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LNah
26-07-2014, 06:56 PM
This is an informal survey. Perhaps it'll all come to nothing but I hope some of it may give us some insight to factors that affect someone's decision. If you don't want to post it in reply to this, send me a private message and I'll post it without your name.

This came to mind as a few weeks ago someone I know tweeted asking for the top 3 reasons affecting/preventing them from attending a conference.


What are the top 3 factors preventing you from playing at a tournament?


This is about someone's decision making process as opposed to picking on any tournament or tournament organisers. So please feel you can be frank.

ER
26-07-2014, 09:27 PM
Hi LNah

As someone who has played and still plays in tournaments overseas, interstate (I am a Melbourne resident) country Victoria as well as local tournaments let me list my reasons of preventing me from entering certain tournaments be they weekenders or longer events.

1) Lack of comfort. Interstate, country Victoria or overseas tournament venues have to be located close to my hotel. (I take special care of that myself). Accommodation also has to be of certain standards acceptable to my preferences. In this category let me add lack of nearby facilities such as restaurants, places of interest, and of course sightseeing areas.

2) Overloaded tournament scheduling. Playing three tournament games daily is definitely not my cup of tea. That's the reason I am playing in weekenders (such as MCC events) where I can get a bye in the late evening round. I find absolutely perfect for my liking tournaments such as the Aus Open or the Aus Champs. One and some times two games a day OK with me.

3) Unfriendly, inhospitable, rude organisers, officials and fellow players!

In general terms in regards to Melbourne tournaments Noble Park Chess Club provides an ideal set up for me. Their tournaments are held on Saturday afternoons. Starting at around 3:00 PM gives you plenty of time to relax after lunch, as well as being able to go home early and enjoy your Saturday evening. Only problem here is that their events coincide with the very popular and extremely useful MCC's Saturday Allegros but hey you can't have your pie and eat it too!!! :P. Similarly with Box Hill Chess Club and Northern Star Chess! Once a month the former and once a quarter the latter they stage their afternoon Allegro style tournaments which I enter whenever I can. If I think of anything else I might add at some later stage!

MichaelBaron
26-07-2014, 10:57 PM
1) Early morning/afternoon starts
2) Location is not convinient
3) Poor prize-money

ChrisBurns
27-07-2014, 02:27 AM
Negative things for me, prize money dependent on entries, tight schedule of rounds so that next round due to start at the end of the previous round, no tea and coffee facilities, car parking not available at venue or too costly nearby.

Garvinator
27-07-2014, 03:00 AM
1) Early morning starts
2) Individual monster swiss tournament format
3) Cramped tournament venues

Desmond
27-07-2014, 08:39 AM
1) Time. Tournaments are structured in such a way as to take up the whole weekend, and if it is a long weekend to take up the whole long weekend. It is very difficult for me to justify this when I have other things competing for my time. If I could play on the Saturday but not the Sunday (or vice versa), or play a round each day and skip the rest that would be more suitable. However the tournament structures do lend themselves to this.
2) Cost. Again, difficult to justify with respect to other things competing for my money, Eg I can take the whole family out for the day for the cost of 1 entry to a chess tournament. Needing to join the state association to play exacerbates this.
3) that's it really

Redmond Barry
27-07-2014, 11:07 PM
1) Time availability.
2) Cramped venues.
3) Diversity of opponent.

heligan
28-07-2014, 05:39 AM
Most of the comments above don't apply to NZ events. It would be useful to hear from more locals!

Seems to me that people only play in events they can readily get to without having to pay for accommodation. Driving from Auckland to Tauranga and back in a day to play in the Bay of Plenty Rapid seems insane to me, but quite a few people do it. One might conclude that parking is therefore critical (and therefore that those who ran up substantial parking ticket fines at the Wellington NZ Congress due to the 2 hour limits for miles around will be thinking very hard before returning to that venue...). Parking is generally OK at Auckland venues but traffic is not; I wonder how many are discouraged by events (such as the North Island) that require commuting through peak hour traffic during the week. (That's certainly something I would not want to do - and thanks to the dreadful public transport system, there is no other option from where I live).

Personally, I do try to support events if I can, but frankly I am not interested in paying money for travel and accommodation for an event with an unpleasant time control (60+10 springs to mind...) or an unpleasant schedule. I play chess for fun; playing Friday night and three games on a Saturday is not an option, and if the organisers insist on only one bye then I won't bother entering if it involves travel/accommodation expense as well. I'm not sure how many people that applies to! Seems to me that people with full working weeks would like a little time off at weekends - and kids have homework to do as well as chess (watching them try to catch up on it in the analysis room...).

Seems to me that events where the prize-money is distributed over a large number of people (by means of grading prizes) are more popular than those where only the top guys get the cash. Since we don't have any professional players to support, perhaps that is the way to go, to increase attendance?

Adamski
28-07-2014, 08:18 AM
1) Time. Tournaments are structured in such a way as to take up the whole weekend, and if it is a long weekend to take up the whole long weekend. It is very difficult for me to justify this when I have other things competing for my time. If I could play on the Saturday but not the Sunday (or vice versa), or play a round each day and skip the rest that would be more suitable. However the tournament structures do lend themselves to this.
2) Cost. Again, difficult to justify with respect to other things competing for my money, Eg I can take the whole family out for the day for the cost of 1 entry to a chess tournament. Needing to join the state association to play exacerbates this.
3) that's it reallySame 1 and 2 for me. 3 is inconvenience of location

Kevin Bonham
28-07-2014, 12:47 PM
A bit of a hazard of this being a predominantly AUS-centred forum; although this question is posted in the NZ section a lot of the AUS players have responded.

I'll do the same, but noting that I am an AUS player:

1) High accommodation or travel costs. I like to be able to stay in budget accommodation where I basically get a room to myself and don't have to pay for too much else. For local tournaments I like to be able to spend little enough on going to the tournament that I will make a profit if I win the tournament outright. Playing in a tournament where even outright 1st costs me money is a turn-off.

2) Overcrowded schedules. I don't mind lots of rounds in one day but I need substantial breaks between rounds. Events with fastish time controls where I play a long and exhausting game and then have to back up for another 10-15 minutes later are very annoying. Late night finishes followed by early morning starts ditto.

3) Overheated (or in summer, poorly cooled) venues.

Capablanca-Fan
29-07-2014, 05:33 AM
Although my last serious chess for ages was in Australia, most of my real serious chess was in NZ. I would also agree that early morning starts are a turn-off. There also has to be a reasonable chance of being able to cover expenses. Quite a few NZ events involved two or a few more sharing a hotel room quite close to the venue.

Qbert
29-07-2014, 10:46 AM
As someone who mostly has to travel to events and who considered playing in the recent North Island Championship (http://www.chesschat.org/showthread.php?15387-North-Island-Championship-14-19-July-2014-%28incl-Blitz-Rapid%29), which was poorly attended, my three are:
1. insufficent lead in time for publicity by organisers. By the time entry forms with round times were available for the NI champs, the cheapest flights had gone. This is a perennial problem for NI & SI events (except when I organise, in which case I either don't play or don't have to travel, but I try to make it easier for those that do by putting out entry forms at least 6 months ahead), which are usually foisted on the organising club, who reluctantly do the work at the last minute.
2. Ease of travel and accommodation: The NI Chp venue was a long way from the airport and accommodation, making for an expensive taxi bill for those coming from afar who can't bring a car. It was also far away from potential tourist activities, in case the chess goes badly and you want to spend time looking around (best tournament ever for this was Kaikoura 2008 (http://www.chesschat.org/showthread.php?8883-Kaikoura-International-NZ-%28incl-2008-South-Is-Ch-p%29&highlight=Kaikoura)).
3. Low prize money. This isn't particularly relevant to me financially, as I almost never win anything or it is insignificant compared to the cost. But decent prizes attract good opposition, which makes the expense worthwhile. The recent NI chp had low prizes and few very strong players. I don't need to spend so much for a chance to meet the same level of opposition.

I don't meant to single out the North Island Championship or its organisers - they probably did the best job they could, in that clubs don't seem to bid for these events a year or more out like they used to, and so an Auckland Club has to step in with no sponsor close to the event date when there are no other offers. But it was an example of all three reasons from my point of view.

Hasimir
29-07-2014, 12:22 PM
In no particular order: transport, time and funds. Seeing some of the other responses, though, I'd probably add venue complaints to the mix if I actually attended.

Craig_Hall
30-07-2014, 06:41 PM
For me, it's a matter of juggling leave and family priorities. Since I normally attend (and/or organise) 1-3 events per year as an Arbiter, I rarely have enough leave remaining, either from work or family, to attend other events as well.

Back before that was an issue and I just played (and wasn't married...), the main factor that deterred me from attending events was cost. If we had a group going from Canterbury CC, that would defray costs significantly, and it would be a more enjoyable experience for the camaraderie as well. If not, I probably couldn't afford to go alone, especially if it was in the North Island which meant I had to fly.

slyall
31-07-2014, 09:58 PM
3 reasons to miss events:

1. Value for time. If I have to take days off work or travel then I'd like to get as much quality chess as possible. 2 games a day is about right here. For things like the North and South Islands I'd also prefer they include weekends to save me taking 2 extra days of holiday.

2. Don't feel like spending the whole weekend playing chess. Any non-rapid is going to take up 90% of whole weekend. Sometimes I feel like a break and having a quiet time. Probably not something organisers can do much about.

3. Not decently advertised well in advance. Multi-day tournaments should have location and dates all up at least 2 months in advance. I need to book time off from work and book accomidation close to the venue.

However I don't care much about:

1. Entry fee - One night of accomidation or flight is going to be much greater than any entry fee. Similarly a $20 extra or cheaper doesn't make much difference in deciding if I'll play the tournament.

2. Prizes - I'm not expecting to win or even place. The odd grade prize is nice but is rarely going to cover my entry fee, let alone lunch, petrol or anything else.

3. Start times - ~9:30 seems to work even if I'm flying or driving a long way. Allows 6 rapid or 2 long games and finished by 6pm

Ideas:

Transport options. Travelling from Auckland to Hamilton, Taurange or Palerston North (or vice versa) is pretty hard and expensive. Perhaps having a place for people to advertise for/with rides might help?

Maybe spread a tournament across two weekends so as to get 6-8 rounds instead of squeezing 5 or 6 into a one weekend.

LNah
16-08-2014, 08:08 PM
Thanks for the replies even though some were Australian based, they did bring some up some points. As many of you know I don't play chess but do spend some time at tournaments because I tend to provide transport for my other half. one of the things I do is take photos and sometimes get to know some of the supporters. Ie people who support chess players, most of the time these are parents, and significant others of chess players.

I think some of the problems can be overcome by more communication between all players and supporters.

Costs:
For example Helen's example of parking at the congress in Wellington: Could this have been solved by someone who was staying at the hotel naming the car of a wellingtonian player as their car so they can use the car park for free? Did someone know anyone who worked nearby where there's office parking available (after all it was mostly in early Jan when there were many away on holiday)?

People driving to Tauranga/Hamilton from Hamilton / Auckland in the morning of a tournament (or to Auckland from those places) are possibly symptomatic of reducing costs.

Tournaments:
I have mentioned this to tournament organisers a few times but reinforce them again. You must confirm date + time of your tournament as early as possible. Most of us know when there's a long weekend there's going to be a tournament. NZ Public holiday dates: 2014 (http://www.dol.govt.nz/er/holidaysandleave/publicholidays/publicholidaydates/current.asp), 2015 - 2018 (www.dol.govt.nz/er/holidaysandleave/publicholidays/publicholidaydates/future-dates.asp). NZ School holiday + term dates for 2014 - 2017 (http://www.minedu.govt.nz/theMinistry/EducationinNewZealand/SchoolTermsandHolidays.aspx).

Travel + accommodation costs can be reduced if ppl can book early on. This is especially so over long weekends. For those juniors, their tournament entries depend on their parents (and also what other siblings are doing). Most holiday weekends are booked way ahead. Many may have already pegged what they are planning to do over labour weekend, and the christmas-NY holidays by now.

There's no Labour weekend tournament listed in NZ chess calendar page (http://newzealandchess.co.nz/calendar.html). Labour weekend is 27 October 2014. Last year we had a wedding to attend. Those who were invited knew about the wedding months ahead and so they had booked travel + accommodation months ahead too.


North Island champs: Another example given by people saying it would be too costly to go because of transport from airport or from accommodation to tournament. Why didn't anyone ask if they could get a ride? There's more than one player who drove to the tournament on their own car. If a player from out of Auckland could stay near them, they could have gone to the tournament together. IF someone had said something in the NI Champs thread when I posted it, I would even have offered rides to 2 ppl if they stayed somewhere nearby. I spoke to someone who could have played at the north island if they possibly could have found a ride to and from the tournament from where they were living in Auckland.

A few years ago I started creating events on the NZCF fb page for tournaments in hope that it would get people talking about the tournament, perhaps organising lifts or accommodation. I've since stopped and nowadays I just put a facebook update/post on tournaments that are coming up. Why are there no discussions? I asked around and found that ppl didn't want to state they were entering a tournament as part of a strategy. This was helped by the fact that lists of entries weren't usually published till late. Unfortunately in the last year or so, since the use of vega, some of these entries have gone up earlier on. I was also told they didn't really want to discuss it because more entries into a tournament results in fewer chances to win.

One of the large cost is accommodation. Would it help to coordinate this? For example do people know of aucklanders who are away in Jan during congress and thus their home open to house sitters?
Could a few people get together to rent a holiday home together to reduce costs?

Both Accommodation + transport costs could be helped IF players are willing to show their hand by stating their intent/wish to play in a tournament. Yes there's sometimes last minute factors that result in someone withdrawing.
How many people drove to their tournament could have offered a ride to someone in their area (or along the way) if they knew?
How many people could have offered a spare bed/couch/room to someone travelling from out of town to a tournament in their area?
With juniors, there has to be a level of trust before parents will allow juniors to travel with a non parent/guardian adult. How this can be done, I don't know. I do know that perhaps one of the steps is to let parents know about the chess calendar page, NZCF fb page etc. Yes I've written out the URLs many times + given them out. Some parents aren't aware of the calendar or results page.

LNah
16-08-2014, 08:28 PM
For those from Australia:
Congress is probably the only tournament in NZ where there's one round a day. There are NZ tournaments have 2 rounds a day. There's a few (but not many) that have 3 on one day but 2 on other days.
Most tournaments are over long holiday weekends as well as school holidays. There are however a few that do require ppl take time off work (north Island, South Island champs + congress are ones I can think of).

Auckland Chess Centre weekenders have 3 a day but they have time control 60 minutes per player with an increment of 30 seconds per move from move one.
Waikato open tends to start with a game on a fri evening that ends at around 11pm or so, 3 games on Sat and 2 games on Sunday.
North Shore open is a 5 round tournament w 3 games on Sat followed 2 games on Sunday.

Tournaments w 2 rounds a day:
Waitakere Open (usually Auckland on Queen's birthday weekend), Merv Morrison (usually Auckland on Labour weekend), North Island champs (July school holidays)

I think this year's South Island champs is 8 rounds over 4 days so hopefully it'll be 2 rounds a day. I know in 2012 it was 1 day of 3 rounds, 2 days of 2 rounds each + 1 round on the final day.

Feel free to add other tournaments to the list.

Keong Ang
17-08-2014, 09:47 AM
For those from Australia:
Congress is probably the only tournament in NZ where there's one round a day. There are NZ tournaments have 2 rounds a day. There's a few (but not many) that have 3 on one day but 2 on other days.
Most tournaments are over long holiday weekends as well as school holidays. There are however a few that do require ppl take time off work (north Island, South Island champs + congress are ones I can think of).

Auckland Chess Centre weekenders have 3 a day but they have time control 60 minutes per player with an increment of 30 seconds per move from move one.
Waikato open tends to start with a game on a fri evening that ends at around 11pm or so, 3 games on Sat and 2 games on Sunday.
North Shore open is a 5 round tournament w 3 games on Sat followed 2 games on Sunday.

Tournaments w 2 rounds a day:
Waitakere Open (usually Auckland on Queen's birthday weekend), Merv Morrison (usually Auckland on Labour weekend), North Island champs (July school holidays)

I think this year's South Island champs is 8 rounds over 4 days so hopefully it'll be 2 rounds a day. I know in 2012 it was 1 day of 3 rounds, 2 days of 2 rounds each + 1 round on the final day.

Feel free to add other tournaments to the list.
I have just done up the Merv Morrison Memorial 2014 entry form. Friday 24th October till Monday 27th October 2014.
Something to do while bored silly during this Auckland Chess Centre weekender.
Was on the noticeboard at Auckland Chess Centre yesterday. Should be posted on the newzealandchess Calendar webpage eventually.
Feeling jaded from doing too many of these tournaments...

Craig_Hall
18-08-2014, 05:17 PM
For those from Australia:
Congress is probably the only tournament in NZ where there's one round a day. There are NZ tournaments have 2 rounds a day. There's a few (but not many) that have 3 on one day but 2 on other days.
Most tournaments are over long holiday weekends as well as school holidays. There are however a few that do require ppl take time off work (north Island, South Island champs + congress are ones I can think of).

Auckland Chess Centre weekenders have 3 a day but they have time control 60 minutes per player with an increment of 30 seconds per move from move one.
Waikato open tends to start with a game on a fri evening that ends at around 11pm or so, 3 games on Sat and 2 games on Sunday.
North Shore open is a 5 round tournament w 3 games on Sat followed 2 games on Sunday.

Tournaments w 2 rounds a day:
Waitakere Open (usually Auckland on Queen's birthday weekend), Merv Morrison (usually Auckland on Labour weekend), North Island champs (July school holidays)

I think this year's South Island champs is 8 rounds over 4 days so hopefully it'll be 2 rounds a day. I know in 2012 it was 1 day of 3 rounds, 2 days of 2 rounds each + 1 round on the final day.

Feel free to add other tournaments to the list.

The George Trundle is typically 1 round per day, along with Congress of course.

The South and North Islands are both either 8 rounds over 4 days or 9 rounds over 5 days as laid out in the NZCF Tournament Regulations. The SI this year is 8 rounds over 4 days. The SI 2012 was 9 rounds over 5 days at 2, 2, 2, 2, 1 (I have an IA norm certificate to prove it! :)). Normally, if an NI or SI are 9 rounds, they will be 2 each day and 1 round on the 5th/last day. The NI and NZ Juniors are held on alternate weeks in the July school holidays, except when Wellington host the NI, in which case they run it at Easter to coincide with the annual Wellington Open. The SI Champs are in the October school holidays, but will normally be the second/last week going into the final weekend, to avoid clashing with the George Trundle Masters.

From the above, the George Trundle Masters are generally held from the first day of the October school holidays (that will be be the last Saturday in September for the next 4 years) to the following Sunday.

The Wellington Open is the Easter tournament on offer in NZ and is generally 6 rounds played at 2 rounds per day from Good Friday to Easter Sunday.

As noted, the Merv Morrison memorial is generally held over Labour Weekend.