How Professionals Support Amateur Chess

I’ve recently seen some comments about amateurs supporting professionals, a view which probably came about because UK chess has been run down so much and has very little sponsorship. But I think that there’s another side of this that seems to be getting ignored.

Here are some of the ways in which amateurs are being supported by professionals:

1) Professional players provide an ongoing source of instruction though their games, which are routinely collected and published in databases without any payment or royalty.

2) Many hours work has gone into the development of different chess patterns (including openings), which are then routinely played by amateurs if they bother to learn them. Once again all this knowledge is available without any royalty being paid to the masters who discovered these ideas.

3) Ratings and competition were designed to discover who the best players were, not to compare Joe Bloggs to John Smith. Without the pursuit of excellence chess competition in its current form wouldn’t exist.

4) Title norms opportunities are provided by full time players, without them receiving anything like decent recompense.

5) When sponsorship does exist, for example at the London Chess Classic, numerous events are created in which amateurs can participate.

6) Chess achievements boost interest in chess and swell the numbers of people who want to play and join chess clubs etc.. This was certainly the case in the days of Bobby Fischer, and even Paul Morphy in his time inspired many to take up the game.

I’m sure there are many more ways too, but even these provide strong arguments in favour of having professionals in chess.

Nigel Davies

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About NigelD

Nigel Davies is an International Chess Grandmaster living in St. Helens in the UK. The winner of 15 international tournaments he is also a former British U21 and British Open Quickplay Champion and has represented both England and Wales on several occasions. These days Nigel teaches chess through his chess training web site, Tiger Chess, which has articles, recommendations, a monthly clinic, videos and courses. His students include his 15 year old son Sam who is making rapid progress with his game. Besides teaching chess, Nigel is a registered tai chi and qigong instructor and runs several weekly classes.