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View Full Version : Where are the missing chess players.



Davidflude
14-04-2009, 08:09 PM
There is a large number of chess players who are never seen in chess clubs.


a) some play only on the internet for example on FICS and ICCF.

b) some are juniors who are coached in schools and never move on to play in chess clubs.

The question is "How do we reach out to these players?".

No-one has a monopoly on good ideas. We can all learn from other clubs experience.

I know that (in alphabetical order) Box Hill, Croyden, Dandenong, Elwood and the Melbourne Chess Club are working hard to attract new players and all seem to be succeeding.

What is especially pleasing is that there is little duplication of members and that each club is building its own loyal member base.

I have not got a clue as to what the situation is interstate.

So to get things going I am going to make a few suggestions. Other clubs probably do these already.

1) get yourselves a club web page and keep it up to date.

2) distribute brochures through local libraries.

3) run a weekly email newsletter that helps members stay in touch.

4) get exposure in the local free newspapers.

5) run an annual open day. This works.

Mischa
14-04-2009, 11:00 PM
Elwood are so not working hard.....where did you get that idea?

Basil
15-04-2009, 12:36 AM
5) run an annual open day. This works.
I like this.

CameronD
15-04-2009, 06:37 AM
I think a potential problem might be the late finishing times for long time control events. This is the one reason that keeps me away. Finishing games at 11.30pm on a working night and not getting home til 12.30a basically rules out club chess for myself, and must keep parents from allowing juniors from playing. I know another person who wanted to play in another club event but couldnt as a game will finish after public transport has ended.

MichaelBaron
15-04-2009, 03:13 PM
its simply more convinient to play online...and you can play whenever you get the time rather than when you 'have to"

Taigastyle
18-04-2009, 08:05 PM
Im up for any 1 day rapid events.

Cant be bothered 7 weeks in a row or a full weekend with 8 hours of chess each day.

Other stuff gets in the way too.

Kevin Bonham
18-04-2009, 10:25 PM
Im up for any 1 day rapid events.

Cant be bothered 7 weeks in a row or a full weekend with 8 hours of chess each day.

Other stuff gets in the way too.

We had a very successful rapid today, attracting 29 players despite not doing all that much publicity. The above is exactly what some people mentioned - a full weekend is a big commitment but six hours on a Saturday is not.

Denis_Jessop
18-04-2009, 11:23 PM
We had a very successful rapid today, attracting 29 players despite not doing all that much publicity. The above is exactly what some people mentioned - a full weekend is a big commitment but six hours on a Saturday is not.

On the other hand I've noticed that short Rapid Play tournaments in Canberra's chess clubs are not as well attended as long time limit tournaments. Against that I recognise that junior especially may not like playing late into the night when they have to go to school next day. That was given as a reason for the excellent attendances at Belconnen CC a few years ago, predominantly juniors. It meets on a Friday night. Our problem in the ACT is getting enough aduls to play. Nobody seems to have an answer for that.

DJ

Sheroff
19-04-2009, 08:35 PM
I think convenience and time are big factors. For example, one year I had the choice of playing in the Queensland Championships (which was run over two weekends in a row, plus started late on a Friday night), or play in the Day of Knights tournament (which was just one Sunday). What was interesting was that the prize money for the Day of Knights was the same, if not more, than the Championships. So it was a no-brainer. Same prize money, one day of play instead of five. I played the Day of Knights.

Everyone is different in what they want from chess. I hardly ever play slow time control tourneys these days, simply because I don't enjoy them as much as Allegro, Blitz or Rapid. Others prefer more time.

Certainly I have always felt that the organizers of the State Championships need to look hard at the fact that many of the State's best players don't bother with it. For my part, I think Friday night play and low prize money are formidable deterrents.

The Gardiner Chess Centre is a classic example of how a chess establishment should be run - excellent facilities, an accent on providing maximum opportunities for juniors, a variety of time control events, and attention to detail.

Spiny Norman
20-04-2009, 06:03 AM
DF's suggestions are very good. Elements #1 and #4 (having a good club website, and getting fairly regular exposure in the newspapers) have been very important to Croydon's success to date I think.

When people go looking to find out who plays chess in their area, its important that they can Google away and find the club. Other search tools like council-provided lists of clubs are good too, but not as critical as Google I think. We had 2-3 new members visit the club in the past week and I think all of them found us via the 'Net.

All those players also happened to turn up on nights which we had designated as either:

(a) "senior coaching night" (which is free, where experienced players voluntarily run a brief session to teach some element of nuanced chess with which they are particularly familiar, such as several weeks ago when N.Y.Wong ran a session on "key squares and corresponding squares"; or

(b) "new members night" (where we play casual chess and make sure that the focus is on getting to know visitors, making friends with them, ensuring that they feel welcome, familiarising them with chess clocks if they've never seen one before, that sort of thing)

Our President's relationship with the local papers (he is a real estate agent, who advertises a lot!) is also very helpful, as we can pretty much get ourselves an article in the local Leader papers whenever we like. ;)

Davidflude
20-04-2009, 06:40 AM
I know from personal experience that Croyden is a very friendly well run club.

Keep up the good work.

Watto
20-04-2009, 12:17 PM
I know that (in alphabetical order) Box Hill, Croyden, Dandenong, Elwood and the Melbourne Chess Club are working hard to attract new players and all seem to be succeeding.

As an onlooker, I'd say that Noble Park's progress as a club has been pretty impressive ... they have to be on that list. One of their strategies seems to be to have their tournaments FIDE rated- they certainly attract large and strong fields.

ER
20-04-2009, 04:17 PM
I know from personal experience that Croyden is a very friendly well run club.

Keep up the good work.

David, add Hobson's Bay to your original list! The guys are just fantastic and have created a great and hospitable atmosphere in their Club! I am not saying that to make amends or excuses for a recent (and irrelevant to this) case.
I suggest to anyone who have their Tuesday evenings free, to pay them a visit and find out by themselves!

ER
20-04-2009, 04:20 PM
I know from personal experience that Croyden is a very friendly well run club.

Keep up the good work.

:clap: :clap: :clap: For Croydon!
I would love to go and play there again as soon as I can! I have the greatest and fondest memories from my recent visit there!

TrueBeliever
20-04-2009, 06:15 PM
Every club mentioned here seems to be just great. What about Ranges, Canterbury Junior Chess, Darkhorse, Geelong. Are they not wonderful as well?

ER
20-04-2009, 06:24 PM
Every club mentioned here seems to be just great. What about Ranges, Canterbury Junior Chess, Darkhorse, Geelong. Are they not wonderful as well?

I loved the mutual admiration society heading TB! :clap: :clap: :clap: I was actually believing CJCC is an indispensable part of BHCC, (after all if you ask our jumiors which Club do they belong they 'd tell you proudly "Box Hill"!!! :)
However, and talking about my suggestions were based upon Clubs I have played and/or visited. BTW I do not have the slghtest doubt that the Clubs you are mentioning here are doing great!

antichrist
28-04-2009, 04:06 PM
what happened to Kwan Kwan Tian, a state champ at 13 years, is he still playing?

Kaitlin
29-04-2009, 06:31 PM
I keep thinking this thread is "Where are the missing chess... [Kings]

I heard that they were found.. but .. we want details :P

Oepty
29-04-2009, 07:25 PM
I keep thinking this thread is "Where are the missing chess... [Kings]

I heard that they were found.. but .. we want details :P

I keep thinking the same thing about the title. I have no more details and I really don't care for the details. I don't want to know who did it because if it was someone I know it would only make me think worse of them. Lets just move on.
Scott

george
22-05-2009, 07:21 AM
hi,

The missing kings were returned about 3 weeks ago. They were returned to a teachers desk at St Ignatius.

They were very dirty and 5 kings had their heads lopped off otherwise all are ok thx for concern.

ER
22-05-2009, 08:46 AM
and 5 kings had their heads lopped off
hmm a republican connection? :hmm: :doh: :lol:

antichrist
22-05-2009, 03:04 PM
and does anyone know what happened to Kwan Kwan Tian by the way. He was our golden youngster for awhile.

Thunderspirit
22-05-2009, 10:47 PM
We had a very successful rapid today, attracting 29 players despite not doing all that much publicity. The above is exactly what some people mentioned - a full weekend is a big commitment but six hours on a Saturday is not.

Hi everyone,
I certainally don't want at any level to sound critical of Kevin. He is a very hard worker for chess in Tasmania and in various functions for the ACF. :clap: If I have a 'sticking point' it is seeing 29 as being a good number.

I've have just come from a poker tournament where they are two events side by side. The first event is free to play, with one top and one life line so the maximum cost is $10. This event tonight attracted 16, but the $20 cash event (no top ups or re-buys) attracted about 80. This is actually a slow night, where the events can have 30 and over 100.

Before people say its Friday night and that is a reason, every night in Queanbeyan attracts more than 50 players, and some over 100. There is a lot of double up - I know one guy who plays four nights a week, but this committment is a little rare.

As much as I'm really enjoying poker, I still think chess is a better game. There is much more natural beauty in chess, and the game starts as equal. It is up to the person who will win, luck in chess is more about good practical handling then anything else.

I've been keeping a rough guide on the amount of players on the active list. When I started it was 2550, and then for the next two lists it dropped 50 players per list to 2450, then the next two lists were 2440 (or there abouts). 2440 players for a country of 20 Million isn't awe inspiring. It would be curious to know, of the players on the Active list, how many are six months from dropping off?

If we want chess to grow then we (the chess community) need to sell it better. At the grass roots end, there needs to be a gentle progression and rapid events are a good idea and at the tournament end, make touraments memorable events that are well run.

If not then we may have to accept the fish bowl nature of Australian Chess, and that has advantages too. If we do, that's not necessarily a disaster but there are limitation too. I had an interesting discussion with one of Melbourne's top players, who commented that he won his first $1000 prize in 1980. Sadly most weekenders still only have $1000 in first prize. Factoring in inflation, prizes are probably half what they used be... (O2C Doeberl Cup, excluded.)

One thing I would say, is if you are trying to organise an event, don't try and lure back those players who are no longer interested. It's a waste of time and effort, trying to find new blood is a better option.

The other important note would be: If players who are keen to play, make sure they have the opporunity do to so.

On a personal note, I'm also enjoying playing at ANU Chess Club at the moment, so maybe it's not a big deal. Quality over quanity any day...

Kevin Bonham
22-05-2009, 11:30 PM
If I have a 'sticking point' it is seeing 29 as being a good number.

All these things are relative. 29 is a good number of players for a tournament in a state where there are only about 90 active-listed players fullstop (this is up a lot on the 50-odd it used to be in the mid-90s) and these are scattered between three main population centres with a few outside of those. By comparison the last one-day rapid held before that attracted less than half as many and the highest attendance at a weekender here in the last few years has been 32 - itself a big improvement on the mid-90s when we'd be happy to get half that number.

Poker is more popular than chess right now and there are a number of obvious reasons for that. One is that it is currently undergoing a boom in popular interest, another is that it is a game that people can just jump into and play and feel competitive at - perhaps because of the luck element.

We can get 80-100 people in a hall playing chess together here though, and often do - the trick is you give them the day off school. Translating that success to weekends is much more difficult.


I've been keeping a rough guide on the amount of players on the active list. When I started it was 2550, and then for the next two lists it dropped 50 players per list to 2450, then the next two lists were 2440 (or there abouts). 2440 players for a country of 20 Million isn't awe inspiring. It would be curious to know, of the players on the Active list, how many are six months from dropping off?

I just had a look at the current active list and there are over 2900 active listed players not counting the overseas listing. Not all of those have ratings though, some are "3g" or "Unr" and so on, so I assume you're just counting those who are active and rated. I also looked at one from 2000 and it was about the same. I'm sure the Ratings Officers are keeping tabs on total activity levels but in my view if we're even close to holding position that's not to be sneezed at given the competition from internet chess.

Thunderspirit
23-05-2009, 05:22 PM
Hi Kevin,
I was using the percentile placings listed on the ACF website as a reference for my discussion. I'm not aware of how these numbers are arrived at.

Lee.

Kevin Bonham
23-05-2009, 05:33 PM
Hi Kevin,
I was using the percentile placings listed on the ACF website as a reference for my discussion. I'm not aware of how these numbers are arrived at.


That is what I thought. Those percentile lists use only those players who actually have an active rating, and not those players who are on the active list but unrated.

In recent years junior players have been increasingly active and adult players decreasingly so. In this case, what can happen is that the number of active-listed players stays about the same but a higher percentage of them do not yet have ratings. So a fall in the number shown in the percentile places does not always mean there are less active players.

george
24-05-2009, 10:20 PM
Hi Kevin,

As Tasmania from your post has many active unrated players do you think this year or next there will be a need for an upward adjustment in regional ratings ie tasmanian. Years ago we had specific adjustments in "regional" areas such as Tasmania,WA,SA because of the small pool of players and improving unrated juniors "taking" rating points and dragging down the overall "regional" ratings.

I dont know if this is the right thread for such a discussion or a new thread started or it moved to ratings area but the question really is about regional differences that are both a pain and celebration in OZ.

kindest regards

Kevin Bonham
25-05-2009, 02:15 AM
Hi Kevin,

As Tasmania from your post has many active unrated players do you think this year or next there will be a need for an upward adjustment in regional ratings ie tasmanian.

The unrated players in the interschools don't have any effect on ACF ratings as those tournaments aren't submitted for ACF ratings. At the moment we don't have many unrated players coming onto the list, but we have had a lot of new juniors come on in the past 3-4 years who now have ratings.

I've been trying to monitor the Tasmanian rating pool and see how we are faring, but it is so hard to say what is happening because we have so few players here who have been active continually for more than a few years.

At the moment it looks like the older (over 45) adults and senior players are losing points at a faster rate than they should.