Monday, January 09, 2006

Pay To Play

Goran at Chess News and Events was looking for some information on chess tournament entry fees in the United States.

I believe the $400 entry fee for the HB Global which he mentions is right (or at least in the ballpark). I would point out, however, that this is clearly on the high end of entry fees in the States. The 2006 World Open is also approaching the $400 entry fee level, but other major national and regional tournaments run by the Continental Chess Association are lower, e.g. North American Open ($240-280), Eastern Class Championships ($70-90), Foxwoods Open ($250-300), Liberty Bell Open ($100-120).

I think major state tournaments here in Massachusetts (e.g. Mass Open, Pillsbury) run about $50-80. Local club tournaments typically have entry fees in the $15-30 range. For example, the BCF Thursday Night Illinois Swiss charges $17 for members, $27 for non-members. At the Metrowest Chess Club they charge $15-20 for members and $20-25 for non-members. If you are looking for a deal, we run a $10 Open one weekend a quarter at the Boylston (although a few years back it used to be called the $8 Open).

Goran asks:

Do organizers expect participators to sponsor most of the prize fund?

That and more! In the absence of corporate sponsorship, entry fees fund the prize fund, tournament expenses and the profits (if any) of the organizers.

Do our entry fee levels in the U.S. inhibit the growth of chess talent here as Goran hypothesizes? What do you think?

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