Neil Graham wrote:
I don't think Sean said or inferred anything of the sort; he merely quoted some figures
He was quoting figures in defence of his assertion that the abolition of Game Fee has increased the amount of chess played. Perhaps, but it has also reduced the head count of players by driving away those who only played a handful of games a season. He appears to imply this is a good thing.
It's not part of the metrics for club and domestic Congress chess, but the headcount of both players and games is influenced by the success or failure of the prestige international events in attracting overseas players. In terms of non-English participants, I think Gibraltar would be the largest, followed by the London Classic FIDE Open, Hastings and the Isle of Man.
Neil Graham wrote:b) There is an increase of the "baby boomer"generation reaching retirement age and a consequent increase in games played. I think you will find that Mr R De Coverly (for example) is playing a great deal more competitive chess than he was in, say, 2010-11.
Not according to my personal archive.
In calendar 2010 including rapidplay and an ungraded friendly, I played 137 games, whilst in calendar 2015, I played 134.