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Domestic touraments survey
Graham Kerr Wrote:don't want to burst your online chess bubble Ian, but don't deal with the cheating problem sufficiently... even titled players have been caught cheating, as well as winners of Titled Tuesday.
I am aware of the cheating at and the actions they are taking (or not) It's all the more reason to play OTB chess isn't it but there is always scope for cheating no matter where you play. Whenever someone needs to go to the toilet, there are always cheating possibilities....

BTW we've all seen accounts closed down online only to find them resurrected in another form. My bubble aint burst at all....
It’s the ones they don’t close that are the problem…

Anyway, I don’t want to veer off the subject at hand, so here’s my tuppence worth, although I know I’m awfy late…
1. We use mainly digital clocks at Badgers Brook
2. Only myself and perhaps one or two others would know how to adjust them.
3. Digital would be my preference.
4. No preference myself… I’ve only once played with incremental time controls, this year at Livingston. One of my games was 100+ moves, the incremental time control potentially more advantageous to my opponent (K+B+N VS K). I did receive a lot of feedback after Edinburgh in April, requesting that we use incrementals in future events. Having said that, those who prefer static controls wouldn’t naturally say they want to keep the status quo.
5. No opinion… our club usually only play in league matches.
6. …
7. …

Some comments from earlier in the thread I want to pick up on…
Jonathan Livingstone informed us of falling numbers at Edinburgh and other congresses. Attendance this year was down 20% on last year, and according to TD David Stewart, the “lowest ever attendance”. I’m not sure it’s quite the lowest ever, but certainly for as long as I can remember. The Chess Edinburgh Council are also looking at ways to stem the tide, we can absorb a loss-making event every now and then, but longer term the event needs to at least break even.
Jonathan also points at the Lothians event at Wester Hailes falling off the calendar… It will be back on in 2017, and at a new venue.

Alan Tate points at prize money, my own personal opinion (not that of the CE Council) is that £150 for first prize in such a big event as Edinburgh seems paltry. I have made a suggestion to increase prize funds, a modest increase in entry fee would allow a £500 prize in all sections. For most, the entry fee is not the largest cost of playing a weekender, transport and/or accommodation will be much more. I’m aware of families such as the Gillies and Birkett families who all attend many events, reasonable discounts should be given for multiple entries and generous ones for families.

I personally don’t think it’s a coincidence that Blackpool and Scarborough are the ones that attract the big numbers, with large prize funds, plentiful local accommodation in traditional sea-side holiday towns… Largs Vikings looks like the closest I’ve seen in Scotland to Blackpool and Scarborough. I note Gary McPheator states that he only needs a few more entries to break even, which suggests the entry list is not up-to-date, I sincerely hope that it works first time and grows from there. I really do believe bigger prizes are what attracts players from outside of their own regions.
Thinking back to 1997, I won a couple of minor events at Marymass and East Kilbride. EK was discontinued the year after, IIRC due to parking charges being implemented around the town centre. Back then entry fees were typically £12-14, and first prize in both minor events was £200. Of course a lot of other factors have changed since, fuel is more than twice the price, the cost for TDs to hire venues will also have swallowed a huge chunk of kitty. When talking with some club-mates about prize money, many say things like “who cares about what the prize is?” Well, I think a lot of people do. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect 2nd place to cover the whole cost of the weekend, but sadly, most events don’t.

I’m acutely aware that TDs are running a fine balancing act just to make ends meet, hopefully Largs Vikings will be a roaring success and show the way for other TDs.

FIDE rating… I take on board comments from Steve Mannion and others… I personally was attracted by Livingston being FIDE-rated, having never previously played a FIDE-rated event. It most certainly is not a clincher though, with the venue being less than 1 mile from my home I was always gonna play anyway. I have to say though, I had no idea FIDE status would be such an issue amongst strong players. I do recognise the need for a high scoring performance over a weekend, in lower events there are usually quite a few improving juniors who are 200-300 better than their published grade, and I have had some feedback to say players are not keen on playing against lots of youngsters. They too feel that losing to one can ruin a whole year's work trying to get their grade up.

Me personally… I would like to play in more events, but it’s not the way they are run that put me off. Due to health problems I can’t commit early, sometimes not at all and need my home comforts so travel daily rather than finding local accommodation. Finding a travelling partner (to reduce costs) isn’t always easy either, many club-mates don’t often play weekenders, and when they do they tend to find local accommodation.

FIDE status would not be a factor for me, although I do feel it lifts the prestige of the event if it were to be FIDE-rated.
Somehow confused my numbers... my suggestion wasn't for £500 1st prize, but to simply double all prizes, giving £300 for 1st in all sections bar Premier, which would bump to £1,000.
Jonathan Livingstone Wrote:I take your point Phil and I agree that rated games should be a consideration in the overall picture. It is never straight forward though. The local league association where I live (The Lothian League), has approx, 40 teams and 14 member clubs. There is not only X Club Team 1, X Club Team 2 etc, but there are many instances of players playing various within multiple divisions. That can skew the data. Even if you can have 1 million games rated over the season, those 1 million games could in theory be majority accounted for by the same 75% section of players, from 2 single regions as an example. It is not always the success story it may appear to be and it becomes very hard to use general data as tangible data for a true measure of the picture.

The state of local club chess must also be used, and the membership numbers of these clubs as a whole. There is often a group of the same players playing in various events. You do also have to look at things on a regional basis also. So yes there are 1 or 2 regions with reasonable activity. But look at the East, and what little it has left in congress activity. The club scene in my council region of East Lothian is a bit grim. We are coming to that time of year where club secs receive their invitations to enter their club into Rich/Spens, or what is left of them (I don't want to give you a heart attack Ian, honestly Smile )

There is of course pockets of happiness, be it the SNCL, a Bon Accord, the Tayside region or a few congress choices in the West. But there is also the many sad situations, of local clubs across the country struggling to survive, and struggling events.

Going back to the Ice Age theory (I am obsessed I know), the Wooly Mammoth died off generaly with the exception of a couple of islands where they survived for another 5000 years after the general extension before becoming officialy absent and extinct. That's where we are?


seems to me than that your intuition leads to same conclusion as my intuition.
Numbers are needed - are there are many different stats that could be extracted and used.

Interesting point you make about the mammoth (off topic so everybody else may stop reading). Reminds me about big cats in Southern England. For years that have been reports of big cats perhaps a lynx or two or even a breeding colony living wild on Bodmin moor. Photographic evidence has never been quite convincing - but better than the evidence for Nessie.

Earlier this year a lynx escaped from Dartmoor zoo. It was recaptured three weeks later. In that time nobody it seems managed to photograph it. So hard to measure when a species becomes extinct. However, I don't think there are hairy elephants to be discovered in the Scottish wilderness.

Everyone else can start reading again....... Have some sympathy for the CS directors. They have a mammoth task ahead.
I really appreciate organisers discussing openly and asking players what they want. It's the way forward.
The more I think about this, the more I am swaying towards being in favour of not Fide rating weekenders.
To keep in shape it's important to play, but putting your rating on the line which could mean the difference between being selected or not is not really fair. Being on the fringe of selection is an uncomfortable and stressful experience. Those who are safe don't need to play and would be daft to risk it.
There are currently no training events, very little rapid (although one very promising one to be added). So we have a situation where there are very few opportunities for the Scottish top 20 to play in Scotland. Whether this is important or not is up for debate.

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