Saturday, 20 February 2010

Money rich but time poor

One observation of modern society is that we have become "money rich but time poor". Over the last few years this has been a topic of discussion between myself and few chess organising friends of mine.
In the Canberra chess community this has been discussed in the context of 'club v tournament'. Do players want to play 'club' chess, with the need for a weekly commitment of time (usually 3 or 4 hours on a weekday evening) or are they happier with 'tournament' chess, where the tournament starts and finishes within a single time frame (one day or 2 day event)?
For the moment the two largest adult chess gatherings each week are the ANU Chess Club (Wednesday nights) and Street Chess (Saturdays). The ANU is very cheap ($10 membership per year to cover ratings) but rated events are either 3 or 6 weeks in duration. Street Chess on the other hand charges an entry fee each week (only $5 but that would be $260 a year if you played every week), but the tournament is run and won in a 4 hour period.
For the moment both events are probably neck and neck in popularity, although interestingly both club and tournament have increased numbers of the last 2 years (other factors are clearly at play). However, while there is an overlap between players who play both, there is still a significant group who will only play 1 format or the other.
But in terms of attracting new players to tournament chess, the single day event is far more successful. And this makes sense as it is easier to try something new in 4 hours rather than over 6 weeks.


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Anonymous said...

Interesting post of yours that takes a line from the support shown from chessplayers for various product offerings; to use a marketing phrase. In extremis, what if the market showed the most supported form of chess was TRANSFER. As a leader of the chess community would you be swayed by the what-if?

Leaders should put their efforts into what the know is best for the long-term.

Managers or Administrators simply facilitate what the mob wants.

Just saying.

Anonymous said...

Very nice and intrestingss story.