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Chess Scotland Broadcast Channel
Online coaching is the way ahead.. I have also used skype in my preparation for tournaments with my visually impaired friends in Holland, Ireland and South Africa. It is the way to reach players for whom travelling is an issue.
Yeah! So livestream could be back on the agenda and so with it Chess Scotland Television, so long as the person uploading the content can do so through a fixed, wired internet connection.

Leaving aside the soaps and other frivolities it could still be possible to put together a live broadcasting schedule that could be of interest to Chess players in Scotland.

Where it is possible, congresses and events could produce a broadcast, if the facilities are available. Taking Prestwick for example, apart from the live commentary plans, we could also broadcast a short news update after each round. This would give details of the next round draw, brief news on the round that’s just taken place and a Sunday night event round up at the end of the tournament, with perhaps an entertaining game thrown in for good measure. I’m thinking that the prize-giving may also be a candidate for live broadcast and maybe tales from the bar (oh, there's those frivolities popping up again).

I know much of this information is uploaded very quickly nowadays but a live broadcast is just something a bit different and may catch the attention of people who are interested in chess in some capacity but are not yet or no longer part of the over the board community.

In fact, now that I think of it, if I’m understanding Andy H correctly, there’s nothing to stop me doing a half hour live broadcast at a set time, once a week, giving the latest Ayrshire Chess League and competition news, from the studio at Congalton Mansions (or the front room as it’s more commonly called), without having to get a second job to pay for it.

On top of the Ayrshire Chess Report and the Prestwick broadcasts, which both need better working titles for the actual shows, something a bit more TV, that’s television and not any other Rocky Horror kind, I do think a monthly or bi-monthly training broadcast would be beneficial to players and coaches alike and rather than set it all up myself and go with it as a kind of private enterprise thing, I think it would be a better idea to have it all done through the national body. This would mean one central station for all Chess Scotland news, events, training and so on, rather than several different uncoordinated stations popping up over the country.

A single station rather than many channels would have many advantages such as being able to easily monitor interest, which could be advantageous in seeking funding and support, a fuller schedule and no clashes of programmes. Imagine the dismay and the furore if the Glasgow league and the Edinburgh league both decided to do a weekly chat show and it was on at the same time on a Saturday night. What would you do? Well apart from watch the X-factor or Dancing with mice, instead.

So back to broadcasting training online. Firstly, I should say that I greatly appreciate the well informed comments by Andrew Green in the junior threads and I agree that the provision of one to one training twice a week is the ideal situation.

What I’m looking at would, I believe, compliment the excellent work done by those presently coaching and using the internet as a means of doing so and would not impinge on this. In fact, I think broadcasting an online training session on livestream via Chess Scotland, two or three times a year, would be an excellent opportunity for coaches to advertise themselves, their methods and skills, at no cost.

I favour the livestream avenue for what I have in mind, over the other options mentioned such as webex or playchess, as once a channel has been verified, there is no limit to the number of people who can view the broadcast for free. I think I’m right in saying that Webex is limited to 25 people being involved and there is a monthly cost and to view on playchess both the coach and the viewer would need to join playchess or be playchess members.

The benefit to the coaches of providing a free training broadcast through livestrean is the opportunity to convey their coaching methods to a potentially wider audience. The coach could decide on how many people would be actively coached during the broadcast (obviously with their consent or their parents consent) and others could simply view the session like a television programme. Perhaps, as Andrew McHarg suggested, there could be a wider question and answer session towards the end of the broadcast by using a chat facility. Perhaps, being a participant could be a prize at a congress or event.

In providing this free broadcast the coach would hope to interest some of the viewers to employ their services on a more frequent basis and at a one to one level or come to some arrangement with a group of interested viewers if the one to one coaching fees are outwith their reach, as individuals and the coach was amenable to coaching a group. (I have no idea how much a coach charges by the hour, who knows people might be pleasantly surprised or enormously horrified).

This would be the main benefit to coaches and I’m sure if it wasn’t so late I could come up with a few more.

There are obvious benefits to viewers, not least some free coaching but also the chance for those who may be interested in employing a coach to see if they like a particular coaches methods and styles, without having to try one coach and then another and then another, until they find the right one or are put off all together. This may benefit the coach as well, if they are in the business of offering taster sessions for free, then they could save the time spent on such a session, as the potential client would not waste their or the coaches time if they didn’t like the methods.

If the coach is inclined to charge even for an initial session, a free broadcast would also benefit the coaches’ reputation. Okay they may lose that session fee but they’re not going to have somebody grumbling about taking money of them and not being the coach they were looking for.

Looking at it more positively, I wonder how many people watching the likes of Simon Williams, Stuart Conquest and Steve Gordon do commentary at events such as the Gibraltar festival and London Classic, were persuaded to seek them out as personal coaches.

Chess Scotland would benefit by an enhanced reputation for providing a medium for coaches to advertise and for players to shop. Providing the central channel and a structured schedule would be a tangible display of what the organisation actually does but usually in a much quieter way. By giving coaches a central place to display their talents and refine their larger audience coaching skills and giving those less gifted a central place to pick up tips from the top the organisation would be providing a valuable service to all.

So, what’re the thoughts of the coaches and the potential viewers alike? Would such broadcasts create a buzz, talking points at clubs, competition among coaches, improvements to coaching methods, improvements to the chess playing masses?
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