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Scottish Championship 2023
The Scottish Championship 2023 has been been announced and will be held at  the Carnegie Conference Centre (home of the SNCL) on 7th- 9th July 2023. It will be a five round tournament with two sections , Championship and reserve. Ian Brownlee is tournament director ( mobile :07899832770.) and Alex McFarlane , our President will also be Chief Arbiter. Both CS members and non-members will be allowed to participate in both sections but only CS members are eligible to win the title of Scottish Champion.

Ian Brownlee will answer any queries using the above contact details. There will be refreshments provided by the centre un to approimately 3.00 pm. Further details will be posted shortly including entry costs and how to enter.
Well. I must say I think this (Scottish as a weekend swiss) is a dreadful idea. Last year's tournament was, in my view, a splendid example of how to run it. Good central venue (Edinburgh Chess Club), good strong entry field, one round per day. Great chess, and excellent, deserved winner (Murad Abdulla).

Running the Scottish as a weekend swiss puts a random element into the equation (Friday night exhaustion, 2 rounds on Saturday, 2 rounds on Sunday, the swiss gambit on who you play) so that this year's Championship will be a lottery.

No thanks. I shall wait until wiser heads go back to one round per day.

FM Graham Morrison
Hi Graham
Thanks for your comments from last year, We did have an opportunity to return to Edinburgh Chess Club, but with GM's and IM's looking for free entry and various terms (e.g. get paid) there was no way we could practically run the tournament with the restrictive numbers . The only way we got away with it last year was with the sponsorship from Ecosse Doors, which was reflected in the budget. We also had restrictions due to covid so Edinburgh became the best way of facilitating the championship.

As for this year, We tried a few venues but were cost prohibitive or not suitable. we thought we had a venue on a few occasions but we let let down either by cost or suitability. Again we could only run it as a weekend due to cost and to open the championship to all, including non members. Again , due to steep costs in venues (most suitable venues are asking for up to £1000 per day). Until a substantial sponsor can be found (again impossible at the moment) , then we need to rely on entry fees to support the championships. Its a sad fact, but a fact nonetheless.

There's also the point that anyone should be able to play in the championships and that , especially after covid and in the modern financial climate, its pie in the sky for expecting players to enter without paying without other methods of income.
If its of any interest there may be a limited tournament over seven days being planned but again it needs to be funded. Again Ecosse Doors are sponsoring the championships but there isnt enough in itself.

Finally the only way we managed to run the championship was sponsorship and this years sponsorship covers he venue. How do you propose to cover the costs for other outgoings if there are no bulk entries.
I would agree that an Open tournament of only five rounds heightens what might indeed be termed, for want of a better word, the likely 'lottery' element of this championship. I also understand the financial pressures. But couldn't CS have extended the Open to include one further day and seven rounds to help mitigate the high chance element?

Has anyone, moreover, considered approaching ScottishPower for perhaps a three year sponsorship deal? The company hardly lacks current profitability and I suspect that their sponsorship people will have their antennae pretty well attuned these days for an association with deserving community investments for worthwhile, essentially amateur sports as chess, seeking to emerge from the dire impacts of Covid and cost of living effects that have greatly raised the cost of staging such events in the last few years?

With its centuries old history and all of the game's wider inter-generational and societal benefits, Scottish chess and the championships have a great story to tell.

Way back in 1994, when the then SCA lacked a sponsor for the Centenary Championships, Scottish Rail (I think it may have then called itself) spontaneously offered to fund the event quite handsomely, in response to a piece in my chess column in The Herald that highlighted the financial problems and above all sought to 'sell' the game and the championship's in that sort of positive light.

The company put on a fun blitz chess opener on the Glasgow-Edinburgh commuter line and the championships was a wonderfully enjoyable experience for the railways and chess. Perhaps ScottishPower could find ways to put on similarly bright 2023 light?
The format for this year's event is not ideal. No-one is suggesting that it is.
There were complaints following last year's event that it was too exclusive.
This is seen as a one off. It was either the current format or nothing.

Money is an obvious problem but even if it was less significant than it actually is, finding a venue as Ian has said has been a major headache.

In an ideal world we would have a 10 player all play all and all of Scotland's GMs would fight to get one of the places. The world is far from ideal and we don't have that number of GMs (yet). We need to make compromises. We also need people to actively help the organisation. There has been a long term vacancy for a fund raiser. There has been no-one to fill the position of Scottish Congress Director since I resigned several years ago.

I don't want to stifle any thread here. But lets have a bit of balance. Ian landed the job of Acting Congress Director fairly recently. He has found sponsorship and a venue, albeit for a shorter than usual event. He has done this in a very limited time span and facing ridiculous obstacles.

We have filled a number of the vacancies on Council but there is still room for more volunteers, especially if you actually want to do something to support the organisation.

I expect now to be overwhelmed with a rush of volunteers. One is urgently needed to organise next year's Scottish. Planning for that should be underway now but isn't.

Today we announced that Freddie is an FM. We desperately want him to be an IM (and others). It would be event better if one of his norms came from a Scottish event.

If anyone can provide contacts with potential sponsors I am only too happy to meet with them. Suggesting company names is not sufficient. We need proper contacts with potential sponsors. (We also need someone to do the 'leg work' but I'm happy to do some of that meantime.)

A few points:

ECC was the obvious choice - last year conditions were minimal, if any, and people enjoyed it?

The Scottish should be exclusive - that's why it's called the Scottish Championship.

Pandering to people who complain doesn't seem to be working out so well. Some are more convincing complainers than others, you see...
totally disagree with absolutely everything you say Alan, at 90 + entrants with a week to go before the entry date approaches, it is proving to be popular. I would also like to know who I am pampering to. If the 64 player ceiling for the championship is reached this week, we will probably not allow any late entries.
I was thinking that maybe a free entry to a 9 day norm tournament for the top 10 players for next year's weekend congress could be an idea but thats a decision for next year. I'm not implementing this year but I considered putting the idea forward to the management board this year but as you know from management board meetings (if you attended I can remember if you were there) I only took this on at the very last meeting.

You will be pleased Alan that this will be my last rodeo regarding the Scottish, I'm totally fed up with cheap comments given the very limited resources we had for this and previous years and I totally resent the Pandering comment. you say pandering and I say listening. My mandate was to run the Scottish without a loss and I've done that already. I have one sponsor in place and I'm hoping to have a second in place for this year's and subsequent events. Listening to what the majority wants is working well and detractors are just showing themselves up.
Edinburgh Chess Club was a good fit last year although you yourself didn't enter. We were coming out of Covid restrictions but we still had issues and one or more players had to withdraw because of Covid. Venues were impossible to source and Edinburgh Chess Club were having their bicentenary celebrations so it made absolute sense to hold it there with their generous support and I'll always be grateful for that. yes I could have done that this year again with ECC's help and support but the feedback indicated more people wanted to play rather than watch from a distance therefor ECC as you call it wasnt ideal. Again this was discussed in detail at the management board meeting as other options were discussed before my direct involvement this year. We have also had the rapid progress of some of our juniors (grateful thanks to the Junior Bard and both our junior directors) and participation in the Scottish must be an aspiration for them.
Thanks for all the work Ian. I'm sure it'll go well. 

If you look carefully, I left space between the lines so as to make my point clear.
Championship report here

comments welcome
Excellent event and a brilliant venue. The weekend format suits me better as I can't take a week off work for a chess tournament. A big thanks to Ian and all the organisers, I'm acutely aware of the hard work that goes into making these events happen and grateful to those that selflessly give up their time.

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