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ManOfZen you're right, but haters gonna hate. What can you do?
I can't quite figure out the complaint -- this is the premier open tournament in the USA. There are hundreds of smaller tournaments with lower entrance fees all over the country for people who don't want to play in the World Open. And compared to other large tournaments, the fees are not out of line.
No way I'd pay it. It would be nice to see some of the titled players defend the position of the class players who really don't beneft from high entry fees, but that isn't likely to happen. One of the reasons I don't belong to the USCF anymore is that the opinion of class players is utterly meaningless. No one cares if a 1500 player is unhappy, but if a GM is unhappy the world spins off it's axis into outer space.
You can easily drop that much taking your family out for dinner and a movie.
So, I'm guessing you're a Romney man?
Normal people do not spend 350 dollars on dinner and a movie, even if they take their entire families.
When it comes to Chess, 350 dollars is too expensive for most people, but as with all things, there are luxuries in life. A round of golf at Pebble Beach will cost you more, but I know two people who have done it. If that's their thing, more power to them. They both thought it was money well spent. That's kind of comparable to the 350 dollar fee for the World Open.
My only objection is that when I try to push for inexpensive tournaments, I'm met with that same attitude. People don't see the need to hold inexpensive tournaments because they just can't imagine how a 25 dollar entry fee could possibly be a burden on real people.
@Meadmaker - $350 is for 6 days of play. That is far far less than dinner and a movie each of those 6 days even if you're eating at McDonald's and going to the matinee.
But more to the point, the idea that the World Open is the tourney you'll play every month is ludicrous. It is precisely the tourney you go on vacation to play in. For most players it is a once in a lifetime, or at most once every few years, type event.
If you want to have inexpensive tournaments, then become an organizer and hold them. My guess is that by having an inexpensive tournament you'll have at best a marginal venue, very low prizes, generally poor TDs and assistant TDs, few if any titled players, and low turn-out. Why? Because all of those things are what attract players. I would much rather spend a few more dollars on entrance fees and have a large, quiet hall with comfortable chairs organized and run by experienced people doing a quality job than go to the tourney being held in a noisy high school cafeteria with cruddy tables and uncomfortable plastic chairs being TD'ed by the local class-C player trying to make a name for himself as "arbiter."
That tournament is mainly played by Sharks just there for the money, so yes it is gambling.
But hear me out for a second, take the final ranking of the 2011 edition. the 13381 dollars prize in the U1800 section is won by a guy who plays 1 tournament in 1 year!! But magically he scores 8 points out of 9 with NO LOSSES!!
In the true Open section there are also players who are 2600, and if you are a player of the level of Loek Van Wely (2683) you could also go home with 1735 dollars!! (Maybe if he worked at McDonald he could make more money!)
Sandbagging your way into the U1800 section is easy. Once you have a GM title it can't be done
Why? Because all of those things are what attract players. I would much rather spend a few more dollars on entrance fees and have a large, quiet hall with comfortable chairs organized and run by experienced people doing a quality job than go to the tourney being held in a noisy high school cafeteria with cruddy tables and uncomfortable plastic chairs being TD'ed by the local class-C player trying to make a name for himself as "arbiter."
Is that what I'm doing? Trying to make a name for myself? I thought I was trying to bring affordable chess to people who can't afford "a few" more dollars. (In the case of the World Open, that would be 340 more dollars.)
Don't get me wrong. I have nothing against big, high priced, high prize tournaments. As a community, I think we need them. But we also need the sorts of tournaments I run, which cost five or ten dollars and are held in a "marginal" venues,and give little or no prizes. (And while I aspire to Class C someday, I haven't yet broken 1000.)
In fact, I'm going to take this opportunity to make a plea. For any of you who do go to the World Open, try to make sure that when you get back, you find an afternoon of your time and fork over that ten bucks to play in that high school gymnasium. That's the most important thing you can do to help your Chess community.
With full disclosure as a goal, it should be noted that the $350 entry fee is the fee for entering on the day of the tournament. The entry fee is less if you pre-enter. Had you decided to play earlier (by Febuary) you could of saved $45. Nevertheless, $305 could buy you quite a few pounds of coffee.
Asking why the World Open is $350 is like asking why the Super Bowl costs $500 (or whatever). If you want to argue that tournatments are expensive, it doesn't do your argument any favors to denigrate the top-shelf, most expensive one out there. Meadmaker, there are tons of cheap tournaments out there, including the ones you run. Why hate on the few annual expensive ones that exist?
Why hate on the few annual expensive ones that exist?
I'm not hating on any tournaments. I specifically said not only that I had nothing against them, but that they were necessary.
Entry fees are dictated by market forces, simple as, and no amount of socialist posturing is going to change that.
Entry fees of $40 are outrageous. No way I would pay $350 just to enter a tournament, even if it was in my backyard (no travel involved).
Oh and entry fees are not exactly dictated by market forces...since tournaments are run by a monopoly (USCF, FIDE or whatever) and there is no competition. If you want to play, you have to pay what THEY (USCF, FIDE, organizers) dictate.
You are only half right. Running a USCF tournament is extremely easy, and USCF places no real restrictions on you.
Four years ago when I wanted to go to a tournament, I found the same situation. The cheapest ones were twenty five dollars, and most were more. So what did I do? I became a Tournament Director (to do that, you have to send an email) and I started holding tournaments.
The biggest objection I have with USCF is that everyone has to have a membership, which means that my 10 dollar tournament becomes a fifty dollar tournament. There are ways around that as well, but they aren't obvious.
In short, if there are no cheap tournaments near you, start holding them. It's not quite as easy as it should be, but it's pretty easy. I can help if you are interested. Drop me a line.
Great tournament, but $350 sounds like a bit too much.
@meadmaker , make a tournament!! all you need is a USCF membership and a person to process the tournaments that has a affiliate ID (I can offer to let you use mine if you dont have a local club that has one) the club TD certificate is easy to do print out the form, sign it and send it in. (get a rule book and have it on hand is the main requirement) ta da! tournaments!
@meadmaker , make a tournament!!
Already did. Anyone from Michigan? I'll see you Saturday. Ten bucks in Auburn Hills. (http://gamesinmichigan.com/chessforcharity) Sorry, but it isn't likely there will be any grandmasters. I usally have 3 or 4 over 1600.
1) The World Open is the best, largest and most successful event of it's kind. It was ~$225 20 years ago, it's barely moved up in price [2.2% per year]. For that kind of prize money, it's worth it.They had years with over 41 GMs, 1400+ players, IM and GM norms, etc.
And the more players the bigger space they need to rent to hold the event. You can't just cram 500 tables in a corner room.
2) My friend from college came and played with me one year - it was his first Swiss tourney, and second tournament ever, he was rated ~1532 and he won his first 6 games in a row in the U1600. Sandbagging is pretty limited.
3) I enjoy playing alongside some of the strongest players in the world, reading the tourney bulletin, having GMs like Benko, et al, analyze your games.
4) If you're a socialist, you can get plenty of games in Russia against Masters that will crush you for free. No matter how old you are, complaining what other people do with their money is childish, immature, and obnoxious.
Also, it's $50 off if you enroll early. Don't blame them if you're lazy.
I saw here that comments should be kept "nice". Perhaps my definition of that word is different to Najdorf's
The notice I got was $315 by May 1.
The World Open is the biggest prize fund open tournament in the world. It's an experience. Some of the top GMs in the country and the world play in it - in past years, Nakamura, Kamsky, Gelfand, and other top GMs, usually a couple dozen at least.
If you're playing and paying for hotel and food, the entry fee is down the list of expenses.
The huge prize fund draws all these great players, and all the others to see them, which also brings in a great selection of books and merchandise and art for sale.
I haven't been since the late '90s, but still plan to get back one day - playing in the Open section gave me the chance to play chess legends like Ed Formanek (who played in several US CHs), Rene Olthof (Editor of New in Chess), a US Junior CH whose name escapes me right now, Alex Dunne, and Ariel Mengarini (of several US CHs and the Manhattan Project), not to mention several other IMs and FMs.
If you can swing it, go - you won't regret it.
It really comes down to this: for the venue and quality of the tournament, the amount being charged per day is actually fairly low. I've paid $50 a day to enter much more poorly run tournaments in much poorer venues.
But more to the point, if you don't want to pay $50 a day for quality chess, then don't. Go play in some local $10 quad tournament and enjoy it, or go to a coffee house and enjoy that. Or better yet, if you think the price is outlandish, then demonstrate that you can run a tournament of similar qulaity for less and still make it worth while. If you can, I guarantee you that customers will find you.
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