Attracting new players to the game; who is responsible?

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MartinCarpenter
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Re: Attracting new players to the game; who is responsible?

Post by MartinCarpenter » Wed Dec 13, 2017 12:11 pm

Andy Stoker wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:53 pm
Why should we want to attract new players? Granted - we may feel that others may enjoy the game that means so much to us. Of course, clubs may wish to keep themselves alive. But if chess clubs die and we cannot play the game in the same way - then we must mourn and carry on living.
Well yes, but are we to simply resign ourselves to this, or try and do something to at least mitigate the damage? If we don't do anything then there simply won't be any club chess worth speaking of in big chunks of the country in 15-20 years.

Actually I'd probably be prepared to stake money that its already too late but.....

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David Shepherd
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Re: Attracting new players to the game; who is responsible?

Post by David Shepherd » Wed Dec 13, 2017 1:31 pm

Alex Holowczak wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2017 6:39 pm
(3) The children who realise it's just 8 x 8 because it's a square board, so they've taken your question and thought about the best way to solve the problem before answering it
Hopefully you ask this set to take another look at the problem? How do they know when a king can stop a pawn from promoting?

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Matt Mackenzie
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Re: Attracting new players to the game; who is responsible?

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Wed Dec 13, 2017 1:34 pm

MartinCarpenter wrote:
Wed Dec 13, 2017 12:11 pm
Andy Stoker wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:53 pm
Why should we want to attract new players? Granted - we may feel that others may enjoy the game that means so much to us. Of course, clubs may wish to keep themselves alive. But if chess clubs die and we cannot play the game in the same way - then we must mourn and carry on living.
Well yes, but are we to simply resign ourselves to this, or try and do something to at least mitigate the damage? If we don't do anything then there simply won't be any club chess worth speaking of in big chunks of the country in 15-20 years.

Actually I'd probably be prepared to stake money that its already too late but.....
As I keep saying, "all" we need to do to keep chess clubs viable is attract a relatively small number of those who play online.

So why isn't it happening, at any rate not as much as it should?
"Set up your attacks so that when the fire is out, it isn't out!" (H N Pillsbury)

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David Shepherd
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Re: Attracting new players to the game; who is responsible?

Post by David Shepherd » Wed Dec 13, 2017 1:45 pm

Matt Mackenzie wrote:
Wed Dec 13, 2017 1:34 pm

As I keep saying, "all" we need to do to keep chess clubs viable is attract a relatively small number of those who play online.

So why isn't it happening, at any rate not as much as it should?
It is free to play online, I don't have to travel, there is more choice of opponents and more choice of time limits, I can fit the games around other commitments ...

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Attracting new players to the game; who is responsible?

Post by Roger de Coverly » Wed Dec 13, 2017 3:02 pm

David Shepherd wrote:
Wed Dec 13, 2017 1:45 pm

It is free to play online, I don't have to travel, there is more choice of opponents and more choice of time limits, I can fit the games around other commitments ...
How do you know your opponents aren't consulting someone else, a book or a computer engine when they play you?

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David Shepherd
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Re: Attracting new players to the game; who is responsible?

Post by David Shepherd » Wed Dec 13, 2017 3:08 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Wed Dec 13, 2017 3:02 pm
How do you know your opponents aren't consulting someone else, a book or a computer engine when they play you?
I can normally tell but I don't really have a problem if they are, in fact in many cases it would make for a better game.

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Michael Farthing
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Re: Attracting new players to the game; who is responsible?

Post by Michael Farthing » Wed Dec 13, 2017 3:25 pm

David Shepherd wrote:
Wed Dec 13, 2017 3:08 pm
Roger de Coverly wrote:
Wed Dec 13, 2017 3:02 pm
How do you know your opponents aren't consulting someone else, a book or a computer engine when they play you?
I can normally tell but I don't really have a problem if they are, in fact in many cases it would make for a better game.
Moderator! Please could this post be deleted? This site should not be degraded with Common Sense.

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David Shepherd
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Re: Attracting new players to the game; who is responsible?

Post by David Shepherd » Fri Dec 15, 2017 10:20 am

David Shepherd wrote:
Wed Dec 13, 2017 1:45 pm
It is free to play online, I don't have to travel, there is more choice of opponents and more choice of time limits, I can fit the games around other commitments ...
Having said all the above, chess clubs do offer a chance for people to get out and socialise and for different generations to mix.

NickFaulks
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Re: Attracting new players to the game; who is responsible?

Post by NickFaulks » Fri Dec 15, 2017 11:20 am

David Shepherd wrote:
Fri Dec 15, 2017 10:20 am
Having said all the above, chess clubs do offer a chance for people to get out and socialise and for different generations to mix.
It's not just that. Online chess is great for blitz, but not much use for full length games against people you don't know. Aside from the fact that your opponent is possibly / probably using some degree of outside assistance ( and that does spoil the game, because it changes its character ), it is difficult to give it your full concentration. Even if you are doing that, your opponent probably isn't, and someone rated 1800 giving full effort isn't the same as someone rated 2200 who is also watching a film and answering emails. I've tried 60 minute games on ICC and it wasn't a satisfactory experience.

MartinCarpenter
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Re: Attracting new players to the game; who is responsible?

Post by MartinCarpenter » Fri Dec 15, 2017 2:17 pm

I've never been able to concentrate at all with online chess.

NickFaulks
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Re: Attracting new players to the game; who is responsible?

Post by NickFaulks » Fri Dec 15, 2017 2:49 pm

MartinCarpenter wrote:
Fri Dec 15, 2017 2:17 pm
I've never been able to concentrate at all with online chess.
I find I can sometimes manage it for six minutes.

Andrew Zigmond
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Re: Attracting new players to the game; who is responsible?

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Sat Dec 16, 2017 11:59 am

My purpose in starting this thread was to ask a specific question, rather than discuss the blockers with junior and entry level adult chess. However I will highlight one problem. As the chess playing demographic diminishes we increasingly have to use a `one size fits all` approach that compounds the problem. Even at experienced club player level there is often a division between those players who prefer a pub atmosphere while others dislike that environment (while some in the former camp hate dry church halls). Of course when you have enough players to fill both (and many people would attend both) it's problem solved.

I think my main question has now largely been answered. Chess clubs do not consider it their role to promote the game outside of their relatively narrow core. Certainly nobody is queuing up to share their stories of what they did differently.

I'll end by saying that I don't share Martin's pessimism although I'll admit to dark nights of the soul when I think the decline might be terminal. We're currently enjoying a `false boom` in chess as the Fisher Spassky generation retires and takes up the game they used to enjoy at university. While this will run down in a few years time the `rot` didn't really sink in until the late nineties. And when `younger` players (and I'm talking people in their mid forties here) find themselves with nobody to play with I suspect they will start seeing it as their job to do something about it.
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Michael Flatt
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Re: Attracting new players to the game; who is responsible?

Post by Michael Flatt » Sun Dec 17, 2017 11:39 am

Joining a chess club in which evening league chess is the principal activity can seem rather daunting to novice and less experienced players since there are rarely facilities, such as a separate meeting room, where players can discuss their play during or after the game.

For the junior players, who attend primary school, we hold a session immediately before the main club but are so overwhelmed by the numbers wishing to attend that we have to run a waiting list from which it would be possible to run a second club were there sufficient adults to do so.

Thus, it is not a question of how to attract new members, but how to satisfy the demand of those eager young players.

Roger Lancaster
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Re: Attracting new players to the game; who is responsible?

Post by Roger Lancaster » Sun Dec 17, 2017 1:12 pm

I can endorse Michael's comments - see my earlier post regarding junior interest.

Andrew Zigmond
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Re: Attracting new players to the game; who is responsible?

Post by Andrew Zigmond » Sun Dec 17, 2017 2:44 pm

Junior chess has been discussed elsewhere but I suspect that even the best primary school clubs have a very low retention rate when players move to secondary school. We know what the blockers are and some of them are out of our control. However what we can do something about (and what I am personally very passionate about) is the `crack` players aged 12-14 fall into because there is no age appropriate club. No 13 year old is going to want to spend evenings doing an activity aimed at seven year olds but the jump in maturity doesn't tend to happen until about age 14; so they're not going to fit in very well at the adult club either. How difficult is it to run a separate group for older players, even if it's just the other side of the room.

Quality of venues has also been discussed. I suspect in most cases we pay for a room to ensure relative peace and quiet for league matches. If we're just looking to attract new players for social chess; once again is it really that difficult to find somewhere? And when an adult beginner is ready to give a serious league game a go, pick them.
Controller - Yorkshire League
Chairman - Harrogate Chess Club
All views expressed entirely my own

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