Angus French wrote:
David Robertson wrote:But, at 1900+, aren't there many more Gold members than there 'needs' to be? (ie who would play FIDE/4NCL in a year)
Iâ€™d guess also that some players are showing a degree of generosity towards the ECF by signing up for a higher category than is needed. Perhaps an (unforeseen?) advantage of the membership scheme is that it facilitates this.
Behavioural economics would predict it. My initial nervousness, when drawing attention to the matter, was because I feared I'd overlooked some factor that would be obvious to those with better knowledge of ECF details. And the reason I'm interested at all is to see if behavioural economic theory stands up in this case. The signs are good.
But I have a yet more important reason. A year back, I argued at length for a tiered membership model based on the differential allocation of benefits, including voting rights but avoiding the arbitrary demarcation between club, congress & FIDE chess. This idea was brushed aside by people whose judgement I might normally respect (eg Andrew Farthing & Mike Truran). They claimed players would simply opt for Bronze unless coerced. Privately this opinion irritated me greatly because it is not supported by evidence from behavioural economics. However, there was nothing more I could say at the time, absent concrete evidence from chess player behaviour. So we ended up with the coercive model of tiered membership, not the voluntary model I was advocating. Frankly, that's a pity.
We are where we are. The data is not conclusive; but it is in line with what I would have predicted a year ago.