Would You Pay Extra to Win Prize Money?

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Ian Thompson
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Would You Pay Extra to Win Prize Money?

Post by Ian Thompson » Fri Sep 27, 2019 3:22 pm

I came across a 1 day rapidplay entry form today with a single Open section that offered 2 levels of entry fee:

1. £19 - eligible to win prize money
2. £6 - ineligible for prize money

1st prize is £130; amount of 2nd and 3rd prizes dependent on entries; additional prizes dependent on entries.

Assuming you'd decided you wanted to play in the event which entry fee would you choose?

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Michael Farthing
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Re: Would You Pay Extra to Win Prize Money?

Post by Michael Farthing » Fri Sep 27, 2019 4:42 pm

I'd choose £6 but not out of concern about the money. I'm of the view that prize money (and gradings) are two innovations that have spoilt the game.
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Matt Mackenzie
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Re: Would You Pay Extra to Win Prize Money?

Post by Matt Mackenzie » Fri Sep 27, 2019 5:03 pm

Prize money has existed almost as long as chess competitions, surely?

And gradings were created because there was a demand for them, from both players and (maybe more important) event organisers.
"Set up your attacks so that when the fire is out, it isn't out!" (H N Pillsbury)

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IM Jack Rudd
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Re: Would You Pay Extra to Win Prize Money?

Post by IM Jack Rudd » Fri Sep 27, 2019 5:13 pm

Matt Mackenzie wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 5:03 pm
Prize money has existed almost as long as chess competitions, surely?
Pretty much. It was certainly in existence for the London 1851 tournament.

(I'd go for the £19 entry fee, but then I'd normally fancy my chances of winning the £130.)

NickFaulks
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Re: Would You Pay Extra to Win Prize Money?

Post by NickFaulks » Fri Sep 27, 2019 5:21 pm

IM Jack Rudd wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 5:13 pm
(I'd go for the £19 entry fee, but then I'd normally fancy my chances of winning the £130.)
Jack puts his finger on the problem with this format. I would want to pay the extra, because it feels like the right thing to do, but if I thought Jack was playing I would wonder whether I really like him enough to give him £13.

LawrenceCooper
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Re: Would You Pay Extra to Win Prize Money?

Post by LawrenceCooper » Fri Sep 27, 2019 6:46 pm

Ian Thompson wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 3:22 pm
I came across a 1 day rapidplay entry form today with a single Open section that offered 2 levels of entry fee:

1. £19 - eligible to win prize money
2. £6 - ineligible for prize money

1st prize is £130; amount of 2nd and 3rd prizes dependent on entries; additional prizes dependent on entries.

Assuming you'd decided you wanted to play in the event which entry fee would you choose?
I would choose A, not because I would necessarily expect to win a prize but having spent money to get to the tournament and possibly additional costs on top of travel then the £13 in itself is a relatively small amount.

Richard Bates
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Re: Would You Pay Extra to Win Prize Money?

Post by Richard Bates » Fri Sep 27, 2019 7:03 pm

NickFaulks wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 5:21 pm
IM Jack Rudd wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 5:13 pm
(I'd go for the £19 entry fee, but then I'd normally fancy my chances of winning the £130.)
Jack puts his finger on the problem with this format. I would want to pay the extra, because it feels like the right thing to do, but if I thought Jack was playing I would wonder whether I really like him enough to give him £13.
Well assuming the prize fund was guaranteed you’d be giving it to the tournaments funds/organisers, no?

NickFaulks
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Re: Would You Pay Extra to Win Prize Money?

Post by NickFaulks » Fri Sep 27, 2019 7:23 pm

Richard Bates wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 7:03 pm
Well assuming the prize fund was guaranteed you’d be giving it to the tournaments funds/organisers, no?
Yes, but the prize list obviously isn't going to be fully guaranteed, even if the headline first prize is. The transfer of wealth will be in practice from non-winners such as myself to winners such as Jack and yourself. That is of course the normal way of things, but I wonder whether it is wise to give non-winners the possibility of opting out.

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: Would You Pay Extra to Win Prize Money?

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Fri Sep 27, 2019 10:38 pm

It also complicates the chart however you display it. If you are in contention for prize money before the last round, you not only have to work out who your rivals appear to be, but whether they are playing for money or not. And what about pairings? You have three people equal first, two playing for money and one not; assuming they haven't played each other already, surely you would want to pair the two "professionals" together?

Ian Thompson
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Re: Would You Pay Extra to Win Prize Money?

Post by Ian Thompson » Fri Sep 27, 2019 11:19 pm

Kevin Thurlow wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 10:38 pm
It also complicates the chart however you display it. If you are in contention for prize money before the last round, you not only have to work out who your rivals appear to be, but whether they are playing for money or not. And what about pairings? You have three people equal first, two playing for money and one not; assuming they haven't played each other already, surely you would want to pair the two "professionals" together?
True enough, but equally true, and probably less complicated than, the much more common situation where there are category prizes within tournaments (e.g. grading prizes, junior/senior prizes, titles for people satisfying some eligibility criteria, etc.).

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Michael Farthing
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Re: Would You Pay Extra to Win Prize Money?

Post by Michael Farthing » Sat Sep 28, 2019 8:40 am

Kevin Thurlow wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 10:38 pm
It also complicates the chart however you display it. If you are in contention for prize money before the last round, you not only have to work out who your rivals appear to be, but whether they are playing for money or not. And what about pairings? You have three people equal first, two playing for money and one not; assuming they haven't played each other already, surely you would want to pair the two "professionals" together?
Ah! You mean the "amateur" (the one playing for love of the game rather than as a commercial venture) should be given the easier run? But then, the amateur would probably want the harder opposition while the professional would want the soft option.

[PS This is light-hearted - I can see the flaws].
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Mike Gunn
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Re: Would You Pay Extra to Win Prize Money?

Post by Mike Gunn » Sat Sep 28, 2019 10:41 am

I don't think this model (choice of £6 or £19 entry) will work. (The organiser will lose money.)

Following some opinions expressed on here that participation in tournaments was not sensitive to the prize money offered we tried lowering the prizes in the Surrey Congress and we didn't have a viable tournament (and the major reason given on here was the lower than usual prize money). The version which just charges £6 (and no prizes) could work but I note that there are few examples of this.

Mark Ashley
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Re: Would You Pay Extra to Win Prize Money?

Post by Mark Ashley » Sat Sep 28, 2019 12:52 pm

I think back in the mid 90's there were some small tournaments run in North London (camden town?) that were run without cash prizes. I dont think they had many people attend (i didnt know of anyone who did) and i dont think tried to run more than 2 or 3 of the events (I think they may have been bi monthly or quaterly..)

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IM Jack Rudd
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Re: Would You Pay Extra to Win Prize Money?

Post by IM Jack Rudd » Sat Sep 28, 2019 1:00 pm

The last tournament I played in had no prizes (but then, it was a title-norm all-play-all, so there was still something at stake for six of the ten competitors).

Stewart Reuben
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Re: Would You Pay Extra to Win Prize Money?

Post by Stewart Reuben » Sat Sep 28, 2019 1:02 pm

I am quite surprised this even is being accepted for grading. The two types of players are playing with different objectives.

Michael Farthing >I'm of the view that prize money (and gradings) are two innovations that have spoilt the game.<

Oh, absoluetly. That pesky Cutty Sark Grand Prix from 974 and prizes in weekend Swisses led to considerable imrpovemtn in play by British players.

Grading leads to players being more active. People need objectives.

We don't want any of that stuff! Also do away with leagues while you are about it.

Nigel Short once said to me, 'I don't see the point in titles'. I replied, 'They provide the fuel on which many international tournaments run'. He walked away.

Generally in chess, if you want more entries, you should charge higher entry fees and give value for money.
Last edited by Stewart Reuben on Sat Sep 28, 2019 1:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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