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International Fide events

I agree with most of the points you both make about the state of affairs - I've just differed in the partial solution I suggested. There didn't seem any point repeating the facts about the general decline in events. And I didn't read any criticisms of anyone into the postings from either of you.

The one factual point I wish to correct - as a Chess Edinburgh council member myself - is about the Edinburgh Congress. Taken from prior year minutes of the Chess Edinburgh AGM:

2013: "just over £400" surplus
2012: £469 surplus
2011: £762 surplus
2010: £636 surplus

This is patently not a loss for several years running. Are you getting it mixed up with another event? I can't remember offhand what the bank balance is but it shows a healthy surplus. This is certainly not to gloss over the wider picture - I do appreciate that many events are not that fortunate - Glenrothes being an unfortunate example. And Grangemouth was the first congress I ever played in: it is sad that it is no longer on the calendar. Hopefully Edinburgh will find a settled home in its new venue but we will have to see how things go in April.

Best of luck with your own club's potential congress. It would be a v welcome addition.
Hi Martin

Firstly I will apologise to you as reading back on my post now I was a bit direct and some of my wording could have been a bit better toned. I felt a bit overly passionate on my points, please accept my apologies. Chess players on this forum is similar to football players on twitter, sometimes best not to type away and hit the enter button and stop for a moment of reflection.

Re the Edinburgh FIDE Congress, I am a bit baffled as I have been told by 2 different high ranking, council members it was losing money and that it nearly never went ahead for this year. I also recall last years prize money being relatively generous 1st+2nd in the Open took away £400 each. I am wondering it is the stand alone tournamentl accounts you are referring to, or the CE accounts for the year, as I am aware CE have good cash reserves and rake in a lot from league fees etc. They probably won't appreciate us getting into this detail as I know they like to keep these matters in-house which I think is fair enough.

I do not argue with what you say however, as if you are on the CE board you are more clued up than myself and I will stand corrected if I have the financial facts wrong. I also have not bothered to look at any minutes for a long time and have seen no accounts.

I think George and myself are on the same page in that we seem to both be looking at the trend and if you can visualise the graph and the decline, that's why we are concerned. I do feel it is not a great time to be a chess player in the East. George is right in a previous point that chess could be considered cheap and relatively affordable, but thats only if its local, i.e. without the high travel costs, accommodation costs and eating out costs. It will be a brave congress that makes a big price hike as that is uncharted waters and I am not sure what the impact would be.

Thanks, and no worries. It's easy to get swept along in the moment on noticeboards: I usually keep off them! Case in point: I was motivated to post to correct the point on the Edinburgh Congress, but I couldn't resist digressing.

Since you bring it up, I should clarify: yes, the Congress made a loss last year as explained - numbers were down due to the move outside the centre - and yes, it was at risk of not going ahead this year. But not for financial reasons: the key issue was the struggle to find a suitable venue. This has now thankfully been resolved. The Congress is in a strong position financially.

At risk of getting back onto the original topic of this thread, I guess that the holding of a more expensive tournament in a plusher venue might well attract some interest in Scotland from certain players - I believe George is one from previous conversations I've had with him and I would be another - but I reckon it would better fit an open event than a weekend multi-tournament congress. Matthew T does make an interesting point about "conference hotels" in his post below which is food for thought.
We have been encouraged to do what Robin has suggested on the back of the Commonwealth Championships. At Tromso I had quite a few Delegates and Presidents speaking to me about it and commenting on how good the event was.

I would say it is a medium to long term goal. Short term is to address what we can do about weekend congresses to increase the numbers. I have a few ideas at the moment, most at the "back of fag packet" stage
"How sad to see, what used to be, a model of decorum and tranquility become like any other sport, a battleground for rival ideologies to slug it out with glee"
Hi Martin

I had the impression the issues of the FIDE Edinburgh moving venue 3 years running and being at risk of not going ahead this time not directly related to financial costings involved (or at least partially related). Is that not the case then?

Re plusher venues and Matthew's example of Ayr. Could also add Livingston Allegro (hotel venue) and Dundee (private sports facility adjacent to separate hotel) to that particular list (all fantastic events IMO). Maybe we are slowly moving there. If the event is good then players will come? From speaking to other players at congresses I get the distinct impression the prize money is not a draw or consideration for the high majority. Most of us are just playing because we love chess and for a good event experience.

Were it to be local though and East based, then I don't really care where any congress might take place. An ancient school or clapped out community centre without heating supplied is fine for me. At this point in time, considering the desperate state of where we are in the East I really don't feel too fussy myself and will be grateful for any local events!

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