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Chess has survived for thousands of years. Do we need to make special efforts to promote it?

Should anyone bother to promote chess other than FIDE?

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    If your definition of success for chess is that "it survives" then perhaps chess needs no promoting. – Michael West Jan 22 at 19:28
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    Depends who is defining success. Chess survived thousands of years without promotion. Those who make money or get personal benefits will promote chess anyway. Why should anyone else care about promoting chess? – edwina oliver Jan 22 at 19:45
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    would be nice if whoever is downvoting all my posts today would say why. this one seems to be untouched FOR NOW. – edwina oliver Jan 22 at 20:14
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    But now I see they found it and downvoted yet another. Almost 20 downvotes in just over a day. Get real. Nobody makes that many mistakes. This is just a stalker trying to get even for something that bothers him and their lack of logic. – edwina oliver Jan 23 at 1:07
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Does chess need promoting at all?

The only way a chess tournament happens is if one or more people organize it. If nobody promotes chess then there will only be sporadic individual games. There will be no organized tournaments.

Should anyone bother to promote chess other than FIDE?

There are tens of thousands of chess clubs in the world. Suggesting that FIDE should, or even could, organize just the annual club championships of these tens of thousands of clubs is ludicrous. That can only be done by members of those clubs. Similarly local leagues can only be organized by groups of clubs coming together and agreeing league rules, fixtures and structures. It is just not feasible for one international body to do that.

Football has massive amounts of money from television and even FIFA doesn't have the resources to organize local leagues in one country let alone the world. The idea that the impoverished chess world could even attempt to do that just makes no sense.

Of course some people will promote chess. But they do it for their own benefit not just so that chess will survive

This is completely wrong. There is very little money in chess. The vast majority of people who organise tournaments are older players who know they have taken much out of the game over the decades and want to give something back.

My club is a good example. Our tournament organiser is in his 8th decade. He doesn't get paid anything. He organises 3 competitions during the season, an open club championship, a rating limited club championship (roughly under 1450) and a handicap tournament. There are no entry fees and no prizes. The winner of each competition has their named engraved on a club trophy and gets to keep it on their mantlepiece for a year. These tournaments are for club members only. Annual club membership works out at about $6.50 at current exchange rates.

Out of season during the late spring and summer I organise and run weekly themed blitz tournaments, no entry fee, no prizes, no rating. Two or three times a year I organise and run club 9 round FIDE rated blitzes, again, no entry fee, no prizes, but, yes, rated. These are primarily for club members but non-members are welcome (warning, we may try and poach you!).

Once a year the club organises a 9 round FIDE rated blitz in a large venue with invitations to players throughout the region. Entry fee converts to about $13. Our club chairman runs around trying to raise sponsorship from local businesses to cover the prize fund and I suspect dips into his own pocket to subsidise any shortfall.

Our club pays in two local leagues. The committees which run those leagues are composed of players from those clubs who give up their time for free to make it happen.

I don't think what I have described is extraordinary. I think it is how chess works at a local level in most of this country and, I suspect, in most of the world. To work like this it just needs a few public spirited individuals, usually old, who want to give something back to the game which they have loved for many years.

  • I am more concerned about who and why. Of course some people will promote chess. But they do it for their own benefit not just so that chess will survive. I seriously question clubs that go broke and chase players away by trying to get them to fund tournaments that do nothing for the club or the club players ,when the players only want to play and not be the sugardaddies of a local club dominted by a chess teacher who needs the club to help him get students. – edwina oliver Jan 22 at 19:43
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    @edwinaoliver: are you American? in most of the world chess clubs are entirely volunteer operations, only renting space and buying material costs money so there is a small fee. – RemcoGerlich Jan 23 at 8:20
  • @RemcoGerlich yes I am in USA. The last club was bad as they got a free room at the library but kept twisting arms to pay big fees to join. Then they put that into prize money for tournaments for out of towners to win. They claimed they were promoting chess. Instead people just stopped coming to the local club at all. The members just wanted to play chess free in the library not give their money to others who came to play in tournaments for prizes. – edwina oliver Jan 23 at 14:36
  • So one club was badly managed, therefore all clubs are useless? Every club I've been at in my area has been staffed by volunteers. Fees for club membership went into tournaments, yes, but also went toward the club library, equipment, lecture fees for GMs, etc. The folks running the club got nothing for the work they did promoting the club and chess. – Arlen Jan 23 at 16:53
  • In my club, membership dues pay for equipment and infrastructure. Tournament prizes are paid entirely from the entry fees to those tournaments. The people who staff the club are all volunteers. – patbarron Jan 23 at 22:28

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