Tim Spanton wrote: ↑
Mon Dec 31, 2018 8:42 am
Justin Horton wrote:
"My gut feeling is that if we were to divide players into three groups, with
•the first being OTB tournament and club players (regardless of whether or not we also play online)
•the second being online players who do not play tournament and club chess, and
•the third being casual OTB players who play neither online nor tournament and club chess
the third group would be the smallest. But I don't know that, and I would be pleased to be wrong."
I am pretty sure the third group would be by far the largest, and certainly larger than the first group, just as the number of casual Scrabble or darts players is far larger than the number of tournament/club-playing Scrabble or darts players
My gut feel would match Justin’s – the caveat being that my definition of “casual player” excludes ex-competitive players.
The counter-suggestion seems to be that there is a vast underground army of players who have taken up the game and play it on a regular basis but have had minimal contact with “the authorities”.
Where have these casual players come from? Where did they learn to play? When? Chess has a reputation for being relatively complex (which may be one of its attractions) compared to pool or darts, say.
It seems to me that this complexity, coupled with minimal media coverage, is quite a barrier to entry,and those reluctant to cross this barrier at school, say, are not hugely more likely to cross it as an adult on their own when alternatives are available.