Friday, 12 September 2014

Crowd funding chess

More and more I am seeing chess variants pop up on 'kickstarter' type websites. Usually the game is a version of chess that utilises cards to somehow modify the game playing experience. My perusal of such games has been reasonably superficial, but the cynic in me suspects that such additions are designed to lessen the skill factor in the game, allowing the inventor to win at least a few games against otherwise unbeatable opponents.
I am also wondering whether crowd funding chess events might be something worth investigating. At this stage money for tournaments comes from entry fees or sponsorship, and usually draws upon those directly involved in the event (either as a player or oganiser). But if a mechanism that allowed non participating players to contribute to events, would such an approach work. I have done this in the past (in a sense) by sending an entry fee to an event I was unable to play in, and have also provided small sponsorship for a player to take part in the 4NCL. If more people thought to do this, would the net result be better funded activities? Of course there has been a kind of counter example, in Australia at least, with the Olympiad appeal (to help fund the Australian Olympiad teams) often falling far short of the total amount needed. But even in this case it at least shows a willingness of some players to put money into activities that do not offer a direct benefit, and so the whole idea may not be as far fetched at all.

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