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Maxwell843
12-10-2007, 12:02 PM
hi,

I would luv to play in tournaments all the time but I live 2 hours south of sydney, so travelling is an hassle.

The other thing is the price of touranment entry fees.
I was really surprised when I found out that entry fees for chess touranments were so high.

For example the Sydney International Open next year for the Challengers section is $90.
And many other three/ four day touranments also range in the $100's.
I guess it is fine if all the entry fee goes back into prize money and paying costs.

But don't u think $100 entry fee for a chess touranment is too high??!

And what do u get for ur $100 apart from the chance at prize money?

I might be reading this wrong....but I'd be interested in what people think about the price of entry fees, and if they think more people would play if the entry fee was lower or u got something else with it, like lunch.

Duff McKagan
12-10-2007, 12:51 PM
Entry fees in Sydney tournaments are too high, except when they get some sponsors for the event.

CameronD
12-10-2007, 01:05 PM
I think $100 for a four day tournament is good value and in line with $50 for a weekend tournament.

I think the real problem is that chess players are too cheap!!

In many other sports, people will spend $20+ for a few hours with no prize money on offer. Why are chess players like this????

MichaelBaron
12-10-2007, 01:26 PM
I think the real problem is that chess players are too cheap!!

In many other sports, people will spend $20+ for a few hours with no prize money on offer. Why are chess players like this????

I strongly disagree. The trend is towards increasing entry fees while organizers do not appear to be providing any extra value. Just look at the recent CV bid for Aus championship. - Prize money was ridiculously low and even IMs were expected to pay high entry fees to play.

Some good international practices that we could embrace are:
a) entry fee should be based on a players rating - IMs and GMs should obviously get free entry.
b) If tournament is not aimed at top players (e.g. U1600) - its OK to have low prize money but entry fees should be low as well!
c) in Greece, Turkey, Spain etc. chess festivals are combined with activities other than chess.

Also organizers should give scholarships to top juniors. If a kid is rated 1500 - fine lets hope his parents got enough money for his entry fee. However, top juniors (e.g. 14 year olds rated 2100+) should not have to pay to participate in major events.

And do not even want to get started on the issue of sponsorship...:hmm:

Now a bit of a personal prospective:

I have no problem paying $100 if i get to play with GMs IMs etc. I also do not mind paying high entree fees for weekenders with decent prize money (e.g. Elwood, Doebrl, Ballarat) where i get to play at least some games against stronger opposition plus have some chance for prize money.

However, I will never ever enter an "amateur tournament" with no prize money because i do not see any value for myself in such events. I wonder if many players feel the same. Those who do, must be annoyed when they pay high entree fee to play in say U1600 event if the prize money is not great.

Many junior tournaments require kids to fork out 20-30 bucks to enter but instead of prize money they got ..trouphies or Cups. This is a rip-off!

Garvinator
12-10-2007, 01:52 PM
Probably the biggest thing I notice when sponsorships are attained, the sponsorship is used to boost the prizemoney of the tournament (which is usually only winnable for the select few), instead of reducing entry fees for everybody.

For the top weekenders and major tournaments, this is understandable, but not for the average weekender, which relies on the chess majority to be a successful tournament.

Basil
12-10-2007, 02:07 PM
Hi Maxwell, Michael et al

First up, please remember that tournament fees are set by people like you and me. One day you will be charged with assisting to set tournament fees (unless you sit on the sidelines forever :rolleyes: )

The issue of tournament fees is an issue of economics, market forces, trial and error, guessing and so on.

If you (as a consumer of chess tournaments) determine that the fees are too high, then they are! You will either buy an entry or not (notwithstanding other issues such as travel, commitments etc).

How many people feel the same way as you do? If sufficient, players voting with their wallets will 'send a message' to the organisers. The organisers will be receptive to this market message and will consider revising their fee structure accordingly (given all the considerations they must contemplate).

Also be aware, that the market forces work the same in reverse!!! If the fees are set deliberately low and the event isn't crawling with entries and doesn't go off like a fire cracker, then the finances and the tournament's bottom line will fizz. That's called a loss - and someone's got to pay for it - how's that!!! :eek: Then the organisers will 'send a message' back that such an event won't happen again (until the next person tries it :rolleyes:)

It's probably worth a moment for us all to consider tournaments that operate at a loss. There are many. Why is that? Do we want to talk about these. The answer to the last question is 'yes - on the bulletin board' :eek: We say that the promo wasn't good enough. We say that the price was too high. We say that price was too low. We say that the venue sucked. We say all manner of things.

As with all products (in this case chess), there is a range of brands on offer. Elite/ premium/ showcase chess, Grand Prix chess, club night tournament chess, free cafe chess. What you are saying, I believe, is that the premium events are too dear for you (now). Fair enough. That is a cost assessment.

But what about a value assessment (which won't make any difference to the affordability), but might change your perspective on the matter of fees. What does one get for 100 bucks?

-- A pleasant environment? I'd say so.
-- 2,3 (more?) days of activity.
-- A bunch of people working on your behalf (judging, overseeing collating)
-- A national infrastructure of other people to 'catch' the results, tabulate and disseminate them.
-- Other state and national people to process your ratings, administer policy so that when you turn up on the day, it's all good to go.

Interestingly (to me) the people who knock the prices are all of the following:
-- not responsible for running events
-- not having been responsible for running events
-- the first to complain about 'the all manner of things' listed above re: price, venue, this, that, my aunty.

You don't strike me as that person - I simply see you asking a general question. That's all good - I'm simply responding by saying that there's more that goes into this than initially meets the eye.

If after observing the chess scene for a while, you believe you have the best pricing/ formula scenario - and you may well have some insights; I can assure you that there are many good, capable and experienced people who would like to hear from you - because they have been working on the best formulas for their entire chess admin careers.

Thank you for asking the question. I hope I have been of some help.

Regards
Howard

Ian Rout
12-10-2007, 02:48 PM
It depends what value you put on things. For the same price as the SIO Challengers you could, for instance, get into the SCG for this summer's Test for the first two days. You wouldn't get to watch from nearly as close as you would see games at the SIO, you wouldn't get to talk to leading players and you certainly wouldn't be able to get on the field and have a few overs.

If you don't attach any value to the non-monetary aspects then, given that on balance you will make less from prizes than the cost of entry, the SIO or weekenders in general are frankly not worth it. It would be better to form a chess club in your area - you won't see any grandmasters in club chess but it is not expensive, especially compared to other sports.

Kruupy
12-10-2007, 02:58 PM
Hi GD,

A very well written piece there, especially the part about the intrinsic value of tournaments.

I do agree with the idea of people voting with there wallets, market forces etc however I feel that this issue is slightly different to that of your typical supply/demand curve.

The organiser(s) presumably are volunteers in that they receive no monetary reward for providing their service, they do however would like to see their event become a success. So what criteria must be meet for an organiser to conclude that his/her event has been a success?:


The amount of people that attend the tournament?
The average strength per player in the tournament?
Titled players playing?
The amount of enjoyment received by each player?


I'm sure that there are many many more criteria that event organisers take into account before evaluating whether there event was/was not a success.

The point that I'm trying to make is that organisers that are voluntary rate there event according to an overall "score" of a huge list of criteria...and perhaps this list being as vast as it is means that they don't really consider the market forces behind the fee structure of the tournament under the idea that "this fee structure attracted x number of players to play last time, so as long as approx that number come again this time, then I wont worry about this success criteria".

Perhaps organisers should require a small percentage of the prize pool as monetary payment for organising the event, this would probably get them listening to the market forces a lot more!! - but how would the events then be run??, and is this a good idea for all tournaments???

I have nothing against anyone in this issue, but just thought I would post some interesting/ thought provoking ideas :)

Cheers all,
Kruupy.

ER
12-10-2007, 04:01 PM
Ladies and gentlemen, the best way to have general success in our game is the way forward. That is to integrate it into the mainstream consumer culture. Unfortunately, we are not culturally well-equipped to handle it.
Modern first-world culture is very different to tribal culture in the midst of which Chess is (with a few bright exceptions) operating today.
Modern economies are based on marketing and production, not relationships. They are based on ownership, not community. And they are based on long term planning, not sentimental / ideological / philosophical etc crap.
For example, having someone who enters a tournament on a concessional entry fee and paying him/her full prize money if they win a place, is simply ridiculus and does not make sense.
So liberate Chess from all elements of pseudo philanthropy, social justice and community sharing business. These values are maybe good for politically correct culture vultures, flag waving revolutionary nuns and chronic cases of Social Security, Centrelink mentality!
Make the game profitable, marketable, attractive to people who can afford high entry fees and can also put their money where their mouth is!
Cheers and good luck!

Basil
12-10-2007, 05:14 PM
So liberate Chess from all elements of pseudo philanthropy, social justice and community sharing business. These values are maybe good for politically correct culture vultures, flag waving revolutionary nuns and chronic cases of Social Security, Centrelink mentality!
Make the game profitable, marketable, attractive to people who can afford high entry fees and can also put their money where their mouth is!
Cheers and good luck!

^ wot he sed.
:swoon:

Axiom
12-10-2007, 05:57 PM
So liberate Chess from all elements of pseudo philanthropy, social justice and community sharing business. These values are maybe good for politically correct culture vultures, flag waving revolutionary nuns and chronic cases of Social Security, Centrelink mentality!
Make the game profitable, marketable, attractive to people who can afford high entry fees and can also put their money where their mouth is!
Cheers and good luck!
If thats what it takes, then :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

Sunshine
12-10-2007, 05:58 PM
I don't know how prize money became such an issue in chess.

In every other activity that I participate in you pay an entry fee to cover the facilities, administration and perhaps to contribute to the development of the sport. There is no expectation of monetary prizes - just perhaps a trophy, recognition and a sense of achievement.

Entry fees are so high because cash prizes are given for players whose skills and committment to the game are well below that of a professional. I'm sure it cost are many players as it attracts.

But Gunner's comments about organisers knowing which models work are probably correct.

Basil
12-10-2007, 06:08 PM
I don't know how prize money became such an issue in chess.
Not only don't I know, I'd never considered it! But I shall. A noteworthy observation.

I think at the top end of the scale of any chess pond (club, state, national, perhaps beyond) the upper echelon players require financial incentive (in its varying degrees) to make the exercise worthwhile, where I think the ratio of fun & experience of the occasion as garnered by social players gives way in greater part to the rigour, duress and homework required of them.

MichaelBaron
12-10-2007, 07:28 PM
I don't know how prize money became such an issue in chess.

In every other activity that I participate in you pay an entry fee to cover the facilities, administration and perhaps to contribute to the development of the sport. There is no expectation of monetary prizes - just perhaps a trophy, recognition and a sense of achievement.

Entry fees are so high because cash prizes are given for players whose skills and committment to the game are well below that of a professional. I'm sure it cost are many players as it attracts.

But Gunner's comments about organisers knowing which models work are probably correct.

This is why i see no reason why u1600 events could not have $15 entry fee:hmm:

Axiom
12-10-2007, 08:37 PM
This is why i see no reason why u1600 events could not have $15 entry fee:hmm:
AND A $40 PRIZE? ;)

Kevin Bonham
12-10-2007, 10:30 PM
In every other activity that I participate in you pay an entry fee to cover the facilities, administration and perhaps to contribute to the development of the sport.

Chess is blessed with having very low costs with respect to the first two things you mentioned.

Garvinator
12-10-2007, 10:56 PM
Chess is blessed with having very low costs with respect to the first two things you mentioned.
Well it can be a case of get what you pay for. It is possible most of the time to get really cheap venues, but then they can be of questionable quality. So again it is a case of organisers having to make a decision about what is going to help their tournament more.

MichaelBaron
12-10-2007, 11:53 PM
AND A $40 PRIZE? ;)


Well, I played quite a few allegros at MCC where i was paying 10 dollars to play for a $30 dollars first prize...it was a lot of fun by the way.

Axiom
13-10-2007, 01:29 AM
Well, I played quite a few allegros at MCC where i was paying 10 dollars to play for a $30 dollars first prize...it was a lot of fun by the way.
so why not invest higher stakes for a commensurate higher potential return?

MichaelBaron
13-10-2007, 02:30 AM
so why not invest higher stakes for a commensurate higher potential return?

How many of the participants would like to pay more for a saturday allegro. What about those that did not have a good chance of winning a prize?