Not sure who, if anyone, will be reading this the first post on the Bury St Edmunds Chess Congress blog. You’ll find me posting here occasional oddments relating to our event, and perhaps sometimes things related to chess events more generally.
A question to begin with: to what extent does prize money available for a tournament make you more likely to enter? Winning a large prize would no doubt be a boon, but with the prize winners being a small proportion of the entrants overall, I’m wondering whether it would make sense for us to organise things differently. We could offer no prizes and massively reduce the entrance fee, or lessen our reliance on sponsors. Or we could use the saving to invest and improve the tournament conditions.
What do you think? Our current prize schedule can be found here. You’ll see that in addition to the monetary prizes we are also (at the time of writing) offering chess.com membership prizes. There is also a handsome trophy for the best local junior. How would you like prizes to be organised? What’s most motivating? And are there other things you’d prefer we spend the money on? Please leave your thoughts in the comments.
On a side note, I have occasionally wondered about some amusing prizes I could add to our schedule, and to explain them I will need to take a rather circuitous route.
As some of you may know, in spring 2018 we added a small dog to our family. I’m still rather surprised that my wife and daughter went with my name suggestion: Magnus. Anyone else got chess “themed” pets? One of my chess club colleagues said it was quite wrong to call our dog Magnus, as Magnus is supposed to be the G.O.A.T. and not a dog, but anyway …
Having easy access to this Magnus give me the chance to offer some great/weird sounding prizes:
Play a game with Magnus
Thirty minutes 1-to-1 with Magnus
A lick from Magnus
Rub Magnus’ tummy
Steve has been the organiser of the Bury St Edmunds Chess Congress since the 2015 event. He also helps run the Bury St Edmunds Chess Club and is Internet Officer for the Bury Area Chess League. Outside of chess, if there is such a thing, Steve works in IT at Atalian Servest.