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Ayr 2015
Although I agree with Andrew on the topic of prize fund distribution, I understand arguments for both sides.

I think the distribution of prizes between sections should ultimately come down to what's best for chess in Scotland overall. Of course, the argument for equity is important, but there's a reason payouts are structured in other sports with higher tiers having higher prizes. We want to encourage stronger absolute performance rather than comparative, surely? If prizes are identical in all sections, you only have intrinsic motivation to improve your game (no monetary incentive) - at least domestically. Also, the argument "I don't want my money going towards the top section prize fund" is kind of moot. The majority of your Chess Scotland membership fees goes towards paying for our top teams to play on the international level (i.e. rewarding ability).

I think it's great to see Scottish titled players at the weekenders... I'm really going to miss Ayr this year! Keep up the good work, David.
I'm parking my bum on both sides of the fence also as can see both sides to the argument. Am also a big advocate of seeing titled players at congresses. I therefore find it sad so many of Andrew's peers share his views which for me have a lot of merit (not many other titled players are saying it publicly). Seems only fair to point out this is not an isolated viewpoint of just 1 or 2 titled players. By definition there must be something wrong with our congress formats if there is only a minority turn out of our top players. Lets be fair to Ayr Congress also in that it is not really different to any other congress in terms of titled players turning out.

Ayr Congress might not break the mould with attracting titled players, but it does have its own USP's that it does well. Have been at last 2 now and it has become my favourite event and consider it worth the trek/expense. The hotel playing venue is both central and very comfortable and won't be cheap. I was impressed last year at how many Juniors turned out, and expect to see as many or more this time. Andrew Green / Ali Roy do a great job of mixing chess education and fun for the kids also. Andy H does a great job with the live boards and TV screens. David runs a wonderful congress, it anyone wants to give it a go. The nearby Haven caravan park is also great to turn it into a family weekend, did it myself last year and strongly recommend it.

* I am not best friends with David, or anyone involved at Ayr congress Smile
What a bizarre discussion. Surely the person who wins the top event gets the greatest reward? I cannot think of any other sport or competitive activity of any description where we would see it otherwise!
George Neave Wrote:What a bizarre discussion. Surely the person who wins the top event gets the greatest reward? I cannot think of any other sport or competitive activity of any description where we would see it otherwise!

Which is all very nice but which other top events reward is subsidised by the fees of subsidiary events?

There are usually at least 3 separate competitions held under the same banner.

Largs last year being an exception, but numbers well down on the year before when it was the three sections, perhaps titled players are not the draw it is mooted they are. Unless there are stats to back up the claim that titled players attract entrants?

I cannot think of any other sport or competitive activity of any description where we see that at all.

Perhaps we should think about charging more to enter the top events where the top players play as it is apparently a better experience to play the top players rather than the lower sections. You also have the situation of titled players getting free entry to events, a shortfall which has to be made up somewhere.
Taking this argument to it's logical conclusion and you may as well set the entry fee to cover the costs only and then give out no prizes at all. Egalitarianism gone mad in my opinion.
Ok folks, so what would be a fair distribution of £1000 in prize-money over the 3 sections?
Its true George Neave that in horseracing for example the better races pay out better prize money. This is partly because there is income generated by the better horses attracting crowds of paying punters so its a loss leader for racecourses. Cant see the same logic working in Scottish Chess i.e. huge viewing galleries paying to see some of our guys agreeing a draw after three and a half hours. The entry fee to the better races is also considerably higher for the owners who want to win the good prizes. In chess we seem to want to allow the good players to pay NO entry fee but walk away with the biggest prizes!!!

Now that is bizarre
Fairest way to distribute prize money would be to determine the distribution based on the number of entrants per section. ie if the lowest section has 50% of the overall entrants then that section gets 50% of the prize money. Never agreed with the lower sections at congresses subsidising the top section. It makes absolutely no difference to me how many titled players enter a section I m never going to play in.
I initially didn't want to post my views on this, mainly because David's event looks fantastic, and it would be a shame if this discussion detracted from that. The venue looks top class, and I hope that anyone considering entering does. However, as there have been a lot of posts on prize money structure, I would quite like to outline a view on why I am in complete agreement with Andrew Greet. I don't expect to be popular for that though...

Imagine you are starting the concept of a chess event from scratch. You put together one big event where every player is treated equally, the only difference being the relative skill of the players. Next you spot that it would be nice if the players who realistically won't be winning the event could also compete for something, so you introduce grading prizes to play for. Obviously these are less than the main prizes, because the skill require to win is lower, and the option to win the main prizes are still open to them. But you still notice that some games will be too one sided, and players who would get beat think it would take the fun away, so there is a box to tick that says "I only want to play players up to a certain level". Then what you have essentially done is create the current congress set up, where you regard the sections as subsections of the one big, main event. You would never make the grading prize the same as the top main prize, so why should the subsections get the same as the main Open? There is also the point that if you are entering the Major/Minor then there is nothing stopping you from entering the Open to play for the prizes there, whereas I am stuck to just having to play the one section out of my skin to get something. The fact that players are currently rewarded for not improving is a very strange situation.

When you enter an event, you are investing in the congress, not just your event. If people feel resentment about "subsiding" the top section, then why not just scrap it all together? The other sections will be able to have more money, and I'm sure the majority of people will be happy with that.
Adam Bremner Wrote:...There is also the point that if you are entering the Major/Minor then there is nothing stopping you from entering the Open to play for the prizes there,

Exactly! If you want to win more money, practice harder, get better and enter the open rather than whinging about the fact you are not winning as much. If you don;t like it, take up fishing instead. I am perfectly happy that Andrew Greet walks away with my entry fee if he wins the event. It's a competition!

Earlier someone said instead of a 150/150/150 distribution make it 175/150/125. That is still fairly generous in my opinion to the lower order but the key point is it does acknowledge that winning the Open is a harder so I would be fine with that.

To Andy B's question about the distribution of £1000 pot, something like £500/£300/£200 sounds about right to me.

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