Monday, 3 September 2007

What Chess needs ....

If you were to ask the question "What does chess need?" a good bet that the two most popular answers would be (a) Money, and (b) Professional Organisation. Why chess needs those things is pretty much a no-brainer. More money and better organisation result in better outcomes for chess and chess players.
But a more subtle question is "What does chess deserve?" If we get more money, and better organisation, how do we reward the providers of such bounty?

Here is a practical example. The 2008 Doeberl Cup planning is well underway. This years events gained an extra $6,000 in sponsorship, courtesy of O2C. But the total number of entries fell. The ACT Chess Association, realising that in its current make up it is incapable of organising the Doeberl Cup, have handed over the management of the event for the next 5 years to O2C (adding their professional management to their already generous sponsorship). As part of the planning, the participants in this years tournament were surveyed, and a number of improvements were suggested. Two major suggestions were (a) improved venue and (b) 9 round norm tournament.
Of course implementing these suggestions isn't easy (finding an improved venue, plus an extra 25% in the budget for venue hire), but O2C are trying to do both. But as this effects the tournaments bottom line the following questions need to be answered. (And yes, I am looking for answers in the comments section)
(A) Do you believe the improvements to the Doeberl Cup will result in more, or less, people entering?
(B) Will you be one of the more, or less, players entering?

I am especially interested in the opinions of players outside of Canberra and Sydney. (ie If you are from Melbourne will you be motivated to support the additional prize money and professional organisation?)

(Clarification edit: Only the Premier is being considered for the extra 2 rounds. The other events would still run Friday-Monday, and even for the Premier, players would be given the option of taking up to 2 half point byes for the Thursday rounds.)


DeNovoMeme said...

I will play, regardless of rounds, prizes, entry fee, or venue. However, if it takes more than 4 days, I will have to reconcider.

The Closet Grandmaster said...

It doesn't really matter to me as I always have more than 72% chance of going anyway. What is important to me is cheap internet access.


jc said...

I'm surprised that the venue was cited as one of the main things to improve. The venue is fine to me, provided that the Premier is in the smaller room (unavailable in 2007), even though some of the lower boards have to be in the main hall. What were the reasons people gave as to why people wanted a better venue?

It's my opinion that changing the venue may reduce the number of entrants.

Anonymous said...

I'm an interstater, haven't played it before, and am interested. Please get the info out early on the net.

If you're trying to attract numbers don't make the mistake of assuming that everyone knows even the most basic of details.

TrueFiendish said...

I would be more interested and likely to play, though I was thinking of coming out of the wilderness to play tournaments again anyway. But watching a norm tournament while participating in the major would be good.


Anonymous said...

In 2007, the lighting conditions were very bad and it was difficult to see the pieces clearly.
( Of course the elite won't complain because they might not get appearance fees next time )
Why not cut the excessive monetary prizes?.
What about No Cash prize ( or minimal) - only exclusive Gold/silver/bronze medals or trophies.( Like the Russian Championships for example) This could reduce the entry fee to say $10 / day.
Who cares if the GMs / IMs don't show up. They can play elsewhere - in there exclusive minimum 2000 rating tournament. I don't believe in sucking up to them. Why? The Chess Federation could pass a law stating that if anyone wishing to represent Australia o/seas (ie. Olympics) doesn't play in specified tournaments they can't represent Australia.
You might say if the GMs & IMs & FMs don't show, it wont be a successful tournament.
That's there choice - and it only proves that they play for the money and not for Chess sake.
Why should the elite get free entry ( some with appearance fees) and the poor suckers Under 2000 players that pay the high fees give all the entry fee to the winner and usually not even watch a descent game during the tournament. I also think a minimum of 30 moves in the last 4 rounds before a draw can be agreed should be the rule.
Why do less people are play year after year? The entry fee is getting higher and higher. ( to cover the prize winnings and appearance fees of the elite ). Also, I like truefiendish's idea of watching a "norm tournament" while playing another myself with a much lower entry fee!