Computer Chess Club Archives




Subject: Re: Professional Entry Fees

Author: Ed Schröder

Date: 02:27:35 10/13/97

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>Posted by Bruce Moreland on October 13, 1997 at 01:55:42:

>In Reply to: Re: WMCCC posted by Vincent Diepeveen on October 12, 1997 at

>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?

You can also look at the problem different...

In athletics when you want Carl Lewis in your event you have to pay to
him if you want your event to be a success. Why should commercials not
ask the ICCA money for showing up?

Costs for a commercial...
1.. 2-3 weeks preparation.
2.. $1000 entry fee.
3.. hotel for 2 persons.
4.. flight for 2 persons.
5.. loss of 10 working days.
6.. Get the best (read buy new) Pc available.

and for what?

*IF* the commercial wins the main tournament, what does he have?

The commercial has to share his title with:
- title for best amateur program;
- title for best blitz program;
- more?

It's not worth to invest $5000 - $10,000 for that.

It's not attractive to participate. Perhaps it was in the early days for
the bigger companies like Saitek and Hegener & Glaser with high end
machines of > $1000, but this is 1997 with diskettes and cdroms.

- Ed -


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