Computer Chess Club Archives




Subject: Re: Professional Entry Fees

Author: Chris Whittington

Date: 01:44:45 10/13/97

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On October 13, 1997 at 01:55:42, Bruce Moreland wrote:

>On October 12, 1997 at 18:47:22, Vincent Diepeveen wrote:
>>Why must professionals pay more than amateurs anyway?
>>Is the absolute world microcomputer chess champion title worth more
>>if you are professional than if you are amateur?
>Take someone like Martin Zentner.  He's a college student.  If he wins a
>title it will be a big upset.  Obviously an amateur, obviously a
>hobbyist, obviously has little to gain, directly.  Sticking him with an
>entry fee might keep him out of the competition.
>Take a big diversified commercial software house such as Interplay,
>Sierra, Mindscape, etc.  They sell their work (or someone else's).  They
>have a good chance to win a title, and if they do win a title, they will
>put it on their box and plaster it across their ads.  To these people an
>entry fee might not be a large consideration.  To pay for a
>representative from the company to go to Paris, stay in a hotel and eat,
>and to pay that person's salary while they are there, would cost way
>more than a paltry $1000.
>I think at least this is the idea behind it -- to raise some cash from
>people who can afford it and who are likely to benefit financially from
>a good result.
>I think part of the break-down here is that there is an intermediate
>group, people who are not making a huge amount of money, but who have
>very strong programs which are available commercially.  I don't know how
>much money you make by doing chess programs, but I bet that in many
>cases, you don't make a lot.  The thousand bucks might tend to really
>matter to these people.  But the consumer might not see much difference
>between them and the big software houses -- the program is as strong or
>stronger, and costs as much or more.
>They tried to solve this problem by making a new category -- emerging
>professional.  This is tailor-made for someone like Stefan Mayer-Kahlen,
>who became professional after the tournament last year.  He probably
>hasn't sold a ton of units, but on the other hand, he's not Martin
>Zentner, either.
>But it is harder to find a perfect fit for Mark Uniacke, who has a
>strong program that is available commercially (and is in no way
>"emerging"), but apparently he doesn't make a lot of money from it.
>There is also a problem with Marty Hirsch, since he is apparently
>struggling due to his problems with Eurochess, but he is also in no way
>"emerging".  Apparently both of these guys are put off by the entry fee,
>although we only have Thorsten's word for that.
>It sounds like this system needs overhauling, again.  Unfortunately,
>while it is easy to complain about the system, it is harder to devise a
>better system.
>Last time I asked, in r.g.c.c., for constructive suggestions about what
>to do about this, I didn't get a lot of response.  The response that I
>did get was mainly, "flatten out or eliminate the fee structure and get
>rid of amateur/professional distinction", if I remember right.  Is that
>the best solution?


>What percentage of the event cost is generated through entry fees, and
>would this make it less likely that we could hold these events in the
>future, if these fees were eliminated?

I believe they ask for $20,000 plus equipment plus location plus
flights. ie they get $20,000 on top of everything else. Straight
'profit' if you like. In addition to the $20,000 they get entry fees of
$1000 x N + $25 x N.

This $25000 (?) I think then pays the tournament director and the
honorarium, we don;t know how much either of these get. The balance is
supposed to go to the journal or into icca funds.

It seems to me that, since the $20,000 + kit + flights etc msut appear
highly flexible to sponsors. eg the sponsors fee will range from $20,000
up to $80,000 or so with flights across the world and hotels, that if
this $1000 entry fee amount is so important, that it could be raised
through sponsorship.

Certainly at the cost of deterring applicants as it seems to do, the
alternative of either getting more sponsorship, or cutting back on
expenses etc would be worth considering.



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