Thursday, August 1, 2013

LCCC at the US Open - Some Obserservations

Showed this just to drive Vince crazy!
Lets discuss the Open!
It returns to Wisconsin for the first time since 1953, so having it here is special to the chess enthusiasts of the Cheese state.

Wisconsin was part of the American Chess Association that included Illinois and Minnesota, which merged with other associations to form the United States Chess Federation. 

So they can rightfully claim - and do - that they are co-founders of the USCF.

Now for my commentary on how the Wisconsin Chess Association and USCF is doing with the tournament.

The Good:
1) The lighting is fine. Could be a little brighter.
2) The seating is very good! Not perfect. Not crowded side to side. Two per table so there is plenty of room. Could be a little wider in between rows, but they obviously were trying to stay as far away from the entry doors a possible as a noise buffer.
3) The pairings are up early and are posted in two places and TWO different ways. One, the usual by table number and player with White first, and the other by alphabetical! You can find your name quickly, then see what color you have, who your opponent is and what your board number is! Very nice! Never more than two people standing at the pairing boards - ever!
4) There is a Chess Central location with someone there to answer any and all questions, sign you up for side events, direct you to meetings, and take your bye requests.
5) The top tables are sectioned off, but close enough where you can see the game being played.
6) The kids tournaments were very well done. They were treated like royalty, complete with their state flags in holders next to their boards. They are the future of chess and the USCF is showing them they matter.
7) The hotel is a great venue for a tournament this size, and they have experience doing this type of thing.
8) Bathrooms clean, close by and numerous.

The Bad:
1) The US Open Women's Tournament, and for that matter all women's tournaments, need to be stopped and like right now. There were exactly 18 11 players entered. There were 20 females in just the last row of the regular tournament! So what is the point? Enough already. Everyone knows they need to end it, but no one has the guts to say it. So I just did.
2) They are running out of drinking water in the playing hall EVERY round. You would think that someone running the show would have the hotel on it, and remedying the situation.
3) The pre-round announcements are loud and dragged out. Some new person is given the microphone every time to thank people or give an award of some kind. That's nice and all, but these speakers think it is open mike night at a comedy club or worse, a political speech. Let's keep it brief shall we?
4) Here is the worse over-sight. There is no souvenirs concessions at all. Nothing but a cheap t-shirt iron-on logo vendor, who was here on the weekend and doesn't return until this coming weekend.
No vinyl boards, no chess bags, no key chains. Not even a cheap pen thas says 2013 US Open!
Maybe the stuff will show on the weekend. 
And maybe it is because US Open souvenirs have been a financial loser. But you can fix that by not gouging the customer with the price. I mean what is the risk of printing the boards used in the US Open and selling them after the tourney? You can always unload them at cost to chess clubs later. If handled right it's a small profit or worse - a break even venture for the USCF - and advertising for a long time.

But over all, so far, this has been a very well run tournament.

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