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West of Scotland Championships - Going Forward
Thoughts please on the format for the West of Scotland Championships going forward as a knock-out event run over a year. 3 sections, £5 - £10 entry fee, first round draw would be made and players would arrange between themselves to play ties by a certain date (one month to play ties). Winners into second round and so on until final.

Final for each section would be 4 game match between two players, over one weekend, 2 matches per day. All 3 section finals would be played over same weekend in top quality hotel with Saturday night accommodation and Sunday breakfast provided. Winners take all.

Alternatively, the Championships could continue to be part of a larger weekend congress, as they were this year. This has its advantages but limits the prize money for the winner and limits the field to those that particpate in that weekend congress.

Any other suggestions would be welcome.
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David and I haven't discussed this so I have completely independent views. I think it should be part of a larger congress (Prestwick is ideal). There are serious financial and time constraints for all concerned if you try to chop this important event into a game here, there and everywhere at dates that could become a short notice problem. Let us incorporate it as it is into a top weekend congress,

Personally I think Robin is right. Look at the problems we have with McIssac and Nancy Elder that use that format
"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"
As an "East" person I accept that the format of the West of Scotland Championship is none of my business, but I would suggest that there is no incentive for the weaker players to take part in a knock-out - why should they pay the same entry fee to play probably one game as the strongest players pay to play maybe half a dozen games? And if the weaker players don't enter, not only do the stronger players get fewer games for their money, but the prize fund also dwindles and the strong players then have less incentive to enter. Below a certain number of entries, the tournament enters a vicious spiral and disappears into a black hole as the MacIsaac and the Nancy Elder have done.

I think the congress format is far better, as everybody gets the same amount of chess for their money, and even those who are not in contention for the top spot can still get something out of the tournament. Stand-alone West and East congresses would still be the ideal, but in recent years the numbers attending have simply not been sufficient to make such congresses financially viable. Maybe some time in the future they can be resurrected, but for now I think the safest course is to continue to incorporate the East and West championships in existing congresses.
Perhaps even as a Grand(or Mini) Prix including results in the weekend events held in the West.

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