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When I mention Chess.com to friends they look at me like I am crazy. well ok I am but what can you do
The problem with chess being "uncool" is all a matter of advertising & promotion. If celebrities were to promote the game it would become "cool". The game doesn't have the Michael Jordans or Tiger Woods to make the game glamorous. There are many celebrities who enjoy the game like everyone else. These people are the ones who need to promote chess tournaments for kids, to get them enthusiastic about the game. Advertising is everything. You can have the blandest of products, but if you have commercials and ads showing it as cool, hip, sexy, etc. the product sells. Chess needs to promote itself better if they want really massive interest in the game. you promote the game, the tournaments get more attention, & if it grows extremely popular, then the Sonys, Pepsis, Macdonalds, etc will want to sponsor tournaments just like anything else.
more people are playing online, as it's easier and more convenient (and you can play when work is slow :-P ).
seriously though, the online resources are so good these days, with free video's, free databases, strong online communities, plenty of people to play against of all sorts of differing abilities, and games going at all hours of the day, with different varaiants and time controls. i like playing over the board, but it's hard to find the time to get out of the house for a couple of contiguous hours with 3 small kids, so i play online.
i think chess is going strong, just changing mediums :-)
and who says chess is uncool? both my three year old and my four year old love it (and i'm sure my 8 month old will as soon as he can grasp the basics without teething on the pieces)
The origanal thought of this is that people overwelmingly prefer to play OTB. They like to play people and the feeling of playing a person is less online.
Justjoshin is right though. Belonging to an actual chess club requires you set aside about 3-4 hours a week just to play a few OTB games & not necessarily with equal opponents. The freedom of online chess gives you access to a game at any time with opponents of your relative strength. You can wake up at 3 in the morning & have a game immediately. Being able to play a game at any time you want is the greatness of online chess. You can play it when you want to, not when it's at a scheduled time each week.
some feel there aren't enough women showing up at chess clubs...so guys don't show up....just thinking outloud....
LOL that may be true.
the only reason for OTB is to guarantee non-cheating for offical big deal tournaments - online chess offers the rest of us WAY more
If that were true then why do the people ON THIS SITE answer that they prefer to play with a "real" person OTB.
some of us do but play internet because it is more convenient. I love playing against mates (who I mostly beat) or against my dad (who always beats me). But most of the time it is easier to jump on the net and play a quick game.The I prefer OTB but play more internet chess
I'm interested to hear from people from countries where chess is very popular how it is mostly played. Net? Clubs? Cafes? etc
chess club would be great especially for young people who's interested to learn and play chess. i have a four year-old son whom i'm trying to teach and chess club would be of help to expose him in the game. our place has no chess club but players meet at the city park to play every afternoon, its sort of a chess club without the facilities.
what could chess clubs offer you to get you to regularly show up?
There are different factors that go into a successful club. Here are some reasons I did or did not go to certain chess clubs.
Location - There have been chess clubs I have wanted to go to, but the location was too remote, or the facilities were inadequate (business with too few parking spaces). An ideal chess club will be easily accessable. If a club is on a main street, or close to a highway, it will make it easier to find and available for more people. Another thing to consider is the area of town you are in. I went to a chess tournament where a tournament organizer had their laptop stolen. So make sure the club is somewhere people would be comfortable going to.
Time - This part may take some testing to see what day works best in your particular area. Check local events and make sure your not trying to fight with other things for your members time. Also take into consideration the time of day you hold your club. Is it too late, starts too early, are people at work...etc.
Structure - Although there are some people who like a structured competitive event style club, it will turn a good number people off from attending. Don't get me wrong, a USCF rated club event is great, and can be a draw in itself, but make sure you offer members a variety of play. Some people may want to play slow chess, some blitz, other may want the serious rated games.
Equipment - Any available resources can only help build a club. New guy not got a board? Don't worry, sit down and play on the house board. Want to chat with your club friends and study some endgames or openings? There is a club library of titles you can use. At a gymnasium or other public space? A coffee station can be set up at a very low price. If your club has children, some OJ would be nice.
I hope this is helpful for anyone trying to start or build up a club.
In the Internet age people are less social than before. So, they prefer playing OTB (as mentioned in the thread-opening comment), but that only means that they are likely to play in tournaments, not visit a local club and play for fun. Sadly enough, there are basically two types of people: those who play on the Internet only & those who also take part in live competitions. The third group - who go chess-clubbing , is virtually non-existent these days...
In the Netherlands, I don't know any people who play tournaments but aren't also member of a club.
I'm not sure what we call a "chess club" is the same as it is in other countries. So here's what mine is like, in Arnhem in the Netherlands:
Our club plays every Thursday; the youth members from 18:30 to 20:00 (they get lessons and play a competition game), then from 20:00 to about 0:30 the adults play. If you want to play, you let the TD know before 19:45, so he can make pairings for the night; you play one 2 hr/game game. This counts for the club championship, which is decided when the whole season ends (from end of august to half june, more or less). The TD tries to pair you with someone near you in the standings. If the club is big enough (as ours is), you get many different challenging opponents, if the club is small, you might meat the same people a few times per season.
Besides the club championship, we have a blitz championship once per season, a rapid championship that's played on five nights, and the last night of the season is always rapid chess-960.
We also play in team competitions, our large club has 11 teams, ranging in strength from +- 2200 FIDE to +- 1100 FIDE, playing against other clubs; 7 or 9 games per season, depending on the level. The highest teams play on saturday, because their opponents come from further away, the lower teams play against relatively nearby opponents and they play on whatever the club night of the home team is.
The clubs own all the equipment - perhaps a hundred boards and sets, about 70 clocks I think (almost all DGT 2000). Many of the clocks were sponsored and have a little plaque on them, "This clock was sponsored by <local business here>".
We also rent a venue for the night, though pretty cheaply. The place we're currently in is a daytime activity center for mentally disabled adults; it has a few large well lit rooms, a small bar (the club sells cheap coffee, beer etc, the small profits are for the club), and we have a place in the attic where we can store our stuff.
Members dues are, I believe, 80 euros per year, including membership of the national federation.
Everything is run by volunteers, of course. There is a small group of extremely active people who run mostly everything, do promotions in local libraries, shopping malls, and are "married to the club" as described by some... Many other members do a little bit every now and then.
We have about 140 members, with half of them showing up on a normal Thursday. We're one of two big clubs in a city of 160,000. It's one of the biggest in the Netherlands, most are about 30 members, I guess.
There is a critical size, if a club comes below it, it will shrink. If it is big, there will be enough active people, and the club can thrive. In some cities in the Netherlands, there are too many clubs that are all struggling, and perhaps they should merge; but there are often decades old rivalries between them. So the total number of federation members keeps shrinking.
Is this true even in Russia ?! Most of us see Russia as a chess players paradise/dream where chess is concerned, so if its true even there what chance do the rest of us have ?
Yes, it's true even for Russia. Now only grandpas visit chess clubs & play in the parks. What is even more sad, even top events (such as Men's Superfinal and Women's Superfinal) hardly attract any spectators. Excellent huge LCD monitors, commentators, participants such as Svidler, Morozevich, Jakovenko, Alekseev, etc. - and no one seems to care?! That's just scary, you know...
I have been a member of chess clubs in USA, Germany, and now Portugal. The experience, and the differences, of these clubs are very interesting and have been some of my most treasured experiences of my 35 years in competitive chess.
The first club I joined in Portugal was Sporting Chess Club of Portugal in Lisbon. Club nights there were different from any club experience I have ever had. What happened every night I attended the club was that we would have a 5-0 blitz round robin tournament starting about 8 pm. The number of players were usually from 8 to 12 people and it rarely was less than 8 or more than 12. After the round robin a group of players would always get together and go out for dinner and would often spend more time at dinner than playing chess ! My wife and I was invited to join this dinner group and we often went with them. It was great fun and something I never experienced in a chess club before, but I was more interested in playing chess ! I joked to my wife that this seemed more a dinner club than chess club as they often would spend more time at dinner than playing chess.... LOL. The clubs I played in while in the US and Germany were very different but I did like the idea of playing a round robin of blitz to start the club meeting !
Chess is not a popular game. In the US, a country with a population of 300 million: (1) the USCF has about 80,000 members, and (2) Chess.com has about 400,000 US members. That's a very small fraction of the population.
USCF membership numbers is not an accurate barometer of chess popularity in the USA. How many of those 300 million people play chess, could it be 10 millon? 50 million?
And of those howevermany millions, how many belong to the USCF? Less than 100,000.
Why is that? Simple. USCF is a mess.
I'm sorry, but I have to disagree with both of you.
Ok! There are 80,000 members in USCF and 400,000 members in Chess.com. BUT, there may be other people who play chess within their own families but don't join USCF or Chess.com. Who knows? They may be playing chess only in their houses and not join sites like Chess.com. We do not know, and I do not know, and if I have, in some way, insulted anyone, I apologize.
Do not judge right away...We may be wrong...
These people are only casual players. They are not likely to ever play in a chess tournament and certainly arent likely to join a chess club or the USCF. I wouldnt even count them as "chess players". I play a few casual games of checkers, backgammon, poker, monopoly and other games every year but I dont consider myself a backgammon player, nor checker player... I am a chess player however.
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