A very interesting post above with very little that I disagree with although it goes a little bit beyond the consultation paper for the county championships, an event with a distinct culture and traditions. A lot of it ties into the `Attracting New Players To The Game` thread I started in the general chat section.
There is perhaps one bit I would push back on slightly.
Hok Yin Stephen Chiu wrote: ↑
Mon Jan 01, 2018 11:25 pm
Obviously, old guys playing chess is a historic trend; from my understanding, chess was traditionally a 'working man' 's sport played in working men's clubs across the country, and after the economic-political change of the 1980s, working men's clubs were in a decline, and subsequently the uptake of chess went down to. [I was confirmed this by the Director of the CCA - so I take it to be largely true...] The point is that, obviously we can not force quotas of 50:50 male-to-female, or equivalent proportions between adults:children that reflect the national population! But unless, someone is going to suggest how else we should widen participation for juniors (to which I will answer further down), this set of proposals is relatively thin gruel, not some radical "social engineering" programme that some seem to suggest...
I can't speak with great authority as I was born in 1981 but the glory years of English chess were driven by two factors - a boom in university chess in the 1970s and a general surge in interest after the Fischer vs Spassky match. My point is that the students of the 1970s are the `old men` playing county and club chess in 2017. They may well have joined the then older generation in the working man's club because, as is correctly stated, up until the 1980s these were thriving venues where people used to go. Young people as well. Obviously social factors changed this and large out of town pubs suffered as well.
For a number of reasons new blood stopped entering chess clubs around the late nineties. I suspect many club and county stalwarts would be delighted to pass the baton to the new generation, particularly as most of them have done their turn as secretary, captain etc. However they are forced to soldier on year after year and the problem (along with their views) becomes more entrenched.
If you want to attract juniors/ women/ students you have to create appropriate environments for them to play and learn. Once they do they should filter relatively naturally into county teams.