Saturday, 7 January 2012

Pay for Play

Normally we enter chess tournaments with the expectation that our entry fee contributes to the prizes we hope to win. This is almost the raison d'etre for handing over the dough in the first place, although the fact that some of it goes towards administration costs is accepted, albeit grudgingly by some.
The notion of paying money just to play a game is a much rarer thing, although there are clubs that charge nightly fees. However we do do this, at least for rated games of chess. Both in Australia, and internationally, each rated game attracts a charge. Of course this charge is usually considered part of the tournament costs, rather than as a direct charge to the players.
Now I don't see anything wrong with this, and it provides a valuable revenue stream for governing bodies. In fact years ago one Australia state association allowed it's rating officer to keep a percentage of such fees, which in turn resulted in him encouraging as many tournament as possible (and as many players as well) to be part of the ratings system.
Therefore the decision by FIDE to create rating lists for Rapid and Blitz tournaments makes sense, to themselves anyway. By extending the per-game charges to cover as much chess as possible, they increase their revenue base. At least from 2013. For now they are running both systems at no cost to organisers, as a way of building up a critical mass of players on the list. And while I'm not sure how popular the system will be once the charges kick in, I am happy to take advantage of their largesse for the next 12 months. As I organise more rapid events than anything else (both at Street Chess and the ANU Chess Club), I going to put as many tournaments as possible through the system. Today's Street Chess tournament should be the first one rated, and with 24 players, is a good one to start with. I just wonder if the attraction of an International Rapid rating will make a difference to the enthusiasm levels of the local players.

** Postscript: While FIDE are rating theses event at no charge for 2012, I have been informed that the Australian Chess Federation is charging a FIDE Admin Fee of a minimum of $30 per tournament (15c per player per game). As a result Street Chess tournaments will not be FIDE rated after all. **

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

NZCF is not FIDE-rating any blitz or rapid events. OK, it's free this year but it's still a huge amount of admin to submit the results. And after that? Fees, deadlines, penalty fees, requirements to have FIDE-titled arbiters, fees for said arbiters...need I go on?!