An Appreciation Of Tournament Organization

Philadelphia chess players may shortly be mourning the loss of the World Open from their city. According to this article the organizers can’t get the hotel for next year. So they’re moving on to Washington DC.

This is the nature of chess events, nothing lasts forever. Usually they depend on skilful and energetic organizers to provide the driving force and know how. And this is something that is not always appreciated by players.

I got my first taste of tournament organization when I helped put on several Grandmaster tournaments in Wrexham in the 1990s. I can’t say I enjoyed the experience so take my hat off to those who are wiling to put on chess events. It’s a thankless task at the best of times but someone has to do it for competitive chess to be played.

Accordingly I’d like to suggest that players take the trouble to thank organizers of events they participate in, even if there were some problems with it. If everyone were to do that the job of organizing events would become considerably more pleasant, which in turn might attract ever more capable individuals to do the job.

On the other hand offering nothing but criticism drives the capable and benevolent people away. The only ones left might have another agenda for their organizational activities, such as money or power. And they are more likely to achieve these things without healthy competition for the services they provide.

Here’s one of the nicest players in the chess World giving a simultaneous display. If more of the players were like Ulf Andersson I really think there would be more and better tournaments: