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  1. #31
    CC Grandmaster Adamski's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Penrith, NSW
    Some good insights here, Craig and Kerry. Best wishes to you both for the future events you organise.
    God exists. Short and to the point.
    President of, and arbiter at, Rooty Hill RSL Chess Club. See

    Psephological insight. "Controversial will only lose you votes. Courageous will lose you the election." Sir Humphrey Appleby on Yes Minister.

    Favorite movie line: Girl friend Cathy to Jack Ryan in "Sum of all Fears". "What kind of emergency does an historian have?".

  2. #32
    CC Candidate Master
    Join Date
    May 2020
    Quote Originally Posted by Craig_Hall View Post
    Just to touch on this, my calculations are slightly off, should be 11.3% rather than 10.2%. That correction aside, Sport NZ have been investigating this as it is not unique to chess in NZ by any means. There is generally a drop off at each stage as children move from primary (5-11) to intermediate (11-13) to high school (13-18) to tertiary study (18-22) to work (can be 16+ although commonly 18+ after finishing high school or 21+ after finishing a 3 year degree).

    This drop off is more pronounced in girls and women, but it does affect boys and men as well.

    The team/group/social factor is probably one factor as tournament chess is very anti-social during games with silence required for long periods of time, and the girls preferring to play in group/teams also matches SportNZ's findings.

    My own observation is also that chess is comparatively inexpensive to play competitively (a set and prep material is a lot cheaper than top quality golf or cricket gear, for example), but very time heavy with a club game being 3-4 hours each week, and then decent prep and training being another 5-10 hours potentially, and the sky's the limit if anyone wants to aim for a title.

    School and work requirements make that harder to justify as children and students get older, so chess eventually falls off the priority list for many.

    My suggestion based on that observation is to have decent social/casual opportunities that don't require the same time commitment, and go from there. A welcoming environment is obviously critical, so stamp down on sexist remarks, creepy behaviour and also keep the facilities clean, tidy, well-lit and safe including the car parking and getting from the venue to public transport.
    1.11.3% or 10.2% Doesn’t matter. Anything less than 40% is a fail for both countries.
    If it is Rugby or Boxing, I can understand that not all girls can take the heat, or boys for that matter.
    It is simply because of the difference in muscle to fat ratio. That doesn’t matter in chess.

    2.The drop off as a sliding scale. The big private schools employ people to track old boys and girls to organize social functions and then hit them for a donation –
    hopefully a big one. They literally track them from Prep. to the end. And it is part of their business plan.
    It does work, and it is profitable. Private schools wouldn’t do it if it wasn’t.

    Start a 7UP program on a smaller scale (See the BBC program). Go to the local Uni., get a social science group to track a whole bunch of girls from day one until they are playing Olympiad Chess and then Alumni Teams Chess – an event premiering on the Gold Coast later this year.
    Publicize the Program using the Unis name if allowed.
    Success by association.
    Back in the 90s we used to run girls only RRs. We still have girls only teams in our very good Primary and High School Teams events –
    State and National.
    Keep them aligned with teams throughout their chess career.
    Don’t drop them at year 12. Keep them in teams for 60 years.

    Nothing stopping local adult clubs from “signing up” local girl players for their clubs.
    Every time you have a club match, stipulate that you have to have 1 or 2 females.
    The club pays them a $100 education voucher only, not cash. The voucher is bought locally.
    They cannot play for any other club that year.
    Transfer fees like the big boys/girls? Who knows?
    It is a start.

    When I coached Worongary Primary we won several Australian Primary Schools Teams Championships.
    Most of the girls played Netball before coming to chess.
    Seek out the Netballers for any current chess players. They had been battle-hardened both mentally and physically
    before coming to chess. These girls would not back down against the boys. The non-chess boys would give them a bit of
    razzing and then go running out the door with the girl/s following in hot pursuit. Maybe extra testosterone in the womb?

    "The Plan"

    Have sign on days at your local club/s. Go around the local schools and get the 20 best maths students from each to attend.
    How to get them there? Bribery. Have a lucky draw. Vouchers to the local popular fashion shop. Not online.
    Show the locals that you want to spend money locally.
    Get the community involved. Maybe the girls get a % off for shopping at the fashion shop as long as they are members of the club.
    You’ll need a membership card. Can you get one of the White Ferns to attend and give them a rev. up and sign autographs?

    Buying new customers is 4 times more expensive than keeping the old ones happy.

    Might be the best money you ever spend. Any more Polgars out there?

    North Island – Who are the best Girls? U/18 x 2, U/16 x 2, U/14 x 2, U/12 x 2, U/10 x 2
    South Island – ditto.

    Maybe stipulate that 2 from each team have to be of Maori descent. Should be funding for that.

    What are their names? Pick something that cuts through. Think –

    Green Bay Packers
    Manchester United
    The All Blacks
    The Matildas
    Real Madrid

    Something that locals will want to get behind. Publicize the names. No good having a name if no one knows it.
    We are not allowed to do that in Australia. We’ve been a bit naughty!

    And then stage a media launch event. Maybe they can go to the lowest part of the North Island and the highest part of the South Island
    and stick their tongues out at each other! Seems to work ok for the All Blacks. The person the media sends out needs an angle. Any angle.
    They are not going to print – “the girls played well today”. Snooze. Think of an angle. Get some rivalry going with someone. Pick a fight!
    Challenge Australia to a match. Good luck with that.

    While you are at the Uni., find someone who is studying Sports Management or such and audition them as an intern for
    the position of Publicity Officer for the North Island Hectors and the South Island Maui.
    Looks good on your resume. You are not trying to enter the field, you are already there. If they don’t work out, try the next one.

    So now they play for their North or South Island Teams and they are signed as individuals to a local club, as part of their team.
    But wait there’s more!

    Who is currently in your Youth Olympiad Teams, both Open and Female?
    Postponed Olympiad? Contact the old country – England – play a Lichess Fixed Roster Match. 10 Boards.
    You’ll have to get up at 4 or so in the morning. All part of the fun.
    We don’t have such teams here. You guessed it, we’ve been naughty again!

    So now the competition between the Hectors and the Maui just got a lot more intense.
    The NZ Youth Olympiad team/s is picked from those two teams.

    Pathway to the Olympiad. Keep giving them a pathway, whether it is out of poverty or to the Olympiad.

    1.Get into the second tier of one the Island’s Girl Teams. Not so hard. Just takes a bit of dedication.
    2.Get into the Hectors or the Maui. Very hard.
    3.Get into the NZ Youth Olympiad Team (The BottleNoses). Almost impossible. Only the toughest will get there.

    If you have to create the NZ Youth Olympiad Team – The mighty BottelNoses – make it a 10 player team.

    Such competitions will all be online permanently soon. Forget schlepping around the world to play something you can play at a Hub for cab fare.

    3.”but very time heavy with a club game being 3-4 hours each week”.

    You are after publicity for your teams. You are not there to prop up the old timers who think chess is 40 in 2.5 hours.
    Chess, as voted by millions of chess players is 5 minutes or less. End of argument.

    However, we are prepared to compromise.
    RRs may be your slow chess cauldron in which Champions are forged. Worked ok for the Russkies. Maybe 90 mins for the game.
    No media coverage unless Young Masters format at shopping centre. Could be played on club night or stand alone “Young Masters” type events
    where the 2nd tier pays for the 1st. Free entry into the RR for the winner of the 2nd group. Top group good prize like $100.
    Maybe entry fee refunded for 2nd. We used to have A$500 1st prize in the 90s in Qld. and make good money by having 30 or so in the 2nd group.

    Help them prepare before the match. You already know the entire draw. Get the best in the club to go over the games later and make structural suggestions.

    Weekenders are used for talent spotting. Kids who don’t give up. Kids who cry. Kids who play lots of lightning between rounds.
    Yes, weekenders have 2 purposes. The other one is to help the old timers who never made it while away the weekend.
    You’ve got to keep them busy.

    Speed events (5 or 10 mins. no inc. both give great media friendly finishes) in local shopping centres starring Suzie Blogs and Julie Smith from the North Island Hectors.
    They will be playing and signing autographs after the show. Saturday morning in a Shopping Centre. Busy, Busy.
    Clubs can hand out info on club nights, forthcoming events etc. Get the local member to come along and get their photo taken.
    It will make the paper then.

    4. Venue: A huge factor in the image you want to project. The same as voice is in sport commentary.
    Think of “Whispering Ted” Lowe from Snooker. Think of Richie Benaud and Cricket.
    When you are speaking to local businesses or local members or even prospective parents, you want to project success.
    You cannot do that from a school room. They know why you are there.
    So does everyone else. Renting from someone else is good business sense.
    Why tie all your assets up in bricks and mortar.
    Just rent from a Bridge Club if you want unlicensed or somewhere similar.

    Any radical ideas mentioned above? Not a one. It is all boiler plate “how to grow a successful team”.
    Find out all you can about the “White Ferns” and …….copy like hell!
    If the govt. is serious, maybe they will help.
    Watch a movie called Brooklyn Castle – it is on Youtube in full.
    Tough area of NY. Many girls featured. Eventually they win over 30 National Titles etc.
    Last edited by Kerry Corker; 16-01-2022 at 04:52 PM.

  3. #33
    CC Candidate Master
    Join Date
    May 2020
    Quote Originally Posted by Adamski View Post
    Some good insights here, Craig and Kerry. Best wishes to you both for the future events you organise.
    Thanks for that. It is such a massive financial sport now with so many players worldwide. How do we get our share of the pie?

  4. #34
    CC Grandmaster
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Melbourne, Australia
    Unlike soccer players who follow teams to watch - chess players would be far more attracted by opportunities to play themselves. This is why Hastings and Wijk-Un-Zee used to have side events.
    Interested in Chess Lessons?
    Email webbaron! for more Info!

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