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Right. Point being that if chess really is played by hundreds of millions then there's no need to "bring it to the masses" (as Ashley and MC's hype states) because it's already there (even if the vast majority aren't playing the game for glamour or wealth).
Of the millions playing chess, most of them are not playing tournament chess or even following top-level chess. That was my take on "bringing it to the masses."
And most won't be interest in doing so no matter how much Ashley tries to glam it up. For the vast majority of people chess is simply a plesant diversion played in friendly company and that's all it ever will be. And that's ok. Ashley wants to establish a big money chess tourney that will bring in a tidy profit and some measure of celebrity for him and his partners. That's fine enough on its own, he simply needs to be honest about his motivations. No need to dress it up as some noble effort to "bring chess to the masses".
>I'll go on record right now and say they will be lucky to get 200-300 entries under current format.<
I believe I predicted about 250 as well, a few pages back.
... and I will multiple it by 3 and predict 750.
I was hoping that MC would succeed, but their new prize distribution was a bad miscalculation. It is no secret that it is the lower sections that have carried American tournaments, and now they have cut into the payoff of the lower sections. I hate to admit it, but they have possibly ruined any chances of this succeeding with a wider range of players. Normally, the greater number of players are in the lower sections (by far), but with MC#1 the open section had the most; very unusual. Now, they will have an even greater disparity in the distribution of players, with even fewer going in the lower sections. This is not good; they will lose at least 150 to 200 players. Again, I hate to admit it, but I think they're doomed with this move; they desperately needed to increase the lower sections, now they will inevitably lower it.
I think ultimately they would have had pissed off one group or another however they did the prizes. Last time better chess players in the open section won nothing and watched the entire field in some of the lower sections collect prizes. The concept is entirely doomed anyway until they announce that somebody actually wants to sponsor them in a way that injects a significant level of cash.
A smarter plan would have been to take smaller steps both with increasing the entry fees and the prize funds.Even better would be to buy out CCA/Goichberg (who would sell for the right number, I warrant, and that number is LESS money then what these fools are going to lose if they hold another event with such prizes). Once they own a viable enterprise and brand they can modify it over a short period of time to tweak it into the starship they imagine. Just as Goichberg makes the World Open his flagship and runs a bunch of loss leaders to get people to his big five events, so too could these clowns if they really set the right goals over the right period of time, running their beloved million dollar event (which is really not so much these days really, but...) and a host of satellite events to make it all stay afloat.Instead they try for the whole magilla in reverse order. Not smart.It begins to look more and more that one person really has no vested interest in success so long as they keep their face in the limelight because the sets of decisions coming are really bordeline nuts as far as business acumen in this arena is concerned.
"...decisions coming are really bordeline nuts as far as business acumen in this arena is concerned."
I sort of agree. Must first impression after the prize changes was that this decision was made by an out-of-touch GM who has very little contact with the vast majority of players, and/or, this was a change suggested in order to sell the idea that this tweaking would actually help, ie. keep the excitement and prospect up that this will succeed.
I want to be wrong because Amy Lee is a very nice and hard-working person.
Amy Lee is a very nice and hard-working person.
I believe this as well.
In one of her blogs, Amy Lee acknowleged that a survey that they conducted netted them nothing because of its wording. I think that this is the crux of their dilemma.
They had no idea how many people could afford the $1000 entry fee. More important, they had no idea how many would be willing to pay the entry fee.
I admire your optimism, but it's going to be tough...
Let me digress...
When I first saw the structure of MC 1 and prizes down to 50th place, the first thing that grabbed me after the huge top prizes was even if I didn't place near the top, I would have a great chance of at least winning my entry back. I'm certain many who entered MC 1 felt exactly the same, and that's why they played. Now it isn't so easy to hit the top 20 unless you know for a fact you are underrated. Chess players will pay $100 to $200 to enter an event if they think they have a shot even if they know they aren't a huge favorite. Now, they are being asked to ante up a cool $1,000 knowing they will be lucky to place in the money. That's a pretty steep price for a risky, at best, return. If this opinion is held by all they just lost at least half the entries they had in MC 1.
the North American Open is up to 418 entries and rdecredico says it will hit the 600 it usually gets as many entries flock in the last week. So, the NAO isn't being hurt by MC. I doubt the National Open next June will suffer either. However, MC 2 could be a million dollar bath for Amy Lee.
MC have also changed the entry fee structure.
There's a 12% discount for the first 500 registering before Jan 31.
The fee increases 25% after Mar 31, 50% after June 30 and 100% after Sept 30.
There's 12% discount for the first 500 registering before Jan 31.
wow, this is even worse than before. the "smart" ones will register early at $880. $1000 shuts off March 31, way earlier than last year. They just don't realize a lot of people can't and won't commit that far in advance which will keep most of them away as the event approaches. We saw how few entries they got last year when the price went to $1500 so whatever entries they have once they tabulate their totals of March 31 will probably be close to what they end up with. Amy Lee is supposed to have plenty of money, why do they need to get the bulk of the entries in by March 31? They surely can't earn that much interest on it.
By my estimates of 550 players MC 1 they lost $800,000. No way in hell do they top the entries this time, meaning an even bigger loss. Even if they find a sponsor to cover the entire prize fund, they will lose money, as well as their sponsor for a return engagement. MC 3 will be even worse. If you're reading this Amy Lee, time to pull the plug, or revamp it entirely. (Especially the playoffs). It's your money Maurice is pitching away, not his. It's going to take at least 20 MC's and $20 million dollars of losses before a small profit of even $100,000 is realized, if at all.
Instead of focusing on huge expensive tournaments they should have more tournaments more spread out for reasonable prices (to reduce the need for travel) while of course still having big (but still reasonably priced) tournaments.
Pouring so much energy into big expensive tournaments only the rich can attend sounds like a big affront to the rank and file USCF member.
I also don't see the hurry. From what I've read, Amy Lee is comitted to MC 2. She should have already analyzed a worst case scenario to determine what her financial risk was.
I can tell you from personal experience (I was the executor of a large estate), you can't make any money out there with "safe investments" (0.1% was the best I could do while meeting the fudiciary requirements). So trying to earn some interest on the advance entry fees is an exercise in futility.
The whole thing was, is, and will be an ill-conceived disaster, both as a financial endeavor and as a chess event.
MC has done nothing for US chess.
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