Brian Towers wrote: ↑
Thu May 03, 2018 1:30 pm
Thank you, Roger. That makes fascinating reading.
My eye was drawn to these statistics for standard chess for 2016 -
League - 108k
Congress - 66k
Club internal - 25.5k
Miscellaneous - 12.6k
DM foreign - 0.5k
Total - 213k
It looks as if about 1/3 of games played require silver or above. Of course nearly all of the players playing congress chess are also playing a lot of "bronze" chess.
In the context of the silver/bronze debate one highly subversive suggestion I heard from a supporter of the NCCU proposal was that where a club runs a congress or an organizer with a strong connection to a club, perhaps using club premises and facilities, there could be an additional entry charge for non-club members of say £1 which would give them membership for the competition which would turn the competition into a club internal one.
I think I was following all this until the bit about the £1 charge for non members, does this ever happen?
Michael Farthing wrote: ↑
Thu May 03, 2018 2:04 pm
The main issue with the proposal as I saw it was not the principal at stake - about which I do not think there is any great concern. The real point was the extra charge being imposed on bronze members for the opportunity to play in congresses: an opportunity they have signalled their lack of interest in by being bronze members.
There is a strong argument to say that the current design of membership classes is poor: personally I would prefer a 'standard' and 'casual' class based simply on games played, but that, I have been firmly told, is out of the question since it goes against the whole point of the membership reforms of my namesake. There is also a feeling by many - including at least one Board member - that a single membership class (ignoring the fundamentally altruistic platinum level) is desirable.
The real question that then arises is whether a single membership fee level can be found that will cover the ECF's desired expenditure without putting at risk the number of new and less committed players who would join. Many doubt that such a level can be found - but evidence is limited and probably can only be obtained by the risky strategy of trying it and seeing
A £22.52 Adult Standard membership merging gold, silver and bronze, would break even.
Take this year:
Currently income for Bronze + Silver + Gold = (3,834*£16)+(2,136*£23.50)+(1,994*34) = £179,336.00
Income of Single Standard Membership = (3834+2136+1994) * 22.52 = £179,349.28
This is would obviously be a big jump for Bronze Members like myself - but I am certainly in favour of it [£22.50ish to play in any tournament/league that I want without having to fiddle about upgrading membership will encourage me and lazy university students to enter in more events], perhaps it may be worth making a proposal and taking a look at the card vote to gauge how unpopular it would be at the next meeting! (haha!!)
In continuous improvement terms that vision is simply the future state, sometimes step changes are good, but a step change to a single standard membership (with a GSB merger) would give a sizeable number of people heart attacks - which is not one of my priorities! For me, an improvement away from the current state, no matter how small in the right direction is a good thing. Therefore, in line with the principle of removing artificial barriers and hassle for people who could otherwise be playing more chess, the Silver/Bronze merger set at £20 was a good step forward, which sadly fell through...
I would disagree that people who buy membership are signalling that they only want to play congress chess. I think a sizable number of people (in my experience, especially the kind of 80-140 level University player) buy bronze because it looks cheapest and minimum to play for the University teams, not necessarily because they've decided to only play league chess