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Ian Rout
15-02-2005, 08:55 AM
Actually, I wonder if having more "youth" events with age limits higher than 18 (maybe even as high as 23 or 25) might be one way of encouraging more strong juniors to make the transition to senior chess.

In fact, I would go so far as to say maybe the national juniors could become u20 in line with the FIDE title (although it would be a fight against tradition to make this change).

I suspect it wouldn't be well subscribed - in an era where getting a GM title before you can drink in a pub or vote is not unknown there is already an issue of junior players losing interest in junior titles, as has often been discussed here.

jenni
15-02-2005, 10:29 AM
Actually, I wonder if having more "youth" events with age limits higher than 18 (maybe even as high as 23 or 25) might be one way of encouraging more strong juniors to make the transition to senior chess.

In fact, I would go so far as to say maybe the national juniors could become u20 in line with the FIDE title (although it would be a fight against tradition to make this change).

The ACTJCL changed its definition of "junior" to be under 20 last year, so that some of our juniors could continue to play. The idea was not to keep them in the junior ranks, but more to allow them to maintain their social networks, while making the transisition. The first of the 18 year olds availed himself of the opportunity (and in fact won the ACT Juniors last year). He also played in every adult tournament he could. Whether other 18 year olds will keep playing the junior tournaments is still unknown.

I am not sure if this would translate to the national level or not. I think having under 20 events like the Young Masters is proactive development. The one I ran last year had a really good atmosphere and many of the players were disappointed that they would be too old to play this year. However asking 18 and 19 year olds to turn up to the Aus Juniors and be beaten up by 13 year olds, might not be conducive to keeping them playing chess.

Tony is quite keen to get a university team comp going. The idea is to piggy back on the schools comp and add a uni section. It might be an individuals comp, to allow for a variable no of players from a Uni and then a team prize for the best 4 results. This would allow a social element with your peers and keep juniors playing through those first years of Uni, where many stop. We have tried this out on players at the schools comp and at the Aus Juniors and we have had a favourable reception from a number of players at different Unis.

Garvinator
15-02-2005, 12:03 PM
The ACTJCL changed its definition of "junior" to be under 20 last year, so that some of our juniors could continue to play. The idea was not to keep them in the junior ranks, but more to allow them to maintain their social networks, while making the transisition. The first of the 18 year olds availed himself of the opportunity (and in fact won the ACT Juniors last year). He also played in every adult tournament he could. Whether other 18 year olds will keep playing the junior tournaments is still unknown.

I am not sure if this would translate to the national level or not. I think having under 20 events like the Young Masters is proactive development. The one I ran last year had a really good atmosphere and many of the players were disappointed that they would be too old to play this year. However asking 18 and 19 year olds to turn up to the Aus Juniors and be beaten up by 13 year olds, might not be conducive to keeping them playing chess.

Tony is quite keen to get a university team comp going. The idea is to piggy back on the schools comp and add a uni section. It might be an individuals comp, to allow for a variable no of players from a Uni and then a team prize for the best 4 results. This would allow a social element with your peers and keep juniors playing through those first years of Uni, where many stop. We have tried this out on players at the schools comp and at the Aus Juniors and we have had a favourable reception from a number of players at different Unis.


I think you are just delaying the inevitable. They are going from a highly organised and 'friendly' junior structure into the dog eat dog, all alone generally adult chess world. Instead of leaving at 18, they leave at 20.

jenni
15-02-2005, 02:21 PM
I think you are just delaying the inevitable. They are going from a highly organised and 'friendly' junior structure into the dog eat dog, all alone generally adult chess world. Instead of leaving at 18, they leave at 20.

I agree - wouldn't it be nice if we could reform the adult environment instead of delaying the transition?

Incidentally I fell in love with the Kiwi in NZ (the feathered type). I think it should be adopted as an international chess mascot - a solitary bird, that becomes vicious when forced to interact socially and cannot be domesticated....

Garvinator
15-02-2005, 04:23 PM
Might be worth moving the Juniors->Adult bits of this thread to general discussion, so people can comment without going off-topic.
seconded, but i think this topic has been discussed many times before with nothing changing at all.

Alan Shore
15-02-2005, 06:05 PM
The ACTJCL changed its definition of "junior" to be under 20 last year, so that some of our juniors could continue to play. The idea was not to keep them in the junior ranks, but more to allow them to maintain their social networks, while making the transisition. The first of the 18 year olds availed himself of the opportunity (and in fact won the ACT Juniors last year). He also played in every adult tournament he could. Whether other 18 year olds will keep playing the junior tournaments is still unknown.

I am not sure if this would translate to the national level or not. I think having under 20 events like the Young Masters is proactive development. The one I ran last year had a really good atmosphere and many of the players were disappointed that they would be too old to play this year. However asking 18 and 19 year olds to turn up to the Aus Juniors and be beaten up by 13 year olds, might not be conducive to keeping them playing chess.

It is good in a way.. I missed those junior events. I could still play them when I was 18 as your age was taken U18 from Jan 1. However, Garvin may be right.. you may only be extending the leaving age by a couple of years.


Tony is quite keen to get a university team comp going. The idea is to piggy back on the schools comp and add a uni section. It might be an individuals comp, to allow for a variable no of players from a Uni and then a team prize for the best 4 results. This would allow a social element with your peers and keep juniors playing through those first years of Uni, where many stop. We have tried this out on players at the schools comp and at the Aus Juniors and we have had a favourable reception from a number of players at different Unis.

I think this was tried about 3-4 years ago.. it was kind of a case of no one wanting to travel so far. Similarly, the Australian Teams event died a quick death in its second year.

Perhaps I can give you a small insight into why. There are I believe two major factors procluding chess participation at university level: time and money. With a lot of study/constant flow of assignments/final exams there isn't always time for chess, especially with social factors coming into conflict.. many of us young people would rather go out, party etc. than commit ourselves to tournament chess. Priorities mean chess loses out. And when we do want the odd game it's much easier to jump on the internet for a few.

As for money, this country's poorest demographic are obviously university students. Back when we were juniors our parents would pay for us or we'd get greatly reduced rates/attractive prizes etc. in junior events. Now that some of us are living on our own and trying to support ourselves, we have to work as well (less time) but we don't have the money to waste on chess tournaments - participation becomes more of a gamble than recreation. Now, if you extend that to travelling interstate for chess.. well, you can see how such a poor turnout can only be logically expected.

I've spoken to some chess admins about this before but no one is that keen, to give university students more concessions. Yet nothing's really changed, so many of us can't or won't play, thus you are losing all those juniors. I only played two tournaments all last year and it may be even less this year for those two reasons (more a time issue now I'm doing postgraduate study).

If there ever was a feasible competition it would be good though.. our uni has some decent players without being really strong (Jonathan Humphrey, Jacob Edwards, Michael Davidovici etc.) but in terms of feasibility, I believe you'd be hard pressed to get the necessary minimum participation.

jenni
15-02-2005, 06:45 PM
I think this was tried about 3-4 years ago.. it was kind of a case of no one wanting to travel so far. Similarly, the Australian Teams event died a quick death in its second year.

Perhaps I can give you a small insight into why. There are I believe two major factors procluding chess participation at university level: time and money. With a lot of study/constant flow of assignments/final exams there isn't always time for chess, especially with social factors coming into conflict.. many of us young people would rather go out, party etc. than commit ourselves to tournament chess. Priorities mean chess loses out. And when we do want the odd game it's much easier to jump on the internet for a few.

As for money, this country's poorest demographic are obviously university students. Back when we were juniors our parents would pay for us or we'd get greatly reduced rates/attractive prizes etc. in junior events. Now that some of us are living on our own and trying to support ourselves, we have to work as well (less time) but we don't have the money to waste on chess tournaments - participation becomes more of a gamble than recreation. Now, if you extend that to travelling interstate for chess.. well, you can see how such a poor turnout can only be logically expected.

I've spoken to some chess admins about this before but no one is that keen, to give university students more concessions. Yet nothing's really changed, so many of us can't or won't play, thus you are losing all those juniors. I only played two tournaments all last year and it may be even less this year for those two reasons (more a time issue now I'm doing postgraduate study).

If there ever was a feasible competition it would be good though.. our uni has some decent players without being really strong (Jonathan Humphrey, Jacob Edwards, Michael Davidovici etc.) but in terms of feasibility, I believe you'd be hard pressed to get the necessary minimum participation.

You might be right - you are not the only one who has told us it has been tried and failed. However there was a level of enthusiasm among some of the current and future Uni students we talked to.

Whether this will translate into bums on seats is another thing of course.

It is the reason we want to piggy back it onto the schools comp - if it does fail it is not going to be a huge amount of wasted work.

Sometimes a thing works at one time when it doesn't at another. The Aus schools comp has been so incredibly successful, it has created a whole group of kids who might want to continue the experience at Uni.

Anyway we'll give it a try and see.

Trent Parker
16-02-2005, 12:33 AM
It is the reason we want to piggy back it onto the schools comp - if it does fail it is not going to be a huge amount of wasted work.

Sometimes a thing works at one time when it doesn't at another. The Aus schools comp has been so incredibly successful, it has created a whole group of kids who might want to continue the experience at Uni.

.

I thought a university teams event might go well with the Australian Universities Games

shaun
16-02-2005, 08:17 AM
I agree - wouldn't it be nice if we could reform the adult environment instead of delaying the transition?


I am at a loss to see what in the adult chess environment drives juniors away the day they hit 18. Indeed chess, unlike almost everything else in society, enables juniors to participate in the adult version of the activity before they become legal adults. Sure there are some kids who find it difficult to move out of the small pond they swim in, but I guess that wouldn't be a problem localised to chess, but instead part of a more general difficulty in adjusting to added independence.
Of course the initial quote could just be a wind up, which in that case consider myself truly hooked.

jenni
16-02-2005, 11:08 AM
I am at a loss to see what in the adult chess environment drives juniors away the day they hit 18. Indeed chess, unlike almost everything else in society, enables juniors to participate in the adult version of the activity before they become legal adults. Sure there are some kids who find it difficult to move out of the small pond they swim in, but I guess that wouldn't be a problem localised to chess, but instead part of a more general difficulty in adjusting to added independence.
Of course the initial quote could just be a wind up, which in that case consider myself truly hooked.

I think Garvin is feeling a bit depressed at the moment. However speaking as a mother who hung around Adult comps for awhile as a non chess playing person. It can be a very unfriendly environment. You come along and everyone ignores you or treats you with contempt.

I can remember when I first started learning to play chess and I was at Newcastle with Shannon and Gareth - there was an odd number in the comp and the adults were having an intense discussion on how to avoid a bye. I offered to play if they liked to avoid a bye - well you should have seen the looks on their faces! They managed to totally ignore my offer, while still looking as though I had committed the ultimate faux pas in even making the offer :)

Of course it is different in other environemts - Newcastle was actually quite a friendly tournament and I have always enjoyed Toukley and the Gold Coast. Now that I know so many people of course I find all the tournaments I go to very friendly.

Johnny Bolens has alwasy been a favourite of mine, becasue he always said hello to me, even in the days when he had no idea who I was or who the kids were.

At Belconnen Chess Club - I make a point of being very friendly to all newcomers, whether parents or new adults, but I suspect some 18 year olds find an adult chess club a much more unfriendly environement than the very sociable junior environment. Certainly Shannon found her first Aus Open an unfriendly experience. In Auckland Jonathan Humphrey begged us to let him go to dinner with us on the Wednesday night, because he was finding it pretty lonely.

I am not suggesting we turn serious chess tournaments into rampant social affairs. However adding a little social element to them might help in keeping a broader spectrum of people. (Or maybe chess players are all Kiwis at heart).

Libby
16-02-2005, 12:38 PM
I think Garvin is feeling a bit depressed at the moment. However speaking as a mother who hung around Adult comps for awhile as a non chess playing person. It can be a very unfriendly environment. You come along and everyone ignores you or treats you with contempt.


Direct - and heavily accented - quote from the first week I took Kayleigh to an adult club.

"Why we play 9 rounds with small field? Play so many rounds, I may have to play this little girl - or even her mother!"

Not that I was planning to play, but it wasn't very encouraging had I contemplated doing so. I could have had (but don't) a prodigous talent for the game.

Might even want to address some girls development issues you know. I suspect a number of 20-somethings quite like to spend a weekend or evening at a venue with some prospect of getting lucky (in the romantic sense of course :eek: ). Chess seems to fail a little on that count. Not only are there no girls to play against, there are no girls to chat up before and after games, few relaxed or social opportunities created around the clubs (ie girls might not play but could hang about and chat to other girls if there was somewhere to do so or even just come for the pre-game dinner or after-game drinks).

I used to go watch some very, very poor footy matches when in my most enthusiastic stage. They were not very interesting and could take several hours (sometimes huddled in a car in miserable weather trying to watch the warm up through fogged windows). Girls will share your interests you know (as long as you are able to reciprocate by watching the odd netball game in return). But if we actually developed more than one female player per state there might be more than one female over 11 at your average tournament. Then you'd just have to get over the idea she could be better than you :owned:

shaun
16-02-2005, 01:18 PM
A reply to both of the above posts .....

So how do we reform adult chess? By kicking the jerks out of the game?
Because what I am seeing here isn't a problem with the structure of adult chess, which was implied in the initial post, but a problem with some people who play chess. There are difficult people in all walks of life, not just chess. Of course if clubs/tournaments want to attract more players they should avoid the behaviour described above, but this applies to attracting ALL players to the club/tournament, not just juniors.

Libby
16-02-2005, 01:35 PM
A reply to both of the above posts .....

So how do we reform adult chess? By kicking the jerks out of the game?
Because what I am seeing here isn't a problem with the structure of adult chess, which was implied in the initial post, but a problem with some people who play chess. There are difficult people in all walks of life, not just chess. Of course if clubs/tournaments want to attract more players they should avoid the behaviour described above, but this applies to attracting ALL players to the club/tournament, not just juniors.

I don't think a lot of work does need to be done to attract juniors as they come anyway. Being nicer never hurts but that's not your big problem.

It is your 20-40s most clubs appear to lack. You can't really put it down to the clubs being unwelcoming or populated by jerks (even if some are) because those 18, 19, 20 + players were all playing at the same clubs at 14, 15 or 16.

The welcoming bit could do with more effort, especially when a new face appears at the door but I think you won't really make much impact on that age group without making chess somewhere they want to be. It's not just girls, it's friendships and social priorities, it's where they choose to allocate their dollar, it's playing the same faces, same formats year-in, year-out.

I also think it can be a level of competitive fatigue for kids who may reach adulthood where playing chess has been part of their life already for 10 or 12 years. At one stage it may have been their interest, but often it becomes a habit. I took a few years off softball in which I was intensively involved for more than 10 years. That time off was at 19-20. When I wanted to play again, fires rekindled and all that, I could pick it up again and choose between a highly competitive standard or a more social level of play.

Sometimes chess gives the impression that only the very top should persevere.

Oepty
16-02-2005, 04:21 PM
First of all I think that a Universities competition is a very good idea in whatever format. This includes internet or OTB enviroments. Adelaide Uni would theoretically be able to put up quite a strong team, Trevor Tao, Aaron Guthrie, Song Yang, Kim Anderson, Peter Mathews, Tristan Stevens, Robin Wedding and maybe a couple of others, especially if staff were allowed to play as well.

As for retaining players as they leave school. I think in a lot of cases it is the leaving schools rather than the age which stops them playing. In a lot of cases schools have a structured enviroment that encourages playing. This includes a club, coaching and a interschool teams competition. A lot of players play chess as part of a team and even a lot of them who play in individual tournaments play more as a extension of the team than a pure individual endevour. This changes when they leave school. The team is quite often broken up with players being from different years, or going their own seperate paths. Having a strong University enviroment is very good but I think may have the same problems at the end of it, especially if particapation is based on a interclub experience as is the case with a lot at Adelaide Uni.
My thoughts are of course based on my SA experiences.

I think Bruce also makes some excellent points. Libby is also probably right that the search for girls does probably limit some players involvement. As a bit of aside it was noted to me once that a certain player played far more agressively when his girlfriend happened to be at the playing venue.

Oepty
20-02-2005, 03:55 PM
What evidence is there that chess is actually doing worse than others sports at retaining juniors playing chess when the become adults. I have heard in the last few days people from a couple of sports saying that they have exactly the same problem. Are we really doing very bad or is it just juniors grow up and change interests and it effects everyone?

Scott

jenni
20-02-2005, 04:14 PM
What evidence is there that chess is actually doing worse than others sports at retaining juniors playing chess when the become adults. I have heard in the last few days people from a couple of sports saying that they have exactly the same problem. Are we really doing very bad or is it just juniors grow up and change interests and it effects everyone?

Scott
I think all sports have the same problems - if you talk to soccer they have a huge number of kids playing peewee soccer and at various primary levels. there is a huge drop off in year 7 or 8 and it is almost non-existent at adult level. I think teams stuff is always difficult. If we could get as many young adults playing chess as play regular squash, we would be doing well.

Also I think if you have managed to hang onto your juniors doing the difficult high school years, it is disappointing to see them vanish the first year out of school. Thus ideas like the Uni comp to give them something to keep playing for. Incidentally Graeme's teams comp might have not been successful, but it is interesting that the most enthusiasm for it came from the Uni kids - the only reason it was held last year was because the Uni of Sydney team (plus an ANU person and a few extras) had already paid their airfares.

antichrist
20-02-2005, 05:29 PM
In post 6 fees are mentioned as part of the problem for students.

In the Sydney Easter Cup (coming up again) we keep the fees for students and pensioners at only $10 and throw a free meal in Thanks for the free ad. TCN will vouch for this and I hope he comes again.

In post 10 friendships are mentioned.
This is a very important element. One of the problems is that there are not separate junior chess clubs like there is for example for table tennis clubs which operate out of PCYCs. These PCYCs form a strong team spirit and friendships prevail into late teens and into adulthood. They have socials etc. and romantic friendships form, though maybe against the rules.

One drawback with chess is that it is for the intelligent, who of course do the more challenging, demanding courses at uni. which hinders chess study and provides no mental break.

After that they get distracted by career, family and committments, heavy loans etc. They have to be selfish to stick to chess. If they can find a chess partner of course it would be a lot easier, but chess females are an endangered species. I have even thought of setting up a intro agency for chess players, i.e., partners who also played chess. If I get sufficient PMs about this I can do.

About parents at JCL events, I used to try and get an informal comp going amongst all the waiting parents but had no chance. They all seemed too terrified. How people can sit for hours waiting for someone else I don't know.

As usual I have answers for everything.

jenni
20-02-2005, 06:43 PM
About parents at JCL events, I used to try and get an informal comp going amongst all the waiting parents but had no chance. They all seemed too terrified. How people can sit for hours waiting for someone else I don't know.

As usual I have answers for everything.

Firstly you are used to waiting - try being a spectator at a kids cricket match, or an all day netball carnival.

We do have a lot of parents playing at BCC now - in fact almost all the low rated people at BCC are parents, not juniors.

antichrist
20-02-2005, 07:28 PM
Firstly you are used to waiting - try being a spectator at a kids cricket match, or an all day netball carnival.

We do have a lot of parents playing at BCC now - in fact almost all the low rated people at BCC are parents, not juniors.

I would not put them against the children because just because of the parents' maturity they can come from behind to win, it is off-putting for the children as well as being unfair.

Denis_Jessop
20-02-2005, 08:01 PM
We do have a lot of parents playing at BCC now - in fact almost all the low rated people at BCC are parents, not juniors.

This is the "other side of the coin". In Canberra about two-thirds (roughly speaking) of our players at "adult" clubs are juniors. Moreover many of the strong adults and some of the strong juniors don't play for various reasons. An appreciable number of the adults playing are parents of juniors and not especially strong.

I don't quite follow Antichrist's comment in reply, devoid of smilies as it is. Surely he can't be serious. Many juniors would crush the parent/adults blindfold. :evil:

Denis Jessop

antichrist
20-02-2005, 08:16 PM
This is the "other side of the coin". In Canberra about two-thirds (roughly speaking) of our players at "adult" clubs are juniors. Moreover many of the strong adults and some of the strong juniors don't play for various reasons. An appreciable number of the adults playing are parents of juniors and not especially strong.

I don't quite follow Antichrist's comment in reply, devoid of smilies as it is. Surely he can't be serious. Many juniors would crush the parent/adults blindfold. :evil:

Denis Jessop

Adults beginners, after suffering a bleeding nose, will then know to take a lot more time, look a lot more carefully and calculate very carefully. Child beginners would not know this. Adults win out of persistence.

It is against my religion to look at any of those faces and to use any!

jenni
20-02-2005, 08:22 PM
I would not put them against the children because just because of the parents' maturity they can come from behind to win, it is off-putting for the children as well as being unfair.

You have got to be kidding! All the parents who play at Belconnen are in fear of the little kids. I remember reading something Ian Rout wrote once - a very funny piece - can't remember it exactly, but it implied juniors had been toughened to have nerves of steel etc.

Any of the parents who actually manage to win a game, rejoice in it and know that it is only a matter of months, before the new little junior who they have managed to beat will be crushing them.

I promise you it is the brave (and very nervous) parents, who need your sympathy.

jenni
20-02-2005, 08:26 PM
Child beginners would not know this. Adults win out of persistence.



What makes you think they are beginners? By the time they are let loose at BCC, they are veterans (even if they are only 8 years old). They have normally had at least 2 years of playing schools comps, junior clubs and junior weekend tournaments.

It is their poor parents, weary of hanging around waiting for chess games to finish, who are the begiiners. :cool:

Trent Parker
21-02-2005, 12:23 AM
You have got to be kidding! All the parents who play at Belconnen are in fear of the little kids. I remember reading something Ian Rout wrote once - a very funny piece - can't remember it exactly, but it implied juniors had been toughened to have nerves of steel etc.

You know what I think it might be? i think it might be the lack of FEAR So young Juniors might be more willing to take a chance against their parents.... perhaps?????

Grendel
21-02-2005, 09:42 AM
What makes you think they are beginners? By the time they are let loose at BCC, they are veterans (even if they are only 8 years old). They have normally had at least 2 years of playing schools comps, junior clubs and junior weekend tournaments.

It is their poor parents, weary of hanging around waiting for chess games to finish, who are the begiiners. :cool:


I agree! at our club the kids are so well coached they crunch our adults in the openings. their also good in the end games. kids rool ok?

firegoat7
03-03-2005, 12:01 AM
Hello,

Universities- Its a potential winner but has problems with timing. The days of university students bludging around filling in time have long disappeared. I think most students are pretty much flat out with their studies. If you add in work (Austudy is not liveable anymore), and a dose of egotism (ever seen a uni type ever concede a point voluntarily) then you might want to ask when do they get the time to even prepare for a tournment, let alone risk brusing their egos by playing?

Still universities do have wonderful resources for their students and I am sure they would support such an endeavour financialy. Get the timing right and it may work.

As for unfriendly adults- what an absolute crock of an arguement.

The problem I find in general is the parents themselves..no offense meant to present company. They push their kids into adult environments completely oblivious to the potential trauma it may cause their kids. When they get a negative reaction they then blame the chess players, not bothering to question the rationality behind their own claims.

Imagine if I took my oldest son to the football (he is 4) and said to him. Hop over the fence and have a run in the seniors. Afterwards when he gets no kicks no marks and no handpasses I might say to him, lets find another team, this team is fully of degenerates who won't play with you.

:hand:
Put it in perspective.

Cheers Fg7