once estimated to be ...") :-)

All right... mostly said in jest, but I think you get my point.

OzChess.com said...

The prize structure was often a reason I decided to play or refrain from certain tournaments. Sad, but true - I don't want to be some schmuck who pays a high entry fee just to watch some juniors divide the spoils of war.

I have been to chess tournament where there were several prizes for the juniors and not many for the adults. While this may make parents happy, it doesn't add much incentive for the experienced adults to participate.

Anonymous said...

i agree with ozchess, especially since juniors get discount entry (which is odd anyway, since it is probably their parents who pay for it)